While helping a friend plan an event, I ran across this passage in the book, Emily Post’s Etiquette.
And before you go categorizing this as old-fashioned or outdated information, you should know that this is a modern-day edition, edited for today’s society.
Besides, putting other people before yourself is never an outdated principle!
In this passage, the author specifically addresses the subject of response cards in wedding invitations. It is safe to assume that this is applicable to any event – not just weddings.
Response Cards (from Emily Post’s Etiquette)
It is regrettable that it is necessary to write these paragraphs, but the custom of enclosing response cards with wedding invitations is so widespread that it must be discussed.
The custom has arisen, I am afraid, out of sheer necessity. Too many people are lazy, thoughtless, or ignorant of good behavior and simply will not take the time or make the effort to answer invitations. When a caterer is hired, or the reception is held at a club or hotel, those in charge want to know the exact number of guests as soon as possible. While a rough estimate may be made from the quantity of invitations mailed, the more precise estimate must await the replies. Therefore, in an effort to get this information to the cater in plenty of time, brides and their mothers often feel that the responses will arrive more quickly and surely if cards are enclosed.
She goest on to state that she “… thoroughly deplore[s] the lack of appreciation shown by guests who would not otherwise bother to answer promptly…”.
Let’s step it up, folks! Responding in a timely manner is not complicated or difficult. If you can’t get a definite response together in time, respond that you will not be attending.
As always, put others before yourself. Think of the host or hostess – not just your own schedule or desires.