Ali Pica

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, ALI: RSVP etiquette – 5 things NOT to do when you’re invited to an event

YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, ALI: RSVP etiquette – 5 things NOT to do when you’re invited to an event
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Summer and graduation parties, weddings, cookouts, and other outdoor events are upon us. We are bombarded with Facebook invites, texts and, occasionally, paper invitations. We often ignore these invites or say that that we are going and don’t show. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if we do this, but sometimes it does, especially if it’s someone’s private event. In case you need a refresher on invitation RSVP etiquette, do not do any of these five things.

1. You text or send a Facebook message saying, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet.”

Whatever you do, don’t ever, ever, ever say this to someone! The person didn’t ask you to volunteer to move his or her furniture, but invited you to a party. Delete this phrase or some variation from your lexicon because, to me, it tells me that either, A. you are so important that you need to check with your assistant to see what’s on your schedule, or B. you are telling me that you are looking for a better deal, and if nothing comes up, there’s a slight chance you’ll show. I’m going to assume the latter, unless I know you are that influential. This seems extremely unlikely, so you could just say, “I have to check my schedule,” and get back to the person promptly. Then, if you do go, you can take your private jet to the party since you’re pressed for time with your immensely busy schedule.

2. You say you can’t make the event because of work or some non-party excuse, yet there are pictures of you at someone else’s party.

Please don’t do this! People are not stupid, especially if he or she is your friend on Facebook and can see your posts or your posts are public. Please have the decency to tell someone that you were invited to someone else’s party first, even if it’s not entirely true. I’d rather a harmless lie than to be completely lied to, especially if you continue lying about it. You’ll dig yourself a social grave.

By the way, if it’s a Facebook invite, don’t post on the wall of the event that you can’t attend. You don’t have to blast to the world that the host won’t have to roll out the red carpet since you can’t be there. Send them a private message and check “can’t go” – don’t check the dreaded “maybe” either!

3. You ignore someone’s repeated invitation messages.

If someone is repeatedly asking you if you are attending his or her event, it’s A. pretty damn important, at least to them, and B. you haven’t responded. Unless you told this person to never speak to you again, just respond, especially if it’s something major, like a wedding invitation. If that’s the case, you better call the person or respond to their online or paper invitation ASAP. Don’t be an asshole.

4. You bring guests without telling the host.

Please don’t do this either. Tell your host if you’re bringing someone, and if it’s a party and for some reason you forgot to tell the host, you better give them some fancy food or alcohol to compensate for your faux pas. If it’s a party that requires a head count, just expect never to talk to that person ever again.

5. You want everyone to like you, but you don’t like everyone.

If you don’t like this person and don’t want to talk to them, you should probably give them some clear indication that you feel this way – politely, of course. If you can’t for some reason (e.g. the person is completely clueless or refuses to take your hints), decline politely. I trust that most people invite others to personal events because they believe those people are their friends. If you have to act like someone’s friend, stop trying to get everyone to like you when you don’t like them. People will eventually see through your bullshit and stop liking you.

Hopefully these are helpful pointers to keep in mind this summer as you respond to the influx of invitations. Nobody wants to be that guy.

‘Till next time…

Yours truly,


Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Ali is an advice column that runs every Friday on NEPA Scene. E-mail your anonymous question to Ali here to be featured in a future column.