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How to get people to RSVP to a birthday party!

Updated on February 16, 2015
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You start to plan a party. You pick the venue and write the guest list. You buy or make invitations and spend time filling them out. You run to the post office and pay for the postage to send them out. You wait for the rsvp's to receive nothing.

I recently went through this. My daughter and I planned her party. We spent days picking out the perfect venue, and invites to match. We sent them out 3 weeks a head of time. A few days later we received one excited rsvp. Then a week went by to hear nothing. I was frantically checking my email, and sitting by the phone. My anxiety was through the roof. I needed to plan cake, food, and goodie bags. No one was responding. I ended up calling people myself 1 week before the party. Most of the responses were yes. But why wasn't anyone calling me? Do people not realize, you are waiting on them to plan?



By Twice25 (Ghearing family) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Twice25 (Ghearing family) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Yes I understand people are busy and all honestly your rsvping isn't your first priority. But common sense people. Making the planner hold off on planning because you haven't had the chance is rude. How many seconds does it take to send a quick email: "Yes, I am coming, thanks for the invite." Or "No, sorry I can't make it. But thanks for inviting me.

When people don't rsvp until the last minute, or show up without an rsvp can throw everything into a loop.

Here are ways to avoid the no rsvp:

  1. My friend does a regret's only on the rsvp. If you know your not able to make it, call. Otherwise I will assume your coming. She says that works a lot better than having people call if they are planning on coming.
  2. Call them. I called everyone for my last party and most rsvp'd yes. They all said that they were sorry they hadn't had the chance to call. Or they were planning on emailing me within the next few days. I know calling them can be nerve racking. You don't want to bug them. If your sick and tired of waiting on them, call them. Be polite and understanding. I said something like, "Hi, I am just trying to get a head count for the party and I was wondering if so and so will be able to make it."
  3. If your invited a large number, like a whole class. Have a sign up sheet. It's easier for some parents to just sign that there child will be attending, then finding time to get a hold of you.
  4. Have an RSVP by date. People are more likely to rsvp if they had a time limit. (Next time, I will be doing this.) And then you have control of when you can start planning.
  5. People have said, doing an evite is better at getting more replies. I personally like paper invitations. But I can see how easy it would be to reply if your receiving the invite it by email.
  6. Write something to let them know your waiting on them. And if they don't rsvp you wont plan for them to be there, "Please rsvp so there will be enough goodie bags." Or "Please rsvp so we don't run out of ice cream."


Planning a party can be overwhelming and stressful. But when it's party time, you will be glad you did it. Have fun, you party animals!

Do you always RSVP to parties?

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