If someone sends you an invitation that has the letters RSVP on it, they expect you to reply and not just turn up on the day.
The reason for this is that people who plan parties tend to want to know about things like numbers and who to sit next to whom.
It’s perfectly OK to call or send a text saying you’d love to a come along but do make sure you let your hosts know.
Another thing which turns up on party invites is the phrase “dress code” and then something which might say “black tie.” This, for most of us means a trip to the shops for some clothes shopping for that all important little Black Dress or suit. At any black tie do at least half the people there will be in hired kit. The other half will be the girls.
If you’re sending out invitations make sure you leave enough time.
If it’s for Fancy Dress allow at least three weeks and preferably six.
A formal invitation for you is not an invitation to bring the rest of the family along however witty and charming they may be.
If you’re asked to bring a bottle along ring and ask what’s needed. Don’t turn up with a bottle of Lambrusco and then drink single malt all evening. Also, don’t go rummaging through cupboards for “spare” drink. You probably won’t be invited again.
Another word people stick on invitations is times or ending. This is a polite way of telling everyone that the party ends at such-and-such a time. There’s usually a period of grace of around 45 minutes after which your hosts are quite within their rights to start yawning.
How late is fashionably late? If an invite says 8.00 PM and there’s to be a sit down meal this will be kicking off at around 8.45. The reason hosts like people to be prompt is so that we can all get acquainted or for business networking before the party begins and everybody’s in their seats.
Sending and receiving invitations means you’re serious and that people take you seriously. An invite is a simple way of showing respect and recognition.
Etiquette is just another word for politeness, which when it’s around makes everything go more smoothly.