If you’ve ever had a major party, or a wedding, or an epic Memorial Day barbecue, then chances are you sent out invitations. And if you sent out invitations, then ask yourself this: why didn’t you invite me?
Oh no, wait, that’s not the question I was going to have you ask yourself (although it IS a valid one).
The question you should ask yourself is, “Did anyone RSVP?”
More and more, it seems like the RSVP is ignored. I’m not sure if people get busy and forget, or if RSVP considered a mere suggestion, or if people ignore it because they think it’s just an antiquated leftover from the quaint days of yesteryear (sort of like how we still open letters with “Dear So-and-So,” even if we hate So-and-So’s guts and don’t consider them “dear” even in the slightest). Whatever the case, fewer and fewer people are bothering to répondez, s’il vous plaît these days.
As you well know, this can present a real problem if you’re planning a party. Especially a kid’s birthday party – individually decorated Disney princess-themed cupcakes don’t grow on trees, after all, and you can neither afford to be two dozen short (there’s no faster way to incite a riot among grade-schoolers) nor have two dozen extras (because there’s no faster way to ensure I’ll eat 24 leftover cupcakes).
However, I think I might have found a way to solve the problem.
My theory is that more people would respond if they could tell you were REALLY SERIOUS about needing to know what to expect. With this invitation, the RSVP truly is optional – they’ll have plenty of other choices, so surely one of them will accurately reflect their plans!
If you’d like an even greater ability to plan ahead for your party, why stop at asking guests to RSVP, or to provide information about gifts and the party menu? You might consider including additional sections for the (honest) parents to fill out, such as:
Behavior you should expect from my child:
- Perfect – my child is ALWAYS perfect.
- Hangry tantrums, because I assumed you’d be serving a full lunch at a 1:00 party.
- Stubborn refusal to get out of the bouncy house.
- Crying about how unfair it is that the 37¢ toy in her goody bag broke.
- Pouting, because he was hoping there would be roller skating/bowling/pony rides/whatever activity you’re not doing.
- Inappropriate stick swinging outside approved pinata area.
- Hummingbird-level hyperactivity, because we’ve never allowed her to eat sugar and failed to mention that before you gave her cake and ice cream.
That would seriously be nice to know ahead of time, but all you really need are the basics – which are all included in this handy Most Honest Kid’s Birthday Invitation You’ll Ever See. If you only believe one thing I ever say to you, believe this: you’ll want to print this out and use it for your kid’s next party. And when you do, please let me know how that works out – I’m giggling already.
This post was originally featured on Robyn’s blog, Hollow Tree Ventures.