When you are hosting an event or throwing a dinner party it can be a bit of a nuisance to track down RSVPs. For me, RSVPing to a personal invite quickly is one of the most basic tenets of etiquette and civility. It’s impolite to keep people waiting and makes them feel like you are holding out for a better offer. On the flip side, failing to RSVP and showing up anyway almost always throws the host into chaos and is very inconsiderate.
A woman I know was just telling me about a small dinner party she was throwing for her old school friends. Despite verbally agreeing to come when the dinner was first mentioned months ago, one woman failed to respond to the actual invite. My friend decided to follow up and left a couple of messages for the woman over a two-week period. Still, no response. Instead, the guest finally wrote to another guest/mutual friend and said to tell the host that she couldn’t make it.
Can you believe it? Not only did she waste my friend’s time by failing to respond, she didn’t even bother to tell her directly that she couldn’t come. I’d definitely scratch her off any future guest lists.
If you are invited to an event, always, always, always respond to the person who invited you, no matter your answer. Don’t make a mutual friend do your dirty work. People will forgive you having to miss out on a party. They may not forgive you for being so rude as to bypass them entirely!