How Do I Make People RSVP?
Q. How can I force people to RSVP? I’ve invited 30 people but have only heard from a few?
A. It’s maddening, I know, but don’t take it personally. Believe it or not, some people still don’t realize that “respondez s’il vous plait" means, simply, “Please respond.” They may think it means, “Let me know if you’re not coming.” Or “Let me know if you are bringing a tagalong guest.” Or...who knows? In any case, give the non-responders the benefit of the doubt, and assume they mean well. Send a follow-up email or Evite as a gentle reminder. And specify a deadline to give them something to focus on. For instance, you can write: “Please reply by December 12, so I will know how much eggnog to buy.”
You’ll probably still have some laggards to deal with after the second round, though. If it’s just one or two, assume they’re coming and plan accordingly (since it won’t make that much difference in the quantities you buy). If there are still several stragglers, however, pick up the phone and call each to say, “I hope everything’s all right, because I haven’t heard from you. You are coming to the party with several dozen of your famous decorated sugar cookies, I hope?”