I wanted to pose a question to you and hoped that you would permit me to print the answer on my blog. This January I am running a “Diva is in the Details” series highlighting logistical and practical details for hosting a spa party.
My question for you is how to “apply pressure” to ensure that guests RSVP in a timely manner without appearing overbearing/rude. Often times a spa party host needs to give service providers a head count in order to determine the number of therapists that will come to the party, the duration of their stay, and the deposit and full payment amounts. Even when this is communicated to potential guests in the wording of the invitation, I find that many people are still slow to respond.
Dear Perturbed Planner,
Ooh-la-la, what lucky party-goers! Your spa soirees sound divine.
As a general rule, guests should R.S.V.P. for any party by the date printed on the invitation (or sooner). It’s a courtesy to the hostess and the first step in being a gracious guest.
Strangely, there are people who didn’t learn this from their mamas before their third birthdays.
From an etiquette point of view, I’m afraid you don’t have special dispensation to chase down would-be attendees based on the theme of your party.
Still, I think there are creative solutions that you can deploy to get people to respond. Perhaps you can make the task fun rather than positioning it as a chore.
Don’t miss the bliss! R.S.V.P. to email@example.com by January 30!
If you’re still scrambling for a head count after the designated date, it’s fine to call or email your guests.
Hi there! Just checking in regarding the spa party on February 6. Shall we save you a seat in the massage chair?
Though the circumstances are special, you’re still a hostess, and your number one objective is to show your guests a fabulous time. Be warned, you may have a Rude Ruthie who never responded to your invitation, yet still shows up ready for a pedi.
Take a big sip of your mimosa, reallocate resources, and think carefully about whether you want to invite her to your next affair.
Good luck with the party!
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