When you accept an invitation to dinner

…isn’t it assumed that you’ll be able to make it unless you let the hostess know otherwise? The reason I ask this is because my fiance and I were recently invited to a couple’s house for dinner. We accepted the invitation happily and arranged our schedules so we could attend. The morning of the dinner engagement I checked my voice messages and there was a message from the evening before asking if we were indeed coming to dinner because the hostess “hadn’t heard from us”. To make a long story short, I called up right away and said that we were coming as agreed upon–only to be told that they had made other arrangements because they hadn’t heard from us.

Is this the norm? I mean, I was brought up with the understanding that if you said you’d go to a party, you’d go and further RSVP’s weren’t necessary. The reason I ask is that the aquaintance in question is acting as if I was terribly rude and that she is trying to overlook my lack of manners by saying she “understands” repeatedly.

Did I do something wrong? Or is this just a silly situation that I should just let blow over…and then not accept any more dinner invitations from them again?


kevingirl :love:

Did she remember that you had RSVP’d earlier? Or was that the miscommunication to begin with?

I do not think you did anything wrong. If there was a major time lapse, like a month or more, I would maybe in the future, just check up once it got closer, to make sure you had the right day and time. I would let it blow over, since boiling over it longer won’t solve anything. However, it’s really up to you to decide whether or not you’d accept invitations from them again. I’m sorry this happened to you :(.

This is how I understand it, though I am no Emily Post… :slight_smile:

If it says to “RSVP” then you should call either if you plan to attend or not.

If it says “With Regrets Only” then you should call if you can not make it. No call is necessary if you will attend.


I don’t think she had forgotten because everything she said was “if you’re still coming” as if she was asking if we’d changed our minds…not that we hadn’t given them an answer.

But you’re right that I shouldn’t let it spoil everything. It’s just aggravating to have someone keep acting like they’re ladylike and you’re…not. :mad:

But you’re right…I need to be a good Catholic girl about this. :slight_smile:

Thanks, lotusblossom! :slight_smile:

The problem is…

The invitation was delivered verbally…and accepted verbally with the mutual understanding that I’d get directions later. I was about to call for the directions when I got the message.

If you contacted the Hostess and accepted the invitation, then it sounds as if the message did not make it to the intended person. Did you speak directly with her or leave a message.

If you left a message, perhaps she has kids and it was unintentionally erased by someone else in the household? Maybe her machine was on the fritz? There are so many ways a message can get relayed incorrectly.

I guess in the future, make sure you speak directly with the hostess.

If you receive a formal invitation with an RSVP on it that states regrets only - the hostess assumes you are attending. Otherwise a call is needed to accept.

…because my fiance and I were recently invited to a couple’s house for dinner. We accepted the invitation happily and arranged our schedules so we could attend…

If you accepted on the phone, I mean actually speaking to one of the couple, I’d say you were fine. If the invitation was by mail or email, then you probably should have said you were coming.

Maybe next time you speak to one of them, you could comment about getting the signals crossed, and you were sorry to miss an evening with them. But I wouldn’t make myself crazy over it. Deb

Honestly, I think she probably had made other plans/arrangements or double booked by accident and decided since there had been no more communication other than the initial “yes” that she’d use that as an excuse. But a “yes” is always a “yes” so there’s no reason for you to feel bad :).

We accepted in person…speaking to the couple in person…

And you’re right–I shouldn’t go berserk about it. I wouldn’t have gotten mad about it in the first place if they hadn’t acted like we were at fault…:mad:


All good now :slight_smile: and thanks for the input, Deb!

That theory makes me feel much better about the whole thing…:slight_smile:

If I verbally invite someone over and they accept or regret on the spot, that’s all that is necessary. If they do not know at the time they are invited whether they can make it or not, then I say to please let me know by such & such date.Your response should have been sufficient:)

Why would you not accept any future invitations? :confused: I don’t see this as a big deal. She was simply checking because she will be working hard on the meal, cleaning and prep time, shopping. Many hours of work will have gone into your meal - from the shopping to the finishing touches.

This also may have been her gentle way of reminding you of the evening plans.

She may just have that type of personality that dot’s the i’s and crosses every T several times over. Maybe she has been burned in the past with others forgetting dinner plans.

Just part of the quirks you need to roll with if you want to have relationships with people. Just roll with it.

Guess I’m the odd person out… when we have plans to visit or for dinner, I’ll call a couple of days ahead, to ask if I can bring anything, confirm times, etc. If I’ve invited someone, I’ll also contact them a couple of days ahead and re-confirm “Hi! We are looking forward to seeing you here for dinner on Saturday. We’ll plan to eat around 7, so, please, come on over anytime after 6. Hubby may get up a game of croquet, so, wear your comfy shoes!” That kind of thing seems to make planning easier, on both guest and host.

Nope - not odd at all - I do the same for all the reasons I thought of in my post above.

Also I get kind of excited too when I know I have plans and I just can’t help myself.


You’re absolutely right that I could have called several days in advance–I just had a busy week and didn’t that time.

On the other hand, I think a hostess has the responsibility, if she’s considering other plans, to call a couple days in advance–not the night before.

Thanks for the great advice…


That’s not odd at all! I do the same thing whether I am the guest or the hostess. That way there should be no misunderstandings!:wink:

It’s nice to call and check in, so that if life has gone to h*ll in a handbasket for them, you can offer to re-schedule without them having to “dis-invite” you or feel bad about sending last minute regrets, but it isn’t rude not to.

Also, if you expect a call and don’t get it, you shouldn’t just assume that they haven’t tried and failed to reach you. Electronics do weird things sometimes. You have to give people the benefit of the doubt.

It also never hurts to let other people know what your expectations are: “OK…if I don’t hear from you, I’ll assumed you figured it out on MapQuest.” or “OK, but if I don’t hear from you, I’m going to call you.”

This is what I do, for all the reasons mentioned- plus, if the invitee wants to back out, it gives them the option to use that excuse.

[FONT=Arial]My wife and I have friends like this, only we make the dinner invitation. They tend NOT to give a definitive ‘yes or no’ to our invitation. Close to the date of the dinner, they’ll say my wife and I never gave them a firm time to arrive and so they made other plans. Oh well…[/FONT]

I have no memory at all. I have to write things on a calendar, and my close friends know to remind me. When something is set up in advance, more than a couple days especially, it makes sense to confirm. I’m probably not the only person around who forgets where I’m going.

But again I’ll say, don’t beat yourself up either way about this. Just think of it as a good reason to check the next time.

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