We’re sure all our Rue readers are constantly being invited to parties and events. Sometimes knowing how to respond can be almost as difficult as knowing what to wear. Luckily, Miss Manners has you covered on the RSVP. You’ll have to click over to the Fashion and Style section for the latter. Thank you to Andria Sato from Lilikoi Design & Letterpress for the letterpress and photography, as well as to Kathryn Murray for the calligraphy, for our invitations above. 

DO respond. The most important part of the RSVP is the Respond. No matter if you can or cannot attend, let the host know as soon as your plans are set. Follow the requested form of communication or, if none is listed, call the host to rsvp.

DON’T make excuses. It’s perfectly fine to let your host know that you cannot make an event because you are out of town or because you have family obligations, but keep all rationale short and simple. If you aren’t attending an event because you are headed to a mutual friend’s competing event or because you’d just rather not attend, decline gracefully and without excuses. If you’d rather not go, just rsvp well in advance that you won’t be there. No excuse needed and making one up will only backfire.

DO direct your response to the host. For more formal events, such as bridal showers, often the guest of honor isn’t the person sending out the invitations. Do respond directly to the host. Hosting an event where you don’t know all the guests directly is a lot of work and shouldn’t have to include tracking down guests’ plans. You can also let the guest of honor know, but that alone does not fulfill your RSVP duties.

DON’T add plus ones. For informal occasions, such as a holiday cocktail party, it’s simple to just ask the host when RSVPing if you can bring along your significant other or a friend you’d like her to meet. For formal occasions from a wedding to a seated dinner, no plus ones unless the invitation specified to bring a guest. If you really feel your significant other was meant to be included, you can ask to clarify but have to understand if the host says no.

DO be clear about your plans. On wedding invitations, sometimes there are multiple boxes to check. Try to make sure you have clearly marked which wedding events you plan to attend, how many people will be in your party, or the type of meal you’d like, if asked on the RSVP card. This keeps the bride and groom from having to track down this information and keeps your vegetarian date from being served the beef.

DON’T text when your plans change. When the kid gets sick last minute or you have to stay late at work, do take the time to call your host to update them. Likewise, if you miss the event unexpectedly and want to apologize the next, pick up the phone. It’s just nicer than getting a text.