News & Politics

How to Get an RSVP to an Unanswered Invitation

Photograph by Flickr user Sarah Parrott.

Our expert: Judith Martin, a.k.a. Miss Manners, the etiquette columnist.

“Get in touch and say, ‘I’m sorry—I haven’t heard from you. May we expect you?’ At that point, if they say, ‘Well, I don’t know,’ then say, ‘I’m so sorry. We’ll try you another time.’

“I don’t know why we still use RSVP, because I get mail saying, ‘Does that mean only if you’re going?’ You could say, ‘Please reply.’ Any invitation requires an answer. If you said to me, ‘Would you like to get a cup of coffee?’ would I sit there silently?”

Read more advice, tips, and tricks from Washington natives in our Secrets of the City package.

This article appears in our January 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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