“The more the merrier” so they say. So when it comes to baby showers you want as many people coming as possible.
That means, as the host, you want to send out the invites at the right time. That time is the period that allows people to RSVP without feeling like it’s a “last minute” thing.
We all have busy schedules. So giving the invitees enough time to send back their RSVPs will make planning the shower easier. Also, it will remove the stress from both the host and those wanting to attend.
Yet, when should the invitations be sent out? How soon should RSVPs be sent back?
Let’s take you through the baby shower etiquette around invites and RSVPs.
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Sending out the invitations
The timing around when to send out the invitations is determined by:
- how much notice you want to give people about the baby shower
- where is the shower going to be held
Typically posting out the invitations 4-6 weeks before the shower is an acceptable time frame.
That gives people a chance to put the date into their calendars. If they are working, it offers an opportunity to ask for the day off or arrange for someone to cover them.
If the baby shower is being hosted in a restaurant or hotel, you need to let the establishment know how many people are coming. So you want the RSVPs sent back as quickly as possible.
The sooner you send out the invites, the sooner you can get the RSVPs back.
Setting and responding to an RSVP date
As the host you want people to reply to the invite in a reasonable time. Giving the guests only a couple of days in which to RSVP isn’t going to work.
With such a short deadline you are going to find that people are going to say “Uh-uh. I’m not coming.”
Think of others
Be considerate of people’s lifestyles and personal plans. Let them have at least several weeks to get back to you.
That way they can rearrange their schedules if necessary.
As we mentioned, you want to have as many people attend the shower as possible. Having a narrow window of time (such as three days from the day of receiving the invitation) in which you expect people to RSVP isn’t going to achieve that goal.
Think about the host
You receive your invitation and look at the RSVP date. Oh, you have two weeks in which to respond. That’s okay.
Then life gets busy and you forget.
That’s fine because the host has some time to ring those who haven’t responded.
However, there is a reason why RSVP dates are set: it lets the host know how many people are intending to come to the shower.
Once the numbers are in, the host can organize the catering, seating arrangements, and entertainment.
Also, if the shower is held at a restaurant, hotel, or community center these places want to know numbers. That information has to be provided around two weeks before the event date.
For showers that are held in someone’s home, maybe the rooms are smallish. If there are lots of people wanting to come, responding before the RSVP date lets the host come up with a way to accommodate more guests.
Setting the RSVP Date
There is some debate as to when you should have RSVPs in by. Yet, through the discussions, there is a consensus on what is an acceptable time frame.
Two weeks before the baby shower is seen as a reasonable window of time.
As we touched on, it gives the host time to prepare everything, inform the venues (such as restaurants or hotels), and follow up on those invitees who haven’t responded yet.
RSVP Dates are about mutual respect
Baby showers are an exciting time. As the host, you want to make the event one to remember.
You have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. Sending out the invitations is just one of the many tasks you need to take care of.
On the invites clearly indicate the RSVP date. That lets the invitees know exactly when to respond by.
The RSVP date should be respected by both the host and the attendees.
As the host, you want to give people enough time to shuffle their work and life schedules. Plus, you want to follow up on the non-responders to see if they can come or not.
For the attendees, make the host’s life easier by replying on or before the RSVP date. That way preparations can be made around the final numbers.
With both sides showing consideration, stress and tension are minimized.
It’s not going to go smoothly
Life can always serve up surprises. You have accepted the invitation to the shower while adhering to the RSVP date.
However, a last-minute situation has occurred which means you can’t attend the shower. All you can do is contact the host, apologize and explain what happened.
For those of you who are hosting the shower, expect no-shows. It happens. Don’t let that affect your mood. The show still has to go on!
We have given you a lot to think about regarding the baby shower RSVP. There is etiquette involved.
The consensus is that invitations are sent 4 weeks before the shower. RSVPs have to be sent back 2 weeks prior to the event.
By doing so makes everything so much easier for everyone. That shows respect on both sides.
Enjoy the shower.