Soiree Secrets & Social Sense
By Marie Russell –
répondez s’il vous plaît
Because I’m an event planner, nearly every day I’m asked advice on the art of throwing a party. Whether it’s a wedding, a fundraiser or a child’s first birthday party, someone is asking me the where’s, why’s, ifs, when’s and who’s of planning an event.
Some would think it’s a burden, but I love it. I’m truly passionate about event planning. It brings me joy to throw celebrations that make people happy, much like a florist delivering flowers to your door. Don’t misunderstand; it is a lot of hard work! That is why I’m developing this column, a fun and interactive way for you to ask social etiquette questions, soiree tips and general advice on how to throw a fabulous party.
First I’d like to introduce myself. I’m Marie, an Event Planner who has lived and worked on this beach for almost 10 years now. A New York City transplant, I love to throw get-togethers, weddings and events, big or small. It’s always different and always fun. Of course it’s a lot of hard work, and never as glamorous as you would think but overall I believe it to be a fantastic and rewarding profession. In this column, I will try and walk you through the do’s and don’ts of all types of events in order to help you understand your fundamental duty as a host and as a guest.
One of the most important tools of any event is the “RSVP”. If there were any advice that I could ever give out, it would be this: always RSVP, always!
After living in the Outer Banks these years, I have noticed a trend in which people tend to neglect the RSVP, either responding at the last minute or never responding at all.
It’s essential for a host to know how many people are coming to their event as soon as possible. Without having this number, they can’t properly purchase and prepare the food, organize a table headcount or prepare hostess and thank you gifts. The longer you wait to RSVP, the longer the host is biting off her nails waiting to finish up all of the details.
And most importantly, if you RSVP “yes”, please make sure you show up! That is the biggest etiquette faux pas you could ever do to a host. They just might not invite you again! Obviously life happens and circumstances may have occurred but letting your hostess know as soon as possible is the right thing to do.
The good news now is there are great e-cards that make the RSVP as easy as a click, and it’s timeless and stamp free. So in other words, there is no excuse to let your hostess know if you are a Yes or a No.
Have a question for me? Please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. I’d love to get the ball rolling on what questions you might have for me to tackle next.
Marie Russell is a wedding and event planner located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. She is the owner of Bordeaux Events and the newly opened Outer Banks Wedding and Etiquette Library in Southern Shores.