Author Topic: RSVP Question  (Read 1996 times)

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Thipu1

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RSVP Question
« on: October 11, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »
We've just received an invitation to another family Bar Mitzvah. 

The boy is a sweet kid and we're on good terms with this branch of the family.  We'll certainly send a nice card with a monetary gift but we must decline because we'll be out of the country on that day.

The mother of the Bar Mitzvah boy can be a bit quick to take offense. 

Would it be a good or a bad idea to include an explanatory note when we send in our RSVP?





cwm

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2013, 10:05:12 AM »
I don't think it's ever a problem to say why you're declining. Let them know that you'll be thinking of them, but you've already got tickets to OtherCountry and you look forward to catching up when you get back. Then send the card and gift with plenty of time so that it does make it there early enough.

kckgirl

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2013, 10:07:59 AM »
There's no reason not to give an explanation.

"Regretfully, we cannot attend, as we will be (out of town/out of the country). Congratulations and best wishes for a wonderful day. We hope to see you when we return."
Maryland

lowspark

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2013, 10:10:14 AM »
I agree that it can't hurt to say why you aren't coming. As a frequent host, I like it better when someone I've invited to something tells me why they are declining. Of course, they're not obligated to, but it just feels, I dunno, more genuine to me.

Sorry can't make it!
as opposed to
Sorry can't make it because we'll be out of the country that weekend.

The second one just sounds more regretful and sincere. Totally just my own perception on that, I should add, but anyway, how can it hurt?

SPuck

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2013, 12:42:46 PM »
If she is going to be offended if you send an explanation or not, you probably shouldn't bother with it. There is no point mitigating the fall out with an individual who looks for reasons to be offended.

cattlekid

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2013, 12:44:40 PM »
I didn't expect it, but I got lots of notes on the RSVPs for our wedding, both the acceptances and those declining.  I don't think it could hurt.

Hmmmmm

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2013, 01:27:13 PM »
My rule is you aren't required to give a reason for declining but it never hurts if you have a very valid reason to decline a significant event like a wedding or Bar Mitzvah

EllenS

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2013, 03:10:03 PM »
I agree generally, but with the caveat that I would not mention going abroad, if there is a significant financial difference between your circumstances and the host family's.  It could come off braggy, if traveling overseas is out of reach for them.  In that case I would simply say "travelling" or "out of town".

If that is not a consideration, I would say "So sorry we cannot come as we will be in X, best wishes"

jmarvellous

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2013, 03:34:45 PM »
Though I don't generally like the "It ain't braggin' if it's true" excuse, I hardly think it would be even slightly appropriate to equate traveling out of the country with bragging, as EllenS has said.

It's great to offer a congratulatory note with more detailed regrets in addition to the RSVP card, if there is one.

EllenS

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2013, 04:31:31 PM »
Though I don't generally like the "It ain't braggin' if it's true" excuse, I hardly think it would be even slightly appropriate to equate traveling out of the country with bragging, as EllenS has said.

It's great to offer a congratulatory note with more detailed regrets in addition to the RSVP card, if there is one.

???? I'm having a grammar disconnect on this sentence, not sure what you meant.

To clarify my own post - a highly sensitive/quick to take offense host, as OP mentioned her relative is, might perceive the trip abroad as "rubbing their noses in it" or something, so the less details for a person like that to latch onto, the better.

I don't think a mention of a trip abroad is, in fact, bragging.  Just that someone who is looking for offense might find it handy.

mspallaton

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2013, 05:39:16 PM »
Though I don't generally like the "It ain't braggin' if it's true" excuse, I hardly think it would be even slightly appropriate to equate traveling out of the country with bragging, as EllenS has said.

It's great to offer a congratulatory note with more detailed regrets in addition to the RSVP card, if there is one.

If I understand your post (I also had a little trouble with the wording) I would have to disagree.  I took your statement to mean that saying you were travelling out of the country should not be considered bragging (for clarification).

I think if the OP is dealing with a highly sensitive person and if there is a financial disparity and if the OP wishes to convey the highest level of sensitivity possible -- I would not mention the trip being out of the country.  Only that they are travelling.  I know that's a lot of if's.  As other posters have mentioned, etiquette doesn't really require anything more than sending regrets and a gift (if so desired).

That being said, there are lots of people who are never able to afford international travel and if the host and most of the guests fall into that financial category, it could be taken the wrong way.  Not saying she shouldn't say it - especially because we don't know the relative financial situations - but just that it definitely could be seen as bragging to mention international travel.

jmarvellous

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2013, 05:44:46 PM »
To put it more simply: If someone wants to take the facts as "bragging," that's their problem. Not Thipu1's.

Since this is a family member, and since I happen to know from years of reading this forum that Thipu has gone on dozens of cruises, I'm guessing the family member also knows Thipu and her husband are frequent international travelers. If she has a problem with that, then she has a problem with it. The fact that it's coinciding with a bar mitzvah this time isn't a reason to start having a problem with it, in my view.

Unreasonable people will be unreasonable, but a sincere apology for missing their event is the proper thing to do. A genuine excuse is appropriate to mention, and I don't think Thipu's excuse is anything to hide.

peaches

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2013, 06:05:39 PM »
I think it's appropriate (even helpful) to mention why you won't be able to make it to an occasion the family might consider important.

A gift and a short note - perfect.


Thipu1

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Re: RSVP Question
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2013, 07:47:39 PM »
I agree generally, but with the caveat that I would not mention going abroad, if there is a significant financial difference between your circumstances and the host family's.  It could come off braggy, if traveling overseas is out of reach for them.  In that case I would simply say "travelling" or "out of town".

If that is not a consideration, I would say "So sorry we cannot come as we will be in X, best wishes"

Coming across as 'Braggy'  will not a problem with this family.  They take great vacations too such as chartered sailboats in the Caribbean.  The boy's Grandpa collects antique vehicles.  The child takes riding lessons and goes to a private school. 

His Mom can sometimes get a little touchy because she never finished college and everybody else in the family has at least a Master's degree. No one thinks any the less of her for that but sometimes, she becomes a bit defensive. 

I think the best idea is to send our RSVP out tomorrow and explain the situation in an Email.  The gift will be sent as soon as I find a nice card.  We have plenty of time.

Thanks for all the good opinions.  You can always trust E-Hell people to provide good input. 

We have plenty of time to do it all