Author Topic: Cancelling a party  (Read 1674 times)

7 Members and 9 Guests are viewing this topic.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3702
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #15 on: Today at 02:09:26 PM »
Ok, Bah12, we'll agree to disagree. But since you went on to explain your position (which I understand) I just want to sort of give my own thoughts here. Not trying to argue or convince you.  :)

Rhetorical question, but what if the conflicting party were another 4-yo's from the same group of friends? I mean, it's quite possible that the conflict is something that can't just easily be overlooked.

You said, "if everyone chose to go to the other party simply because they were invited first, so be it." And yes, that's the way it goes if that's the way it goes. But I wouldn't purposely set my 4-yo up for such disappointment if it could somehow be avoided.

But in this particular case, anyway, if I were the 4-yo's mom and just felt that I didn't want to pick a different date, I'd at the very least reply to the OP's invitation and explain things. Sorry, I've scheduled Junior's bday party for that day and although I haven't yet sent out invitations, I wanted to give you a heads up that I'll be inviting some of the same folks you've invited to the BBQ.

And I'd explain why the party couldn't take place on a different day if there were indeed a reason beyond, "darn it! I want this date and I'm not switching!"

So, We can't switch to another date because we've already booked the petting zoo for that day or whatever.

It's just a courtesy, but certainly worth taking the time to communicate with a friend who is close enough that we're inviting each other to parties.


bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5068
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #16 on: Today at 02:33:25 PM »
Ok, Bah12, we'll agree to disagree. But since you went on to explain your position (which I understand) I just want to sort of give my own thoughts here. Not trying to argue or convince you.  :)

Rhetorical question, but what if the conflicting party were another 4-yo's from the same group of friends? I mean, it's quite possible that the conflict is something that can't just easily be overlooked.

You said, "if everyone chose to go to the other party simply because they were invited first, so be it." And yes, that's the way it goes if that's the way it goes. But I wouldn't purposely set my 4-yo up for such disappointment if it could somehow be avoided.

But in this particular case, anyway, if I were the 4-yo's mom and just felt that I didn't want to pick a different date, I'd at the very least reply to the OP's invitation and explain things. Sorry, I've scheduled Junior's bday party for that day and although I haven't yet sent out invitations, I wanted to give you a heads up that I'll be inviting some of the same folks you've invited to the BBQ.
And I'd explain why the party couldn't take place on a different day if there were indeed a reason beyond, "darn it! I want this date and I'm not switching!"

So, We can't switch to another date because we've already booked the petting zoo for that day or whatever.

It's just a courtesy, but certainly worth taking the time to communicate with a friend who is close enough that we're inviting each other to parties.

I agree with the bolded. And of course, circumstances matter.  My 4 year old might want to go to another 4 year old's birthday party and barring any logistical challenges with out of town guests or other plans, I might try to make it work to do both things...giving the time to the first person who got their act together and sent out invites.  But for a friend's backyard bbq and my kid's birthday party, likely not.  My child would have to understand that not everyone could come to her party, but that doesn't mean that she automatically has to accept that her plans would automatically have to change just because there's a conflict somewhere else.  Maybe a hard concept for a 4 year old, but you have to start somewhere.

Anyway, there's not really enough info in the OP to decide in this case...just that Jen is having a birthday party for her kid and the OP is planning a bbq (don't know if there's a significance or not).  Jen may very well be rude here...but with just the basic info, I was not willing to go there just yet.

Interestingly, just last month we were invited to two birthday parties on the same day just one hour apart.  The kids are all in the same preschool so there was a lot of overlap in the invites.  We decided to go to the party who's invite we received first (which also happened to be the one that was earlier in the day).  We mainly decided this though, because that's the party that DD said she wanted to go to and not so much because of the order we received the invitations.  At the party, about half of the other parents stated that they were attempting to get thier kids to both parties (leaving one early and arrivign at the other late).  Even the birthday boy's parents were planning on showing up at the other boy's party that afternoon (the second boy was not at the first's birthday). The other half of us chose not to deal with that kind of hassle, and I'm positive that there were kids at the second that chose that party over the first.  In the end, I don't think the kids cared that everyone wasn't there...but I do think it would have mattered to them had they not had their parties that day.  Both kids birthdays were that exact day.

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1344
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #17 on: Today at 02:35:54 PM »
Lowspark, I agree.  If I were Jen, I think I would try to choose a different day, or if couldn't choose a different day, I would have been on the phone with the OP, my friend, to explain the situation. 

It also puts the mutual friends on the spot and puts them in a pretty uncomfortable position.  It's going to get really awkward and hurtful if the non-RSVPers for YoAdrian end up at Jen's. 

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4840
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #18 on: Today at 02:40:12 PM »
I think a follow-up after the RSVP date has passed would be a good idea, especially as the OP is considering cancelling the party. Ideally people would respond to an invitation by the given date--but that date hasn't even passed yet--so really no one has yet been rude. If in a couple days, you haven't heard from people, then they're being rude.

But I think the usual thing to do, if you really need that head count, is to follow up with individual phone calls. In this case it sounds like a head count is really needed because it's the difference between keeping the party going as scheduled or cancelling it.
~Lynn2000

YoAdrian

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #19 on: Today at 02:42:09 PM »
So many great points! Let me see...I actually used evite, which shows what date the guests opened the evite itself. So, I know that they did see the invitation. But as a PP said, I tend to think that not responding is a way of responding, and I don't want to nag anyone or have an awkward conversation.

Also, Jen's party is for her kid, but his birthday is actually around Christmas. It's an "I'm tired of no one being able to make it to his real birthday, so I'm throwing the party in the summer" kind of deal. I can relate, because DD's birthday is also on a holiday, but yeah, that date is not sacred to them...nor is it necessary that she not have her own party that day. It's kind of a bummer, but I won't take it personally if someone chooses her party (just be slightly miffed that they didn't bother to RSVP to me). I don't think I'll know that they chose Jen's party, because I won't be there -- unless I see Facebook pictures or something.

bah12

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5068
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #20 on: Today at 03:00:55 PM »
So many great points! Let me see...I actually used evite, which shows what date the guests opened the evite itself. So, I know that they did see the invitation. But as a PP said, I tend to think that not responding is a way of responding, and I don't want to nag anyone or have an awkward conversation.

Also, Jen's party is for her kid, but his birthday is actually around Christmas. It's an "I'm tired of no one being able to make it to his real birthday, so I'm throwing the party in the summer" kind of deal. I can relate, because DD's birthday is also on a holiday, but yeah, that date is not sacred to them...nor is it necessary that she not have her own party that day. It's kind of a bummer, but I won't take it personally if someone chooses her party (just be slightly miffed that they didn't bother to RSVP to me). I don't think I'll know that they chose Jen's party, because I won't be there -- unless I see Facebook pictures or something.

Ok...that sucks that she is doing this then.  Did Jen use evite too? If so, wouldn't you be able to see if your friends are RSVPing to her and not to you?

At the end of the day, your friends should at least give you the courtesy of a response.  If it's really a matter of canceling the party or not, then I don't think it's nagging them to remind them that you really need the RSVP data to move forward.  To avoid an awkward conversation, you can always send a message via evite saying "Just a heads up that we really need a final head count to finalize plans.  If I don't hear from you, I'm assuming you can't make it."  It doesn't have to be phoning them individually...just let them know what a non-response means in this case so they don't think they can change their minds at the last minute and show up.

tinkytinky

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 380
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #21 on: Today at 03:15:31 PM »
well, that's a difficult situation to be in all around! I would give the people who did RSVP a heads up that it may be a smaller party and may change to dinner out instead of a BBQ. then after the date of the RSVP, send an email or evite cancellation (?) to the group, citing that it just didn't work out and maybe you can do something soon. "Hey all my fabulous friends! Unfortunately  our BBQ didn't work out so we won't be having the party on x day. Hopefully we can all get together soon!". If questioned, I think you are safe to say, I couldn't get a clear headcount and there were other things going on that day, so we cancelled until further notice. Then you can move forward with the plans with the people that did RSVP. the dynamics of the gathering have changed and you are not going ahead with the original BBQ, this is a different function all together.

also I think you can decline the invite to the child's birthday party but I would do it before the email/evite cancellation went out.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4840
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #22 on: Today at 03:19:10 PM »
If in your circle, no response = not attending, then you have your head count (or you will in a couple days once the deadline passes). You can arrange a smaller gathering with those who said they'd attend, and there's no need to contact anyone else--it's like they declined, so they shouldn't be showing up later.

If lack of response is ambiguous, though, then the only way to remove ambiguity is to contact people a second time. If you don't want to do individual phone calls then I like bah12's suggestion of a mass reminder that specifically says, "we'll consider no response a decline." If that doesn't shake out any responses, you can proceed with your downsized gathering. I wouldn't mention anything about thoughts of cancelling the party, as that might make people think you were trying to pressure them to attend.

And of course decline Jen's invitation. You could say "no" but with more words ("So sorry, we won't be able to make it! Such a clever idea, though, having Junior's birthday in the summer instead. Hope you guys have a great time!") or you could give your reason ("Oh, too bad we can't attend but we're having our own gathering on that day. Have a great time!"). Just because your gathering has been downsized doesn't mean it's not still important or a legitimate previous engagement.
~Lynn2000

lady_disdain

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5751
    • Contemporary Jewelry
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #23 on: Today at 03:39:29 PM »
Ok...that sucks that she is doing this then.  Did Jen use evite too? If so, wouldn't you be able to see if your friends are RSVPing to her and not to you?

I would seriously resist the temptation to look. It is too easy to accidentally feel competitive in this kind of situation.

Jen set her party on the date that was convenient for her. Perhaps because of her own schedule, her child's schedule, grandparents, whatever. We have no way of knowing. It doesn't matter, as long as she isn't pressuring people to go to her party instead of the OP's. It would be gracious to use a different date, if possible, but summer weekends can fill up fast.

Your friends should have RSPVed. I dislike knowing when people saw the invite (because it can feel like people are stalling for a better alternative if they don't answer right away). Since they are your friends and you don't want awkwardness, I would let everyone know the party is cancelled. This way, no one shows up unwittingly because they rudely didn't RSVP (I would not like to turn people away). However, only those that RSVPed positively get invited to the alternate plans.

DanaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #24 on: Today at 04:26:38 PM »
This is why I don't like email as a form of invite (or for official communication with no paper backup.) If I had to guess, (and I am no expert) it almost sounds like your emailed invitations accidentally were sent to their spam folders. 

Actually, the OP stated that they could see that all their invitees viewed the invitation. That suggests they were using on online invitation program such as Evite. You can see who has actually opened/read the email and visited the website.

If it goes to the spam folder and is never opened, it is not marked as "read". The company I work for has similar software. We can see who has opened an email clicked on what links, as well as when exactly they did these things (marketing software is kind of scary).

I have a friend who got mighty annoyed when someone never RSVPed and then later claimed "Oh, I never got the invitation..." and yet he could see that it had been correctly deliveed to her email address, opened, and read. He didn't mind that she didn't RSVP, but he did get annoyed that she fibbed. Fibbing was unnecessary and all it did was make him mad.

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5635
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #25 on: Today at 04:31:26 PM »
This is why I don't like email as a form of invite (or for official communication with no paper backup.) If I had to guess, (and I am no expert) it almost sounds like your emailed invitations accidentally were sent to their spam folders. 

Actually, the OP stated that they could see that all their invitees viewed the invitation. That suggests they were using on online invitation program such as Evite. You can see who has actually opened/read the email and visited the website.

If it goes to the spam folder and is never opened, it is not marked as "read". The company I work for has similar software. We can see who has opened an email clicked on what links, as well as when exactly they did these things (marketing software is kind of scary).

I have a friend who got mighty annoyed when someone never RSVPed and then later claimed "Oh, I never got the invitation..." and yet he could see that it had been correctly deliveed to her email address, opened, and read. He didn't mind that she didn't RSVP, but he did get annoyed that she fibbed. Fibbing was unnecessary and all it did was make him mad.

I wouldn't jump to a fibbing conclusion.  When I get evites sent to my phone it is very difficult to see them, and unless I forward them to my work account I am likely to forget about it having never actually been able to read it, even though it might show that I received it and opened it.  It's not intentional.  I have had this happen to me where I didn't realize that I had received an evite, but when asked about it and when I went back to check, there it was.  That doesn't mean I was lying about receiving it.

mrkitty

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 766
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #26 on: Today at 04:49:46 PM »
I missed the part about the Evite.  I'm not familiar with the program.  So, it has a read receipt that tells you when they looked at the invitation? So, using this program, you can know for sure that they received the invitation, and there's no chance that it was accidentally overlooked or misfiled or whatever?

If that's the case, I'd be curious as to why they did not RSVP at all. If there is some glitch in the program, that would be valuable to know.  If it is a case of ignoring the kind invitation of a friend to partake of their hospitality, then that would also be extremely valuable to know, as well. 

OP, I'm very curious how this plays out - is it a software/technology glitch, or is a case of extreme rudeness (sorry, but it sounds extremely rude to me to not respond to an invitation like that if one actually did receive an invitation).  If the deadline for responding has not yet arrived, it would be very difficult for me (because I tend to be impatient) but I guess they still have time to respond - maybe they're trying to figure out how to attend both events.  On the other hand, if the deadline passes without any response, then I guess my advice still stands - I'd be wondering about these friends.  But I think before you "go there" it would be prudent to find out which one  it is - an accident or rudeness? OP, I'm so curious how this turns out - please update us when you know.  OP, I really, really hope its the former - that it's a simple software/technology glitch or your invitees just haven't responded yet, but I rather suspect it's the latter, because this day and age, people seem to think that all invitations are casual (jmho) and it's incredibly irksome.  >:(
Learn from past. Live in the present. Hope for the future.

DanaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #27 on: Today at 04:55:04 PM »
I wouldn't jump to a fibbing conclusion.  When I get evites sent to my phone it is very difficult to see them,

In this case it pre-dated smartphones (it was the very early days of Evite).

Doesn't Evite also send automatic reminders if you haven't responded at all? I haven't used it in awhile.


I missed the part about the Evite.  I'm not familiar with the program.  So, it has a read receipt that tells you when they looked at the invitation? So, using this program, you can know for sure that they received the invitation, and there's no chance that it was accidentally overlooked or misfiled or whatever?

<snip>

OP, I'm very curious how this plays out - is it a software/technology glitch, or is a case of extreme rudeness (sorry, but it sounds extremely rude to me to not respond to an invitation like that if one actually did receive an invitation). 

The program, as I remember it (it must have been about 10 years ago since I last used it to send an invitation). Is generally fairly reliable and has a lot of built-in redundancies. Read-receipts are not as reliable from one email platform to another, so this uses other tracking software, similar to marketing programs. So if you open the email (and your browser displays images) the program recognizes that you have loaded the image assigned to you, and therefore you opened the email. If you click on the link to go to the website where you can get more data, the link has individual tracking tags, so you can see who has taken tha extra step, when they clicked (date and time).

IME with marketing programs, you can get false "opens" in cases where mail programs automatically open the next message window but the recipient didn't actually do anything. However, if they clicked on the link that is something that requires deliberate action and it's hard to argue that you never received it.

You get an email if there has been a response and responses are also tallied on your website. IIRC, you can also adjust privacy settings for the responses, so other people can see who else has been invited and who else has RSVPed or you can keep that private.

ETA: They are not foolproof. As noted by TurtleDove above, just because you got to the event page, it doesn't mean you couldread it on your particular device. So you might only know that your good friend DanaJ invited you to something, but not what. Then you might forget to follow up later to see what it was all about.
« Last Edit: Today at 05:16:07 PM by DanaJ »

AnnaJ

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 581
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #28 on: Today at 07:08:58 PM »
DH and I planned to host a big BBQ in August, and the RSVP date is tomorrow. At this time, only one person (MIL) has confirmed, and one couple is a very tentative maybe (and about 6 couples said no). So, taking advice from this related thread (http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=132052.0), I was planning to cancel the party, but invite MIL and the other couple over for lunch instead.

I have two outstanding questions. First, do I have an obligation to try to get an RSVP out of the 15 guests who haven't responded before cancelling the party? Invites went out via email 2 weeks ago, and I can see that the guests have all viewed the invitation.

Second, one of our invitees, "Jen," just sent us (and about 7 of our guests) an invitation to her kids' party the same day/time. (Neither Jen nor any of the mutual friends have RSVP'd one way or the other to our BBQ.) What's the best way to decline her invitation -- before or after cancelling our own party? I just don't know what to say! "We're cancelling the BBQ, but we have other plans, so we can't make your party"? Or "We can't make it, because we're having a BBQ that day. (Next day) Oh, by the way, we're cancelling the BBQ." Ugh!

You don't have an obligation to follow up on the RSVPs, to me it just depends on what you would prefer to do at this point.  If the idea of having MIL and the confirmed couple sounds better to you now, then I wouldn't send reminders; if anyone else does say 'yes' before the deadline, you can decide whether or not to invite them to the lunch instead (I suspect it won't be more than a very few people who respond on the last day).

If you still have the desire to have a bigger party, then do follow up - some people may have forgotten to RSVP and may be enthusiastic about saying 'yes'.  Again, this is about your preference not about what guests should or should not do.

If you do go to the small lunch plan, then I would absolutely sent e-mails or e-invites telling everyone who didn't respond that the party is cancelled - again, this is for your own peace of mind so that you don't have people arriving that night that you need to turn away...awkward and too much drama.

As for Jen, I'd send a polite no without an explanation and my view of her would be much lower; she could have called/texted/sent you an e-mail apologizing for stepping on your party toes, already planned the birthday party but hadn't sent invitations, of course am RSVPing no to your party, and so on.  She didn't bother which shows a marked lack of consideration; you, of course, have more consideration which is why you are RSVPing politely to her invitation  :).

blarg314

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8436
Re: Cancelling a party
« Reply #29 on: Today at 09:32:14 PM »

Jen has behaved pretty badly - first, but not RSVPing to an invitation that she received, then inviting half your guests to a competing event at the same date and time, for an event that is not date specific (ie, she could hold it any weekend this summer). I would be pretty annoyed at her right now.

I think you have two options.

One - send out a quick email reminder saying you need responses by tomorrow for the party, so you know how much food to get. Then arrange your party according to the responses.

Two - accept silence as a no, and contact your MIL and the other couple to rearrange a bit. Say, have the event at the same time, but make it a smaller, more intimate affair, and spring for nicer food.