My teenage son has sent out an e-vite (online invitation service) for his birthday party at a one of those bowling/laser tag/multi-activity places. He’s extremely excited about the event, but concerned he’s only received 12/25 responses, and wants to send an e-vite reminder message.

I think it may be too soon to send a reminder, but I don’t know much about party etiquette. My question is, whats the appropriate time to wait before re-sending an RSVP request for an event, especially a birthday like this?

In case it’s helpful, some details are:

  • Original electronic invitation was sent about 3 1/2 days ago
  • Precisely, it was sent on a Friday at 10:30pm, and it’s now 1:30pm the following Monday. (i know, a little late at night)
  • The party starts in 4 days, at 6:30pm
  • Response rate is ~50% so far, 12/25.
  • Did I mention he’s excited and would love to have as many guests as possible?

Any advice or rule of thumb would be appreciated. And sure, I can probably get you an invite if you’ll be in Dallas, in case you were wondering.

There are no logistical limitations to how many people will attend so it’s more wanting to maximize attendance rather than any functional requirement.

  • 3
    Are there any logistical limitations to knowing the number of people coming? Eg you need to book/cater for a given number of people.
    – user6818
    Jun 11 '18 at 19:02
  • Hi @Lee you can't ping people who haven't participated in a comment thread. This isn't the place to discuss site policy. If you want to do so the appropriate way to do so is to make a post on Interpersonal Skills Meta.
    – sphennings
    Jun 13 '18 at 16:59
  • @Lee You could also reach out to people in chat if you're looking for some advice about how to edit your question or to attract attention the edits you've made to get it reopened faster.
    – sphennings
    Jun 13 '18 at 18:29

I haven't seen too much of a protocol regarding this. In looking at the question, the potential participants have been given 2 days to respond, which may involve arranging rides, clearing with parents, or other logistical challenges. I know that with my kids, it was never as easy as "sure!"; we needed to ensure that someone would be available and we may have needed to clear other commitments. If he really wants to ensure that people respond, given the short time frame, a reminder is not out of the question and doing so now is certainly appropriate.

If there's someone that your son really wants there, sending an electronic communication when one hasn't been responded to already is kind of a lack of interpersonal skill. If there's someone he really wants there, I'd suggest switching media. Send a text. Call. Talk to them at school or wherever he sees them. In short: do something different to make sure that the message is seen.


If you have a legitimate need for RSVPs, such as needing to know how large of a reservation to make, then it is appropriate to send out a reminder mentioning this constraint and asking for potential guests to help you know how many people to plan for. But if you're using the RSVP request just to remind people of the event, that's inappropriate. You could, however, send out invitations through a different medium, such as Facebook. For such invitations, there is no need for a minimum wait time, and in fact sending both at the same time probably would have been better.

Also, one week is a bit too short for sending out the original invitations if you really need RSVPs. You should wait at least several days if not a week before sending out reminders, then you'll need to leave several more days to a week to get responses, plus you'll presumably need the responses some time before the actual event.

  • Yes, thank you, definitely agree the short timeline was unfortunate and better advance planning for social events is one lesson both my son and myself will hopefully benefit from in the future. Jun 13 '18 at 16:40

I am going to assume that most of the other people invited are classmates or people he contacts on a daily basis. The issue with (what I assume is a Facebook event group) is that not everyone gets notifications for them. I know in the past, I have been invited to several parties or get-togethers. On the night of the event, I get a text "yo do you need a ride?" and here I am sitting confused about what they are talking about only to find out I missed an event invite sent through Facebook.

Now that he sent out the invites, it would be best if he also made his rounds to them in person or send out text messages. Ask them in person if they are going and then also inform them of the electronic invite and if they can RSVP there.

This way, he knows for sure that everyone that was invited also was personally talked to. It makes it easier for all involved that way too.

If the e-invite is not sent through Facebook, it's also possible G-mail and other mail systems marked it as spam and was sent directly to the junk mail. So again, the best bet is to personally contact everyone whether by phone or by face to face and ask if they are going but to also inform of the electronic invite.

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