What to do when traditional western etiquette not understood for invites?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1491 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@laceydoilies:  I had my mother collect all the RSVPs verbally / by phone from my Chinese and Australian side of the families where it just isn’t very common to send back reply cards. I think what you want to write in the note is sweet, but maybe better conveyed over the phone? 

Post # 4
5767 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Definitely best to handle by phone because it’s two-way communication. There’s no way to make sure someone reads your handwritten note. Just give Uncle and Auntie a quick call to let them know when the RSVP deadline is approaching, and explain that your caterer requires to know how many mouths they must feed.

Post # 5
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@laceydoilies:  many of my guests didn’t RSVP. I tasked my wonderful mother with calling them and politely asking. Everyone she called said something to the effect of, “Of course we are coming! We can’t wait!” I was surprised to find out everyone who didn’t RSVP planned on being there! I’m not sure why they didn’t Send in the card. At any rate, I was glad she did that for me, and no one seemed at all offended with her question. I wouldn’t stress about it. 🙂

Post # 6
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

I don’t think it’s so much that people in Hawaii “don’t understand” the concept of an invitation or a reply card – it’s just kind of foreign to the way we do things here, which is generally much more casual . . . and at any family event that involves food, everybody knows you just have to make enough to feed twice the number of people you know are coming. Not having enough food to feed everyone (and then some) is the worst social faux pas one could possibly commit.

So I wouldn’t use the “caterer needs to know how many mouths to feed” line at all.

I like your idea of a note letting them know how much you’d love them to be there, and that you can put them up and take care of them. That will mean a lot to the older folks. Then follow up with a phone call.

Ontaro is a long way to travel from Hawaii, so you may not get a lot of takers on your offer – but just the fact that you made the extra personalized effort to make sure they know how much their presence was desired will lay the ground work for wonderful future relationships with your Hawaii ‘ohana.

Post # 8
2649 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@laceydoilies:  These people are from Hawaii, not another planet. They dont “understand” invitations? Hogwash. And the response cards are pretty self explanatory.

Send them invitations early. If you dont receive their response by the deadline, be prepared to call them to ask pleasantly if they will be able to join you.

Post # 9
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@laceydoilies:  yep, after the deadline! My family is pretty casual, and I just don’t think they quite “get” the importance of sending them. I had a cousin who had the same problem. I wasn’t offended, or anything. Good on Mama for getting them on the horn! 🙂

Post # 10
6674 posts
Bee Keeper

I would write personal notes or letters in lieu of a Save the Date and/or  have FILs or FI follow up with phone calls. I would not include that information along with  the invitation.  

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