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We have all witnessed faux pas and social snafus. Aside from being embarrassed for the people involved, these little incidents don’t usually affect us too much. But how do you respond when you’re at the receiving end of one of these slip-ups? Emily Post has come to the rescue to explain the proper response to several common interpersonal party problems.

  • “What if someone has failed to RSVP to my event?” That one is easy: give them a call! If you sent out invitations but are still waiting to hear responses, never fear. Although the clock is ticking on caterer deadlines and head count finalizations, you can still solve this one with minimal effort. Just contact the person in question, and ask them politely whether they plan to attend. Chances are good that they genuinely just forgot to respond. Perhaps they misplaced the invitation or were waiting to hear about another event on the same day. All you have to do is ask!
  • “How do I know if I can bring my children/boyfriend/etc. to this party?” Good for you for asking… showing up with an uninvited guest can cause a lot more problems than just the need for an extra chair. Depending on the price per plate at the event, extra guests can cost your hostess a lot of money when the night is over. If your invitation includes “Jane Doe and Guest” or “Mr. and Mrs. Doe and Family,” that’s a good way to know if you can bring others along. (Make sure to include their names when replying to the invitation.) If the invite simply says “Jane Doe” or “Mr. and Mrs. Doe,” then you’ll know that the invitation is just for you, or that children are not allowed.
  • “My sister and my best friend both want to host my baby shower. Who wins?” Traditionally, it was considered inappropriate for a member of the honoree’s immediate family to host the shower, because gifts play a major role and it would appear self-serving. In this day and age, that rule no longer applies; anyone close to the honoree – best friend, coworker, sister, aunt, etc. – can host the event, as long as there is a legitimate reason (the honoree lives far away from their hometown, etc.).
  • “Who pays if we all go out to celebrate someone’s birthday?” If you have organized an event for your friend’s birthday at a restaurant or bar, everyone should chip in to cover the birthday boy. However, if you have invited several friends to go out with you for your birthday, it is quite presumptuous and rude to assume that your friends will pay for you. Plan on paying for yourself, and if someone covers your tab as a gift, it will be a pleasant surprise.

This post was written by a guest contributor for The Perfect Card Box, distributors of locking card boxes for any special occasion! 

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