If you have ever been invited to an event, you know of the RSVP. Your loving host/hostess is asking you to let them know if you will be participating in the festivities. What many guests don't quite grasp is- how important that response really is.
After discussing this issue with several brides and hostesses, there's a need for some clarification. Many of the hostesses were frustrated that their guests never bothered to RSVP. Or, perhaps the guest responded one way and their attendance didn't match.
The hostess is putting forth an enormous amount of money and time on an event, and attendance is a crucial part of the planning process. If you think your response is merely a grain of sand on a beach, think again. Unless the invitation states clearly that it is an "open house", you should reply to the hostess with your intent. Your hostess will understand if a conflict occurs, if you notify her in a timely manner. Consider that she needs to make adjustments for your absence.
Another issue brought up by hostesses- uninvited guests. Your invitation will inform you who exactly is welcome. "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" clearly indicates the couple is invited. "The Smith Family" indicates all members of that household is invited. "Mr. John Smith and Guest" indicates an invitation plus one. Bringing a guest when you have not been allocated one is in very poor taste and can make planning difficult for the hostess. If your guest numbers must be different from what the hostess has indicated, it is expected that you call the hostess and inform her. This way she can defend her decision or adjust accordingly.
To simplify- always RSVP with your correct intentions. Or, call the hostess and discuss it with her directly. She will appreciate it!