AnnLanders.com - Advice for your Everyday Life
Section: manners, money 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I were married recently. Our wedding was beautiful, but there was one problem: We had 17 no-shows and four surprise guests. Two days before the wedding, we'd had to give the caterers the exact number of guests. After that, we would get billed no matter how many no-shows there were. That means we paid for 13 extra meals that nobody ate. I understand that sometimes an emergency comes up, but we wasted more than $330 on those no-show dinners. The extra guests turned out to be no problem because of the no-shows, but generally, surprises are not welcome. What if those 17 people had shown up and we didn't have enough dinners? It would have been a nightmare. It is simply good manners to let the hostess know whether you are coming or not. And if the number of people in your party has changed, she should be informed about that, too. When you RSVP, the information you give the hostess is what the cost of the event is based on. Wedding receptions aren't cheap these days, and paying for no-shows is a terrible waste. Am I expecting too much from guests? If so, please tell me. - San Diego

Dear San Diego,
You are not expecting too much. Letting the hostess know whether or not you are coming is no more than common courtesy. Not having enough food because some slobs didn't bother to let you know they were coming is a major embarrassment. A response card and stamped envelope are well worth the extra expense. I recommend them.

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"At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other."
-Ann Landers