Can I be honest? I used to never RSVP to anything. If I got a wedding invite, I'd toss the RSVP aside and tack the invite up on my refrigerator (okay, well I wouldn't really tack it, but you get the picture). If I received an invite to a birthday party, a family reunion or really any gathering of any kind, I threw the RSVP away and attended if I could and didn't attend if I was unable to.
In my mind, it was no big deal. I wasn't hurting anybody by not responding, they'd be thrilled if I showed up (yep, I do have a pretty big ego! I tease, I tease) and disappointed if I didn't, but they wouldn't stop living because of me being there or not. I thought it didn't really matter whether or not I let them know I would be there.
Then I started planning our wedding, and RSVPs took on a whole new meaning to me. We were elated when people would send back the RSVP (especially since we already put the postage on it - all they had to do was write on it and mail it!) and completely frustrated when we didn't hear back from some people. Planning a gathering of that size and paying for each plate that was served caused us to want to have an extremely accurate number, as we had over 300 guests at our wedding. Many people didn't RSVP, which we anticipated, so we ended up putting a large number of extra dinners on the final count just in case (which ended up to be a good thing!).
The more I plan events, the more I realize the importance of an RSVP. Whether it be a big party or a simple play date, it is a very respectful thing to return an RSVP! Even if you can't send something in the mail - send out an email or make a quick phone call, heck, even a text message would suit me just fine! The more I look at the amount of planning that is put into different events, the more I realize how incredibly important it is to actually RSVP when I'm invited!
So, while I admit to having previously been an ignorer or the request for an RSVP, I now promise you that it is a rare occasion when I forget to respond to something. I highly suggest making RSVPing a priority on your list, too!