RSVP Column II
By C. Paul Luongo
HERE ARE THE TOP 20 DOs AND DON’Ts WHEN PLANNING A SPECIAL SOCIAL EVENT.
1. Don’t say Black Tie Optional. It’s confusing. Make it Black Tie or Business
2. Don’t say Semi-Formal. Either it is or it isn’t. Make it Business Attire or Sports Jacket.
3. Don’t say Creative Black Tie. It usually isn’t and puts pressure on non-creative
4. Always list a telephone number with a person’s name who is knowledgeable about
the event and can answer questions politely and intelligently, for reservations,
5. Use simple invitations. Don’t have a book to read to find out the basic
questions…where, when and what time.
6. Always send handwritten envelopes. No typewriter or computer generated labels.
7. Place seating cards at the table so that there is no doubt as to where guests sit.
8. Mail invitations as far ahead as possible; you’ll increase attendance.
9. Always include the coat check in the price of admission.
10. Don’t charge for soft drinks.
11. Don’t have speeches before dinner.
12. Plan for guests who cannot eat meat, fish, cheese, and spices. Let guests reserve a plain (chicken/vegetable) dish. Even scrambled eggs will do!
13. Beef is a problem. Some like it rare, others well done, and some are in-between.
Chicken, lamb, or veal is better.
14. Also think about having fast-food delivered….Kentuckey Fried Chicken, Pizza (with
various toppings), Hot Dogs, Hamburgers…..you may even get those companies
to underwrite some of the costs!
15. Chinese food can be less expensive, delectable and more exotic.
16. Always accept credit card payments.
17. If possible, offer complimentary parking or necessary parking information.
18. For an outdoor event, plan ahead and either have a tent or a rain date immediately
19. Select a location reachable by public transportation to avoid problems with certain
guests without private cars.
20. Plan for people who cannot attend at the last minute and how they can donate their
tickets to someone known by the committee.
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