Should You Use Regrets Only for Baby Shower Invitations?


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One of your close friends is having a baby!  You receive the invitation for the shower and it says to RSVP for regrets only.  What does that even mean?

Regrets only on a baby shower invitation means that you will only RSVP to the event if you are not planning to attend. If you do not send a response, the event host will assume that you will be attending the baby shower.

Let’s read ahead to see more about Regrets Only and whether it is really a helpful tool.

What is the difference between an RSVP and a Regrets Only?

An RSVP on an invitation is a response to attending or not attending an event.  For a baby shower, it usually includes how many people (usually women and children) and a registry as well.  This helps the people throwing the shower know how much food needs to be prepared and how many favors are needed for each guest.

A Regrets Only RSVP is to be used only if you CAN’T COME.  All of the regular information is there as well.  Basically, if they do not respond, it is assumed that they and whoever they are going with is attending.

While this sounds like a great idea, in theory, it can potentially be very confusing to your guests that might not be familiar with this type of invitation. In the worst-case scenario, nobody will respond to your RSVP and you will assume they are all coming. If nobody shows up there could be a lot of wasted time and money planning the event, preparing the food, etc.

Is it okay to use regrets only for a baby shower invitation?

With all of the potential for confusion, you might be wondering if you should use this type of invitation for your next event.

While it is perfectly acceptable to use regrets only for a baby shower invitation you should pay special attention to clarifying what that means on the invitation so that you can prevent potential confusion. At the end of the day, it might end up being more trouble than it is worth.

Wording can be easily misunderstood, so be clear and concise about what is expected.  Contact information is important!  You are always going to have those people who will not respond at all.  They may also call because they are confused and don’t know what to say.

One woman said “I threw a shower for my friend before and did regrets only and it was a nightmare. So many people didn’t say they weren’t coming and so I assumed there would be more people. In my opinion it’s just better to do rsvp and have a call list for those who don’t respond.

If you are worried about an exact headcount, a standard RSVP might be a better way to go.  You can make a list and call people to check in when the date gets near.

Another said “I think it kinda depends on your guests. Our families have their upsides but RSVPing is definitely not one of them. Whether it’s a wedding or baby shower, they just totally suck at it. I have to personally contact our family members to see who will show up or not.

This is a big one as well!  If you know your family and friends, choose the RSVP that will work best for the crowd.

Regrets only wording on the invitation

If you are going to use this type of RSVP, make it clear with the wording!  There are a few ways you could use:

  • Regrets Only
  • RSVP for Regrets Only
  • Respond ONLY if unable to attend

If there is another way you find to word it, feel free to use that.  Make sure you put contact information on there!

How to reply to regrets only invitations

If you cannot attend the shower, make sure to send your regrets respectfully, whether by card, email, or calling.

  • Don’t ignore the invitation
  • Don’t wait! Respond as soon as you find out if you can’t go
  • Say thank you
  • Be honest about why you can’t attend
  • Don’t over-explain
  • Send something in your absence, if you can

Potential issues with using a regrets only baby shower invitation

Regrets only can get misunderstood easily.  Some people might get confused, take offense, or just not bother to respond.  It is recommended NOT to use this if:

  • You HAVE to know who is coming
  • Final headcount is crucial to know and you won’t get refunded from the venues (caterer, etc.) you use
  • You are buying party favors and treats
  • If you decide to panic and emergency call everyone anyway

One other thing to remember is to make sure you have the correct contact information for everyone (addresses, numbers, email, etc.).  If they never receive the invitation, you count their silence as an RSVP and then they don’t show up.

It is totally your call on which RSVP you go with.  Either way, some people have trouble responding.  Use what you think is best and the most stress free.  It’s your baby shower and you should relax.

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Josh

I'm the dad in charge of Natural Baby life. With 10 years of parenting experience across three children, I am constantly learning how to raise children more naturally. I'm passionate about doing whatever it takes to raise a happy and healthy baby! Find out more about me here.

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