I have a love/hate relationship with evite.
Love it because let's be honest, who has the time for handwritten invitations? What's more, I promise that unless I have actually lived at your address for an extended period of time, I don't know your street number and I don't have it anywhere accessible. Yes, you may have provided it to me multiple times, yet I can't seem to keep track of it. Sorry.
Hate it because, I think that it makes the RSVP process far too casual. I want to make a disclaimer before offending any of my readers. I am not singling anyone out here. I have many a dear friend who may be guilty of the very offense that I am about to write about, and this is not a message to you. Rather, please view this as social commentary. An observation about how our culture has changed in a digital age.
Here is my beef: Why does evite list "maybe" as an acceptable RSVP option? Maybe? What does that mean, and why do so many people view this as a polite response? As in- maybe we will make it if something better doesn't come along? Maybe we will grace you with our presence if you don't tick us off between now and your birthday party? Maybe I'll show up if I'm not too hung over from a way more fun party that I am attending the night before?
How does a maybe response help the hostess? While shopping for the event should the party planner purchase enough food for 12, or maybe 18? While putting together the goodie bags for her child's party should she make a sack for little Janie (who is a maybe) just in case?
It's hard to remember, but I think back in the olden days, before the age of evite, people were forced to RSVP over the phone or in person to an event. In those times the answer was a "yes" or a "no." This allowed the host to plan accordingly for the event. Of course things may have come up that might have prevented one from going to a party that they said they would attend, but it wasn't expected. There wasn't the attitude of maybe I'll be there, maybe I won't. Email makes it easier, easier to say things to people that we would not ordinarily say in person. Easier to be rude.
Sadly, I don't see this trend going anywhere any time soon, and therefor I will continue to over shop for all of my parties just in case all those "maybes" actually show up. At least I usually have a lot of good leftovers.