Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Importance of the RSVP

RSVP is a French acronym for répondez s’il vous plait (rā-pōⁿ-dā-sēl-vü-ple). Translated in English it means, “please respond or reply if you please”. The acronym RSVP was traditionally used on invitations for formal events such as weddings.

This is a serious pet peeve of a lot of brides and I do understand them. Here’s what needs to happen upon receiving an invitation to any event that calls for an RSVP, especially a wedding. Refer below to some guidelines and you’ll get it right every time. 

RSVP. Respond immediately. Your most important obligation as a guest is to respond to the invitation immediately, especially if you are unable to attend. It is poor etiquette and frankly is rude to wait until the day of the event and just show up. At the very least, it allows your host and hostess enough time to give the caterer an accurate count. They also need to get their seating done, send escort cards out to a calligrapher, get them printed and back in time then alphabetize them all before the wedding!

To make it more convenient to RSVP, most couples include a reply card with pre-paid postage for you to return to them. If not, you may write a formal reply or a note indicating your intentions. Be sure to clearly write your first and last name and, if invited with a guest, include their full name for the escort card.

For any last minute cancellations or changes, get in touch with your host as soon as you can. You can call them immediately to apologize, explain your problem and let them know that you can’t come. Your RSVP should communicate your best intentions. Express your regrets, send a gift anyway but it is essential you let your hostess know immediately.

Photo by Czar Press via Oh So Beautiful Paper
Simply put: If you are invited to an event, please remember how important it is to “accept” or “decline.” Be a gracious guest. Reply in a timely fashion. Reply even if you have a potential conflict. Reply reply reply.

And have a happy Wednesday!

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