RSVP is a French term meaning “répondez s’il vous plait”, which in English means “please reply”. It is used for social invitations to make sure all guests during the event are accounted for and well taken care of. Here are certain things to guide in you in observing the proper etiquette on how to respond to RSVPs.
What is the correct way to answer a RSVP?
The general rule is simple: answer in the same manner that the invitation was given to you. Address it with the same degree of formality. If you received the invitation in writing, respond in the same way unless the invitation lists a number or email address to which you may respond to.
When should you respond?
In time. And by that, meaning on the reply-by date. If no such date is included, try to send your reply within 48 hours (a late RSVP is better than no RSVP). Your host will always appreciate a prompt response, even if it’s a ‘no’.
If you don’t know your availability until the event is much closer, notify your host. If you do it soon enough, most hosts can be receptive. Just make a reminder to respond before the date you specified.
What’s the right format?
For weddings and formal events, RSVP cards are usually included. Should that be the case, mail it back in a timely manner. You may make a small note on that card if you’re planning on attending.
The manner of writing should mirror the format of the invitation. If it is in formal writing, write your response in centered lines and third-person view. Say for example, “Ms. Jane Doe accepts with pleasure the invitation of Mr. and Mrs. Hill for Saturday, 9th of February.
How about last-minute changes?
If due to certain circumstances you suddenly find yourself unable to attend, still communicate the changes. Send a message and simply apologize for whatever inconvenience the changes may have caused and wish the hosts well for their event.