Monday, May 12, 2008

What is the meaning of RSVP?

Invitations, particulary wedding invitations often include RSVP cards with them. In our own wedding invitations, we also included RSVP cards with both our contact numbers listed on them.

But what do the letters RSVP really mean? What should you do if you received an invitation with an RSVP on it?

RSVP stands for the French phrase "respondez s'il vous plait". In English, these four words simply mean "respond if you please" or "please respond".

Why are these letters often used in invitations? Some people think it means that the recipient should respond if he would be able to attend, while others think that the recipient should only respond if he WILL NOT be able to make it. Both notions are wrong.

RSVP means, the recipient should contact the host of the event and confirm whether he or she will be able to attend the said occasion. Therefore, the next time you received an invitation to a gala or a party or a wedding with RSVP on it, you should always respond properly at least a few weeks or days before the event takes place.

Why is this very important? Formal events like weddings can be a large gathering or small. In any case, the host needs to know the exact headcount or the exact number of guests to expect on that day so that he/she can make the appropriate preparations (for ex. for the tables & chairs, dinnerware, the food, the tokens to be given away, etc).

With this in mind, it is but proper for a guest to RSVP or "respond" to the invitation sent as soon as possible.

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