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Why do hosts ask party guests to RSVP?

Party invitations usually sport this seemingly cryptic code: RSVP. Actually, RSVP is an acronym, and it’s French. Here’s the actual phrase.

"Repondez s'il vous plait."

What does RSVP even mean?

It means, “Respond, if you please.” In modern vernacular, it might be better translated this way: "Hey, are you coming, or not?"

Party hosts often add this traditional tagline to printed, posted or emailed invitations. Even online event invitations, such as those posted on Facebook and similar social networking sites, may ask guests for replies.

It’s all about poise and planning.

RSVPs are the stuff of Birthday party basics and proper protocol for invitation-only parties of all kinds. Unless an invitation clearly asks for “regrets only,” a courteous and considerate guest will respond..

Why are RSVP’s so important?

Here’s the whole story:

RSVP means respect.

So send a note. Make a call. Zip out an email. Or simply text the party host. RSVPs today are entirely too simple to overlook. And party hosts want to know how many plates to put out. 

Read more about it:   Party etiquette: RSVP spells respect 

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Invitation with RSVP card
WP Clipart
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1 comment:

  1. I get SO frustrated by the way nobody seems to respect the RSVP request any more. In my experience, most people don't respond until you send out a second request (and some still don't even after that.)

    The most unbelievable experience I had was when we had my son's 6th birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese. I had put the RSVP info on the invitation, and explained that I had to give the restaurant a final count by [X] date, so I really needed a response. I got a few. When I sent out a second request a couple of days before the deadline most people finally responded. But I had one mom that didn't call me until almost 9:00 the night before the party to tell me that her husband "would probably be bringing the kids" and then he called me about an hour before the party to say that yeah, they decided to go ahead and come. (Really?!) I managed to keep my cool and not show how irritated I was, and luckily the restaurant was very accommodating and let us add two more to the list when we got there. (I wasn't going to punish the kids for having rude parents.) But I was completely blown away by how inconsiderate those parents were.

    There are some "rules of etiquette" that I'm glad we don't follow any more, but there are some that I'd sure like to see come back. (Sigh.)

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