Knowing how to write a formal RSVP to an invitation can come in handy if you receive an invitation to a formal event with no enclosed RSVP card. An RSVP indicates your intention to attend or not, and it is an important courtesy to those who invited you.
How To RSVP Without A Card
Start by reading the invitation to know how the host would like the RSVPs to be received. Sometimes the invitation will indicate if e-mail, phone or mail RSVPs are requested. Always respond the way you've been asked. Doing so shows courtesy and graciousness in response to the honor of being invited to the event. If the invitation does not indicate a means for your RSVP, then plan to write and mail yours. Use plain stationary. Handwritten notes are considered extremely nice, but typed is also acceptable.
Try to follow the style of the wording on the invitation. Always begin with your name and the names of those invited on your invitation, and whether or not you will attend. For example, "Mr. and Mrs. Jon Green gratefully accept…." You can choose the adverb, but make it complimentary, such as "joyfully," "happily" or "are glad to" accept.
Then, continue with the name of the event and the date. Finish with a pleasant closing, such as "Truly Yours," "With love" or "All the best." Your completed formal RSVP could read:
Mr. and Mrs. Jon Green joyfully accept the invitation to the wedding of Stacy and David on Sunday, September 6, 2009, at Hillbrook Country Club. All the best, Jon and Marlene.
If you cannot come, you could replace "joyfully accept" with "regret that they are unable to attend," and the rest can be the same.
For event RSVPs, keep it short. Do not write a long, newsy letter because the host wants to know only if you will attend or not. The host has many of these RSVPs to count, so making it brief and to the point is helpful and gracious.
Follow the style of the invitation for the wording. Often, you can use choice phrases from the invitation itself in crafting your reply.
Be prompt. It is also important for the host to have your RSVP to the event in order to plan the seating and food arrangements. Prompt replies are courteous and show gratitude for being invited.
"What does RSVP stand for?" is the most commonly asked question involving the RSVP cards that often appear in invitations to events. While this FAQ tackles that subject, it also answers other questions involving the delicate matter of RSVP etiquette.
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