What Does RSVP Stand For And Other Frequently Asked Questions

"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.

What does "RSVP" stand for?
RSVP stands for the French phrase "Respondez, s'il vous plait," which translates literally to "Respond to us, if you please" or more casually "Respond, please." It is meant as a request for the guest to respond by answering "yes" or "no" to the invitation to an event. If you receive an invitation to an event that states RSVP, you should respond in the manner indicated. This may require an e-mail, a phone call or the return of a response card.

What does "Regrets" or "Regrets Only" mean?
If the invitation reads "regrets only," it means you do not have to respond if you can make it, only if you can't come. Remember, if you don't respond, it will be assumed you are attending the event.

Is it acceptable to invite your significant other if he was not listed on the invitation?
You might assume that your significant other is invited to a wedding or party, but the proper etiquette follows that you should only RSVP for yourself if your significant other is not listed on the invitation. If the party planner wanted to invite your significant other, she should have listed your significant other's name on the invitation or stated you and a guest were invited. It's possible your significant other was mailed a personal invitation, or maybe you will just have to go to this event solo.

What is the difference between a "Save the Date" and an invitation?
A "save the date" is an announcement card that tells people about an upcoming event, such as a wedding or a wedding reception. It is usually sent much further in advance of an event so guests can plan accordingly. An invitation is a formal invite to the actual event, giving the time, date, place and other necessary details. Invitations are usually sent out about six to eight weeks before the event. "Save the date" announcements should be sent only to people who will later be invited formally to the event.

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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 lets your host know if you plan to attend.

If you're agonizing over your RSVP wording, these simple rules will help you navigate the messy word of invitations and response cards.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ask.com
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View some RSVP samples before putting together a special event. Whether a wedding RSVP or a big party that includes catering, you will need guests to respond in order to plan, and RSVP cards typically have a standard style.

Curious about proper RSVP etiquette? Not sure how to invite one person but not their children? How do you determine if an event is formal or dressy casual? These tips can help you get the right information to your guests.

If a hostess asks you to RSVP, invitations sent online pose a curious etiquette problem. Since the invitation was not written, what is the best way to respond to your hostess? Following these rules can save you from major embarrassment.

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