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Keeping Your R.S.V.P. Organized

Keeping Your R.S.V.P. Organized

Spring is the season for weddings, baby showers and dinner parties. You can keep yourself, your social calendar and your gracious host organized by always sending a proper R.s.v.p. in response to an invitation.

Notice, that our subject is R.s.v.p. etiquette rather than R.S.V.P or RSVP. The correct way to represent the French sentence “Répondez s’il vous plait” meaning “Kindly give me an answer” is by denoting ‘R.s.v.p.’ on an invitation. However, if you receive an invitation requesting that you R.S.V.P., you should not assume that the host is shouting at you, as this has mistakenly become the commonly accepted form.

It is an unfortunate occurrence when a host of a dinner party, wedding or other social engagement must resort to phoning his or her invitees because they have failed to R.s.v.p. There are three simple rules of etiquette that will avoid such a social faux pas.

First, upon receipt of an invitation, respond within a week. The idea is to be an accommodating guest by honoring the request of the host, not to build suspension to make the event more interesting.

Second, respond with the same (or higher) degree of formality used in the invitation. On a formal invitation, the ‘R.s.v.p’ appears in the lower left corner. Invitees should know to respond with a handwritten note of acceptance or regret on quality stationary with the following structure:

Mr. Frank Manners
accepts with pleasure
Mr. and Mrs. SK&H’s kind invitation for
Saturday, the Eighteenth of April
at eight o’clock
Mrs. Manners
regrets exceedingly
that she will be unable to accept.

Often the invitation will specify a telephone number or email address to which you may reply. A prompt call or e-mail would replace the more stiff response outlined above.

Finally, keep in mind that the response itself is a social act. Regrettably declining an invitation due to a prior engagement, emergency, or even an unspecified reason can still be considered a respectful response. Just be sure to follow up by sending any appropriate wedding gift, baby shower gift or card.

Keeping Your R.S.V.P. Organized

Spring is the season for weddings, baby showers and dinner parties. You can keep...
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