As we enter the fall, holiday season is upon us for sure. Starting with the upcoming spook-fest of Halloween, you can bet you’ll be bombarded with invitations to all kinds of parties and events between now and the start of the new year. Along with most printed (or emailed) invitations come one of the most famous four letter combinations in the world: RSVP.
But what does RSVP mean anyway?
Technically, it’s an abbreviation for the French phrase “répondez, s’il vous plait,” (roughly translated, respond if you please).
And if you want to get really technical, it was intended to solicit both a response of acceptance (Yes, I will attend and have ___ guests) and of regrets (No, sadly I cannot make your event).
Over time, with the pace of the world increasing and formality of functions decreasing, many people have resorted to only responding to invitations in the event that they can attend. The exception, of course, being incredibly formal events such as a wedding or high dollar fundraising dinner. But to be lead car on the etiquette train, you really should take the time and energy to let the host or hostess know your plans as soon as you do.
- It helps the host plan seating, food, drinks, and budget.
- It shows respect and manners.
- It gives you the opportunity to explain any unusual circumstances or more thoroughly express your regrets.
- It lets you touch base with the host to lend support or connect directly to the host.
- Gives you the opportunity to ask questions or clarify details.
- If you make it a habit as a guest, maybe others will catch on and return the favor when it is your turn to host an event.
- You save the hassle of being harassed last minute by the host for a response.
- Gives you time to mark your calendar so you don’t miss the event.
image courtesy of dreamsjung