How To Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations

RSVP comes from the French phrase “respondez s’il vous plait” which means respond if you please. If described generally it means please reply to the invitation. It is mostly used in written and formal invitations at a special gathering. On the other hand, a lot of people choose to delay the confirmation of their presence due to being busy, forgetting or simply being unaware of what RSVP actually means.

RSVP might be considered a practice of the old times, as it dates back to the French royal court of King Louis XIV. Nevertheless, in recent times where former social graces are constantly ignored, there are a number of ways to use RSVP to a good effect.


  • 1

    Make it convenient for the invitee to RSVP

    Set a deadline to reply to the invitation. People will feel more obliged to respond when the invitation requires a timely response. Moreover, the RSVP deadline also suggests that this is an important gathering and they should think that they will miss out on the occasion if they don’t confirm their status in time.

    Also make it easy for the guests to reply. They will RSVP in time if the process is not time consuming and does not take a lot of effort. Put a reply card with paid return letter. The invitee should be able to write his name, phone number and other details on the response card. The contact guy should be there to accept the RSVPs and can also be the organiser of the event.

  • 2

    Use simple and effective ways

    Make the invitation simple and crystal clear. Tell the guests who to reply and how to get in touch with that person. Furthermore, call to re-confirm the invitees’ status so that even if he/she forgets he/she will be reminded by the follow up. Importantly, when you need to know the exact count of the guests, be aggressive in getting the confirmations.

    Some days before the gathering, after the people have got their cards and have mulled over the event, call them and check if they are coming. You can call and say that I am hoping to see you at the event.

  • 3

    RSVP regrets

    When the amount of people coming is not required to be specific, the invitation can say RSVP regrets only. This will tell the invitees that their presence is understood, but they should call to tell in the case they won’t be coming.

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