And What to Write Inside a Card to Accept an Invitation (Rsvp Card)

Edited by Christine dela Cruz, Anonymous, Eng, Lynn and 1 other

A good number of invitations, especially when close friends are the ones inviting, are just responded to verbally or even through a simple text message. On the other hand, there are also much more formal occasions that require an equally formal way of confirming your attendance prior to the event. This is when RSVP cards come in. These state the exact details about the event and require a response about your decision of whether or not to attend. It often also states the time frame given to you in which the host would like you to send your response. Since there are obviously certain guidelines to follow in terms of propriety, it would be good to know how to acknowledge RSVP cards the right way.

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A Closer Look at RSVP Cards

RSVP cards are given to invited guests to request confirmation of attendance. It is an acronym for the French phrase, répondez s'il vous plaît, which literally means "please respond". In other words, RSVP cards are meant to be responded to, not ignored.

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These are the different types of RSVP cards:

  1. 1
    General response.
    This means that response is expected, whether or not you will be attending.
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  2. 2
    Regrets only.
    This means that response is expected only when you will not be able to attend. Not sending any response, in other words, indicates confirmation of attendance.
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  3. 3
    Confirmation only.
    This means that response is expected only when you are confirming attendance. Not sending over any response automatically means you have decided not to attend.
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In some cases, save-the-date cards are sent out prior to RSVP cards. These are usually sent out months or weeks ahead of the event. Their purpose is to inform the invited guests that an event is occurring on a certain date and time, and further details will be sent later, along with the RSVP card.

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Benefits of the RSVP Card

  1. 1
    It ensures that details about the event are clearly laid out to the invited guests, as compared to when it is just being verbally explained.
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  2. 2
    It gives the event organizers a clearer idea in terms of the actual turnout, so that they can prepare accordingly.
    This particularly relates to reservations in terms of the size of venue, food and materials needed given the volume of the attendees, logistics required, and all other aspects of the event. In other words, RSVP cards avoid unpleasant surprises that lead to messed up plans.
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  3. 3
    It helps to avoid last minute confusion and other logistical complications, such as getting lost, not dressing up accordingly, getting stuck in traffic unexpectedly, and all other similar hassles that might arise along the way.
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  4. 4
    It serves as a reminder for the guests of the event and helps in proper scheduling and preparation.
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Typical Contents of an RSVP Card

  1. 1
    Schedule and Timing.
    This includes the date and exact time of the event. In most cases, it will even indicate how long the event is expected to take.
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  2. 2
    Details.
    This includes all pertinent information that guests may need to know prior to the event in order for them to be able to prepare. Examples of these details would be party themes or conditions of the event, such as not bringing kids and pets.
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  3. 3
    Requirements.
    This indicates specific expectations from the guests in relation to the invitation.
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  4. 4
    Dress code.
    This is of particular necessity, especially if it's a social event in which the dress code may not be easily predictable. In normal cases, they would write whether it's strictly formal, semi-formal, or smart casual. If there is a very specialized theme and corresponding outfits or costumes are required, that would be indicated here as well.
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  5. 5
    Venue map and layout.
    To assist guests, a map or a layout of the area is provided, together with the RSVP card.
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  6. 6
    Other relevant logistics.
    This includes details such as parking and traffic policies in the area.
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  7. 7
    Time frame to respond or when is response expected.
    This tells you how much time you are given to identify whether or not you can attend the event. This is usually phrased this way: "Response is expected on or before ___ (specific date)."
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  8. 8
    Mode of response.
    This indicates the different options available in terms of how to respond to the invitation. Typical modes are telephone, email, or resubmission of confirmation slip or stub, which can be torn off from the RSVP card. In more formal cases, an official response card has to be sent over.
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How to Respond to an RSVP Card to Accept An Invitation

  1. 1
    Identify what type of RSVP card is sent to you.
    This is usually indicated inside the card, near the deadline to respond. If it's an extremely formal event, you may have to write a card to formally accept or decline the invitation. In any case, knowing exactly what type of an RSVP card was sent will help to guide you accordingly as to how to respond appropriately. Again, respond based on instructions. If it's a "regret only" RSVP, send only a card if you are unable to attend.
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  2. 2
    Keep the card as objective and brief as possible.
    Keep in mind that event organizers often receive too many confirmations to spend much time reading through long response cards. What's important is that you've indicated your attendance or non-attendance to the event. In some cases, you may just have to fill in a stub inside the RSVP card, and that will serve as your response card. In other cases, however, you would have to be the one to create your own response card. It should contain the following parts:  
    1. Short note to express your appreciation of the invitation
    2. Event description
    3. Date and time
    4. Contact number
    5. Response  
      1. Attending
      2. Not attending
      3. To contact further. This option is used only in special cases. For example, if it's an invitation to a conference to be a speaker and you are not sure whether you are available yet, you need to clarify some details, and you can indicate this instead. In this way, you are letting the event organizers know that you will be in contact prior to the event. In most cases, this will lead them to be the one to reach out to you right away to provide clarification.
    6. Other Details. This will include other details that you would like the person who invited you to know in case you will be unable to attend or will be late. Also, you can use this section in case you are sending another person instead to attend on your behalf. Feel free to write other details here to explain how you will handle the attendance to the event.
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  3. 3
    Send over your response card, based upon the suggestion on the RSVP card.
    These are the common scenarios as to who usually accepts RSVP confirmations:  
    1. If it's a social occasion such as a wedding, birthday party, anniversary party and the like, it is more likely that you will have to send back your response directly to the celebrants. You can either mail it to them or send it over in person.
    2. If it's a business event, there are usually people in the company or from a third party service provider who are assigned specifically just to coordinate attendance. In most cases, these are the only ones you need to send your confirmation to. It is crucial that you send your confirmation to the right people, as these types of events usually follow a system in which there is no overlap of roles and responsibilities. If you do not adhere to certain instructions, it is highly likely that your confirmation will not be recognized or that it can get lost.
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Common Mistakes to Avoid When Receiving RSVP Cards

  1. 1
    Completely ignoring the invitation.
    Doing this is not only going to create some confusion among the people preparing for the event, but it is also downright disrespectful. Out of basic courtesy, it is only right that you acknowledge and respond to an invitation, whether or not you are able to attend.
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  2. 2
    Not responding within the indicated time frame.
    Responding late is not any better than ignoring the invitation. Keep in mind that there is a reason why a time frame is given, and it is a bare minimum to adhere to when responding.
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  3. 3
    Confirming attendance to the wrong person.
    At least make sure that when you do send over a response, you are sending it to the right people. Otherwise, your response may end up not getting counted, and this leads to confusion.
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  4. 4
    Constantly changing your decision.
    Avoid sending over a response if you are not 100 percent sure of your decision. Make sure that when you do make a confirmation or decline an invitation, that is your final answer and that there will be no more changes.
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  5. 5
    Passing on the invitation to someone else.
    Taking the initiative to invite someone else for the occasion or event without communicating this to the event organizer is not proper. This is especially the case for more specialized events. Doing this will only put the person inviting and the person who volunteered to replace you in an uncomfortable situation.
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Questions and Answers

Designing an invitation card in french indicating name, date and avenue?

Designing an invitation card in french indicating name, date and avenue

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How will I write my friends to confirm whether they are coming for my party or not?

I am inviting my friends to come for my birthday party, I need them to confirm ..

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Article Info

Categories : Etiquette

Recent edits by: Lynn, Eng, Anonymous

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