Proper RSVP Etiquette

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RSVPs help hosts properly prepare for the events they’ve scheduled. Therefore, it’s crucial to honour the expectations of a host when it comes to responding to an invitation.

Respect Host’s Wishes With RSVP

When receiving an invitation, read the host’s instructions regarding the RSVP carefully. Take proper note of the date by which the host would like to receive your RSVP, the manner by which it should be returned to the host, and—if applicable—the names of guests that will be accompanying you.

Keep in mind that the RSVP is often the only way a host can accurately determine the number of guests and the amount of food he or she must have ready for the event. Therefore, it’s very important to make sure your RSVP is returned to the host on time.

RSVPing by Email

Invitations will often ask a guest to RSVP by mail or phone. However, more and more invitations are being sent via email. If that’s the case, a prompt replay via a short email is usually all that is required.

“Regrets Only” Invitations

If you receive an invitation requesting an RSVP in the form of “Regrets Only,” then you should only respond if you are not able to attend. If you do not respond to the “Regrets Only” invitation, then you are essentially confirming to the host that you will be present at the event.

If you reply in the affirmative to the request for your presence, make sure you do everything in your power to attend.

Changing Plans

If you’ve already let the host know that you’re attending and discover later that you cannot attend, promptly contact the host to inform him or her of your change in plans. Once again, the reason for cancelling your reservation should reflect that the new circumstances are beyond your control.