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How to Respond to an RSVP in a Way That Every Organizer Will Appreciate

How to Respond to an RSVP in a Way That Every Organizer Will Appreciate

Have you ever received an invitation to a birthday party, or a wedding, or conference and somewhere on the invite you see the letters RSVP? What could that mean? Do you know how to respond to an RSVP?


What Does RSVP Mean?

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Simply put, RSVP is a French abbreviation for the phrase ‘Répondez s’il vous plaît’ which means ‘please respond.’
The person who sent the invite, wishes to know if you will be in attendance so they can plan the event accordingly.
RSVPs exist for one distinct reasons. You are expected to give your host a timely response.

Types of Responses for RSVP’S

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There are several methods for responding to RSVPs that would be outlined on an invitation.

01Preprinted RSVP Cards
This is a very basic RSVP method. The cards usually include a yes or no box or other method for clearly stating your attendance.
These may only require your name (if it isn’t included on the actual invitation) and the option to accept or decline.


02RSVP Cards
RSVP cards are blank cards attached to the invitation. These do not have preprinted response options and you will have to write a little note to accept or decline the invitation.
Depending on the formality of the event, simply putting your name and ‘will be/will not be attending’ will suffice. If you share a personal relationship with the host, you can go into more detail.


03No RSVP Card
If the invitation requires you to RSVP but there is no method provided, simply create your own and return it to the sender.


Nowadays, many people are sending evites instead of traditional physical cards. To RSVP to these, there is usually a prompt that will allow you to do so.
If the invitation was sent through a regular email format, all you need to do is reply with an email


05RSVP Over The Phone
If your host invites you over the phone, simply return the call if you did not accept or decline the invitation when immediately asked. This is more common for a casual setting such as birthday parties.



Reasons to Respond to an RSVP

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It allows the planners to:
a. Determine how many persons will be there
b. Acquire enough food and drinks for the correct number of persons
c. Provide adequate seating

RSVP Etiquette

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Now that you know the importance and means of responding to RSVP’s, here’s are more points on the etiquette.


01Try to respond within 48 hours. Do not wait until the ‘RSVP by’ date. This will allow your host to plan accordingly.


02If the invite says ‘regrets only’ that means you should only respond if you cannot attend.


03RSVP in the same way the invitation was given. So, if it was via email, RSVP via email, if it was through a physical invitation card, RSVP using the card provided, unless otherwise stated.


04Do not include another guest on your RSVP unless there is a ‘plus one’ option. This can be considered rude, even if they are your children.


05If you are unsure if you can make it or not, inform your host of your situation.



RSVP Samples

Now that you know what RSVP means, why it is important and general etiquette, it is time to explore a few how to respond to an RSVP sample messages.

How to Respond to an RSVP: Weddings

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An invitation to a wedding requires significant information in response.
Some may ask whether you will attend, whether you will be staying in accommodations, joining the reception as well as the ceremony or more pointed questions such as menu options, allergies, and the plus one.
So we’re starting with basic concepts how to respond to RSVP for weddings.
In case there is no preprinted response template, here are some sample RSVP notes you can use.

01Accepting a Wedding Invite(Formal)
Mr. and Mrs. [insert name of husband] are honored to accept the very gracious invitation to the wedding of [insert name of bride] and [insert name of groom] on [insert date] at [insert time] at [insert venue].


02Declining a Wedding Invite (Formal)
Mr. Kaleb Walters regrets that he will be unable to attend the wedding of [insert name of bride] and [insert name of groom] on [date] at [insert venue] due to circumstances out of his control. All the best!


03Declining a Wedding Invite (Informal)
Dear Patrice and Giovanni,
Billy and I are so sorry that we will be unable to attend your wedding on July thirteenth. We have already accepted an invitation to attend his nieces’ baby shower in Canada, but we will have you in our thoughts on that day.
Best Wishes,


04Canceling an Acceptance (Formal)
If you had already accepted the invite but something came up, you can call and cancel, or write a note or email.
Dear [insert name of the bride and groom],
It is with great regret that I write this letter to inform you that I will not be able to attend the wedding of [insert name of bride] and [insert name of groom] despite having previously accepted.
[Insert your name]


05Canceling a Decline to a Wedding (Formal)
Dear [insert name of the bride and groom],
Despite having previously declined my invitation to your wedding on [insert date] at [insert venue], I am now able to attend. Thankfully, circumstances have changed. Kindly accept this note as a formal acceptance, if I am still able to attend.
Yours truly,
[insert your name]


How to Respond to An RSVP: Conference

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When it comes to how to respond to an RSVP to a conference, the first thing to note is that it will always be a formal response. Here’s how to respond to an RSVP without email prompts:

01Accepting an Invitation to a Conference
Thank you for your email. I accept your invitation to speak at the 7th Annual Women’s Empowerment Conference at The Grey Building on October 2nd, 2019 at 3 pm.


02Declining an Invitation to a Conference
Thank you for inviting me to deliver a speech at the Annual Mining Union Conference in April. However, I will be unable to attend this year. Extend my regards to the attendees.


03Canceling an Acceptance to a Conference
Dear Mr. Golding,
I am honored to have been asked to deliver a speech at the upcoming National Union of Biochemists Conference on July 23rd, 2019 at the New York University in New York City.
However, I hate to inform you that due to the time schedule, and prior commitments, I will be unable to attend.
I do regret that this is the situation, but I was under the impression I would be presenting later in the conference. Presenting during the morning session is in conflict with another commitment I have that day.
I consider such an invitation a great privilege and I deeply regret that I will be unable to make it.
Yours Truly,
Dr. Veronica Baker.


04Canceling a Decline to a Conference
Dear. Mrs. Grayson,
Upon a review of my schedule, I am pleased to inform you that I am now able to attend our company’s yearly Manager’s Conference, provided there is space still available. I am looking forward to being there.
Best Regards,
Mr. C. Elliot.



How to Respond to an RSVP: Birthday Party

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How to respond to an RSVP for birthday parties is easy. Your responses will be on the casual side, since the person inviting you to their birthday is usually a friend.

01Accepting an Invitation to a Birthday Party
Hey Julia!
This is Jacob, Brittany’s father. Thank you for inviting the family to Liam’s birthday party! The kids are all extremely excited to go so you can look out for Brittany and her little brother, along with myself and my wife Sarah.
Looking forward to finally meeting you and your husband!


02Declining an Invitation to a Birthday Party
Hey Whitney, I’m Dalia, Kevin’s mom. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to attend Nina’s birthday party because we already have plans for the day, but we hope you guys have a great party.


03Canceling an Acceptance to a Brithday Party
Hi Evan,
This is Rachel, Alan’s mom. We were so happy to receive an invitation to Timmy’s birthday party but unfortunately, we won’t be able to make it anymore.
Unfortunately, there has been a family emergency, and while the kids were really looking forward to it, we just can’t attend. I’ll send over Timmy’s present before we leave.
Sorry again,


04Canceling a Decline to a Brithday Party
Hey there Bob,
It’s me, Frank. I know I had already RSVP’d saying we can’t come to Phoebe’s birthday party because Lee had a swim meet, but it ended up getting canceled. He’s disappointed but he feels better knowing he won’t miss the party.
See you there!




This guide on how to respond to an RSVP should make anyone a pro at accepting or declining invites. Just remember to determine how formal your response needs to be, before you respond.