Πέμπτη, 12 Νοεμβρίου 2009

What is the meaning of RSVP that is so often seen in invitations?

I hope that this week's tip will benefit hosts and guests alike, because there seems to be a lot of confusion about the meaning of the above term.

Lack of RSVPs - A Growing Problem

I hear more and more often, and have found in my personal experience, that hosts often do not receive firm indications whether guests plan to attend their parties, even if RSVP is clearly printed on the invitation. This could mean either one of two things. First it could mean that rudeness is a growing trend in our society. Or, as I would prefer to believe, people no longer understand what the term means. Assuming the best, and that the decline in RSVP's can be attributed to ignorance and not rudeness, I will clarify this for the record.

What RSVP Means

The term RSVP comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means the host needs a definite head count for the planned event, and needs it by the date specified on the invitation.

Why It's Inconsiderate to Not RSVP

An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for a host including difficulty in planning food quantities, issues relating to minimum guarantees with catering halls, uncertainty over the number of party favors and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things.

So the next time you see RSVP on an invitation you receive, please call your host and respond promptly.

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