On its way to becoming a verb, something funny happened to the French acronym RSVP that stands for, ‘Répondez vous s’il vous plaît.’ meaning ‘please respond’ - people stopped responding. And it’s not because they weren’t fluent in French.
A prominent hostess in San Francisco can’t believe how invitees think it’s enough to call and say, “I’m rsvping.” “What they’re saying is that they are responding,” she said. “That doesn’t tell me if they are attending or not.”
When someone invites you to a party or a wedding, rsvp isn’t on the invitation because it came with the printing deal. It’s on there so that you can let the hostess know if you are going to attend the event or not. Your response lets her know how much she’ll need to order or rent to make sure that guests are comfortable and well served.
Wedding invitations usually come with response cards and stamped envelopes. Yet, brides and wedding planners still have to call guests and ask if they’re coming. “Oh, I thought I had to send the card back only if I’m coming to the wedding,” one invited guest said to a planner.
“I couldn’t have made it easier,” explained the hostess in San Francisco now planning a bridal shower. “There was a designated phone number and an email address on the invitation. Half still haven’t responded.” Instead of making plans, she has to make phone calls to those who think they’ve responded and to those who haven’t at all.
The next time you receive the honor of an invitation, honor it. If you can’t make it, it’s all right to say so but not the day before. If you have pending plans, you can let your host know and give them an answer in a timely fashion. When there’s a stamped envelope, that means that there’s a required visit to a mail box in your near future. Whatever you do, don’t call and just say, “I’m rsvping.” That’s a real, non, non.