RSVP Meaning: What Does RSVP Mean and Stand for?

You’ve probably seen the word “RSVP” on an invitation, but have you ever wondered what it means? RSVP is an abbreviation for the French phrase “répondez s’il vous plaît,” which translates to “please reply” in English. When you receive an invitation with RSVP, it is a polite request from the host for you to let them know whether or not you’ll be attending the event.

In this article, we’ll explore the history behind this phrase, its proper usage, and even some tips on when and how to respectfully respond to an invitation with an RSVP request. With this information, you’ll be prepared to handle any RSVP situation with ease.

RSVP Meaning

What Does RSVP Mean?

RSVP is an abbreviation derived from the French phraserépondez s’il vous plaît,” which translates to “please respond” in English. It is commonly used on invitations for events such as weddings, parties, or conferences to request that the invitee confirms their attendance. RSVP serves as a polite way of asking guests to let the host know if they plan to join the event or not. Being aware of the number of guests attending an event enables the host to make proper arrangements for food, seating, and other logistics.

Origin of RSVP

The expression ‘rsvp’ comes from the French phrase, ‘Repondez s’il vous plait’ and means ‘please respond’.

The proper way to decline an ‘rsvp’ is with a letter saying, ‘I regret to inform you I must decline.’ and/or ‘RSVP, regrets only.’ This is highly recommended for doing if you don’t plan on attending the event. Most commonly an unanswered ‘rsvp’ is considered to be a simple way of accepting. Sending your regrets is the only true way to stop confusion if you don’t plan on attending.

Related Terms to RSVP

  • RSVP Regrets Only: This term indicates that you only need to respond if you cannot attend the event. If you can attend, no response is required. This method is often used when the host assumes that most of the invitees will be able to make it to the event.
  • RSVP by [Date]: This indicates that the host requires a response by a specific date so that they can finalize the arrangements. It’s important to reply as soon as possible, ideally before the given date, to give the host an accurate headcount.
  • RSVP for [Number]: Sometimes, the invitation may mention a specific number of people, implying that you can bring guests along. Make sure to clarify the number of people attending in your response to help the host plan better.

Usage in Modern Communication

In today’s fast-paced world, RSVP has become a significant part of event planning, ensuring that hosts have a clear idea of how many guests to expect. The term RSVP stands for the French phrase “Répondez, s’il vous plaît”, which translates to “please respond” in English. It’s commonly used in invitations to request a confirmation of attendance from the invitees.

In modern communication, you’ll often see RSVP on various types of event invitations, such as weddings, birthday parties, and baby showers. Including RSVP in digital invitations, like emails or e-vites, has become increasingly popular, making it easier for guests to confirm their attendance with just a click.

Social media platforms have also joined the trend, which now allows you to create event pages where your guests can respond with their RSVP status. Taking advantage of these digital platforms is a convenient way to manage your event planning.

To make the most of RSVP in modern communication, here are a few tips:

  • Clarify the response method: With the variety of communication channels available today, be sure to specify how guests should respond to your RSVP request, such as through email, phone, or social media platforms.
  • Include a deadline: To help your planning process, set a clear deadline for your guests to respond. This way, you can have an accurate headcount and make the necessary arrangements.
  • Emphasize the importance of responding: Politely remind your guests about the significance of RSVP-ing to your event. This will help ensure that they understand the need to confirm their attendance or send their regrets promptly.

Conversation Examples of RSVP

Here are some ways this internet slang word is used.

Example 1:

You receive a beautiful wedding invitation in the mail and after opening it you see that it says, ‘Please RSVP.’

Many will do this for weddings and large catered events to ensure they have plenty of food for everyone coming and if you don’t respond back with a yes, more than likely you won’t be welcomed at said event.

Example 2:

  • Texter 1: Hey did you send June an rsvp?
  • Texter 2: No I changed my mind.
  • Texter 1: Me too, but I still said I was going.
  • Texter 2: Well sounds like you have to go.
  • Texter 2: Or call her and get out of it.

Here we have a couple of friends talking about a party and if they had told the host whether or not they were coming.

An ‘rsvp’ wasn’t sent to them, they are simply having a conversation asking each other if they had told the host they were coming or not and the fastest way to ask someone that question especially in a text would be, ‘did you rsvp?’.

Example 3

  • Company News Letter: Office party this weekend, all must RSVP by 8 pm.

A simple letter sent to all employees telling them to say yes or no to attending the office party by no later than 8 pm.

More about RSVP Terminology

RSVP Synonyms

First off, a commonly used alternative for RSVP is the simple and straightforward “please reply.” This phrase clearly conveys the same message, asking the invitee to inform the organizer of their attendance intentions.

Another synonym for RSVP could be “please answer,” which has a similar meaning, inquiring about the guest’s decision to attend or not to attend the event. It’s essential to make your response timely and considerate, so the host can plan accordingly.

You might also encounter the phrase “répondez s’il vous plaît” in full, especially in formal invitations. This French expression directly corresponds to RSVP and maintains the etiquette of asking for a response. It’s advisable to familiarize yourself with this synonym to be well-prepared in any situation.

Other Meanings

  • Resource Reservation Protocol
  • Retired and Senior Volunteer Program
  • Rapid Serial Visual Presentation
  • Revenue Sharing Value Plan
  • Recycling Student Volunteer Project
  • Reserve Seats Via Phone
  • Resource Reservation Protocol
  • Regional Smoking Vehicle Program (Texas)

RSVP Meaning Infographic


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of RSVP on a wedding card?

RSVP on a wedding card serves a vital role in helping couples plan their big day. It stands for “répondez s’il vous plait,” which means “please respond” in French. When you see RSVP on a wedding card, it’s a polite request from the couple for you to let them know whether or not you can attend their special day. By responding promptly, you can help them finalize their guest list and make important arrangements for seating, catering, and other event details.

How to properly respond to an RSVP invitation?

When you receive an RSVP invitation, it’s essential to respond in a timely manner. If a response card is provided, simply fill it out with your name and attendance information, typically indicating the number of guests you will be bringing, if applicable. If no formal response card is included, you can reply via email or phone call, following the instructions provided on the invitation. Remember to be clear and concise with your response, and double-check any dietary restrictions or special requests.

What does RSVP mean in the context of an event?

In the context of an event, RSVP is a request for guests to confirm their attendance. Event organizers use this information to plan various aspects of the event, such as seating arrangements, food quantities, and even event room capacities. Promptly responding to RSVP requests not only helps the event run smoothly, but it also shows your respect and consideration for the host’s planning efforts.

Is there a difference between RSVP and Regrets Only?

Yes, there is a difference between RSVP and Regrets Only. RSVP requires you to respond whether you are attending or not, while Regrets Only means that you only need to respond if you cannot attend the event. Essentially, Regrets Only simplifies the process, as the host assumes that you will attend unless you send your regrets.

How to pronounce RSVP correctly?

To pronounce RSVP correctly, you can say each letter separately: “R-S-V-P.” Alternatively, you can pronounce it by saying the full French phrase “répondez s’il vous plait,” which sounds like “reh-spawn-day see voo play.”

What is the significance of RSVP in Outlook calendar invitations?

In Outlook calendar invitations, the RSVP function helps to streamline event planning and organization. When you receive an invitation, you can choose to accept, tentatively accept, or decline the event. Your response is then automatically updated in the organizer’s calendar, providing them with an updated attendee list. By utilizing the RSVP feature, you can also keep track of your commitments, ensuring efficient schedule management for both you and the event organizer. 

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