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RSVP is an initialism derived from the French phrase "Répondez s'il vous plaît",[1] meaning "Please respond" (literally "Respond, if it pleases you"), to require confirmation of an invitation. The initialism "RSVP" is no longer used much in France, where it is considered formal and old-fashioned. In France, it is now more common to use "Réponse attendue avant le ...", meaning "[Your] answer is expected before ...". In addition, the French initialism "SVP" is frequently used to represent "S'il vous plaît" ("Please").[2]


The phrase "RSVP, regrets only" or "Regrets only", is a popular modern variation that implies "if you do not reply, that will be taken as an acceptance." More specifically, if most invitations can be assumed to be accepted, a "regrets only" RSVP will reduce the communication required by both the host and the guests. The phrase "Regrets only" refers to the assumption that a declination will be worded with some variation of "We regret we cannot attend ...".[3]

Before sending the RSVP invitation, the host may mail out a "save the date" card to advise the date and location of the celebration. This may be used when the event will be held considerably in the future and/or in a distant location to allow for travel plans, such applies to weddings, christenings, or any other important events.[4]

Modern-day RSVPs[edit]

In recent years, digital RSVPs have become common, particularly for wedding invitations.[5] In this context, the initialism seems to have loosened its tie to its original meaning. Some people use the phrase "Please RSVP",[6] which is a case of RAS syndrome (redundancy) or a pleonasm, as "s'il vous plait" means "please".[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rsvp : Définition simple et facile du dictionnaire". (in French). Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  2. ^ "Svp : Définition simple et facile du dictionnaire". (in French). Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  3. ^ "RSVP vs. Regrets Only". Invitation Do's and Don'ts.
  4. ^ "21st Century Wedding Trends". The Emily Post Institute, Inc. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  5. ^ Alford, Henry (2013-11-08). "How the Internet Has Changed the R.S.V.P." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  6. ^ Hallemann, Caroline (22 June 2017). "The Etiquette Mistakes You Didn't Know You Were Making". Town & Country. Archived from the original on 25 July 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  7. ^ Alford, Henry (2015-06-12). "The Aspirational R.S.V.P.: Saying Yes When You Mean No". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-03-12.