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RSVP is an initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît,[1] meaning "Please respond" to require confirmation of an invitation. The initialism "RSVP" is no longer used much in France, where it is considered formal and a bit old-fashioned. In French, the complete sentence "Répondez s'il vous plaît" gives the impression the speaker is begging for an answer.[original research?] 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]

RSVP, regrets only[edit]

The phrase "RSVP, regrets only", - or simply "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 their 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]

Save the date cards[edit]

Prior to 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 a considerable time in the future and/or in a distant location to allow for travel plans, for such events as a wedding, christening, or any other important event.[4]

Please RSVP[edit]

In recent years, the use of RSVP in the English language has spread outside of the discourse of highly formal correspondence and commonly figures in group emails. In this context, the initialism seems to have loosened its tie to its original meaning and is often understood simply as an abbreviation for "reply". Some writers therefore routinely use the phrase "Please RSVP",[citation needed] which is a case of RAS syndrome or a pleonasm.[5]

Modern-day RSVPs[edit]

Now with the age of the internet, mobile phones and other technology RSVPs can come in many forms. Digital RSVPs are becoming fairly common.[6], especially focused on wedding events. Websites like RSVPify[7], WeddingWire[8],[9],and TheKnot[10] allow guests to RSVP online on their website, and websites like Replied App[11] even allow guests to RSVP via text message. These new types of RSVPs allow event planners to save money on stamps and extra envelopes that would have otherwise been used for guests to mail their paper RSVP reply back.


  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. ^ "Invitation Etiquette". The Emily Post Institute, Inc. Retrieved 2012-06-24.[dead link]
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "RSVPify".
  8. ^ "WeddingWire".
  9. ^ "".
  10. ^ "TheKnot".
  11. ^ "Replied App".