How to fill out an RSVP card.

A woman writing on a piece of paper to fill out an RSVP card.

Tiny but crucial, RSVP cards have a lot of impact on planning. Learn how to fill out RSVP cards properly.

When an RSVP card arrives in the mail, it’s often a sign of fun times ahead. Many hosts use RSVP cards for formal occasions like weddings, but they also can be used for baby showers, bachelorette parties, retirement dinners, and more. While the style of cards can vary, most follow the same general approach and only take a few minutes to fill out.

An RSVP means a reply is requested.

The acronym RSVP stands for “répondez, s’il vous plaît,” which means “please reply” in French. When you receive an RSVP card, it’s a polite request for your response. No matter the type of event, whether it’s a wedding, a dinner party, or a business function, the purpose of the RSVP card is to let the host know whether you can attend.

Ignoring the RSVP request not only disregards proper etiquette but also creates inconvenience for the host in terms of planning and making necessary arrangements. Your reply is eagerly awaited and greatly appreciated, so take a moment to inform the host about your attendance or inability to attend.

Key elements — how to fill out an RSVP card.

To ensure a seamless and courteous response, you should keep a few key elements in mind when filling out your RSVP card. From confirming your attendance to indicating the number of guests and selecting food preferences, each step plays a crucial role in helping the host plan a memorable event. Here’s how to fill out your RSVP card:

  1. Double-check the envelope. The envelope indicates the invitees. If the host is okay with you bringing a guest, you’ll see your name and “+1” or “+ guest.” If you have children and the envelope only lists the adults, assume it’s an adults-only affair.
  2. Add the name(s). Fill out only the names of those who are attending. Some cards may have an “M” before the line, which allows you to write in the title of Mr., Mrs., Ms., or Miss, then your name.
  3. Write the number of guests. In the accept or decline box, write the number of guests attending.
  4. Make your food selection. If the card offers food options, check the box with your preference. If another guest is attending with you, indicate preferences with initials.
  5. Finish with a personal note. A response card is a bit different than a fillable form, so do take a moment to add something personal. A handwritten sentence of well-wishes is a nice touch and conveys your excitement.

When you finish, scan to PDF with a free scanner app so that you have a record of your response and pop the card into the pre-addressed return envelope. Whether you accept with pleasure or decline with regret, make sure to send your reply as soon as possible.

Tips for RSVP etiquette.

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