Also known as a response card, the RSVP is often included in the standard wedding invitation and is intended for the caterers and wedding planners. It tells those organizing your wedding how many guests will be attending, which translates into how many guests will be eating and drinking and sitting at how many tables.
From the French, repondez-vous, s’il vous plait, this phrase was adopted as a part of American wedding invitation etiquette and replaced “are you coming or not?” What is a French phrase doing in an American wedding invitation? That’s a very good question and here comes the answer.
The phrase actually dates back to 19th-century America when enormous fortunes were made from burgeoning industries; the railroads, drilling and mining particularly. Names like Rockefeller, Carnegie and Vanderbilt were carved into memory during this colorful time when it became more and more fashionable to bring the culture of Europe to the new country. New money brought new manners like calling cards, carriage rides, formal dinners and a new language. Formal invitations became required etiquette as did RSVP.
This tradition has carried over into today’s world despite the automated, dynamic and rush-rush qualities associated with everyday life. So take your time selecting your RSVP cards (and your wedding invites for that matter) for they mark an important passage in life.
Get fashionably angry however, if those you have invited take their sweet time in sending the RSVP cards back to you.
This is how you SHOULD feel when someone doesn't return their RSVP card
That is impolite even by old world standards.
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