How to ask invitees to respond to an invitation (RSVP)

How to ask invitees to respond to an invitation (RSVP)
How to ask invitees to respond to an invitation (RSVP)

It can take a lot of time, money, and effort to throw a party that you have planned. Knowing how many guests will be there is an important part of the preparations. However, it can be difficult these days for people to actually respond to an invitation with a simple “yes” or “no”. Despite this fact, there are techniques you can use to increase your chances of having the confirmations you want in order to make your party a success.


Part 1 of 2: Send an invitation with confirmation request (RSVP)

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 1

Step 1. Define the acronym RSVP to avoid confusion

The initials R.S.V.P means "Answer, please" or "Answer expected please". Unfortunately, guests might not understand them if you don't define them, as in some cases the acronym also means "Please turn back". When formulating your invitation be sure to define the initials to ensure that your request is understood.

Another option is to directly write “Thank you for confirming your attendance, please. "

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 2

Step 2. Remind your guests why their response is important

When you get an email invitation in your inbox, it's easy to ignore or glance at it without really realizing all the planning and effort the organizer puts into it.. You can require confirmation from your guests as follows.

  • In order to ensure that there is enough food and drink for all, please respond to this invitation.
  • Please confirm your attendance at our party so that we can prepare seats for everyone.
Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 3

Step 3. Arrange the information clearly on your invitation

If there are too many confusing texts or words on your invitation, your diners may misinterpret its purpose. They may think that you are only telling them that the party is going to be held and that it is not an RSVP invitation. To express your request in a relevant way, you can proceed like this.

Write only the necessary information on the card, such as the name of the organizer, the location of the reception, the time it will be held, the reason for the party, etc

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 4

Step 4. Set a deadline for responses

Make sure to draw attention to the deadline for responding to the invitation so that it is noticeable. You need to set a somewhat flexible deadline, as it's common for some latecomers to respond after the deadline has passed. To highlight this information, you can:

  • use a flashy design,
  • write all the words in capital letters, in italics, underline them or use a special font.
Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 5

Step 5. Verify your contact details

A simple typo or outdated autofill settings in your browser could redirect your guests to a surprise party at someone else's house. Check your contact details several times before sending out the invitations.

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 6

Step 6. Ask the guest to respond only when absent

In many cases, the host may request to respond only if one would be absent at the event. Make sure that the phrase “RSVP, only in case of absence” is highlighted on the invitation to avoid any misunderstanding of the type of responses you want to have.

Part 2 of 2: make sure guests respond

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 7

Step 1. Send out the invitations early enough

You might even consider sending them by email so that your diners can save the date. Doing so will increase the chances that your guests will be able to put your event on their calendars and remember it every time they consult their calendar.

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 8

Step 2. Use strategic timing when sending out invitations

This technique is especially useful when sending the invitations electronically. If you send them directly to your guests' email accounts, do so on working days in the evening when they are less cornered at work and are more likely to see new message notifications.

Another strategy is to send them early in the morning or late at night. In doing so, there's a good chance that the message will be among the very first that your guest will see in their inbox

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 9

Step 3. Allow your guests to respond through multiple channels

Some of your guests might feel more comfortable responding to you by email, while others would prefer to send their responses by text. By considering who you've invited and their favorite communication channels, you increase your chances of getting responses from them.

For large-scale events like weddings, birthdays, and reunions that require invitations to be sent out physically, you might require a response to the confirmation request with the mailing envelope

Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 10

Step 4. Generate response through a scarcity situation

Studies have proven that the human brain responds to the apparent shortage and you can use that to your advantage. You could express yourself in these terms:

  • "We ask you to answer so that there is no shortage of cupcakes for your children",
  • “Please answer, as places are limited with us. We could make our arrangements to satisfy everyone. "
Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 11

Step 5. Send your invitation with a gift

By accompanying your invitation with a very small gift, you increase your chances of getting a response from your guests. You don't have to choose an extravagant present to achieve this effect. You can have your invitation card accompanied by:

  • a brooch bought in a store
  • a ball
  • a sticker
Ask Guests to RSVP on Invitations Step 12

Step 6. Offer a prize pool

The prospect of being able to win a free gift can be a great motivator and can help keep your event in the memory of your guests. When sending out the invitations, you could let them know that when they respond, they will be entered into a raffle where they will win:

  • a bottle of wine
  • a gift worth 5 €


  • Before handwriting the invitation, make sure you have neat handwriting that is easy to read.
  • Create a border around the entirety of your invitation. The personal touches you add to your box will make it stand out and make it more memorable.

Popular by topic