How to respond to an invitation: 8 steps (with pictures)

How to respond to an invitation: 8 steps (with pictures)
How to respond to an invitation: 8 steps (with pictures)

When you are invited to a social event, you owe it to yourself to respond quickly and politely, the same way the person in question invited you. This makes it easier for your host to organize the event and shows them your respect and consideration. Here are some ways to respond to an invitation.


Part 1 of 2: Respond

RSVP Step 1

Step 1. Complete the invitation card sent to you for the wedding

Most wedding invitations contain a structured response card.

  • For example, a response card might begin this way: A response is expected no later than July 20, 2014. This is the deadline for giving your response. Always respond before this date, the sooner the better. It is rather rude to respond to a wedding invitation on the deadline day.
  • Under the deadline for returning the response, you will find a field where it will be written " M xxx.

    »In this place, you just have to put your title according to your gender. For example Mr Michel Dupont or Mrs Geneviève Belmont.

  • There will likely also be an option to accept or decline the Invitation. Sometimes this can appear in the form of a space after the mention will participate that you will have to check. Other times it will look like this: "xxx gladly accepts the invitation" or "xxx regrets to decline the invitation. »In this case, all you have to do is tick the appropriate box. You can also leave a short explanation or congratulations.
  • Once the card is completed correctly, send it back to the sender. You will often find a separate envelope with the invitation card.
  • If you received a blank response card, just imitate the template used for the invitation card. Make your name appear in the third person, accept or decline the invitation, and include the date of the wedding. Remember to use formal language.
RSVP Step 2

Step 2. Write a response to a formal or more or less formal invitation

Invitations to important events, such as graduation or baby shower, might not include a standard response. In this kind of situation, it is best to write a response yourself.

  • If you're writing a response to a formal invitation, such as graduation or Bar Mitzvah (בר מצווה), keep the response simple, yet elegant. Write Mr and Mrs Deschamps Michel accept with pleasure the kind invitation of Mr and Mrs Prado Miguel on Saturday April 1st.
  • If you decline the invitation, simply replace gladly accept the invitation with regret not having the opportunity to participate.
  • For slightly less formal invitations, such as birthdays and baby shower, use the basic structure of a regular letter. Your letter will be longer than a normal letter, but it must still be shorter (only a few sentences).
  • For example: Dear Mr Prado, I regret to inform you that I will not be able to be present at the baby shower that you are organizing on December 12, 2014. Unfortunately, I have to attend a conference as part of my work that same day and I cannot escape it. Although I could not be present, I took care to purchase a gift for Oscar which will be delivered on the day of the party.
RSVP Step 3

Step 3. Respond by email to an invitation

We usually send email invitations for less formal events, such as children's birthdays or dinners with friends. Sometimes an email is just the simpler alternative to a paper invitation.

  • Simply open the email that contains the email invitation. Click on View invitation. This will redirect you to an electronic card from which you can respond.
  • Choose yes, maybe or no. You can also add comments to it. Take the opportunity to ask relevant questions, such as who is coming or what to wear to get a better idea of ​​the decisions to be made.
  • Sometimes certain formal events, such as weddings, will also send you an invitation in the form of an email. This method is generally used to reduce the cost of invitations, to reduce stress or to limit the use of paper. In this case, you must respond formally if you include comments.
  • If you're having trouble responding to an email invitation, you can use your phone to call the person and tell them whether or not you're going to their party or meeting.
RSVP Step 4

Step 4. Make a phone call to respond to the invitation

The phone is usually answered for smaller invitations or evenings with friends. However, some more formal invitations may require you to respond by phone.

  • If you are responding to a formal invitation, remember to respect etiquette. Even though the response to the invitation might turn into a normal conversation, be careful how you use the French language. Do not use not slang or other jargon.
  • For example, you could start the conversation by saying Hello, is that Mr. Baptiste? Once he has answered, you can continue Hello, Mr. Baptiste, I am Vincent. I'm calling to confirm our attendance at your 50th wedding anniversary. I can't believe you've been married for so long. I look forward to celebrating this event with you.
  • Keep it short. While answering over the phone can also include a little chat and jokes, try not to make the conversation last longer than necessary. Your host is probably waiting for the response from other guests!
  • For informal invitations, especially if they are from friends, you can use more casual language. The length of the conversation will also depend on your relationship with that person.

Part 2 of 2: Heal the response

RSVP Step 5

Step 1. Whatever the answer, you should always thank the person inviting you for thinking of you

Remember that this person loves you and has done you the honor of inviting you to an event that means a lot to them.

  • Although it is not mandatory, try to give a valid reason for declining the invitation. It's a friendly way to let your host know that other events already require your presence.
  • Go the extra mile to find a gift for your host. Not only is it tradition for special occasions, but it is also a sign of recognition. There is no need to break the bank buying an expensive item, as long as the heart is in it, your host will appreciate the gift.
RSVP Step 6

Step 2. Respond as soon as possible

Put yourself in your host's shoes to understand that their time is precious. Late responses will require more time and effort that could have been used in preparing for the event.

  • Knowing the number of guests in advance, especially for events that require a lot of planning like a wedding, will put less pressure and less work on your host's shoulders.
  • Your punctuality will not only help your host, it will also be a reflection of the respect and care you pay them.
RSVP Step 7

Step 3. Mention the number of people you are going to bring

If your host has offered you the option of bringing guests, give them a specific number.

  • Formal invitations usually allow you to bring in one more person. Only come with your girlfriend or your partner if you have already confirmed coming with someone.
  • Informal invitations can also let you come with several people. Either way, you should always respond as early as possible. Avoid coming with surprise guests or too many guests.
  • Avoid ambiguous estimates, like a few or two or three.
RSVP Step 8

Step 4. Know how to edit or cancel a reply

It is not well to go back on your commitments, but it sometimes happens that unexpected circumstances do not allow you to attend an event that you have confirmed.

  • If you have been injured or fallen ill recently, if a family member has passed away, or if you have a problem at work, it is okay to cancel your confirmation.
  • Call your host immediately if a last minute complication occurs. The phone is the fastest way to reach someone and it will save your host from unpleasant surprises.
  • Don't miss never an event if you have already confirmed your presence without notifying your host. It shows both your contempt and indifference to your host's efforts.
  • Don't cancel because you have better things to do. This is extremely rude and completely lacking in consideration.


  • If you have specific dietary needs (a need is different from a preference!), Talk to your host ahead of time and offer to bring a dish that you can eat. Your host might accept your offer, or they might offer to cook something themselves to your liking.
  • Some hosts prefer to go through online systems such as so that their guests can answer directly from their phones or computer. Online invitation response systems were initially reserved for informal events, but later extended to more formal events such as weddings and birthday parties. Guests can choose their meal, enter the number of people who will be attending, and leave personal responses that can then be recorded on a CD. This option is easier to use if your friends or family members still take a long time to respond to traditional invitations. Whether you use formal or informal means, the most important thing is to make up your mind quickly and not change your mind.
  • If you don't like giving to charity and you get an invitation to such a party, respond by stating whether or not you will be coming, don't say yes so you don't attend the party later. You should be able to tell the difference between a sincere invitation from a company or charity with which you have a lasting relationship, an invitation that should then grab your attention and vulgar spam sent by a company or organization that you do not have. 've never heard of it. You don't have to respond to invitations from groups seeking their personal enrichment, they abuse people's kindness and you can ignore them without getting yourself into any trouble.
  • If you want to bring people with you, read the invitation again. She could mention the possibility of bringing guests, in which case you can answer: hi Jeanne, I would love to come and my sister will be free too, thank you for thinking of us. If not, you can call the host and ask about it. Consider what type of person your host is first, as you might embarrass them by asking to bring another person with you. Wedding guest lists are often run down to the millimeter to save money, your host might turn down someone new on the list. If the invitation mentions and a friend or and a person of your choice, it means that you are authorized to come accompanied. If the invitation is addressed to you personally, it means that it is only for you. This is a great opportunity to meet other people and be present for your friend or the person who is throwing the party. Never bring people who were not explicitly mentioned on the invitation card, even your children, unless you have clarified the situation with your host first.

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