Part of my work in the office is inviting guests to events. Actually, I just assist the event officer in doing so. We start by sending fax invites and eventually, send formal invites either through courier or our liaison officers.
When the invites have been sent, we call up the guests to ask if they can make it to the event or not. This is when the problem arises. Most of the guests take a long time to respond. Some even don’t respond at all; they’ll just surprise you by showing up during the event proper.
R.S.V.P. stands for a French phrase, “répondez, s’il vous plaît.” In English, it simply means “please reply.” I don’t know if it’s just us, Filipinos, who don’t RSVP or a lot of other nationalities do the same. It seems to me that it has been a common practice here.
R.S.V.P. is important just because the host needs to know the number of guests that should be expected to arrive. It’s also needed by the other entities working on the event: event organizer, caterer, support staff, etc. It may be a hassle to some to respond to invites but believe me, you are doing yourself and your host a favor by responding to invites promptly. Etiquette dictates so, too. 🙂