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Guide on How to RSVP via Email to an Event

Guide on How to RSVP via Email to an Event

In the era of text messaging and social media, traditional customs such as RSVPing to an event may seem old-fashioned. However, regardless of whether you receive a paper event invitation or a GEVME invitation via your favorite social media site, asking for and providing an RSVP response is normal. So are you wondering how to RSVP to an event via email?

What does RSVP mean?

RSVP is an abbreviation for the French phrase “répondez s’il vous plait”, which means “please answer”. Traditionally, invitations sent through the mail include a printed envelope and an answer card to facilitate the recipient’s response. This is one of the ways to handle an RSVP wedding invitation, and the cost of the return postage and additional printing is worth it so the happy couple has an exact number count for their big day.

RVSP vs regrets only

Depending on the instructions in the invitation, you can send an email to the sender with the RSVP, which saves time and money. Even if the email response is acceptable, you may have questions about how to format your response: RVSP or Regrets only. The phrase “RSVP, regrets only”, or simply “Regrets only”, is a popular modern variation that implies “If you do not reply, it will be taken as an acceptance”.  The phrase “Regrets only” refers to the assumption that a declination will be worded with some variation of “We regret that we cannot attend…”.

RSVP Types

An RSVP to an event by email may be carried out in several ways. There are three critical elements to any event RSVP: the RSVP deadline, guest name(s), and reply. There are also formal and informal RSVP emails. Options include RSVP via email, text, or direct message on social networks, depending on your existing relationship with the sender and how you choose to send the original invitation.

When the RVSP should be sent

Make your RSVP date two to three weeks before your event date to allow enough time for you to get a final headcount to the caterer (one week before) and finalise your seating chart. A formal RVSP to an event is done in the case of a conference, meeting, summit, wedding, etc. Non-formal RSVPs are also sent to make sure that everyone is coming.

If you think you need to add an explanation for your absence, do so. Often, knowing in advance how many people will arrive is more important for the organiser of the event than the reasons why they’re not coming.

Events that require a reply

A conference or a wedding, birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate parties, etc., require a response that is both formal and cordial at the same time, so make sure to use an email requesting an RSVP. Remember to ask for a response to any invitation that requires one and RSVP to any dinner party or another event that requires planning based on the number of guests.

What happens if you don’t RSVP?

Indeed, some people forget, while others procrastinate and then feel guilty, so they delay even longer in answering the RSVP email for an event. Too many hosts on the non-receiving end of an RSVP, it seems as if an invitee is simply waiting for something “better” to possibly come along. Event planners may also call those who do not promptly or appropriately email reply to an RSVP.

How to RSVP via email to an event

Whether your RSVP response should be formal or not depends on the tone of the invitation itself.

Formal RSVP

The answer to a conference invitation is usually more formal than a barbecue invitation with your friends. You must tell the person if you’re coming and bringing a guest.

Informal RSVP

If the invitation is unexpected or if it is convenient for you to personalise your answer, you can use informal language.

How to thank your host

“Richard and Rebecca Rogers are happy to accept (or regret that they cannot accept) your kind invitation to (the name of the event) on (the date of the event). Thank you for hosting this event.” This provides all the information the host needs to add you or check your name off on the attendance list.


Even in an email format, an official response should follow the wording of the invitation.  When creating an RSVP email and during the invitation design process, you may get to the RSVP  portion of your email package and discover that you haven’t given much thought to how this element should be worded.

For planners

Use email cards accompanied by an envelope with a postage stamp. It can also be a two-sided postcard, or you can simply indicate a website for guests to interact with or a phone number for guests to call and provide their responses.

Creating an RSVP

Capture your event details, customise your email messaging, design and style your invite as you wish, with no programming skills required, via the GEVME email marketing platform. Your database will be updated with every response to your event you receive through this intuitive email system.

Writing instructions on how to respond

Make it easy for guests to RSVP. Be clear in your request, and be prepared to nudge them. Use a polite but firm tone. Avoid giving them too tight of a deadline.

Defining the deadline for a response

Write an RSVP to an event with a deadline that is not too soon and not too far away.

Cancelling or changing an RSVP

Changing a “yes” to a “no” is only acceptable in the case of illness or injury, a death in the family, or some other extremely serious occasion.

Sample RSVP email

To understand the specifics of RSVP writing and applications, look through these RVSP to an event samples:


Power events around the globe with the help of GEVME

GEVME event management platform allows managing millions of guests around the globe. Send guests digital invitations, or embed your RSVP on your website and GEVME will make tracking attendance a breeze.

Use a single tool for specific RSVP needs.

Use GEVME’s fully integrated event management and marketing software to power every step of your event life cycle. Use a single tool for specific RSVP needs, or take advantage of select features by customising your emails. Your guests can visit your online RSVP website and complete your customised online RSVP in minutes!

GEVME is the fully integrated platform that makes your event lifecycle happy. With advanced apps for each event management process, the platform helps you craft a custom event toolkit. Request a DEMO to experience the automation of website development, online registration, onsite check-in and related services.

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