RSVP is an acronym for the French phrase "respondez s'il vous plait." That translates to please reply.
If you receive an invitation you should reply as soon as possible. This could mean the day you get the invitation or a few days later. I always try to reply right away but sometimes it takes me a few days to co-ordinate with my husband, Justin's, schedule.
Some invitations provide a phone number or email to reply to. Others include a card that should be filled out and mailed back in. If you are sending out an invitation and you are using a reply card, you should provide a pre-addressed stamped envelope for your guests convenience.
Many evite and Paperless Post invitations can be replied to simply by clicking the appropriate box! Many of our hosts have made it as easy as possible to reply and we still don't want to commit.
When you reply to a party you must follow through. In other words, don't reply no and then show up and don't reply yes and then skip out. Justin and I accidentally did this one time for a seated dinner and I am still so embarrassed! (Sorry Kristi and Tom!!!) All of the sudden we got a flood of emails from friends asking if we were alright and where we were! It was awful! I called the hostess as soon as I realized what I had done and tried to make a dinner date with her and her hubby so that we could celebrate the occasion with them. I still owe them that dinner!
If you get a formal wedding invitation in the mail and it does not have a reply card in it then you are expected to send a note to the return address on the invitation accepting or declining the invitation.