REPLIES TO INVITATIONS
Courtesy demands a response to invitations for
brunches, luncheons, and dinners within 24 hours.
Follow this courtesy in consideration of the host or
hostess who must make all arrangements on the basis
of the number attending or invite others in case of
regret. Replies to invitations not involving a meal
should be sent within 48 hours.
Never answer a dinner invitation conditionally or
ask the hostess if you can reply later on.
definite acceptance or refusal at once. If you accept,
do not permit anything to prevent your attendance
except the most compelling emergency. Unmarried
officers should never assume that an invitation
includes a guest of their own selection unless the
invitation so indicates.
FORMAL INVITATION REPLIES
Generally, formal invitations include a telephone
number for R.S.V.P.s (a French phrase, repondez sil
vous plait, meaning please reply). If an address is
given for an R.S.V.P., respond with a short note. If an
invitation asks for an R.S.V.P., do not ignore it. The
custom is growing in the United States of indicating
Please reply to . . . or Telephone reply to . . .
instead of R.S.V.P. This practice urges a reply, which
thereby encourages promptness.
When sending acceptances or regrets in reply to
formal invitations, write them in longhand with black
ink on fine-quality, undecorated, white note paper.
They should follow the form and wording of the
invitation. An acceptance should specify the date,
time, and place if other than the hosts usual
residence. A regret should mention only the date.
Stating the general reason for declining an invitation
is not necessary, but is in good taste. Figures 7-2 and
7-3 are examples of formal handwritten acceptances
and regrets. (These two examples are presented in
script for purposes of clarity.)
INFORMAL INVITATION REPLIES
Informal invitations often may omit the R.S.V.P.
entirely or require only a telephone reply. When an
informal invitation requests a written reply, write it in
the same degree of formality as the invitation on a
calling card, an informal card, or a personal note.
EXPRESSION OF THANKS
Seldom observed is the formal practice of the
guests leaving cards at the hostess home within
Figure 7-1.Informal invitation.
Figure 7-2.Acceptance for dinner. (Handwritten)
Figure 7-3.Regret for dinner. (Handwritten)