Choosing your Invitations
Your invitation should match the style of your celebration. Is it formal, semi-formal or a casual backyard get together?
Your invitation provides the details of the celebration as well as what to expect at the party. A casual get together? A wedding? A corporate? A birthday party for your husband of 20 years??
When choosing your invitation, remember you already have a theme -- it's a celebration!
So is the celebration for a man or a woman, is it a birthday, a wedding, an anniversary or a baby shower for a friend?
What are their hobbies or interests? What's their favorite cocktail? Is it a summer pool party? These are questions to ask when choosing your invitation.
What to Include on Invitations
You've found the perfect invitation for your occasion, but what do you put on it? Below is a list of the details to check for when you compose and order your party invitations:
Include the occasion you are celebrating.
(the birthday person, the mother-to-be, the bride and groom)
or if it is formal, "Saturday, the twenty-ninth of August."
Look at your calendar to make sure as in this example, the 29th of August is really on a Saturday.
When you include the year after the date, "August 29, 2016" is correct
"August 29th, 2016" is NOT correct - the "th" or "nd" is only used when a date is not followed by the year.
For a formal event, include the year and spell it out:
"two thousand and sixteen" instead of "2016."
For for formal events, spell out the time such as:
"six o'clock in the evening"
"eleven o'clock in the morning"
with little "o" and "c" on the word "o'clock".
Before 6:00 p.m., use "in the afternoon"
After 6:00 p.m., use "in the evening"
If the party is at a home, you can use:
"at the home of Dan Robinson"
Zip codes are not needed for on-line driving directions or GPS directions. Your zip code is usually on the return address of the envelope if it is needed for any reason, but please, don't print it on your invitations.
"Hosted by Sally Smith"
"Given by Denise Dunne"
Do not use "Regrets Only" if you need an accurate count of who is coming to the party for the caterer, to know how much food, drinks, party ware to buy. Using regrets only might surprise you as you will have to guess or assume if every one is coming or no one is coming to your party.
It is not necessary to specify a dress code on formal invitations-the event should be the clue as to the appropriate attire, but "black tie preferred" or "white tie" can be incuded in small print at the bottom of invitations and will be appreciated by guests so they arrive appropriately attired.
Once you have your invitation wording written down or typed, proof read, proof read, proof read!!
We can't say it too many times. Proof read several times for spelling mistakes and/or forgotten information! It might be a good idea to have a friend read it to make sure it's perfect!
Wedding Invitation Etiquette Questions Answered:
Is it ok to send save the dates to part of invite list?
In today's economy, everyone is trying to cut costs and save money. A Save the Date card can help you get an idea of who is planning on coming to your event or wedding. You should treat a save the date card the same as you would an invitation -- you need to send them to everyone you intend to invite. "
After you've sent the save the date cards, you will probably get some informal feedback as to who will and will not be able to attend your wedding so might be able to use that information to help you budget. As the save the date cards are an informal notice, I would still send everyone on your save the date list a wedding invitation as that is when you ask invited guests to RSVP and you will then have your final head count for your wedding or event.
Do you announce where you are registered on your wedding announcement card?
It is not proper to include any gift information on your wedding invitations, save the date card, or any other pre-wedding event invitations. Let your parents, wedding party, close friends or persons throwing you a shower, know where you are registered so they can tell guests that ask, call or RSVP to an event.
It has become popular for couples to have a wedding website - this is a great place to put your registry information. You can then give your wedding website link to people to get more information about your registry, directions to your events, hotel information, and more about you as a couple.
When in doubt, it is more discreet to add a link address to your wedding website than it is to print something that makes guests think you've stated "We are registered at everyplace under the sun, so bring gifts!" If your wedding website address is superlong, consider using a URL shortening service such as bit.ly to shorten a long link to something manageable. If you don't like the link that is automatically created, you are allowed to customize it.
How do you state "No Children invited?
It is socially incorrect to mention "no children allowed" on invitations. The proper way to inform a household who is invited is on your envelopes. The person(s) listed on the outer envelope such as "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" is who is invited to the event or "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Miss Amanda Smith" indicating that the Smith's daughter is also invited.
When it comes to wording your invitations, it seems anything goes now days, but there are still some rules that should be followed.
Use......................... Don't use:
the birth of their son..................................... birth of our son
Smith & Co. invites you to their ......................Smith & Co. invites your to our
Jane and Tom invite you to their...................... Jane and Tom invite you to our
Tip: The "o" and "c" in "o'clock" are never capitalized
When should you mail your invitations?
Traditionally, it is advised to send out invitations eight to six weeks before your celebration.
We've found while this is a good idea with formal events and weddings, it is just not possible with most every-day events.
Obviously, the sooner you can notify your guests, the better, but don't let this stress you out or prevent you from getting great invitations at the last minute.
If you know you're having a celebration that is several months away, consider sending a Save the Date Card. This is simply a notice to your guests that you are planning an event for that date and to mark their calendars so they'll be ready when the details follow by invitation closer to the party date when the details have been finalized.
Save the Date cards are almost a necessity for events taking place on holiday weekends, events that will require out of state travel for guests or a wedding to ensure vacations are not scheduled for the same time.
An important thing to remember is your RSVP date. When do you need to know the final count for the caterer, the bartender, to buy the party goods and decorations?
When printing your party invitations, give your guests enough time between the receipt of your invitation and the RSVP date to respond - at least a week is preferred.
If you have any concerns or questions about etiquette or what to do when it comes to your celebration's invitation, contact your local invitation vendor.