The Invitation sets the tone for the event. It should match the style of your event, whether formal, semi-formal or a casual. The invitation provides the details of the celebration as well as what to expect at the event. Select a theme appropriate to the occasion and the individual being honored. When choosing your invitation, remember you already have a theme – the occasion for the party.
If the event is near a holiday weekend, consider sending a Save the Date Card to put your guests on notice about the event so they can mark their calendars. Invitations should be sent out eight weeks before a formal event, though there is some flexibility with less formal occasions.
What to include on an invitation depends on the occasion. In general, invitations are written in the third person. Do’s include: spell out days and dates on all invitations and times and years on formal invitations. Don’ts include: use abbreviations, include the zip code on an invitation, include gift or registry info, include: “no children allowed.”
The invitation should specifically include the nature of the event; the name of the honoree; the day, date, time, and location of the event (see above); the name of the host(s)/hostess(es); and the appropriate attire. Include an RSVP card or phone number and desired date of reply.
Receiving an Invitation to an event incurs certain responsibilities. An R.S.V.P. written on an invitation for a French phrase, répondez, s’il vous plaît, which means “please reply.” It is appropriate to respond as soon as possible for the convenience of the host/hostess. If an RSVP card is included, mail it immediately or write a note; otherwise, telephone or email the hostess. A Regrets Only note on the card means to contact the hostess only if you are NOT attending. If the invitation states “and guest,” include the name of the guest in your response.
NEVER ask to bring a guest or your children. It is permissible to state why you’re not attending, then leave the host/hostess the option to extend an additional invitation.
ALWAYS thank the host/hostess when leaving the party, then follow up the next day with a phone call or note.
Tomorrow, Setting and Seating a Table. Rita Bay