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What to Write on a Party Invitation

Every party needs an invitation, and there are certain guidelines that need to be followed. You have made your guest list and chosen your theme, so the next step is creating or purchasing invitations.

There are different forms of communication you can choose, from evites to hand-written notes. For a special evening, I recommend staying with an invitation that requires a stamp. For something quick and easy, an evite might be a suitable choice. No matter what you decide the information included will remain the same. The Why - Explain why you are having the party. Is it a birthday bash for a friend? A graduation celebration for your niece? Whatever the reason, this should be stated boldly.

List the Guest of Honor - If you are honoring someone at the event, you should list their name close to the top where you explain what type of party you are hosting.

Date and Time – Writing the date and time on the third row ensures this information can be quickly read. I spell out the month unless it is a casual gathering: Saturday, March 3. When deciding whether to list the year, this is not necessary for an informal invitation. For a formal event, spell out the year. The same holds true with the time. Use a numerical version for less formal: 7:00 p.m. But spell out for more formal: seven o’clock in the evening.

Location - If your party is a place other than your home, list the name of the place along with the address. In today’s age of GPS, zip codes are not necessary and only occupy space on the invitation.

Hosts - Next you will list the hosts for the event.

Response Guide – How do you want guests to reply to your party? Is it by email, phone, or both? List this here. If you are including a deadline for response, state it next to the email/phone number. You may call any guest that has not replied by your requested date to ask if they will be attending. Do not feel badly about doing this. Just be gracious! Most of us have been guilty of not responding to an invitation. Side note: Do not write “regrets only.” There is a great deal of complacency by people when responding to invitations and if you put “regrets only” you have no way of knowing who will show up. Always ask for a reply and always put a deadline.

Attire - List any dress code or suggested attire. It is unkind to leave guests wondering what they should wear as no one likes showing up dressed inappropriately. A party should be fun and stressing over what to wear is not fun.

Address - When addressing an invitation, I prefer to use titles. This shows respect to the person on the receiving end: Mr. and Mrs. Joe Cooper. A less formal way would be to say: Sally and Joe Cooper. If you really want to start your party off with a bang, hand deliver your invitation and attach a small gift. Example: An invitation to a birthday party might be delivered to your guests with a balloon.

Putting this together a typical invitation will look like this:

Together with you,

Lisa Lou


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