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Tips on Writing an Invitation

Updated on May 19, 2013
A fun store bought invitation!
A fun store bought invitation! | Source
Inside the Invitation.
Inside the Invitation. | Source

How many times have you received an invitation to a party that has left you with several questions. Do I bring the kids? Is my spouse invited? Is it dinner? Should I RSVP even if it doesn't say to? If it says 'Please bring a book or box of diapers' is that in addition to a gift? Is it an open house or are the times specific? I could go on and on but you get the point. Some party invitations can be ambiguous and leave us feeling uncertain. An appropriate invitation tells the recipient that we would be honored to have them join us in celebrating our special event!

Do not assume that people will know what you mean, so don't be ambiguous. Make sure directions are clear and concise. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find the event or getting there and not knowing where to park.

If you do not want to have people bring their children, you will need to say it. You may come up with a clever way to say it but if you don't spell it out, expect that they may tote them along!

  • If this is potluck or you would like them to bring a food item, be organized and let people know what is needed.
  • If it is BYOB, tell people what you will be providing. Don't forget a reminder about designated drivers.
  • If you do not want gifts, supply an alternative. People like to give!
  • Include directions.
  • If this is a big event like a wedding, send out "save the Date" cards with enough time for people to make arrangements.

Things to Include on a Invitation

  • Day and date
  • Time
  • Address
  • Reason for event,
  • Who is invited.
  • Include information for gifts or gift registry.
  • Include RSVP specifics
  • Be specific about any requests
  • Don't assume that because it is Halloween, they will know to wear a costume.

Online Invitations

It has become a trend to Evite people. There is also the new custom of announcing an event or sending an invitation on Facebook. While these methods have their value, there are also downfalls to them. When you put an event on Facebook, you are assuming everyone is on Facebook. In addition, I have noticed that many people RSVP to all events they are invited to even if they have no intention of going. They say yes in support of the event, not realizing that it isn't a virtual party.

Sending an invitation by email can be a problem, too. Not everyone checks their emails consistently. I once sent an e-gift to a friend and she never found it!

You can add a meaningful quotation!
You can add a meaningful quotation! | Source

Save the Date

If you are planning a wedding or a family reunion that may require people to travel, it is helpful to send "Save the Date" announcements well ahead of time. In this announcement, you may also want to provide your guests with information on hotels and motels in the area. When you are planning the event, you can make arrangements for your guests to receive a discount at specific hotels. By doing this, you are letting your family and friends know that their presence is important to you. You are making it easier for them to be a part of your special event.

How to Request Gifts

Receiving gifts can be akward but when you are having a wedding shower or baby shower it is customary to register ahead of time to let let your guests know what you will be needing. While it may be a bit uncomfortable, most people are grateful for the guidline. They want to get you what you want or need. Don't worry about the price of the items on your list. People will buy what they can afford.

If you do not want people to bring gifts, it would be acceptable to furnish a favorite charity. If you are making a 70th birthday party, you may not want or need anything. You can request that in lieu of a gift, guests may donate to either a charity of your choosing or one that is near and dear to them.

If you are making a 40th birthday or a bachelorette party, you may request gag gifts or something else. If that is the case, be sure to add what specific items or themes you are following, like lingerie, a favorite baby book or something that commiserates being "over the hill."

You may also want to request a personal story about the guest of honor or a poem or song. If you want this to replace a gift, you need to state that. If you want them to bring this in addition to a gift, be specific. Use words like: "In addition" or "As part of our entertainment, we will be asking our guests to pay tribute to __________by bringing a poem or story."

Gift Suggestions

Examples of Gift Suggestions

"Your presence is present enough. In lieu of gifts, please make a donation in _________name to the charity of your choice."

"Baby _________ is blessed with 2 older siblings, please bring a package of diapers instead of a gift."

"Help ______ celebrate his retirement by contributing to his golf ball collection!"

"Poor _________ is turning 40. We all know it's downhill from here! Please bring gag gifts only."


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    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Wow, Tess, that's crazy! Wedding crashers! So sorry for you all!

    • coffeegginmyrice profile image

      Marites Mabugat-Simbajon 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Ontario

      Hi Randi! It is really funny yet a disbelief when the "uninvited" shows up to a party than an invited guest. Yet there are so many party crashers that are stubborn as a fly, they are difficult to shoo!

      On my sister's wedding, there were people (families) she had never met nor knew, arrived at the venue early, and had occupied some of the assigned tables for guests. She ran short of food at her reception and my brother had to leave to rush for the "extra" take-out orders. The sad thing too, these "party aliens" took home for each person (of their household) wedding give-away that were not meant for them. Unknown faces, shortage at the reception, stolen give-away!!! And she cannot ask them face-to-face to leave. It was a wedding-reception nightmare!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Darryl and welcome to my page! :)

    • Darrylmdavis profile image


      6 years ago from Brussels, Belgium

      Pretty useful stuff...thanks! :-)

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      I have to admit, Carol, same here! Thanks for stopping by:)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      It has been a long time since I have sent out invites to a party..I just call most have been last minute ideas. Some good ideas here for sure.

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Eddy! And here's to many more hubs!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, kidscrafts! I agree wholeheartedly! I also like to RSVP if I am not coming so that I can be certain to wish them congratulations or bring a gift! Thank you for being so supportive of my hubs. It's so appreciated!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Martin!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you Faith, your votes and share are much appreciated! xo

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful hub and voted up.


    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, leslie! Your visit and generous comment are much appreciated!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Cris! Yes, the gift part is often awkward. My daughter barely registered for anything because she was afraid it seemed too much like asking for a gift. Thank you so much for the votes and share!

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Ah, Kathleen, you make me laugh! That is so true! I made a baby shower a couple of weeks ago. 30 RSVP'd yes. 2 called the night before and cancelled. About 5 just didn

      't show. One of them evewn used our shower as an excuse to take thge day off of work. She said she had to help me (and I know her boss!) and then didn't even show up! Good luck with the shower! I have a lot of goody bags left if you need some! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! You made my evening!

    • kidscrafts profile image


      6 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Great tips! For any invitation, I answer even if they don't request "RSVP". I find it important to answer whatever if can I go or not because it makes it easier for the person who organize the event. I think it's just a polite thing to do.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing your good advise,

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Bill, your wry humor brings a smile to my face. There's always a little something I want to add in answer to your comments! I do have to agree, the fewer parties the better! Thanks for always stopping by!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Great advice here, Randi! Thanks for sharing this informative hub here.

      Voted up +++ and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I loved your article as it is well written and the tips are useful. Voted up my friend, Thanks for sharing.

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very useful, practical tips Rand specially on one that I consider kind of embarrassing, "requesting for gifts". We simply should know how to lay it out appropriately, of course. I also like your lines of "examples of gift suggestions".

      Well done! Up and sharing.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good info. I think the specifics to be included about RSVPs should be simple: RSVP or be shot! I'm giving a baby shower this weekend for about 40 guests. I've gotten 3 RSVPs. I've also thrown 3 weddings for my children and was amazed to get RSVP cards back with "Maybe" written on them. I think too many people today have been raised by wolves.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very practical suggestions, Randi. Parties are not my thing, but if they were I would use this for sure. I love getting older...I get invited to fewer and fewer occasions. :)

    • btrbell profile imageAUTHOR

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Thank you, Nellieanna! You are so generous with your words! So appreciated!

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      6 years ago from TEXAS

      What a sensible, excellent piece of valuable advice, Randi! You're so right that ambiguity is a sure-fire invitation for confusion and even embarrassment! You've listed solutions concisely and with good grace and humor!


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