Tips on Writing an Invitation
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
- 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.
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!
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."
Gag gift for someone over the hill.
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."