Party Pointer: Party Invitation Details

Party invitations can come in all kinds of forms–paper ones coming in the mail, hand-delivered ones, email messages or online ones. But they all need to include certain information. Think about these party invitation details when you are planning to send invitations to your next celebration.

A party invitation serves two purposes–it should make a memorable first impression on the attendee and  should give the details of the events as well as give some hint as to the type of party to come.

If there is a special reason for the party such as an engagement party or a birthday celebration, include that on your invitation. Give your guests a heads-up so they can be prepared.

List the date and time–a starting time is all you usually need to include, but if you want guests to leave at a specific time, include the ending time. This could be for cocktail parties that don’t include dinner–6:30-8:30 pm, brunches, showers or children’s birthday parties. For an open house you may want to use staggered times like 3:00-6:00 pm or 4:00-7:00 pm

Include the location of the party. Most guests will use their cell phones or car GPS for directions, but it is thoughtful to include a map or directions. Older guests may not have smartphones and it is helpful to give any special tips like side of the road, color of house, and where to park.

Request that guests rsvp. If you say “Regrets only,” you as the hostess basically have no idea how many guests are coming. If you haven’t heard from an invitee a few days before the party, it is perfectly acceptable to call or email to find out if he or she is coming.

List any other pertinent information–gift or registry info, dress code or gag/no gifts.If you want everyone to wear red, white and blue for a patriotic party, a costume, or black tie, include that. Be sure your guests will know what you mean if you say; descriptions like “festive” or “creative” are confusing.

Send your invitations well in advance, so busy friends can put your event on their calendar. For a formal event or big party, send out your invitations about four weeks ahead.  For smaller dinner or cocktail parties, two weeks in advance is fine. If it’s a major reunion, you might need at least six months in advance especially in busy seasons. You might want to send a separate “save the date” card or to send email reminders, especially if your event is during a busy party season like Christmas or July 4th.

when you get your party details together, you might want to ask a family member or friend to check them over to see if you included everything. Once you have the information ready, you can prepare your invitations as the first step to your special event!

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