Invitations are one of the most important parts of planning a party or an event. Not only are you providing your invited guests with the information they need to get to the party, but you are also setting the tone for what kind of event you are throwing, and give them the key that unlocks the overall experience. If you are in the process of licking the stamps and the envelopes on an invitation to your own event – particularly focusing on weddings – then stop licking and read some of these handy little tips on maximising your invitation experience.
Set the tone of your event with your invitation design
By the time you are getting ready to send out your invitations, chances are you have already got your initial planning stages behind you and you know what kind of event you are having, whether it be formal or casual, and if you have a theme in mind. The theme could be anything from a contemporary colour scheme to a bespoke or vintage style affair, but having a theme or colour scheme in mind will give your guests a chance to get a feel for what your event will be about.
Focus one aspect of your event’s design – a colour, a symbol, a flower, anything! – and utilise this as your invitation. It doesn’t have to be an exact match to the colour or type of bunting you are going to use at your event as the invitation is still a stand alone aspect, but using a similar idea will get familiarise your guests with the event before it has even started.
Match your wording to the event’s style
If you have a really cutesy and casual invitation, but have really formal wording in the information, guests are going to be a bit confused about what kind of event it is going to be, how they should dress and how they should act. If things are casual, feel free to use casual lettering and a more relaxed tone in writing your information, such as “Come and Celebrate the wedding of…”, but if the event is a more formal affair than you can use proper etiquette and style by using phrases such as “Mr and Mrs Smith request your attendance at …”
There are heaps of different wording suggestions and guides online to help you assist in finding the right tone for your event, so definitely check them out to get more of an idea before putting pen to paper.
Photo by We Are Origami Photography
The more information the better!
Save the Date’s are generally a hint of what is to come in the future, but the invitation has to provide as much information as possible to ensure that there is complete smooth sailing for guests to access the event – whether it be where to park, where to stay in they will be required to travel, things to do, how to get to the venue and any other important tidbits they might need to know about the event. Provide as much information as possible to make sure that all basis’ are covered – after all, thinking about the finer details are what a good party planner is all about! If the guests don’t need it, they won’t refer to it, but it’s better to be over-prepared than have a whole bunch of guests arriving in the wrong area and missing a huge chunk of the party just trying to find their way!
If you have too much information, there are a few options you can consider. Provide several similar styled and shaped cards along with the initial invite for guests to refer to, and tie them together with Baker’s Twine, a cute pin or a special envelope with a pocket for them to sit in. You can also refer all guests to a website, which you can actually put together quite easily via the many different website making programs available, and then you can provide as much information, photographs and links that you want. Just remember, that some guests might not have access to the internet (though in this day and age that is very rare!) so make sure you have the information handy for Grandma Martha as well.
Make RSVPing as simple as possible
Making things as smooth as possible is a very important process for any party planner, and that includes making the RSVP process as simple as possible. You can have an email address or phone number listed on the invitation, but a classic thing to do is provide a separate RSVP card with your invitation, all ready to go with the information ready to be ticked (“I will be attending vs. I will not be attending”) and addressed the correct RSVP address. Don’t forget to include a stamp and even an envelope if you would like, so that your guests won’t have to line up at the post office just to mail back your RSVP.
Be prepared as well to have people not RSVP on time. Give yourself an absolute cut off date, and feel free to follow up via the phone with any guests who haven’t RSVP’ed yet. Unfortunately, guests pulling out or not RSVPing in time and still showing up is Murphy’s Law and bound to happen so prepare yourself for that!
There is joy to receiving an invitation in the post
In this modern age we regularly get emailed all our details and information, and rarely receive letters or anything other than bills in our mailbox, so it’s a great joy when we get something that is completely different and not demanding money from us in our mailbox! It gives us something solid to hang on our fridge or use as a keepsake after the big day, and there is an absolute beauty to opening up your envelope and finding a well presented invitation! It makes your event seem joyous, even before you actually attend.
Just don’t put glitter in the envelope along with the invitation. Nothing will get people madder than having to clean up the glitter that came pouring out with your invitation – that’s just mean!
So make sure you have considered these handy tips and start licking your stamps again – just don’t forget to send me an invite!