Etiquette

What To {and not to} Include On Your Invitations

Let me preface here that I am talking about invitations for events like showers, birthdays and dinner parties.  I AM NOT talking about wedding invitations because they are a whole different animal and require a totally separate post all on their own.  With that being said I wanted to talk about the information that you should {and shouldn’t} put on your invitations to leave your guests with no questions – but also not giving them a novel to remember.

invitations

Lets start with the basics.

THE PURPOSE:

What is this event for? A Baby Shower? A Birthday Party? A Gender Reveal Party? Make sure your guests know what they are attending.  Most invitations will have the line “Join us for a Baby Shower” or “You’re invited to Luke’s Birthday Party”

Sometimes it can get a little tricky if guests aren’t sure what it is .. i.e. Baby Sprinkle or a Diaper Raffle as these things are fairly new concepts. Sometimes {if there is room} a little quote that helps explain this can be helpful.  A Sprinkle could say something like “Big Brother Blake has plenty to share, but lets show Mommy and Baby we care … “.  Again I emphasize if there is room.  There is nothing worse that an invitation that takes longer than 1.5 min to read.

NAME OF HONOREE:

Always list the name of the person being honored at the party.  Especially when it comes to showers.  Usually a shower is being hosted for the honoree by a friend or family member so the invitation will come from their address.  Make sure there is no confusion by including the honoree’s name right on the invitation.

Pink Floral Bridal Shower Invitations

DAY | DATE | TIME:

Write out the day of the week, the date and the start time or time frame.  I highly suggest a time frame, leaving an open ended end time can leave a lot of confusion, people are usually scheduling their days around your event and its helpful to know a time that they will be done.  Please do not put question marks as your end time.  Tacky.  If you really don’t want an end time just list the start time, period.

Tip: Only put the “th” or other variations after the date if you are NOT including the year.  If you include the year leave these out.  RIGHT: Saturday, February 18th or February 18, 2017 … WRONG: February 18th, 2017.

NAME OF PLACE:

Even if the event is being held at your home list the place as “Smith Home” or “Smith Household” this lets people know that they are going to be in someone’s home.  If the event is being held at a location, list the name of the location (i.e. Urfer Park, Sally’s Tea Room, The Olive Garden, etc.).  This is much more helpful that just sending someone to a random address.

PHYSICAL ADDRESS:

Now that you let people know the place, give them the physical address to punch into their GPS.  No need to include a zip code on this, all GPS and Search Engines add this now and the less unnecessary stuff on the invitation, the better.

RSVP:

Leave an RSVP contact name and a way of contacting them (i.e. a phone number or email address or both) as well as an RSVP by date.  If you have ever planned a party you know how much of the party can rely on how many people are coming.  By making sure you give an RSVP by date you save yourself the hassle of running around last minute for the people that RSVP’d the day before.

P.s. My next etiquette series we’ll be talking about RSVPing … stay tuned!

REGISTRY:

If your event is a Bridal or Baby shower be sure to let your guests know where the honoree is registered.  Please do not make a registry for any other type of event.  Also if the bride or mother-to-be is registered at multiple places, only list two.  You can relay more registry information when people call to RSVP but listing 12 different places to buy gifts can be overwhelming.  NEVER list that the honoree request cash as a gift.  Sure we would all love some cash but this is a BIG NO-NO.

Those are the basics that should be listed on every invitation you are sending out.  Granted if you are throwing a dinner party and there is no specific honoree you would not list one, or if you are throwing a birthday party you wouldn’t list a registry.

Rain Drop Sprinkle Invitations

A few things that are optional to list {IF THERE IS ROOM} would be:

HOSTS / HOSTESSES: While for some this is considered a must, I don’t find it to be absolutely necessary.  The event is for the honoree and while it is nice to know who threw the event chances are whomever you are RSVPing to or whomever is “running the show” at the event is the host.  Its not about them.

If you would like to list the host by all means do so towards the bottom of the invitation.  If there are multiple hosts, etiquette says to list the names in alphabetical order.  I also suggest making it as concise as possible (i.e. instead of listing everyones name put that the shower was hosted by “Jessica’s Bridesmaids” or “Jessica’s Family”).

SPECIAL REQUESTS: Sometimes there is a special request, most common would be to bring a book instead of a card to a baby shower.  If there is room putting something as simple as “One small request, it wont be hard, please bring a book instead of a card” on the invitations. If there is not room it is perfectly acceptable to place a separate little card {even business card size} with the request.

All in all, these are MY suggestions guided by etiquette and experience for your invitations.  It does not mean you have to follow all my rules, after all it is your event and you should have it the way you would like it.  Just hope I can give food for thought!

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