Party Invitation Dos and Don’ts: a Guide

Whether it’s a birthday, a housewarming, a holiday celebration or even an anniversary: there’s a special occasion coming up, and it’s party time! But how do you choose the perfect party invitation, and what should it say?
A classic paper party invitation is the easiest way to share valuable information about your event with guests. You can design and personalise your own party invitations with the click of a button.

Obviously, you know that you need to share when and where your party will be held: but as well as conveying details, a party invite should get your attendees excited, and prepare them for the theme and tone of the party.
In this article we will go over some of the dos and don’ts of designing the perfect invitations for any party.

DO – Match the Style of Your Event to the Invitation

Your invite design should perfectly reflect the theme of your party. This lets people know straight away what they can expect. A beautiful themed invitation also helps get people excited for your event, and ensures your invite won’t get swept away with unwanted junk mail.

If you are having a clear party theme, such as Hawaiian, try and select an invite that reflects that in its design. A good choice for this example would be Laid back Luau which clearly reflects the Hawaiian theme. Your guests will know to don their Hawaiian shirts and expect exotic cocktails!

If your party is less specific, try and choose the closest fit, and at least match the invitation to the overall tone. For example, if you are hosting a dinner party, an elegant, sophisticated design like Bliss Sophisticate would work well.
If you were having a relaxed garden party a fun floral design like Modern Romance may be a perfect fit.

DON’T – Put a Gift List on the Invitation

No one likes receiving gifts they don’t want, but there are ways to navigate this. Putting a large gift list (or a direct link to one) directly on your invitation could come across as rude and tacky – you might look as though you are “gift grabbing”, and care about presents more than your guests’ presence.

Instead of this, you could set up a website for your party, and include a list of gift ideas on a dedicated page on the site (NOT the homepage). Provide a link to the website on your invitation. That way, guests can choose something they know you’ll like if they want to get a gift. This will be appreciated, as choosing gifts can be hard.
Using an online wish list also declutters your party invites and keeps the key information at the forefront.

DO – Let Attendees Know the Dress Code

There is nothing worse than turning up to a party in jeans if everyone else in in their finest! Being underdressed – or, in fact, overdressed – is a social nightmare which your guests would all rather avoid.

Save your guests the embarrassment by making the dress code clear and easy to follow, if there is one. Popular dress codes include black tie, cocktail, and semi-formal. A simple P.S. on your invite stating this should be enough to ensure everyone gets the message.
If you are having your party at a restaurant, some have their own dress code. While they aren’t often as strict as black tie, it’s worth mentioning it if there is one. Common expectations are no shorts, trainers, or ripped jeans. If you are unsure if your venue has a dress code, it’s worth checking when you book.

DON’T – Leave the Guest List Open to Interpretation

Make it clear if your guests are allowed to bring plus ones or not. If the invite is vague, you may end up having more guests than you banked on, which can cause problems (particularly if you are having catering).

If you are happy to have someone bring a plus one, address the invite to the person you are inviting plus a guest. For example, “To John Smith and Guest”. If you know the name of the invitee’s significant other, you can also name them, to avoid ambiguity. Ask them to list the total number of att

endees on the RSVP, so you’ll know whether they’re bringing a plus one or not.
If you aren’t allowing plus ones, address the invitation to the named person you want to invite only. By using their name on not only the envelope but the invite, you should send a clear message that they are the only one invited.

DO – Give Your Invitees Clear and Useful Information

The most important information your party guests will need to know is –
1) What date and time is the event?
2) What time is the event likely to end? (“Until late” isn’t helpful for guests with children or other commitments!)
3) Where is the party being held?
4) What’s the event celebrating?
5) If it’s for a birthday, how old is the birthday person? (This is optional for adult birthdays, but it does help with choosing cards and gifts)
6) Is there a dress code?
7) How should guests RSVP? Do they have to return a reply card, send an email, or call a phone number?
8) Is there anything else they need to know? For example, is the party being held outside? If so, what weather should guests expect?

Make sure that the information is clear and precise, and not vague. If your venue is slightly hard to find, it could be worth giving some general directions, or linking your guests to the venue website.

It’s also considered polite to let guests who will be travelling know of hotels in the area where they may choose to stay.

DON’T – Provide Contact Information that You Won’t Use

If you never check your email, don’t use it as your RSPV method. You wouldn’t want to miss your guest’s correspondence as this could skew numbers. Use a contact that you check regularly like your phone, or a social media.
If you give your phone number, ask people to text if possible and leave their name. This is so if you don’t have them saved as a contact, you won’t be left guessing as to who they are. It also means you won’t be inundated with calls, although older friends or family members may feel more comfortable with calling.

If you’re worried about missing texts, calls or emails, it may be best to stick to a good old-fashioned reply card. Your guests can fill out their details and send it back to you in the post.
Sending a physical card also means you can leave room for your guests to add any notes or special considerations (such as food allergies or accessibility requirements).

DO – Create a Personalised Invitation

It’s your celebration – so why pick a generic pack of pre-printed party invitations? By far the most personal and rewarding option is to design your own custom party invitation, either from scratch or through editing a template.
By personalising a party invitation online, you can truly tailor your invitation to your event’s aesthetic, theme, tone, and specific celebration. You can edit the font colour, style, and wording to your heart’s content, and even upload your own artwork or photographs to the invitation itself on some designs.
No more trailing to the nearest party supply store and choosing between two or three premade designs to write on by hand!

Where Can I Order Custom Party Invitations?

Custom party invitations are a brilliant way to not only invite your guests, but also communicate important details. They are a fun way to spread information about your party, and are easy and stress free to order with 123Print.
Browse from our huge selection of templates to choose the perfect one for you. We offer both standard (A6) and large (A5) designs, so you can pick the perfect size. And if you can’t find a design that you like, you can always create your own. This allows you total freedom to design your invites specifically for your event. It’s quick and easy to do, and personalised invites are just as easy to order as any other.
Thanks to 123Print’s 48 hour shipping and 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, you won’t be disappointed. Simply place your order and let the RSPVs roll in!

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