You’re throwing a party! Whatever the occasion is – whether you’re throwing a kid’s birthday party, an anniversary bash, a graduation do or something else – it’s time to celebrate, and you’re planning on sending out party invitations.
Even if your party is casual, sending out paper party invitations is one of the best ways to let people know about the upcoming celebration. A party invite will convey all the important information about when and where to go, as well as what you are celebrating in the first place.
There are various different details that you need to include in your party invitation, and it’s important to word it correctly. This guide will talk you through what you need to include on your party invitation, and give you some wording examples that you can adapt to your own needs.
What Do You Put on a Party Invitation?
Before you start thinking about how to word your party invites, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the important information that you need to get across.
First and foremost, you need to make it abundantly clear who’s invited to the party. This goes for any party, whether it’s a kid’s birthday party or a grand wedding. The last thing you want is to cater for 20 guests, only for 40 people to turn up because everyone’s brought their partner, or has assumed their child’s siblings are also invited.
The best way to do this is to specifically mention the invitee(s) by name on the envelope. For example:
1) “Mr John Smith and Ms Sarah Ellacombe”
2) “Master William Brooks”
3) “Sarah and Nancy McIntyre”
4) “Miss Jade Hewett plus Guest”
That way, there can be no confusion.
Why Are You Having a Party?
It’s important that your guests know why you are having the party in the first place. The wording has to be particular when you are trying to communicate a message to your guests.
For example, if it’s for a birthday party, make sure that you include the name of the birthday person, and how old they’re going to be (especially if it’s a milestone birthday, or a child’s party). Or for a graduation invitations, include who is graduating and which educational milestone they’ve achieved.
For example: “Please join us for Susan’s 8th birthday party!”
Or: “You are cordially invited to celebrate Ashleigh’s graduation from Warwick University”.
Who’s Hosting the Party?
Not only is it important to tell your invitees who the party is for, but you should also let them know who’s hosting the party, and at least one way of getting in touch with them. That way, they’ll know who to contact if they have any questions about the party, and they’ll also know who to ask if they need gift recommendations or anything else.
If you don’t mention who’s hosting the party on the invitation, your invitees will contact whoever the party is for (e.g. the person whose birthday it is). This wouldn’t be ideal if it’s supposed to be a surprise party!
For example: “If you have any questions, please contact the party host Sharon Mitchell on [phone number]”.
When Will the Party Start and End?
Your guests will need to know what day and time the party will be held. Make sure to be extremely clear, and give an approximate end time as well as a start time (especially for kid’s parties, so that parents will know when to come and pick up their children). You can typically expect guests to turn up between 5 and 10 minutes earlier than the start time you list on your invitation, so keep this in mind.
For example, you might write “3:00pm – 5:00pm on Sunday, 28th November 2021”. If there’s no specific end time, you can simply write something like “8pm ‘til late”.
Where Will the Party Be Held?
One of the most important things to include in your party invitation is the location. Whether your party will be held at:
1) The host’s house
2) The birthday person’s house
3) Outside in the local park
4) A booked party hall, such as a town hall
5) A soft play centre, cinema or other venue
It’s vital that you include the full name and address of the venue. Don’t just assume that everyone knows where “Paul’s house” is!
For example: “The party will be held at 123 Blackbird Lane, Newtown, NW1 1TN.”
If the venue is difficult to find, you can also include directions to guide attendees from the nearest motorway or main road, or even a mini map.
What Will Happen at the Party?
Make sure to tell your recipients what kind of party this is, and what is going to be involved. That way, they’ll know what to wear, whether to eat beforehand, and whether they should drive or get a taxi (if alcohol is going to be served).
You could list the theme, any activities you have planned, and what sorts of refreshments you’ll provide. For example: “Join us for a princess-themed celebration involving a royal buffet, face painting and manicures!”
How to Write a Party Invitation: 6 Top Tips
Now that you know what to include on your invitation and how to word it, it is time to put it all together. Here are our 6 top tips for writing and designing the perfect party invite, whatever the occasion may be.
1. Choose a Themed Invitation
One of the most fun things you can do when you are preparing for a party is picking the theme. Having a theme throughout the entire celebration – dress code, food, gifts, entertainment, decorations – will help the party have a cohesive aesthetic that will make for great photos, and which your guests are sure to remember for years to come.
A great way to tie the party theme together and to help spread the word to guests is to choose a party invitation that also features the same theme. For example, if you’re hosting a child’s birthday party with a clown or circus theme, this Party Clown invitation would be perfect. For a more grown-up girly-themed party with manicures and cocktails, this Fun ‘n Fancy design fits the bill.
2. Use the Right Tone
The tone of voice you use on your party invite will affect how guests are going to view the invitation, and their first impressions of the party itself. That’s why it’s important to use the correct tone when you’re writing the party invitation’s wording.
For example, if your party is going to be a super-formal black tie graduation event or wedding, you’ll want to write the invite in the third person, and avoid using any abbreviations or slang. For example, “Mr and Mrs John Smith invite you to celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary.”
For a casual party such as a child’s birthday or a house party, you can use the first person and can use a more informal style of writing that’s closer to normal speech. For example: “Come and join us for little Tom’s 3rd birthday! We hope to see you there!”
3. Address Your Recipients Correctly
When you send out the invitations, it is important to address your guests properly. The envelope should include their titles, along with their first and last names. For example, you can use Mr, Mrs, Miss or Ms. You should ensure you spell their first and last names correctly, as well as mentioning if they’re permitted to bring a guest of their own, or bring their child’s siblings along to the party too.
4. Include the 5 Ws
Remember what we discussed previously: who, what, when, where, and why. Don’t forget to include the 5 Ws when you’re writing your invitation! These details are important because they are how your guests are going to know exactly what is going on, what to do, where to go and at what time.
And if there is a certain dress code, if the party is catered, or if your guests need to bring anything extra – let them know. It’s important to keep that line of communication clear for your guests.
There’s nothing worse than forgetting to put vital information on your custom party invitations. Whether it’s a name, date or number, leaving out even a single piece of information can cause invitees to get confused (and then you’ll be inundated with phone calls).
5. Don’t Forget RSVP Instructions
Lastly, remind your invitees that they are going to need to RSVP to your invitation. RSVP stands for “répondez s’il vous plait”, which is French for “please reply” – in other words, “Let me know whether or not you’re coming”. If your guests don’t RSVP, you aren’t going to know who’s coming and who isn’t – and this can have an impact on certain elements of party planning, such as how many guests you need to provide food for.
So, at the end of your invitations you should include either a phone number or an e-mail address that your guests can use to RSVP. Alternatively, you can include a reply card in the envelope with the party invitation. This is a paper slip that invitees can fill out and send back to you to indicate whether or not they’re attending.
And don’t forget to include an RSVP deadline! For example: “RSVP by Monday 29th November”.
6. Order More Invitations than You Need
One of the mistakes people make when ordering party invitations is accidentally ordering too few of them. Chances are, you’ve planned out the guest list in advance, and so you’ll know how many people you’re inviting. But it’s always a mistake to order exactly 13 invitations if you’re inviting 13 guests.
1) If you’ve accidentally forgotten somebody on your guest list, you won’t have a spare invitation to give to them
2) You may lose or misplace one or more invites, or they may get lost in the post, and you won’t have any spares as backups
3) You might make a mistake while addressing an envelope, spill something on an invitation or damage it in some other way
A good rule of thumb is to order 10% more invitations than you think you’ll need, or round up to the nearest 10 (whichever number is more). So if you think you need 16 invitations, round it up to 20, to give you at least a few spares.
Where Can I Order Personalised Party Invitations in the UK?
It’s important to show your guests that you know what you are doing and give them the right information so that everyone has a fun time. If you follow this guide while writing and designing your party invitations, you have no need to worry. You will have included everything that they need to know, and given them contact details just in case they have any more questions.
As to where you can order your party invitations, we suggest a professional stationer such as 123Print. On our website, you can browse through a collection of over 300 party invitation templates – far more than you’d find in any ordinary party shop! You’re bound to find a design that works for your party theme.
Within minutes you can edit your chosen theme online, add all of your party details, and place your order. Your invites will be printed and dispatched within 48 working hours. All that’s left is to address the envelopes! Start your party planning