January 6, 2015 admin

Invitation Dos and Don’ts

The invite is the first step in creating a memorable event. There are dozens of calligraphers and paper types to choose from, which can make it seem difficult and overwhelming and by the end, questioning whether anyone will even remember if the invite had scalloped edges or not. The sky is the limit when creating invitations and tons of ways to incorporate the theme of your event in addition to your creative flare.

We’ll leave the creativity up to you, but here are some invitations dos and don’ts.

DOs
Match the invitation to the event. If you are airing on the side of elegant and sophisticated for your event style, the invitations should reflect that. Choose an elegant font, script or italicized, for the writing, and a simple color scheme. Keep the same color scheme for your invitations as the event if you are incorporating one, and don’t clutter the invite with too many words or phrases. Give all the information with as little words as possible. Too much writing can take away the crisp and simplistic beauty of the invitation. If the event is more casual, have fun with the invitation. Use a more casual looking sans-serif or serif font, and the writing can be less formal, using abbreviations and windy faces. If you want guests to bring gifts or a certain attire is required, you can say it boldly but politely. Just make sure that the style of event you are envisioning matches the look of the invitations, so guests can get a handle on proper attire and gift ideas and can be better prepared overall for the type of event to come. Don’t send out an invitation that reads like a grocery list, but capture the fun of the event through the invite. Excite guests and make it an event they would hate to miss through creative invites.

Get More Guests to RSVP by Giving Options
It can be like pulling teeth to get possible guests to RSVP to the event. It often slips people’s minds and forces you to spend time writing the oh-so-inconvenient followup emails and leaving awkward voicemails saying, “oh and by the way, you never RSPVd…” Even following proper RSVP and invitation etiquette does not ensure you will get a proper headcount and can leave you stressed with last minute catering changes and ordering. Allowing guests to respond in several ways is more convenient than sending back the RSVP card, even when you provide them with a stamp. It is the 21st century and although email responses can seem a bit informal, conveniency for guests will essentially lead to more responses. At the bottom of the invitation, provide online ways to respond with phrases like “You can RSVP at our website ______ or email _____ or to the bride’s mother at XXX-XXXX.  Always include a response card with a pre addressed envelope and stamp. Make sure your response date is bold and centered so guests see it. Add a cute phrase like, “We can’t wait to hear from you,” so guests know to respond, no matter how close they are to the guest of honor.

Use Your Guests for Inspiration
Having trouble choosing a playlist for the DJ? Can you not quite decide what appetizers to serve or maybe unaware of some food restrictions guests might have? Let them give you info! An open ended invitation can help you get more feedback from guests and can ease the planning process. At the close of the invitation, have guests write one song request they want to hear at the event. If there are a few of the same requests, add that to the playlist! It makes guests feel connected to the process and can give you a better idea of what guests want. If you can’t narrow down your dessert choices, ask guests “What’s your favorite sweet treat for this time of year?” If worded correctly, this idea isn’t tacky and only enhances your guests time, making them run to the dance floor to get down when they hear the song they request bump through the speakers. An interactive invitation in a playful format like ad ad-lib, inclines guests to respond and gives you answers to guarantee guests are happy.

DON’Ts

Leave Out Information
Forget to include the location of your wedding on your savethe-date card. Give your guests as much information as possible on everything you send to them. There is no guarantee the wedding will be in the town where you currently live and guests need as much information as early as possible to plan accordingly and make travel arrangements.

Use pre printed labels or Thank You Cards
The invitation sets the tone for the whole event. Using pre set labels, although convenient, is impersonal and a cop out. Writing out addresses adds such a personal touch to your invites. There is no need to shell out money for a calligrapher, as they can sometimes be pricey for work that can be done yourself. Ask a relative with great penmanship to help you, or an easy trick is to print the addresses on the envelope in a light gray color and trace over it with a ball point pen. This confirms no mistakes will be made with names and addresses while giving your invites a touch of intimacy. If you are doing the same thank you notes for all guests, attach a party favor to it and keep the note simple so you have time to write them prior to the event and you won’t haves to stress about writing them after. Keep it simple with a quick, “Thank you for attending!” or “Thanks for sharing my special day with me,” attached to a party favor of your choice. It may seem irrelevant, but guests like personal touches and it shows that you really do appreciate their presence.

Leave Invitations to the Last Minute
You might want to do the more exciting parts of event planning before the invitations, but we would advise against this.  Invitations can be unknowingly time consuming and if you decide to outsource them, they can take a little longer than expected, especially around busy times for calligraphers. Create and send out invitations as early as possible, to guarantee guests have ample time to plan and you can get the most accurate headcount for the big bash. It will save you time in the long run to have the invitations sent as soon as a date is configured. Then, you can focus on the more rousing aspects of planning like decorations, food, and gift bags.