Some basic information should always be included in invitations, regardless of the occasion: location, starting and ending times, whether parents and all siblings are invited, and if special activities are scheduled that might require special clothing. Specify an R.S.V.P. date, including your full name and phone number. A party invitation for older people usually does not announce the age unless it is a milestone i.e. 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 75th, etc.
For casual parties, two weeks’ notice is usually adequate, giving everyone time to make plans and do any shopping necessary. Events that are more formal require a longer lead-time, especially if any out of town travel is required.
State What to Expect
Clearly state what guests should expect, for example:
- Open House – “Please drop by between the hours of 2:00pm to 4:00pm”
- Cocktail Party – “Join us for drinks and snacks from 5:00pm to 7:00pm”
- Potluck – “Please bring your favorite dish for dinner at 6:00pm”
- Surprise Party – “Park your car a block away and help surprise Marty with a buffet celebration”
Sample Party Invitation
A sample party invitation can give you good ideas if you want to make your own invitations or just choose the appropriate party invitation wording for your own party. You can find many samples online or look at advertisements for various printed invitations for ideas. You can find pretty verses and poetry for special occasions or quote one of your favorite heroes or celebrities. Look at the various fonts and lettering styles used as well as the actual wording.
If you have some extra time, designing your own party invitation to go with the theme of the party can be fun. If the invitations are hand-delivered, you will not be restricted on size or other postal regulations. If you are mailing them, there are thousands of printable invitations online to choose from, as well as buy kits.
If you are having a casual outdoor barbecue, have fun with the invitations. If it is a family event, it is especially appropriate to involve your children. Let them help deliver the invitations for a neighborhood potluck. They will be much more willing to help when it is time organize the party or clean up. Give each child some responsibility during the party. In fact, if you are having an adult-only evening, let your young children pass around appetizers, refill snack bowls, and take a plate of party food back into their rooms as a special treat while they play games or watch television away from the party.
Birthday Party Invitation
An invitation to a birthday party should be age-appropriate. Get your child’s input if they are old enough to make choices. For a young child’s birthday party invitation, remember to include the name of the birthday child, the age, the date and time of the party, and what, if anything, each guest should bring. For older children, the age is not necessary unless celebrating a milestone.
If you are going to be transporting the children somewhere, include the details of that so that parents can drive their own child if they prefer. Although many people have smartphones and GPS, including a map of the party location is a nice touch.
Provide a phone number and/or an email address for responding and include an RSVP date if you need to have a firm number of guests (for events held at commercial establishments like skating rinks or if you need to buy movie tickets in advance).
If you are having a themed party and want guests to dress up, make sure the party invitation wording conveys that clearly and gives some ideas. If you want guests to bring something specific, be sure to include it, i.e. teenagers might invite guests to bring their favorite music or a video.
Ideas for birthday backgrounds
With a rubber stamp that says happy birthday, a rainbow inkpad and a piece of cardstock, you can make four simple hand stamped backgrounds at once. Stamp the rubber stamp image repeatedly on the cardstock. Cut the stamped cardstock into quarters and you have a colourful background for four invitations. Repeat this process until you have enough birthday backgrounds for all of the invitations.
For an even faster background, grab some tissue paper with birthday images on it. Crumple it up, smooth it back out and lightly rub a gold inkpad over the surface. Cut or tear the tissue paper to the size of the invitation card stock and glue it into place.
Another idea for a background is to use your favorite graphics program to make a picture of the birthday person that is almost completely transparent. This image will print very lightly, making it ideal to use as a background layer.Buy blank cards and a big container of foam shapes. (Self-adhesive shapes are so easy to use and stick much better than plain shapes that need to be glued on.) Let your child design colourful fronts for the cards using the shapes. Print up invitation inserts with all the important party information on them and tuck them into the cards.
Thank You Notes
Traditional etiquette says thank you notes are not necessary when the gift has been opened in front of the giver and the person has been thanked in person. However, it is a nice habit to get younger children into. This courtesy will be appreciated, as they get older.
Print pictures from the party and have your child write a quick thank you, mentioning the specific gift, on the back of a picture from the birthday party. The thank you note does not have to be a long letter but it should have a sentence or two that is meaningful to the child and the gift giver.Any gifts sent by mail need a personal thank you call.
Making your Own Invitations
You could buy those blah invitations from the local party store, but you want something different for the special party you are throwing. You need something that doesn’t look like all the invitations everyone else sends. However, you are on a budget, so making your own invitations is not as hard as one may think.
If you don’t consider yourself the creative type, have no fear. There are hundreds of thousands of ideas on the internet. You could also order kits, saving you both time and money but still giving you the homemade cards you would like to send.
For some cards that are sure to impress the recipients, try some of these ideas:
For a party for a pre-teen crowd, why not send invitations in code? Kids will love solving the code to find out all the party details. Just make sure you include a note addressed to the parents with the key to the code so they can lend a hand in case the kids get stuck.
Depending on the party theme, adults may also enjoy invitations that are a bit of a puzzle. Buy a copy of a paperback book for each guest and use the books to create a coded invitation. Don’t forget to include a note with the page number where each word of the coded message appears.
Use your favorite photo editing software to create a collage of photos that feature the birthday boy or girl. Upload the collage to your favorite digital photo service and order cards with the collage on their fronts.
For little girls, make paper dolls and print out pictures of the birthday girl’s face. Glue the pictures on the paper dolls. Make clothes for the dolls, including a pocket on the shirt or pants. Print up invitations and tuck them into the pocket.
Online Free Invitations
Sending free online invitations for an informal event is widely accepted. Baby showers, bachelorette parties, bridal showers, even birthdays are great events to use online invitations, saving you money.
Look for a site that does more than email invitations. The site should provide the guests an RSVP and send them a reminder the day before the party with some virtual services. Evite.com and American greetings.com are two sites that offer these types of services.
Consider designing your own invitations instead of using one of the templates that are already made up. While it is faster to use one of the templates that are already there, using the site to make your own invitations gives them a special touch.
Make sure you look for additional options the site may offers such as asking guests to bring an item from a list, for such events or pot luck get-togethers. This option works like online baby shower registries, removing items once guests have chosen them ..