How To Create An Invitation For An Event
You can plan the world’s best event, but if your guests don’t know to show up then it’s a bust! Thankfully it’s the digital age, so creating an invitation for your guests is simple. From digital to handmade, here are some of the options when it comes to creating a memorable invite.
Digital Invitations (Evite, Email Invitation)
Using an online service such as Evite or Paperless Post allows you to go paperless and send invitations directly into your friends’ and family’s inboxes.
Pros: most are free, arrival is instant, environmentally friendly, no postage
Cons: usually have ads (if free), can get lost in spam filter, can be hard to get to older generations (like grandparents), nicer designs can cost money
Buy Invites From A Website
Buying invitations from a website like Minted, Postable, or Shutterfly allows for the traditional format of a printed invitation with the ease of online shopping and editing. These websites provide pre-designed templates where you can type in your specific party details such as time, date, place, names, etc.
Pros: easy to edit, mails quickly, often gives the option to input addresses from an address book, often gives you the option for the website to include postage, since it’s printed it allows you to have a keepsake copy, easy for guests to reply and for you to keep track of who has accepted/denied/not opened the invitation
Cons: can be costly if you choose higher-end options (such as foil-pressed or letterpress)
Buy Premade, Pre-Printed Invites
Stores like Target and Wal-Mart have premade, pre-printed invitations that you can either handwrite in the details or feed them through a printer after you’ve downloaded a template. Find these invitations in the party aisles at your nearest big box store.
Pros: great for a last minute option, affordable, since it’s printed it allows you to have a keepsake copy
Cons: doesn’t look as nice as professionally done invitations, you still have to buy postage, stores might not have a design option for your specific type of event
Hire a Graphic Designer
While this is the most costly option, hiring a graphic designer allows for you to have your specific vision come to life. Graphic designers are often used for wedding invitations, but the sky's the limit with the type of invitation they can create.
Ashley Purser from Purser Weddings is used to creating unique invites for her clients. “There’s something so intimate and special about a paper invitation; especially one that’s totally customized to your event. In today’s world it’s so easy to send a text, or even an email, to let people know about a party, but the invitation is the first peek at what your event will be like and sets the tone for your guests. Go the extra step of getting custom invites to make your guests feel special and like you’ve really been intentional about every detail.”
Pros: will provide the most customizable option, since it’s printed it allows you to have a keepsake copy, graphic designers often work with printers and can offer you personal design and printing options
Cons: expensive, can take weeks to finalize a design big box store.
Once you’ve decided where and how to have your invitations designed, you’ll want to make sure they include all of the pertinent information.
Photo cred: Ashley Purser (purserweddings.com)
What to Include in Your Invitation
Type of Event
e.g. “Amanda’s 5th Birthday Party” or “Parker’s Bar Mitzvah”
Day and Date
e.g. “Saturday, March 28th”
e.g. “10:00am” or “10am-1pm” if you’d like to include an end time
e.g. “123 Main Street” or “Jonesville Park”
Details to clarify for guests
Include anything that might help your guests know what to expect. Will there be food? Is there a certain meeting point? Is this a themed party and they are supposed to dress accordingly?
e.g. “Join us for a princess pizza party to celebrate Hadley’s fifth birthday! We’ll have pizza and soda, and will provide gluten free options as well. Dress in your best princess outfit and meet us under the pavilion by the playground!”
Whether or not to bring gifts
It’s optional whether or not you need to include this. If you specifically do not want gifts, make sure to include a small statement such as “no gifts, please.” Or, if it’s for a party such as a baby shower, make sure you include the registry links (“Shannon is registered at Amazon and Target”). You can also state if you’d prefer donations instead of gifts (“In lieu of gifts, Matt would appreciate donations made to (Name) Hospital”).
How to RSVP
Online evites often have the ability for guests to RSVP digitally.
If you’re using a printed invitation, you can either have guests RSVP to a phone number or email (often the host’s), or provide an RSVP card (with envelope/postage included) for more upscale events
Invitations are such an exciting thing to receive. Make sure they also serve as an aide to your guests by providing all of the necessary information--and it doesn’t hurt if they’re lovely to look at as well!
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