Invitation etiquette is there to help you when you have to make important decisions about party invites and the type of information to include in those. Certain rules need to be followed in order to get the message across in a classy manner.
This etiquette affects each aspect of the invitation - the time of sending, the content, the visuals and the style. These are the important aspect you need to know when making up your mind.
When to Send the Invitations?
The first aspect of invitation etiquette involves the date and most appropriate time to send out the invites.
It all depends on the type of event about to take place. A birthday party demands little time for preparation - the invitation could be sent a week in advance. Parties that ask for more preparation - baby showers, bridal showers or anniversaries need to be announced several weeks in advance.
You should also think about where guests are coming home. Are people going to fly in, are they coming from distant places? In case guests are supposed to make travel arrangements, you should send the invitations very early.
A general rule of thumb is that very official events demand invitation sending at least six weeks prior the party.
What Information Must be Included?
Etiquette affects the type of information to be included in the party invitation. Creative elements can be added but a number of important elements have to be included regardless of the type of party.
A typical invitation contains a creative element or an announcement at top. This element can be modified to correspond to individual needs and the overall tone of the party.
Beneath, you will have to include all the essential information that guests will need in order to come to the party. This information includes day, date, address of the venue and directions, RSVP information, gift preferences, dress code and party theme, if you are going to have one.
If the venue is difficult to find, you should also consider adding a small map alongside the directions. Include a telephone number that guests can use to get more directions or to ask questions.
Appropriate Tone and Visuals
The tone of the writing and the visuals are also subjected to an invitation etiquette. Moderation is of key importance. Keep it well-balanced and intelligent.
The tone should correspond to the party theme and the type of guests invited. A younger gathering calls for a more informal tone. Business and official parties ask for well-structured, intelligently written and formal wording.
Visuals that you choose need to enhance the written information. They should remain subtle. Overpowering visuals will interfere with the message and will look inappropriate. Have one main highlight and get other elements to supplement it.
Punctuation and Grammar
It is a must to keep the invitation free from typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes. This rule applies to all types of invites, regardless of the type of party or event you are organizing.
Mistakes reveal sloppiness and lack of attention to detail. Getting all party aspects to be impeccable could be difficult. You have many organization steps to worry about and to perfect. Yet, the invitation is the first thing that guests see. A mistake there will spoil the impression you are trying to make.
Etiquette is designed to help you and to give you general rules to follow when planning a party. You are free to make interpretations but try to achieve some of the basics that etiquette asks for.