Are you hosting a holiday event? In the age of e-vite and Facebook invitations, sending an invitation out by mail will leave an elegant impression during a time when we are otherwise bombarded with online invitations. Although there is certainly a time and place for online invitations, today I’ll be talking about printed invitation do’s and don’ts.
Every December I host a Christmas Tea at my home. It’s evolved from an afternoon tea with dainty food items to a hearty lunch that starts at 11:00 am and goes on through the afternoon. My friends and I sit around and literally catch up on what has happened throughout the year. Through joyful weddings, precious babies, sad divorce and the occasional heartache, we have been together through many of life’s ups and downs. I appreciate the loyalty, tradition, most important the friendship that has grown throughout the years.
The date is set in stone, first Saturday of every December. The time, place, the theme, and menu remain the same each year – making it a cherished tradition for us all. Even so, I always find great joy in selecting the perfect invitation. Following are some holiday invitation do’s and don’ts that I would like to share:
Invitation Do’s and Don’ts for the Holidays
1. Match your invitation to the “feel” of your party or event. If you are planning a festive tea, the invitation should honor the sentiment. If you are planning an evening tapas party, it would look different than a mid-day tea and cookie exchange.
2. Give specifics. Even if your event is an annual tradition, the invitation should include all of the details such as the time, place, location, name of host and specific requests such as “Bring 5 dozen cookies and a dozen for the tea table”.
3. For an evening event, include a dress code. It’s a courteous gesture to include your expectations for holiday attire. “Festive” may mean different things to different people so keep in mind the invitation is going to lend a clue.
4. Check your grammar and spelling. Avoid abbreviations, and make sure to spell out the time and year on formal invitations.
5. Avoid the harsh “No kids”. A better option would be to creatively word your invitation or be clear on the envelope, only naming those that are invited.
1. Send the invitation out at the last minute and expect people to attend. Perhaps for a potluck but not for a holiday event that you have spent time, effort and money arranging.
2. Scratch through a mistake. It you have taken the time to send a special invitation, make sure your invitation is beautifully presented. Should a mistake happen, use a new card or correct the error with care.
3. Make it impossible for people to participate. If you are planning a destination party, make sure it’s in the same state! Or, if you are throwing a holiday masquerade ball, specify that costumes are “optional”, unless you want to eliminate those that you know won’t attend. By trying to be “over the top”, you exclude those that may not be able to participate.
4. Forgo the RSVP. An thoughtful RSVP allows you to have a solid head count and make sure you have made or ordered enough food and holiday desserts to go around.
5. Don’t forget the decorative stamp. Just like icing on the cake, your choice of holiday stamp shows that you have paid special attention to every small detail.
I wish you much happiness this holiday season, and hope you find joy in friendship and family during this busy month!