Party Invitation Etiquette

When to Send Out Your Invitations

For a formal party, send invitations six to eight weeks before the event, you may even consider sending out save the date cards prior to the invites if the event is more than a month or two away. For a more informal affair, send invitations two to three weeks prior to the celebration to give everyone on your guest list plenty of time to prepare for the festivities.

What to Include in an Invitation

Depending on the occasion you may want to word the invitations extremely formerly, starting with something like ‘You are cordially invited’ for a work or black tie event, or if it is a party for family and friends you might consider something less formal and more informative.

Invitation Text: Include a short phrase inviting your friends and family to the event. Something like “You’re invited to” or “Sarah would love you to join her to celebrate”

A Description of the Occasion: Briefly explain the purpose of the invitation and what the event is about, for example “Anna’s 30th Birthday party” or “Jamie's Fancy Dress Disco”

The Date and Time: List the day and date of the party, followed by the time. You may want to add a finish time if your venue has closing restrictions or for a child’s party where the parents will need to know when to collect their child

The Venue: If the party venue has a name (e.g. Barneys Playplace), include it on the invitation along with the address, you may want to shorten the address to the street name and postcode to preserve the look for your invites. For large scale events where people may be travelling to your venue, it may be helpful to include a map or a sat nav postcode.

Other Instructions: You may need to add that it is fancy dress or that you want your guest to bring a bottle or maybe they need to bring their swimming kit for a pool party or you need to let your guests know that it is formal attire – add these additional pieces of information towards the bottom of your invitation.

RSVP: RSVP An abbreviation of the French request, "répondez s'il vous plait" Here is the place to let your guests know the best way of contacting you to let you know if they can attend or not. You may want to add just a phone number for a kids party so that parents can text their RSVP’s or you may need written confirmation along with additional info such as meal choice.