Invitation 101: A Guide to Craft the Right Invitation


There is almost nothing better than receiving an invitation in the mail. Whether it be a to a birthday, wedding or anniversary party, receiving a formal and tangible expression of another’s goodwill just feels good. For the recipient, an invitation signifies that they are important to you.

The modern invitation has evolved from the finely engraved cards sent out during the Victorian era to the commercially-printed stationary of the mid-1900s to the recent crafty and Pinterest-inspired creations that are popular today. While they may vary in appearance, all invitations share a basic structure, style and sentiment.

Here are a few details to keep in mind when crafting just the right invitations.

Save the date!

Save the date cards are not just for weddings. Before the details of any given party are settled, the host will most likely have chosen a date. A save the date card lets friends and family know that their presence matters. This card should be sent out the moment the date is chosen. Then as the host you can take a breath and start focusing on the details of the big day.

The invitation:

Being specific is key when it comes to invitations. Ambiguity is not recommended. A guest wants to know exactly what is expected from them. First there are the basics - such as who, what, where and when of your event. Who is the party for? Is the party a surprise? Is it a Potluck? Second, guests want to know if there is anything expected of them. That can be taken care of in the text of the invite but you might want to include it in an added enclosure.

Added enclosures:

You don’t want the invitation to be too cluttered with information so adding an extra card with specific instructions is best. If it is a surprise, let the guest know if they need to park somewhere special. If it is a potluck, what should they bring. Are the guests of honor registered anywhere for gifts? More often than not, including directions to an event is still a good idea. A direction card can include landmarks and added information that GPS may not, such as suggested parking areas.


Every invitation should include an RSVP. And RSVP cards are not just for formal events, such as christenings or weddings. Emails can go to spam folders and we don’t always have pen and paper hand to jot down the RSVPs as they come in by phone. Just be sure and remember to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope enclosed.

Thank you notes:

Just as important as inviting loved ones to join in your special day is thanking them for being there or letting them know they were missed. You already have the names and addresses for those you invited so as you write out the invitations, address the thank you notes. Thank you notes bring the experience of receiving an invitation full circle.