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Invitation and Thank-You Essentials      Back to Articles

Thoughtfully crafted invitations and thank-you cards begin and end each party on a good note. Send memorable missives in proper style with these tips:

To give invitees ample time to make arrangements, send written invitations for formal events two weeks to one month ahead. For informal events, call or invite guests 10 days before. Email invitations, or “evites,” are appropriate for casual occasions only if you know guests check email regularly. For added ease, save your invitee address list—this comes in handy when you write thank-you notes.

Everyone appreciates knowing what to expect in advance, so provide specific party details in the invitation. Are you hosting a backyard barbecue or a formal sit-down dinner? What time do festivities begin? Include directions, if necessary.

Wedding invitations should not include a no-gifts request. Word-of-mouth is the most appropriate way to honor the couple’s wishes.

Also, specify whether you want to include children. A formal sit-down dinner may not be appropriate for youngsters, but kids and adults alike might enjoy a backyard barbecue.

An accurate guest list aids party prep; include a phone number or email address so invitees can contact you. Asking guests to RSVP by a certain date ensures a more definitive guest list than “regrets only.” A few days before the party, call guests who haven’t responded to get a final count.

You should send a thank-you card anytime you receive a gift or favor. Be sure to recognize party hosts too. Break out the thank-you cards within the week following the party. A short but sincere handwritten note goes a long way in acknowledging generosity. Email thank-you notes are only appropriate for casual occasions.

When you’re ready to send your invitations and thank-yous, handwritten addresses add a more personal touch than computer-generated labels.


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