Invitations – Your First Impression

Leaving a good first impression is always important. Whether you are meeting someone for the first time or interviewing for a job, the first impression you give will dictate the tone and style of the meeting. It is no different when it comes to hosting parties — your invitation serves as your first impression.

“Cocktails and Nuptials” was the catch line on a recent wedding e-vite I received. The event is being held Labor Day weekend at an antique store in downtown Chicago. The groom is a close friend of mine and I had to chuckle when I read the invitation since it so accurately reflected his personality – a straight forward city boy who enjoys his parties. His celebration will be a short wedding ceremony followed by a big party.

Your invitation should reflect you and your event. Guests should be able to interpret whether the occasion is formal or casual, what the party theme and colors are, and, of course, the basic information about the purpose or occasion, date, time, location and host.

The biggest debate in the world of invitations is electronic versus printed. Most of the top party-planning websites say either form is acceptable, as long as it reflects your personal style.  If your party is more formal, and you prefer an electronic invitation, consider making an artistic video to send as your invitation.

Whether on paper or on a screen, invitations should always properly address your guests. This sounds simple but can be tricky due to a variety of considerations. Married couples should always have their names on the same line, even if they use different last names. Unmarried couples’ names go on separate lines. If same-sex couples live together, put their names on the same line. If you intend to invite the children of your guests, include the words “and family” after the names – if this is not included, it is implied you are not inviting children. For more information on addressing invitations, read this article from The Knot. Wedding Invitations: Addressing Them

While there is no right or wrong in terms of style, there is a recommended timeline for delivering your invitations.  For casual parties like birthdays and holidays, it is a good idea to send save-the-date cards eight weeks in advance followed by an invitation two weeks in advance. More formal events, like a wedding, call for save-the-date cards going out six to nine months in advance followed by an invitation two to three months out.  Always allow more time for save-the-date cards if your party is on a holiday or being held at a destination that requires extensive travel.

Finally, don’t forget to invite Serendipity to help you plan your party. We have Serendipity event specialists that help from beginning to end of a party, including stationary/invitations, menu planning, decor, rentals, beverage menus, florals and much more!



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