As a guest, have you ever felt uncomfortable walking into a party under or over dressed? Have you attended a party thinking dinner would be served and left starving? It happens to all of us! However, it can all be avoided before the party/event even begins.
The HOST and/or HOSTESS is responsible for setting the right expectations. The GUESTS are responsible for interpreting those expectations. Whether it is a cocktail buffet, cocktail party, open house, reception, or a casual get together, the INVITATION is crucial to communicating this in an easy and understandable manner.
The INVITATION whether paper, verbal, or electronic sets the tone, expectation, and dress code for the event. Setting an expectation upfront helps guests determine
- what to wear
- whether to eat prior to attending
- the duration of time for the event
- buy a gift
TYPES OF PARTIES AND EVENTS
The type of party will help dictate the the type of food and party duration.
TIPS TO CREATE THE BEST INVITATION
- Define the purpose. Examples of gatherings include graduation party, wedding shower, open house, reception, wedding, retirement, etc.
- Include guest or guests of honor names. If applicable
- Set the date and time. Coordinate the date and time with the guest(s) of honor if applicable. I always take note of conflicts as well. Conflicts to consider are national holidays, religious holidays, personal or professional commitments, graduation, prom, homecoming, etc.
- Include the type of party or event. Communicates to the guests the party duration, formality and type of food served.
- Communicate the theme. Some of the best parties I have attended were theme based. I always Google party theme ideas to for a bit of creative assistance. Some ideas include
- Hamptons Summer Party or Summer Croquet Party– everyone is asked to wear all white in the invitation
- Hawaiian – guests are requested to wear tropical prints
- James Bond – men are requested to wear black tie and women are requested to wear a cocktail dress
- r.s.v.p. The French “répondez s’il vous plait” actually means “please reply”. Though not a solid head count, the RSVP will help guide you in determining food and beverage quantities. Unless it is a small event, I usually estimate at least 75% attendance. If your count is above this then plan for your actual RSVP count.