Cordially Invited: Invitation Etiquette Basics

Cordially Invited: Invitation Etiquette Basics

As technology changes the basics of an invitation remain the same

This holiday season you rush to your mail box to see what holiday parties you and your family have been invited to.  There is nothing better than a holiday get-together.  We all love seeing how other people decorate during the holidays.  A party is an opportunity to visit with friends you may not have seen recently or celebrate with your best friends that have supported you through the year!  But this year you decide to host the party.  How do you go about inviting people?  The formula is easy and it really does not ever change. 

So you want to have a party!  In today’s world you send off a text to 50 of your closest friends and you get an instant response.  The more formal, physical invitations may enlist a calligrapher or the computer.  The same rules apply today no matter which medium you use. It does not matter the method in which you invite people to your event, but the same important information needs to be conveyed. 

Your invitation needs to include the following:

The first line needs to Request your friends to come to a specific kind of event.  Typical phrases are “You’re Invited”  “Please come”, or “You Are Cordially Invited”.

Next you need to inform your potential guests what kind of event you are hosting. For example you may be throwing a baby shower, graduation party, or even a Holiday Party. It is very helpful to know why you are being invited to an event.  It could also be to honor someone. 

When the event will take place must be part of the invitation.  Go overboard and be more formal with this information because you don’t want your guest showing up early, late or possibly at the wrong place.    So write out the “Day of the week”, and the full “Month” and “Year”

 Next will be the Time. Make sure the A.M. or P.M. is included.  There should not be any question as to when the event is taking place.

Location should include a full address.  We now Google or program an address into our GPS computer before we go anywhere.  So, please include a complete address of where the party will be held. 

Who is requesting or hosting the party. This should also include a phone number and or email address. 

The R.S.V.P line means you want a response.  It literally means from the French, “Repondez  s’il vous plait,” “Please respond”.  People tend to not respond or just ignore this part of the invitation.  But, as the planner of the party it is very frustrating to not know how many people are coming.  So if people take the time to invite you to an event they would like a response.  So please call, email, text, and give some kind of response.

Southworth Paper has some wonderful designs and templates to download to your computer to help customize your own party invitations. Be creative and print on color coordinated paper in Parchment of Granite finish, or experiment with different textures like Linen or Laid finish!  Your invitations should reflect who you are and what kind of fun your guests will have at your event.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Cricket Wantland is a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington and is a Certified Consultant of Corporate Etiquette, International Protocol and Children’s Etiquette. She lives in Southern California and offers classes and training to all ages. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter or check out her website at

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One Comment

  1. smartin
    Posted December 15, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for sharing these time honored rules that can be applied to any medium. And such great timing with New Year’s coming up fast!

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