What to put (and leave off) party invites


Do include important details

You’ve put a lot of effort into your party. Make sure the guests know what to expect.

Here is the information you should include:

  • Occasion (graduation, baby shower, birthday, anniversary, etc.)
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • RSVP
  • Dress code 

Kids’ party invite tips

For a children’s party, there are a few other things you should probably include, such as whether it’s a drop-off event if the kids need to wear anything (like sneakers for playing or a shirt that might get dirty), how long the party will last, and whether food will be provided.

Formal party invite tips

If it’s a formal or catered event, you might also include if guests should expect a cash bar.

Do match the invitation to the occasion

There are many ways to invite people to events, from simple text messages to formal printed invitations. When you’re trying to decide how to send invitations, you should think about how casual your party is. The more casual the party, the more casual the invitation can be.

Backyard BBQ? A text message with just the details is acceptable.

Bridal shower? It’s better to mail printed invitations to the guests.

Other invitations fall somewhere in between, like electronic invitations through e-mail or printed invites you can hand to recipients.

When planning the invitation type, you can also think about design. For example, the invitation can help share your party’s theme with the guests.

Don’t send your party invitations too early or too late

For most parties, aim to send your invitations 3-6 weeks before the event. 

The less formal the celebration, the less time you need to give. These are the events where you plan a party, send invites (maybe just through text or email), and “see who shows up.” 

For more formal parties, like baby showers or wedding showers, you should give guests more time to plan. After all, they would want to prioritize and attend these occasions, and some guests might need to travel from out of town. 

Don’t forget your wish list

If you’re planning a celebration in honor of a bride, mom-to-be, married couple, or birthday, guests are likely to want to bring presents. You can include the registry information on the invitation for most formal parties where a registry is appropriate.

However, for birthday parties, it’s not the best etiquette to include a wish list with the invitation. If someone asks directly you can share it with them.

We still recommend that you make one, especially for kids. Giftster is a great website for creating a web-based wishlist you can share with anyone who asks.





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