Confections by Shara's Paperie

Call Us: (901) 218-6161

Who, What, When, Where and Why

Posted April 15, 2011

Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with a client on the details for her son's engagement party invitation.  She was as sweet as can be and had no idea what should or should not be on the invitation.  I started thinking about how many invitation orders get submitted to us that are missing some essential piece of information.  So I thought I would blog about that.  A cheat sheet you can use to make sure that you get all necessary information on your invitation.

1. What is the date of the party?  I always suggest that you put the day and the date on the invitation. For example, Saturday, April 16th.  This just makes it a bit clearer what date the party is on. 

2. What is the time of the party?  Now remember most parties do not start at the time that they are called for.  Guests like to be fashionable late.  If you would like your party to really get going around 7, consider putting 6:30 on the invitation.  You may have a few should up on time, but most will likely be there a bit later. 

3. What time does the party end?  There are two instances where you need to be specific about when the party will end.  A child's birthday party should have an ending time.  This gives moms and dads the information that they need to plan who has to pick up and drop off when.  Another instance is the Open House, if you categorize your event as an Open House tell guests what time it starts and ends. By doing this you are giving a clear indication of when the party is and when it isn't.

4. Where is the party taking place?  In Memphis where I am there are a lot of suburban areas that make up the greater Memphis area.  So you can easily live in Memphis and be going to a party at an address in Germantown.  I always suggest the address and city to be put on the invitation.  I don't think that you need the zip code.  And lets face it, Google can easily find any address with the address and city.  A personal thing, but I just think zips are so unattractive on invitations

5. Who or what is the party for?  Seems so basic I know!  But you would be surprised how many invitation orders get submitted to us without that specific information.  

6. Regrets or RSVP?  This is a tough one.  RSVP indicates that guests should let you know if they will or will not be coming, so a phone call or email is required either way.  Regrets means you only want to know if someone is NOT coming.  No matter which one you choose you will have a hard time getting people to do either.  In today's world people seem to have forgotten their manners and that is completely obvious when you ask your guests to either regret or rsvp to your party.  Certainly a pet peeve of mine, if you don't want to come to the event then that is fine.  But please have the courtesy to respond!  I always recommend an email and phone number on the invitation (unless of course it is a more formal event and requires a response card).  Give your guests the easy way out.  They can call if they want to tell you why they can or cannot come or they can email which is sometimes quicker and more efficient. But be prepared to have guests show who said no, guests not show who said yes and a few who just show up and you never heard a word from.

7. What other details should you include? If you are hosting a shower, you can put the registry information on the invitation.  Now honestly I don't like it, but it is a whole lot better then registry information onf the wedding invitation, but that is another entry at another time. I recommend  at least 2 different registries so guests have choice of where to shop.  Are you hosting a surprise party?  You might want to tell guests what time that they need to arrive, for example "6 o'clock sharp".  Also let them know what time the guest of honor is arriving, hopefully this will prevent any surprises being blown.  Don't forget to put in the wording of your invitation "It's A Surprise", you don't want anyone blowing it.  

There are of course hundreds of types of parties to plan, and we love coming up with the custom invitations for everyone.  But just think of this as a simple checklist of important information to have on any invitation, not matter what your event.