Sending your dinner party invitations requires a little thought, depending on what type of party you are planning to hold i.e. formal, informal or very casual. It is one of the most important, but enjoyable parts of planning your party.
You need to reflect the theme (if any) and the type of party you are planning. There are several ways of doing this which are listed below in more detail. But in general terms, there's the invitation card, email, telephone call and the face to face method. The wording and etiquette of your dinner party card is important, so I will outline a few ideas here to get you started!
In general, all invitations have things in common and information that they all must include. These are: Who is holding the dinner party and where is it to take place. What the occasion is, if any. The time and date of the event and the dress code or theme of the party.
The last thing to appear should be an R.S.V.P. with your name and full contact details so that your guest can let you know whether or not they can come along! It's also acceptable if you wish, to request that their response back to you be made within a certain time period.
Formal invitation etiquette is quite rigid. Your invites should be sent out at least six to eight weeks before your party.
Your wording needs to follow certain rules of etiquette as well! The wording should be formal in style and set out in the third person. It must also clearly state the date and time in words not numbers i.e. 'Eight o' clock in the evening', not 8pm. The same goes for the date as well. So you would write, 'Saturday, December the third' not Sat Dec 3rd or 03.12.15. Do not use any abbreviated words and ensure your spelling and grammar are correct.
The senders names, as well as the recipients, are stated in formal terms, eg. 'Mr and Mrs John Smith'.
The date is stated in words, not numbers, eg. Saturday the fourth of December 2015 (it's o.k. to put the year in numbers).
R.S.V.P. must be included at the bottom of the invitation.
When children are not invited you will need to indicate this formally by stating that it is an 'Adult reception'.
Avoid using over the top language and double check your spelling and grammar.
Don't forget your return address and contact details including a telephone number if possible.
You may also include a covering letter outlining further details of events, directions and any other information you wish to convey.
Mr and Mrs Gordon Bennett
cordially invite you to a dinner party
to celebrate their first wedding anniversary
at 123 The Street, Chester CH1 3TB
on Saturday the first of August 2015
at seven thirty in the evening.
Smart casual wear.
R.S.V.P. 01244 654321
Mr and Mrs John Doe
request the honor of the presence of
Mr Peter Wolf and Miss Ann Summers
for a dinner dance
on Saturday the thirteenth of November 2015
at eight o'clock in the evening
at The Grosvenor Hotel Ball Room,
Long Lane, Chester CH2 3RY
Black tie. Adult reception
R.S.V.P. 40 The Way, Chester CH4 2HK
Telephone 01244 987654
The informal dinner party is far more common and a lot more versatile than it's formal cousin. The written invitation card still requires all the information that's included in the formal one, but can be made much more personal and a lot more fun.
Sending your invite card two or three weeks beforehand is perfectly acceptable. You may use abbreviations for words and write numbers, but don't forget to check your spelling!. You can even introduce a little humour if you like.
We would love you to come and join us both
for a dinner party bash at our house on Sat 2nd Dec at 7pm
Get back to us A.S.A.P.
Greetings from the Jones's
We are holding the dinner party of the year to
celebrate Bills 40th birthday.
We hope you can come and join us at our place
on Sat 10th June at 7.30pm Tel 01244 356378
p.s. We know you won't come empty handed, so you
may have to ring the door bell with your nose!
If you prefer to be even more casual and laid back, then an email or telephone call is fine, especially if it's short notice. This is by far the easiest way to make arrangements. With the telephone invite you can very easily let your guests know everything very quickly indeed and even shuffle dates to try and ensure everyone can come.
You can also let guests know who else is coming, and what food is being served etc. You can't do that when you go the formal route though. If you are looking for printable invitations to down load check out this link.
Last but not least, simply ask your guests in person, face to face! But whatever type of function you are thinking of holding, the most important thing is that you and your guests enjoy yourselves! So, don't agonise over your invites! But if you do go the formal route simply follow the rules!