Party Invitation Wording Etiquette

Throwing a party? The last thing you want to worry about is proper party #invitation #etiquette - yet, the right party invitation wording is more important than you might think.

The very appearance, and your choice of words, should tell guests what they can expect from your party. A stiff, engraved card with conventional choice of words conveys a quite different sort of party than an informal or quirky invitation.

Choosing a former party invitation style for an informal party can make you look like a pretentious snob. You don't want to cause confusion with the wrong choice of words for your party invitation: remember, your party invitation sets the tone for your occasion! Make sure it's the right one!

Your party invitation wording should make clear to the guests what level of formality is expected: is it a formal, semi-formal, informal occasion? What can your guests expect at the party?

Should you mention anything about gifts, or whether children are allowed at the party? Probably not - except for very informal occasions. What you absolutely need to include is R.S.V.P.

Although it seems like anything goes these days, all invitation phrasing should be in the third person. Dates and days, as well as years and hours, should always be spelled out. Do not use abbreviations! You can also skip your zip number - it is going to be on your envelope as the return address.

You don't use punctuation at the end of the lines when writing your party invitations; commas can, however, be used to separate the information that appears on the same line. You don't capitalize the first letter of each line, unless it is a proper noun.

Do include the proper honorific for guests, where appropriate. Unless it is a very informal event, indicate the dress code: black tie, cocktail attire, themed attire, etc.

Do not use the phrase "the honor of your presence" - that's reserved for events taking place in houses of worship only! You can use "request the pleasure of your company" instead.

Indicate whether it is appropriate for your single guests to bring company to the party. Make an effort to find out the names of your guests' significant others, so you can list them on your invitation as well. If extra guests are not appropriate, list only the name of your guest on an invitation.

If your party is only a precursor to the larger event, don't invite anyone you wouldn't invite to both events! For example, don't invite people you wouldn't invite to your wedding to your engagement party.

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