So you are planning on hosting a Christmas party this year and want to design and create your own party invitations. In addition to the basic invitation elements (like the who, what, when, where and why), you will also want to note whether the party will be a full Christmas dinner or simply appetizers, what type of dress is required (casual or formal) and whether drinks or simply setups will be provided. Even if many of your guests may know where your house is, consider including a map and directions on the back of the invitation or on a separate insert within the invitation.
No matter what type of holiday party you are hosting, always include the day of the party, as well as the date to eliminate the chance of confusion.
Handwritten invitations are appropriate for any event, but be sure the handwriting standards match the tone of your invitation.
Capitalize only words that would be capitalized in normal writing, like “Tuesday” and “Easter.” Use commas between days and dates, but only use periods at the end of full sentences.
Always check your spelling at least once before printing or writing out invitations, and have someone else check it too. When it comes to proofreading, four eyes are better than two.
Give information about what the party entails. Guests should know whether the party is going to have a full sit-down meal or if there will just be snacks. This portion of the invitation can also include information about the party’s theme or large-scale activities such as the necessity for a costume if it’s a masquerade-style party, or the need for ice skates if the party includes a trip to a nearby skating rink.
Include contact information so invitees can let you know whether or not they’ll be attending. Given that December is full of office parties and other holiday celebrations, it’s a good idea to send the invitations out early so everybody can mark it on their calendars and have plenty of time to respond.
Formal Holiday Party Invitations
1. Begin formal holiday invitations with the name of the host or hostess, such as “Brad and Evelyn Warrick request the honor of your presence at their fourth annual Christmas Ball.”
2. Include the necessary information on the invitation in the following order: day, date, time and place.
3. Use a separate response card if you want guests to confirm their attendance. A formal holiday invitation should include a reply card in its own stamped, addressed envelope that reads “Please respond by (date),” followed by two lines centered beneath the request. Start the first line with the capital letter “M” and allow enough space for a guest to fill in his name, such as Mr. Jones. The second line should read something like “will/will not attend”–which indicates that a guest should circle the appropriate choice before returning the reply.
4. Provide guests with directions, if needed, by printing them on a small card that can fit into an evening purse or wallet.
5. Formal invitations are typically printed on white or off-white stationary with a script font. Limit the use of holiday themes or colors on formal invitations. For instance, a simple red, green or gold border on ivory paper is appropriate for a formal Christmas party invitation.
Semiformal Holiday Party Invitations
1. Set the tone of a semiformal holiday event with polite but relaxed wording, such as “Please join the Smith family for Easter brunch.”
2. Write out all the dates and numbers or use standard Arabic numerals for a semiformal invitation, but be consistent. For instance, write “Sunday, April 16, 2010,” not “Sunday, April sixteenth, 2010.”
3. Include RSVP information at the bottom of the invitation. Word the request politely, such as “Please RSVP by calling 555-5555 on or before April 8, 2010.” For the convenience of your guests, supply directions with the invitation.
Casual Holiday Party Invitations
1. Start a casual party invitation with a friendly greeting, such as “You’re invited to a Christmas costume party!” or “Come to our Christmas carnival.”
2. Include all the important information, such as day, date, time and place by using numerals instead of words, such as “Saturday, October 31, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.”
3. Share RSVP information at the bottom of the invitation with the suggestion to “call for directions” or include them in the invitation. With a casual invitation, you may also include other information such as “prizes for the best costume” or “bring a donation for the food bank and get a free raffle ticket for a special treat.”