You've decided to throw a soiree. A truly great gathering begins with your invitation. Letting people know you want them to come on over and celebrate can be tricky. Do you call? Do you send out an email blast? How about considering actually sending out cards -like through the mail? Then there's always the online companies a party thrower can utilize.
Regardless of the medium you choose to alert your potential guests, there are a few items that need to be included in order to get the party rolling in the positive direction you hope to begin. So after you decide on the date, place and time, read on to make your invitation a great beginning to a fantastic party.
Who, what, when, where and why are your first order of business. You would be surprised the number of invitations sent that omit one of these information essentials. A party at your place on a certain date but no start time will cause your phone and email to be inundated with follow-ups...probably not what you had in mind. One can never have too many eyes reviewing your invite. Simply forward to a few friends for their input (assuming that they are reliable enough to actually read it) and you are set.
Online vs. mail vs. your own email is another consideration. It's so rare that we receive anything in our mailboxes other than junk mail, a cute card is always welcome. There are plenty of pre-made invitations you can purchase, fill out and put a stamp on. Just remember the advice above. Email is the same - you are just omitting the envelope and stamp. An online resource such as Evite is a great tool for those who are creatively challenged. Their cards will decide on a theme, make sure you don't leave out important details and best of all it's free.
Items that an invite might need but may be overlooked by the hosts - afterall, you have numerous other details on your mind like food, booze, non-alcoholic drinks, mixers, decor, cleaning, etc. - there are plenty of items one might overlook in an invitation.
Quickly run down the list of items a guest may want to know ahead of time. Besides the five W's stated above, will parking be an issue? Do you have ample street parking? Do they have to pay to park? Is there a garage or valet? Make sure they know this prior to heading out as perhaps carpooling with other guests might be in order.
Consider attire for the evening. If it's casual you don't necessarily have to state it - unless you've thrown formal bashes in the past. Is there a theme that may need to follow the attire specifications? That's something your guests will want to know.
Finally are you going to request an RSVP? Do you want to know who is going to attend? Is the guest list so long that you are prepared for 50 or more and will just wing it? If you need a head count there's nothing wrong with requesting an RSVP. Just make sure you tell them how to respond. Do you want a call or a response to the Evite? Do you want them to return it to your email address? Easy directions for your guest will make it easier for you to anticipate food, drinks and where to put everyone's coats.
Now you can move on to the next set of party details.