When it comes to how to invite people, anything goes these days. I've even been invited to a couple weddings via facebook! But just because almost anything is acceptable doesn't mean that they all work equally as well in each situation. So here are the pros and cons of different types of invitations as I see it.
1. In Person/ Over the Phone
- PROS: It is free and personal and you can often get immediate RSVP's
- CONS: Time consuming for large parties. People have no physical reminder of the upcoming event.
- BEST FOR: Inviting a few friends or neighbours over for a casual meal.
2. Make a Facebook Event
- PROS: Also free, and it makes quick and easy work of inviting nearly everyone you know.
- CONS: May be very difficult to get people to RSVP.
- BEST FOR: Large informal events where the exact number of guests doesn't need to be know, such as backyard barbecues and potlucks.
3. Handwritten Invite
- PROS: Simple, beautiful, inexpensive. Plus, who doesn't love to receive mail?
- CONS: May be time consuming. Requires tidy handwriting.
- BEST FOR: A formal dinner party or a very special event. Or pretty much any event if you are crafty and enjoy that sort of thing. (Like me!)
4. Online invitations such as punchbowl or evite.
- PROS: Easy and often free. Tracks RSVP's for you. Arrives immediately.
- CONS: Some guests may be unfamiliar with online invitations, others can miss the invite in a cluttered inbox.
- BEST FOR: Last minute events and casual drop-in style parties.
5. Fill-in-the-blank Invitations
- PROS: Fast and affordable.
- CONS: Very impersonal, may be difficult to find one that reflects the party theme or guest of honour.
- BEST FOR: Suitable for children's birthday parties. Personally I never use them. (see #3!)
6. Custom printed invites
- PROS: Tons of beautiful designs. Check out minted, tinyprints, and etsy!
- CONS: Costly compared to other options. Must plan far ahead enough to order invitations.
- BEST FOR: Large events planned far in advance such as weddings, anniversaries, and milestone birthdays.
A few extra tips:
- Make sure to let people know if you need them to RSVP and how to do so.
- Don't be afraid to be open and spontaneous! I threw a dinner party for six last week with 24 hours notice and texted invites!
- Don't stress it too much. Just be friendly and inviting, and discover what types of invites work best for you. There is (almost) no wrong way to invite people over!
This is day 4 in a series about simple hospitality. Click here to see more.
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