In pursuit of a simple, fabulous, imperfect life at home.

{Simple Hospitality, Day 4} Simple Invitations

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!
Why not invite somebody today?  For tea or dinner or drinks on the porch?  Just do it!

This is day 4 in a series about simple hospitality.  Click here to see more.

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  Please take a moment to "like" me on facebook or sign up for my RSS feed.


  1. Ha ha, I usually text or call, or sometimes in person. For my daughter's birthday, I find a free image and put it in a Publisher document, sized for 4 to a page. Then I just type in all the information in a cute font and colour, copy and paste the image with the text boxes to the other three quarters of the page and print. They cut up in a jiff and off they go!

    And I have to say, I didn't know there was a zoo in Peterborough!

    1. There is! And it's free!

  2. Ahhh, I love to make beautiful invites :) Some famous Swedish party organizer once said that a good invite sets the mood of the entire party.
    For New Year's Eve, I scented the invites with some swanky perfume (from those magazine strips) before I sent them out. Not sure my recipients could tell, but I loved it :)

  3. Thanks so much for this series.. I have been toying with the idea of having a formal dinner party near christmas time for my dear friends I have made through church... however normally we are just having coffee in our jammies after we drop our kids at school.. this is very informative ... keep it coomin

  4. I know it is selfish but it makes me very happy to see regular posts from you again. I love your style of writing, your beautiful nature, lovely home and family. I know you have had a hard time lately and I hope that getting back into the swing of things and receiving lovely messages from your 'fans' is a good type of therapy. You lift my spirit and I hope you feel that too. Lots of love from across the pond. S xxx ps going to hold a potluck Autumn meal with friends asap

  5. Good idea to go through all the possible invites these days! I wish more people would simply do the RSVP thing/ How do you respond to that side of the hospitality? It just seems there's such an informal way out there and inconsideration to let the hostess know. Not too bugged by this. :)


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