Monday, January 28, 2013

Tips From the Sages- What Information to Include in an Invitation

You may have guessed based on my most recent posts, that I've decided to expand the scope of what I talk about on Eats and Beats. I'll be continuing to post menus and music, but the other aspects of entertaining are so much fun, and I just think they're worth giving more attention to than I have up until now.

I have a few books that offer great perspective and super helpful advice on hosting. I'm always surprised by how empowered and reassured I feel when I draw from the experience of these authors. So, instead of being a hoarder, I'm going to do posts here and there highlighting some of the gems I read.

Any of you remember when I told you about "It's Just a Dinner Party," the book I got from my friend, Cheryl? Well, I was reading from it this morning and thought I'd share a couple of their thoughts on what to include in an invitation.

"You wouldn't know it from what you see in other books or magazines, but the most important element in an invitation is the information. Not the fluff, glitter, bows, paper quality or typeface. The information.

"Luckily, you already know the basics:
  • Who the party is for
  • What type of party it is-and what type of food will be served
  • Where it is
  • Why you are having the party
  • When the party is
Include this information in your invitation. Then add:
  • Who you are and how to reach you
  • An RSVP requirement and instructions
  • A map or written directions to the event location
  • Other pertinent information (attire, gift acceptance, etc.)
"Remember, your guests should not have to pull a Sherlock Holmes to figure out whether or not to bring a gift, what to wear, where you live, or how to RSVP. It shouldn't be hard to attend a party. Give them the information. Also, try to avoid cutesy terms or vague instructions. 'Festive Attire' could lead to guests arriving in thong bikinis, body glitter and feather headdresses. Be warned (and be more specific.)"

Isn't it great how straight-forward Ron and Julie Malloy (the authors) are?

I have to say that I'm a bit hesitant to mention gifts at all in my invitations, because strict etiquette says it's a no-no. But there's something to be said for people who don't live by the rule book; it puts us at ease in a way, doesn't it? Don't let etiquette boss you around! You put that tacky vinyl tablecloth on your table!

I think I'll leave it at that for the night... Sweet dreams!

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