The purpose of the party invitation is to alert potential guests that they are the lucky ones invited to the party and give them the required information so they can decide if they want to attend, if they are free on the party date to attend and to whom they should accept or decline the invitation.
Some parties are so sought-after that just receiving the invitation is enough to put the recipient in a tizzy – such as this invitation to the Clinton-Gore inauguration. The invitation itself doesn’t have to do more than relay the required information. No colorful pictures, no huge text, no exclamation points.
The kid’s party invitation holds almost as much power of persuasion to a child as the inauguration invitation when handed to them at school with all their other classmates. (Sure, they’re usually colorful with pictures that indicate the party theme, but even if they were on letterhead kids would get out-of-their-minds excited.)
The fill-in invitation is regarded passé but I think it still has its place. Kids don’t care what the invitation looks like, they’re just over-the-moon happy to get one. The busy mom who has the invitation waved under her nose as soon as the child gets home from school appreciates the fill-in invitation because she knows immediately where to find the party date – which is the first thing she has to read to answer the “can I go” from her bouncing child.
With today’s technology it is sooo easy to send customized invitations (such as this first birthday invitation from Cafepress) that many people choose this type of invitation so it can show their personality, match their party theme or just look a little more professional.
At $1.50 each – including the envelope – the price makes it even harder to resist.
The latest craze is sending a Gift Invitation. This is an object – a gift – with the invitation attached.
When someone gives a gift invitation, they pretty much know that the invited guest will attend. Sometimes the invitation is mailed in a box, but most times it is handed personally to the invitee.
The purpose of the gift invitation is to focus on the party theme and to stir up added excitement for the upcoming festivities. (Lets be honest: in the competitive world of parties, it’s also to let everyone know that this is going to be the best. party. ever.)
The gift doesn’t have to be costly nor does it have to be elaborate.
This is simply a caramel apple flavored lollipop included with the invitation (free printable available at One Charming Party.)
Here are some more ideas:
- attach the invitation for a pool noodle for a pool party
- write the invitation information on a beach ball, deflate and mail for a beach party
- write the information on an inflatable #1 finger, deflate and mail for a sports party
- put the invitation in a clear bottle for a pirate party
- attach it to a little bottle of bubbly or champagne bubble bath for a new year’s invitation
- attach it to a tiara for a princess party
- put a sheriff’s badge on it for a cowboy party
- attach it to a theme shaped cookie
- attach it to the handle of a tea cup for a tea party
- include a tea bag for a tea party
- include a super hero eye mask for a super hero party
- attach it to fairy wings for the girls to wear to the party
- send a fortune teller finger game in an envelope that opens up with the party information
- roll the invitation around a toy rolling pin for a baking party
- attach it to a bag of legos, play dough or other toy that fits the party theme
- attach it to a pool noodle with duct tape handle for a light sabre for a Star Wars party
- put the information in a homemade fortune cookie
- print a candy bar wrapper for a large chocolate bar with the party information and wrap it around
You get the idea. Just think of an item that represents the theme of your party and attach it to the object or a toy or cookie version of the object.
The ultimate gift invitation is the surprise ball which is essentially a ball of crepe paper with little toys, trinkets and candy wrapped inside. As the crepe paper is unrolled the gifts fall out until the end when the invitation information is revealed.
See our tutorial on how to make a suprise ball invitation.
Take your invitations to the next level and appeal to more senses than just sight.
As mentioned above, send a lollipop with a flavor that relates to your party theme, a chocolate bar or cookie. Think about which flavors might be reminiscent of your chosen theme.
It’s as easy as spraying the inside of the envelope with a specific scent – and you can use it again at the door as guests arrive to link the two. There’s pine scent for Christmas invitations, sea breeze for a beach party, cookie dough for a baking party, baby powder scent for a baby shower, and so on.
You’ve seen the cards that play music in the card shops, but did you know you can record your own? There are blank Sound Modules for Greeting Cards so you can record your own music or message.
The 10 Second Recordable Sound Module is cheaper, and you can send an ocean sound for a beach party, seagulls squawking for a pirate party, horns playing a royal proclamation for a princess party, etc.
When you’re creating your own invitation it’s easy to get so excited about the creative side of it that you miss the practical so here’s a list of information that should be included in your invitation as a checklist.
- Name of the host and/or honoree – the birthday girl or birthday boy
- Date of party including Day, Month and Time
- Address of party venue – include a map and phone number for the venue if people haven’t been there before
- Reason for the party – birthday, anniversary, baby shower, milestone or playday
- RSVP – give them the name and phone number for them to call to confirm or decline the invitation, along with a “reply by” date that is a week before the party to give you enough time to chase them down if necessary
- “Best wishes only” notice if you don’t expect them to come bearing gifts
- Requests: specify if you want them to wear a costume or bring something in particular for the party, let them know that its a suprise party, tell them about any special terms or events happening at the party and what they’ll need such as a swim suit for a pool party
Consider including a request to bring canned goods for the local food bank or a donation for a charity that is connected to your party theme such as Cookies for Kids Cancer for a baking party or diapers or baby formula for the food bank for a baby shower. If collecting money, make it a competition between the guys and the girls to see who donates the most.
I hope these ideas have sparked your imagination and helped you create the perfect party invitation for your soirée.