Once you've finally figured out the theme and who you want to invite, you better get started on those invitations, especially considering they are the first impression your guests will get of the event. If the invitation looks cheap and gaudy, you may not be getting very many RSVPs. E-vites are a great option, as they allow immediacy and saves you money, enabling you to splurge more on the actual party. Just because they're online, doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style either. The Marc Friedland Collection for Evite Postmark gives versatile designs that can fit all sorts of gatherings, from dinner to cocktail parties. "The invitation is your first moment of connection with your guests, and is a great way to make a meaningful first impression with clear and thoughtful wording that sets the tone for the party to come," says Friedland. He also suggests to use some humor in the wording, which will help build human interest, and to never use acronyms. If you're tempted to create two lists, one with first priority guests and another with second, don't! "Realizing you were part of a “second wave” of invites that went out after the host received too many declines feels like a slight. Make realistic plans in advance to adjust for a higher or lower than expected turnout," says Friedland.
If you're more of a fan of the traditional paper invitation, you need to figure out which type suits your event: the classic invite or the creative invite. According to Johansson, the classic invitation should always be chosen for grander events, like weddings and Oscar parties, and should be printed on thick cardstock as it "will give a luxurious feel to your invite." There are some rules you should take into consideration, such as the color and size - classic invitations should be white or cream-colored, according to Johansson, and the card should be either 4x6 or 5x7 inches. If you want to make a lasting impression, try handwriting the guest's name with a calligraphy pen. This could be a good time to add a handwritten note for any guests you would especially like to see attend.
For creative invitations, you can do whatever you want…as long as it fits your theme. "A creative invitation is perfect for a birthday or cocktail party and nowadays it's also common to send out creative invitations to parties that traditionally used to have only classic invitations - wedding and baby showers, for example," says Johansson. "Let your creativity and style decide what your invitation should look like, and don't hesitate to experiment…" If you're throwing a spring party, maybe send some planting seeds with the invite, for example. Johansson also suggests live invitations, if money isn't a problem. "Have a flower messenger deliver invitations to the midsummer night's party in his bouquets…or hire a belly dancer to invite your friends to an exotic Turkish brunch while shaking her hips."