Invitations are an important feature of a memorable celebration. They can prepare guests for your event, create excitement and add a sense of occasion. The invitation essentially lets your guests know the purpose, the location, the date and time. It can also contain other information like a dress-up theme, social media links, requests for dietary requirements etc. Once you have all of your party details confirmed, you have all the information that you will need to create your party invitations.
So as you can see there are quite a few aspects to consider when putting your invitation together. You don’t need to go overboard but a few essential details can add a little style to your invite. I thought I would share my five tips for creating a stylish invitation.
1. Match the invitation to your occasion
Your style of invitation should match your occasion. Invitations for birthdays, baby showers and housewarmings etc., can be fun to put together especially if you choose a theme (luau, 80’s, bad taste etc.) or have a milestone to celebrate (Fabulous 50, Naughty 40 etc.). Wedding and engagement party invitations can be more formal and you might need a designers help when putting these together.
Depending on your occasion and budget, you may choose to send your invitation out as printed cards or perhaps an event website or a stylish mobile invitation.
I love to send out handmade or printed invitations for my birthday parties. For special occasions, like my 40th birthday garden party pictured above, I hired a designer to create digital illustrations of me and Monsieur Bonbon. We used these illustrations to create our save-the-date, party invitation and thank you cards. The designer sent me the final image in a JPEG and I designed the invitation at home and then took it to my local printers to be printed.
TIP: I love using designers for invitations. The image below is by Katherine from Henry James Paper Goods. Henry James is one of my favourite Etsy stores. Katherine is quite popular so you will need to get in early for your party or wedding invitations. Check out her store here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/HenryJamesPaperGoods
Event websites are really popular for weddings. Did you know that you can use them for parties and other celebrations too? I recently designed a friend’s milestone birthday celebration on Splashthat.com. Splashthat is a free custom website for events. You treat it like a Splash page (a website promo page). You can send invitations, track RSVPs, add directions and maps, add a music track from Soundcloud, a video from Youtube, and there’s even a photo wall where guests can upload photos. There are plenty of beautiful themes and layouts to choose from or you can upload your own. I love it! It’s super slick and very user friendly.
Here’s a pic of my friend’s Splashthat page. We uploaded our own photo background (taken by M. Bonbon). We dressed the birthday girl in a toga and took a few photos for the website. Unfortunately it’s a private event so I can’t share the whole experience. If you would like to find out more then check out Splashthat.com.
For the past few years I’ve been using a snazzy little App called Red Stamp. It’s mostly free and contains beautiful designs for invitations, thank you cards, birthday cards and much more. It’s very easy to use. You simply choose your occasion, your design and then customise it. Once you’ve saved your design, you can either save it to your phone or upload to Facebook or even send to Red Stamp so they can print the invitation on paper and send out for you. Visit your app store and download today. Here’s the Red Stamp App link in the Apple store.
2. Place all the important information on your invitation
- Purpose of the celebration
- When it will occur (date and time)
- Where it will occur (venue name and address)
- A response deadline date and to whom you need to respond
- Dress code (dress-up theme, casual, smart casual, cocktail etc.)
3. Include other useful information in an additional insert
If you’re like me and you think of all the details, you may want to include an insert with more information about your event.
- A map will help guide guests to the venue. TIP: Hire a freelance designer to personalise your map. Visit Carol’s Etsy store, CW Designs for some beautiful designs.
- Parking details for those guests driving TIP: Use the Parkopedia App to find the nearest carparks and their opening times and rates.
- Include the Uber app link, public transport information like the tram or bus stops, local taxis and the nearest train station.
- If you’re hosting a destination celebration then you should include details of the nearest accommodation and perhaps a map of the area. It’s also an added benefit if you include negotiated accommodation rates for your party guests. You may want to include other activities around your party, like a recovery breakfast, game of golf or a beach bbq.
4. Use a freelancer to create a design for you
I love to use freelance designers to create my invitation images. I’ve used designers from Etsy and Freelancer.com.au. Most of my designs have set me back around $100 for personalised portraits and illustrated images. For a small cost, you can create stylish invitations that will make your celebration stand out.
5. Get your invites out with plenty of notice for the party
Four weeks is the minimum notice for a celebratory party. If you are inviting family and friends from interstate or overseas, it would be polite to give them a little more warning. Destination celebrations may need up to a year’s notice. If this is the case, then you may want to send out a save-the-date (top photo) to give your guests plenty of notice to book travel and accommodation etc.