Are You Ready to Order Your Party Invitations?

At The Papery, we’re happy to help our customers find the right and appropriate invitation to suit their every party need. But when it comes to ordering your party invitations, it’s important to keep these logistical details in mind before heading to meet the stationer:

1. Party Date: Have you established the date for the celebration?

2. Start Time: Depending on type or formality of the celebration, the time of day the event will start is a crucial detail to determine from the get-go. Evening events tend to be more formal than daytime parties; however, in today’s world of entertaining, that’s not always the case. Also, many religions have time restrictions on when a wedding ceremony can being at different times of the year. For more casual, laid back gatherings, a time range may be more suitable for the invitation.

3: Venue: Do you have a location for all parts of your event? For weddings, there may be a house of worship and a reception location to consider. Street addresses for each location should be confirmed and communicated.

4. Type of Event: No matter how creative the tone or design the invitation has, it should clearly announce the type of occasion it’s for. When it comes to surprise parties and events, it’s CRUCIAL to make that very clear on the invite!

5. Who’s hosting the event? This can be the most challenging of all the details to determine. Whether it’s a bar mitzvah invitation where the parents of the child are divorced, or a bridal shower hosted by both the mother of the bride and all the bridesmaids, the wording that makes everyone most comfortable should be the way to go. If that doesn’t fly with everyone, the hosts should be listed as the individuals paying for the event. Whatever you do, don’t assume you know who it is without discussing it with them first. For instance, one of my dear friends chose NOT to list her parents on her wedding invitation because she and her fiancé were paying for their own wedding. This simple tradition managed to deeply hurt her parents’ feelings and could have been avoided if she’d just discussed it first with her parents.

6. Response Cards, RSVPs and Replies: No matter what the type of party or the formality level for it, every host needs a count of who is attending the festivities. That means the guests need to communicate whether they are attending or not. For more formal invitations, a separate response card should be included that a guest can return by mail. Informal events may only require RSVPs by email or phone call. In any scenario, replies should be given by a date that is printed clearly on the invitation.

7. Suggested Attire: Tricky, tricky, tricky the whole attire question has become in recent years. It used to be the type and time of day of the event clearly communicated the attire required to attend. No longer. It must be spelled out specifically and sometimes, explained beyond that in further communications. Trendy attire descriptions such as “festive attire” or “urban cocktail” can sometimes lead to more questions and confusion to guests. It’s best to look
to the host for guidance, either by considering how they usually dress themselves and the formality of their entertaining style, or by simply asking.

8. Enclosure Cards: Having some idea what additional information needs to be communicated in the invitation suite saves time and stress later. Common enclosure cards to consider may include: hotel accommodations and transportation cards, bridal or baby shower registry information, satellite events and happenings, and driving directions to the party. It’s always best to have driving directions to and from all important locations ready to email after the first stationery meeting.

9. Addressing:  Long gone are the days when hosts and hostesses addressed their own invitations, no matter then occasion, by their own hand. Now it takes a milestone event like a 50th birthday or wedding to warrant hand-calligraphy.  But, luckily for our clients, there are lovely little printers that provide machine calligraphy that not only matches the fonts of the invitations themselves, but also cost less than hand-calligraphy services. Most guests can’t tell the difference when they receive the invitation that’s how fabulous machine calligraphy is today!

10. Postage: It’s true; many casual, informal party invitations can be emailed in this day and age. We’d be more than happy to design those invitations for you. However, most party and wedding invitations are printed and mailed via the United States Postal Service. Determining what the stamps will be can be a fun part of the whole invitation design; but it’s got a practical element that needs to be carefully assessed. The best way to know exactly how much postage is needed on an invitation package is to weigh and measure it all at once at a U.S. Post Office. {maybe several, than average the information}. Many invitation packages for weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs, require hand delivery or overnight delivery via UPS or Federal Express. Those are costs that are best discussed at the time the invitation design is selected and confirmed.

We’d love to help you find the perfect invitations for your event.  Please give us a call to schedule an appointment 215-922-1500.

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