Your event invitations aren’t the first step in your event planning journey. By the time you send them, you’ve already booked the venue, caterer, and any relevant speakers or entertainers. The event has long been in the planning stage. But to your guests, the invitations are their first introduction to the event.
Sure, you may have sent out save the dates to clear everyone’s calendar, or let the sales team know what week or month the big meeting would be planned. And while your friends, family, and associates take that seriously, the event doesn’t become official to them until the formal invitations.
Because event invitations are so important to attendance—after all, they can’t attend if they don’t know where and when—it’s imperative that you include all the necessary information, right there in the envelope. (That includes the digital envelope if you’re using online invitations!) Make it easy for your guests to learn about your event and know what’s expected of them. This will increase response rates and kick off your event on a positive note. Here are all the details your event invitations should include.
Basic Event Details
All event invitations should include a date, start time (and end time, if relevant), address, purpose of the event, and who the guest of honor is. And this information should be clearly stated. For example, wedding invitations usually “request the honor of your presence at so-and-so’s wedding” followed by the date, time, and address. In just a few seconds, the recipient knows exactly what the event is, and when it takes place.
Bonus Tip: For parties and weddings, specify if there are no children allowed.
You should also note any special attire requests, or other details that are out of the ordinary. Guests will choose how to dress based on the event, its time of year, and location. So if there’s something specifically they should wear—or avoid—include that in the event invitations.
We did already mention that you should absolutely include the address of your event—that’s probably not a shock to you! But we wanted to clarify just how much location information you should provide in your event invitations. You do not need to include driving directions; most guests will go online to navigate their way, and those traveling by plane will order a car service.
But you should note in your event invitations if there are hotel room blocks at a discounted rate for your guests or associates. Provide this information on a separate card, especially if your event is being hosted at an address that’s different from the hotel. You want your attendees show up to the right venue!
An RSVP Method
Formal events, like weddings, typically include a separate RSVP card as part of the invitation package. This is done because the happy couple needs additional information from their guests. Along with attendance, the couple also needs to know food preferences, or what songs should be played at the reception. This is done with an additional inserted card.
But if you don’t need anything extra from your guests or associates, just providing contact information for an RSVP is enough. This could be an email address or phone number for the event planner, or it could be a link for a digital RSVP.
Bonus Tip: Only give one point of contact for RSVPs, though you can give two methods for communication—like a phone number and email address.
No matter what RSVP method you use in your event invitations, be sure to include a deadline. Leave 2-3 weeks between your RSVP date and the event, so you have time to follow-up with anyone who hasn’t responded.
Gift Registry Information
Of course, this is only for events that have gifts—like birthdays, weddings, or showers. Certain stores will provide branded cards you can slip into your event invitations, saving you the time and money of creating them on your own. While separate cards are common, they aren’t necessary. You can simply note which stores or websites the guest of honor is registered at.
Your event invitations have do a lot of work! They set the expectations for your attendees, while also giving them critical information up front. That means they won’t pester you for it! It also means they’re more likely to attend your event, because they don’t need to work at getting the details.
What information to you find helpful on event invitations? Share it with us below!