With the weather forecast WE have facing us, it’s difficult to accept that the first day of Spring has come and gone! There have been several storms that required some shoveling this season, yet I’m confident that summer will break through the ice and we’ll find ourselves complaining about record heat, searching out that perfect swimming hole! Meanwhile, plans for summer parties, family reunions and even summer weddings are going forward! Getting your invitations in the mail should be high on the list of priorities about now! Don’t be like one of my neighbors, who last Fall, yelled at me over the fence, “Hey! I forgot to tell you, I’m getting married next month and I’d like you to be there!” I’m only glad I remembered to write it down!
Your invitations are one of the most important elements for any event because they provide guests with crucial information. And while some details of summer gatherings don’t follow a strict set of rules, your invitations should adhere to certain etiquette. If you are planning a top-notch event “save-the-date” cards should have gone out six months ahead of the date!
Don’t panic! If you get started NOW, guests will have plenty of time to clear their schedules for your cookout! I believe it was Ann Landers or was it Martha Stewart? One of those folks who point out social behavior… I don’t recall, but somewhere I read that wedding invitations should go out 8 weeks ahead of time. And the kicker is that your invitations and custom postage should be ordered a month or two before they need to be mailed! There’s still time!
Keep in mind that the invitation should reflect the type of affair your guests will be attending. An informal affair should have simple invitations with the necessary information and even graphics reflecting the “theme” of your gathering, re: pool parties, celebrating a sporting event (some of my clients have held “Indy 500” parties) or a neighborhood barbecue. Another neighbor held annual Pig Roasts every year. I created flyers for him which were always sent out several months ahead of time (the one depicted here isn’t it!). We’ve created invitations for “informal” going away parties, and even “reminder cards” for large family camping trips!
Invitations for a formal affair, such as a wedding or graduation party should have something more elegant. I’ve created graduation postage incorporating a senior picture, school colors, or even the chosen career of the graduate being honored. Perhaps for weddings, include the wedding colors or graphics of the wedding rings? Many of our clients have opted for incorporating the brides bouquet, the wedding cake and even a photograph of the soon-to-be newly weds. Imagination is your only barrier to creating “the perfect” invitation!
Everyone’s guest list is different, and YOU know your guests better than anyone (well, when it comes to how THEY will respond to your event). And, they all have different time lines. I am fortunate (or unfortunate as the case my be!) to have the freedom to attend nearly anything I’m invited to, at the drop of a hat (remember the neighbor hollering over the fence?!). And I usually know what to expect when I get there. I have a very good friend, who never fails to invite me to EVERY significant event that she holds; every holiday dinner, every birthday party, summer cook outs… I have a scheduling advantage over other invited guests though, because I design the invitations and postage for her, well ahead of time! At the risk of bragging, many of her guests later stated that as memorable as her parties are, the invitations and matching postage are as noteworthy!
We want to make sure you have the opportunity for your gathering to be a success, and even relieve some of the stress that accompanies planning these large gatherings. Browse through some of the samples I’ve included here, take a look at my web site for more inspiration, and if you need help with design ideas, feel free to click on the “contact” button anywhere on the websites and we will visit!
Meanwhile, remember, summer is just around the corner!