How to Word Invitations For Special Events

Wording and Format Tips for Formal Invitations

Several happy millennials jumping and throwing confetti
••• ¬† Eugenio Marongiu / Getty Images¬†

Event planners are often relied upon to help their clients handle their special invitations. Creating the perfect invitation can be a tricky art. An invitation should match the client's needs and personality.

You can influence the whole tone of a gathering with the right format and wording. For example, you might want to use bold colors and lighthearted wording if you're planning a wedding for a fun-loving couple, but the invitation should be more formal and sedate if you're working with a corporate client for a major fundraiser.

The Invitation Format

A formal invitation is an important element of the total package used to promote an event. It can be presented in many different formats, including email, letters, hand-written stationery, and formal invitations.

A formal invitation should be simple and formatted on a card or stationery stock, the size of a greeting card or smaller. Most invitations use a font that matches the organization's standard fonts, or a script that the designer likes. The key is to make sure you're following the host's brand standards while creating a sense of formality.

It's worth considering working with a graphic designer to create a custom layout that can make the event seem more distinctive and fit your client's personality. You might also want to hire a calligrapher to write the invitations manually if you're working on a private gathering, such as a wedding. Calligraphy looks much more elegant and personalized than typed invitations.

A Sample Formal Invitation

The best approach for event planners is to establish a standard format, then update the specifics depending on the actual event. The invitation should contain the following information:

[Insert logo]
[Insert host name, title]
requests the pleasure of your company
at the
[Insert formal name of the event]
[Insert location]
[Insert event tagline if appropriate]
[Insert day, date(s), year]
RSVP.
[Insert name]
[Insert phone number]
[Insert email if appropriate]
Details to follow

It's important for the designer to format the individual lines so they fit the available space. Plan to work closely with the designer to ensure that all the necessary information fits on the invitation in a visually appealing way.

Essential Information

You can tweak the sample to your own unique event, but including some of the following information is imperative:

  • The host
  • The type of event
  • The date and time
  • The location, including address
  • Mention of who benefits

Of course, that RSVP is integral to your planning as well, but you want to answer all your potential guests' off-the-cuff questions as well first. Then the RSVP can go at the end.

Don't neglect to check for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation!

Optional Info

Consider including a schedule, or at least a summary of the schedule, if you have enough room in the invitation to do so. You might also want to mention if there's a dress code and whether invitees can bring guests.

Wording Options

You can substitute "the honor of your company is requested" or "you're cordially invited" for the "requests the pleasure of your company" line if either is more appropriate to your event or the organization. You might also want to add a catchy line to capture the reader's attention, something along the lines of "The party of the century!" or "You won't want to miss this!"

The Bottom Line

Event planners can help influence the event's chances of success long by helping your client choose the right invitation and wording it carefully to ensure that the gathering is packed and everyone knows what to expect.