I love entertaining, from small intimate dinner parties to much larger events. I often find that I am inspired by a new recipe, which will tantalize taste buds, a new serving piece and the longing to foster relationships with those that I have extended an invitation to.
Those close to me, who have been invited to many of my soirées, know how much I value a response to my request for their RSVP. In fact I place so much value on an RSVP that if you choose to ignore it three times, you are taken off any future guest list. That is how much value I place on an RSVP.
Being that we are in the high tech era of computers, many now use email to deliver invites. Yes, this will become more of the norm, but bear in mind that not everyone opens their email daily, there are still those that don’t even have or use a computer. Some computer generated invites are delivered to a person’s junk mail and is considered spam! Yet there are two wonderful services that I recommend, on is free http://Evite.com and the other is http://paperlesspost.com which does cost, but is so classy. They include an envelope, which when the recipient clicks on it to view the invite the envelope opens to reveal the message. Paperless posts also allow you to view who has actually opened the invite and I believe when they opened it, which is an added benefit.
However, I still like to create an invitation that I mail out. I like something that a person can hold in their hand and place it on their refrigerator or by their phone as a reminder. I also feel you start to set the tone of the up coming party! Currently I would say that all of my invites come in the mail delivered by the post office. I did have an invite for my neighbors that container a handful of Conversation Hearts with the invite in a cellophane bag and tied with ribbon. In this case I hand delivered each one to their doorstep.
Once I decide on the type of party I wish to have, I then decide the size of the gathering. If it is larger than 6 people, you can bet that I am sending out formal invites and creating a guest list.
I rarely hand write out the envelopes as I mostly use Microsoft Word and the Tools program of creating labels. Through this I am able to change the font and color which also adds to the feel of the party! Once I’ve added all the names and address to the document, I first print on printer paper a copy, then I insert my labels using Avery #5160 and print my labels. For a more elegant feel use the clear labels, for a quick notice use the color labels.
The copy that I made on the printer paper is now my RSVP log. As my invited guests reply to my RSVP request, I use colored highlighters to record their response. You decide how you wish to color code; I use a pink for a Yes they will attend response, highlighting their names, a blue for a sorry unable to make response, which I use to make a slash through their address. Those that don’t respond remain unmarked.
At the top of each guest list is the date of the party and the name of the party; ex: Holiday Open House. I do keep each guest list in a file, then if I am repeating a party, such as my Holiday Open House, I just pull it out, look to see who was invited and check for those that are left unmarked, which they tend not to get invited again! Remember my three strikes.
Yes, all RSVP’s are important to me, both the yes and the regrets. To me it is a form of showing respect for the friendship and it speaks dearly to my heart! When giving Regret, know that an explanation is not required and one should never ask their guest for one. Simply know that by responding, that person cares about you and good manners not to put your guest on the spot!
Creating a guest list and keeping it for future parties makes it easier to continue to entertain, helps to make partying fun for you, when you don’t have to go on a search for addresses. One last thought, make sure you put a Return Address on the envelope, which will be a good way to know if you have a wrong address should it be undeliverable.
Tell me, do you make a guest list, and do you use a deliverable paper invite or an email invite?