Posts filed under ‘Party Etiquette’

The Do’s and Don’ts of Using Online Invitations

Let me set the record straight. I love on-line invitations. I think sending an electronic invitation, or evite, is good for the planet, convenient, and extremely cost effective. However, the lack of etiquette that often comes with this modern convenience would not meet the approval of Emily Post. Here’s how to show good etiquette when using online invitations:

WHEN PREPARING AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO send a Save-the-Date evite if you need to get a head count well ahead of time.
DO ask for regrets with your Save-the Date evite. If not sending a Save-the Date, simply send out your evites two weeks ahead of time.
DO address your evite to a specific person or people. If you’re inviting siblings or a couple, be sure to use their names. This extra effort conveys that you care about your guests and really want them to be part of the celebration.
DO make your invitations inviting. Think about your theme and choose virtual paper, envelope, rubber stamps, postage, etc. that coordinate. If you can’t find something that matches your theme, choose a template that has the right colors and allows for a photograph instead.
DON’T just send an email. With all the great FREE online invitation services available, there are no excuses. A customized evite lets your guests know that you’ve put some thought into this party. I’m partial to PunchBowl.com, but some other’s include SmileBox.com, PurpleTrail.com, AnyVite.com, and of course, Evite.com.

WHEN WRITING AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO include the Four W’s. (who, what, when, and where)
Who is the party for? What are you celebrating? What is the occasion? When is the party, the date and time? Where is it being held? Evites are meant to be convenient but you still need to provide all the pertinent information.

DON’T forget to include other pertinent information when needed, such as: your theme, costume requirements, venue or parking information, request for dietary requirements, and anything guests should bring, like special group gifts or props, and registry info.

DO proofread your copy then have someone else proofread it. If that’s not possible, read the copy out loud, word for word, very slowly to make certain you’ve used your best grammar and punctuation. It’s always nice to put your best foot forward.

WHEN RESPONDING TO AN ONLINE INVITATION
DO respond as soon as possible to an online invitation. I always encourage my clients to respond to an evite as soon as they receive it. If you can’t make the event, respond “No” right away. This allows the host to invite more people if need be (especially important for children’s parties), and it helps with knowing how many supplies to purchase, how much food to prepare, and gifts to buy or make. If you have to check on dates or babysitters, then respond as a “Maybe” right away. This lets the host know that you’ve seen the invitation and that you’re trying to work it out. The “maybe” button was added as a courtesy. Use it! To not respond at all or wait until the final days before the event, is just plain rude. Don’t be rude.

Father’s Day is coming up fast on Sunday, June 19th, and since Father’s Day celebrations tend to be informal and often times planned at the last minute, this is a perfect time to practice these online invitation do’s and don’ts.

Speaking of Father’s Day, if you’re looking for some SLICK party ideas for Dad, check out my NASCAR Father’s Day BBQ at YouCanPlanAParty.TV. We’ll get you all REVED UP and RARIN’ to go with great ideas for honoring dad in a fun and colorful way! Here’s a quick peek…

June 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm Leave a comment

Can You Plan An Open House Potluck Party?

I’m often asked the difference between a “potluck” and an “open house,” and receive comments like, “I just got invited to an open house and I don’t know what dish I should bring.”

So, first, let’s clear up a few party terms and then chat about the benefits to each of these party types so that you can decide what kind of shindig you’re up for creating.

When you throw a POTLUCK you are inviting your guests to share in the task of providing something for the party, traditionally the meal, but this can also include paper goods, drinks, music, or any other “gifts” or talents your friends and family may want to share.

When throwing an OPEN HOUSE, you, the host, are in essence opening up your home and asking your guests to drop by any time that is convenient for them during a specified timeframe. Thus, as the host, you are responsible for providing all the goodies at your party and your guests get to show up, relax and enjoy the mood you’ve created for them.

The great thing about POTLUCKS is that your guests can take an active part in creating the party. Generally they create a more casual type of gathering, and this can be perfect for impromptu celebrations or when budget is a strong consideration.

OPEN HOUSES provide you and your guests an opportunity to mix and mingle and share some time…to just go with the flow. This type of gathering can be anywhere from casual to black tie. In fact, black tie is often a very fun option.

So, what is the difference than between a normal party vs. an open house? Basic party etiquette says that a PARTY starts at a certain time and you should arrive near that starting time, especially if food is being served. Showing up “whenever” would be considered rude, even disrespectful, unless prior arrangements have been made.

At an OPEN HOUSE, however, your guests are free to come whenever they’d like. These types of parties are particularly helpful for example, on busy holidays like Halloween, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Also, food menus will be a bit different as you’ll want to serve foods that can sit out on ice or on heat for the duration of the party, and even activities will change from arranged group recreation to more do-it-yourself type entertainment.

There you have it, the basics. This month on Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party! I’ve put together an Open House Party Plan. Surprise. Surprise! As always, if you have any questions, you can email me at askshelby@youcanplanaparty.com.

Be sure to check out the How-To Video under the RSVP Club member’s section too, as I’m showing you some inventive ways to wrap a bottle (wine, champagne, or sparkling juice) with meaning, the heartfelt way. These ideas make lovely hostess gifts for all those parties you’ll be going to this holiday season, because it is always thoughtful to arrive with a little something for your host.

Wishing you a lovely and safe holiday season, full of warmth and affection.

Currently the host of “Shelby’s Secrets to a Great Party!” airing on YouCanPlanAParty.com, Shelby Phillips is an award-winning party design expert with over 20 years experience. Shelby has co-written a book series titled “The Enlightened Party Planner: Guides to Creating Parties from the Heart” and developed a 6-step formula for bring people together to celebrate. She has also been a host and designer on the Style Network’s “Big Party Plan Off,” and owner of a successful event planning and promotions company.

December 1, 2010 at 10:25 pm 2 comments


Shelby L. Phillips

As an intuitive transformational messenger of hope, a communicative wife of 25 years, and an open-hearted mother of two, I take pleasure in telling good news stories, connecting people to the seven dimensions of well-being, and inspiring us to love ourselves and each other because life really is worth celebrating! Find out more about me at ShelbyPhillipsConnects.com

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