Brette is the Managing Editor of Food52.
Kenzi is the Associate Editor of Food52.
That's a tough one. Polite invites can be all sorts of different things, but a few things they're NOT: lame evites (or overly cute evites, or evites with cartoons, that move, speak, or sing), monotone emails (poor grammar and punctuation make me even less excited about your party), or text messages. But I don't need a hand-written calligraphy note either, I swear.
Kate is a recipe tester for Food52.
I agree that a polite invite consists of a little more than an evite, email, or text. In my opinion, a printed invite arriving through the mail is pretty hard to beat, especially when we have a world of invitatons at our fingertips. For instance, Etsy is a great resource for finding wonderfully designerd invites that can be personalized to your event for very little cost. You can then print and send them yourself. It adds a personal touch without having to write individual invitations.
In my experience, if you want people to actually respond and not just reply "maybe" and then not show up, or worse, show up with three people they ran into that day, you had better send a personal email. Evites are easy to blow off, especially if you see a list of who else is invited.
Maybe it's a hold-over from the college days, but my friends and I have great success with a good old fashioned Facebook event (yes, I did just refer to Facebook as old-fashioned). If I were throwing a soiree for family and those outside the FB bubble, or if it was a fancier affair, a festive snail mail invitation can't be beat. But spare people the RSVP cards - a phone number to text/call their response or email address will be much more functional.
How about a personal phone call, and leave a nice message if the phone is not picked up?
If you leave a msg on my landland...I might not retrieve it for a month or so. I only have a few friends that still use my landland number and I've warned them to put my cell on their list....I'm canceling the land-land pretty soon---it's mostly an audio spam collector now.
This is a great question and each answer is going to tell our age and generation. Maybe the language is cool and welcoming. What kind of party and how many people do you want? Is it a fundraising event, a have fun event, and networking event, a book launching event, a close friends event? More information please.
For everything other than formal events and fundraisers, I'm a big fan of the electronic invite. I can look at it with the rest of my emails, send a quick response, and, to add to the plusses, it cuts down on wasted paper and cost. There are many ways to create personalized and pretty ones too.
It depends on what kind of party you are talking about. If it is a formal event, a very special dinner celebration, christening, bar mitzva, etc., then, of course, you send a proper invitation through the mail. If it is less formal, then I would use the phone or email--but the key is to make it personal and special.
One thing about about sending email invites generated from a site from a mailing list.
Sometimes those sites can be detected as "spam" for some users filters--and get auto-shuffled into spam folder never to be seen.
I also find it bad email Etiquette to send graphic images in email that user has to click on..sometimes resolution can be fuzzy, and it's an extra step...and even some email filters attachments...and this also applies to 'fancy' fonts that might be installed on your computer but not on the recipients computer.
Also, if you give out someone's email address to a site...you've basically put those people on a 'hot list' of active email accounts that the site can resell and spam those addresses.
Oh and if you manually make a email list group list to send an invite...please use the BBC
Blind Carbon Copy Feature...so you don't broadcast everyone's email address to everyone on the list.
SKK has a point : it depends on what kind of party are you throwing.If it is a formal event,you have to go for the trouble of sending invitations through the mail,but you can go with Kate's idea and print them yourself.Not that formal?I personally like the phone calls,but if you have a big guest list it may take a while.A good truck is to call when you know people are not going to be there and leave a message avoiding the chit-chat.
I meant to say "trick"...not "truck".Grammar got run over by the Brazilian girl once more on Food'52!
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