How-To & Diy

Invitation Etiquette 2.0

November  8, 2012

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun. Today: How to handle party invites in a digital age.


Hold onto your hats, folks: 'tis the season of party-planning.

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And when it comes to invitations, things can get confusing. The lines are blurry -- the rules, undetermined. In a world of emails and text messages, Facebook and Twitter, what's the best way to, well, get your party started?

What type of invitation you decide to send, of course, is dependent on the party you’re throwing. But we have a few pointers to keep your invitations polite, cool, and effective -- and to get people excited.


Give snail-mail invites a funky touch with some of our favorite stationery.

Think ahead: Send your invitations -- through whatever medium you choose -- enough in advance to allow your guests ample time to plan. Holiday schedules fill up fast.

To snail-mail? Many agree that old-school, snail-mail invitations are the nicest way to invite guests to a party -- and the best way to be taken seriously. We love these Hello Lucky invites -- and, as Food52er Figgypudding pointed out on this Hotline thread, Etsy is a great resource to find customizable invites that can be printed at home.

Personalize it: When sending an email invitation, it can be worth the effort to email each guest; when people feel like their invitation is special, then they will be more likely to reply in a timely manner (and, hopefully, to attend!).

To e-vite? Paperless Post is a great option to send invitations reminiscent of snail mail; however, be careful that your guests do not simply ignore it. It’s easy to click on the invitation and forget about it, so send a friendly reminder one week later.

Use spell-check: This may seem obvious, but if you’re going to send out an email invitation (which is a great option for a more casual gathering) make sure to use proper punctuation and grammar. You want your guests to take you, and your party, seriously.

Give directions: We know, we know, everything is Google-able in this day and age; but if you live in a place that's difficult to find, or if you’re inviting people from out of town, you want to make their travel experience as easy as possible.

What are your opinions on invitation etiquette? Let us know in the comments!


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Food52's Automagic Holiday Menu Maker

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sam1148
  • AntoniaJames
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Brette Warshaw
    Brette Warshaw
Brette Warshaw

Written by: Brette Warshaw

I'm a reader, eater, culinary thrill-seeker, and food nerd.


Sam1148 November 9, 2012
My advice for using a service that's 'free' to send out group email invite. Is to read the fine print very carefully. Nothing is really 'free' and some sites will use the email addresses you enter to put in their 'hot list' . Hot active email address are valuable and that list of friends you enter in could be resold to spammers.
If you make your own email list be sure to use the blind carbon copy feature. (BCC) to insure you're not broadcasting your friends email address to other without permission.
AntoniaJames November 9, 2012
Great tips, Sam1148!! ;o)
Sam1148 November 10, 2012
The worst thing about not using the BCC is that when people reply...they often tend to 'reply to all'. So everyone gets a copy of "I'm going to be there" reply sent to the entire list. And a 'cascade' of people saying "You hit reply to all--STOP THAT"; who for some reason always hit 'reply to all' also.
AntoniaJames November 8, 2012
In addition to spell checking, print out and read in hard copy anything you're going to send via electronic mail. You'll find all kinds of errors you did not spot when reading the text on the screen. Also, your spell checker won't catch many typos, where what you've typed is a correctly spelled, albeit unintended, word, e.g.,"tread" instead of "trade", or "breed" instead of "bread." ;o)
Marian B. November 8, 2012
Great tips, Brette! Another, holiday-specific suggestion: being clear on whether or not guests are expected to bring anything. Clear instructions make things easier (and less anxiety-inducing) for everyone!
Brette W. November 10, 2012
love that!