When Did People Stop Using Formal Invitations?

by Christina Bowers

Formal invitations must be quickly becoming a thing of the past. People I know still send them... and I do still get them, too, but it does happen less and less frequently. I guess this has more to do with the decline in snail mail usage and also to the increasing popularity of things like email invites and Facebook Events.

But, there once was a time when people (okay, mostly us women) would send dainty, flashy, and always well decorated pieces of paper to our friends and family announcing an event or party in the coming weeks.

Does anyone else miss that?

Formal invitations have taken a back seat in today's digital society, and I guess I understand. Digital is convenient. Digital is faster. Digital is cheaper. But with the increased usage of things like email invitations, text message invites, and social networking messages, it seems like a lot of people out there have forgotten formal etiquette for sending invites.

While I might be out of place for contributing this, I wanted to leave a little list of tips for the many people out there who need to brush up on their invite etiquette. Or, if you're like me and know someone in your circle of friends and family who needs a reminder, below is a thorough list of items to include in an invitation.

To be clear, I (and most people, I believe) really don't care if you download a printable invitation off the internet or spend some serious money on invites, it really is just the thought that counts.

That said, however... in many cases, most people aren't even using a thought.

Below is a helpful list of things to make sure you include in a formal invitation. And really, it shouldn't take more than five minutes to fill one of these out. Is your time so precious that you can't sit down and go through these steps?

- The names of party hosts
- The type of event
- The place the event will be hosted
- The date of the event
- The time of the event
- The RSVP date of the event
- A phone number to RSVP to the event
- Any requirements related to attire
- Indication of a rain date
- Guest limits (for example, a spouse or other guest, number of children)

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