To ensure attendance by your most popular guests, dinner party invitations can be extended two (2) weeks in advance. In the case of a very formal dinner, you may send out invitations up to one month in advance.
Although the tone of the invitation should convey the formality of the dinner, the farther out you invite, the more your guests will expect. Keep this in mind when planning and budgeting for your event.
The Guest List
Because of a finite number of seats and the effort and expense necessary to prepare a meal for each person, dinner parties require an exact number of confirmed guests.
Your dinner party’s success depends largely on the interaction, charm and interest of your chosen guests. In addition to each individual, you must also carefully consider the mixture of personalities.
Begin by making a list, in order of importance, of everyone you would like to invite. If you have a guest of honor, add any of their close friends you feel should be included. Be sure to list some alternates, in case your top picks are unable to attend.
Include one or more fun and entertaining conversationalists, ideally one for every four persons at a dinner party. These guests will have a large impact on how others will remember your party, so choose positive, bubbly, vivacious, confident, intelligent characters.
In fact, everyone you invite will reflect directly on you with your other guests. Be selective and invite good guests that add to the party and make you look good. Eliminate anyone that is negative, depressing, or just always seems to see the bad side of things.
Also remember that the secret to fantastic parties are (good) surprises, so whenever possible create a mix of people where everyone does not know each other.
Because the combination of guests is as important as each individual at a dinner party, inviting by phone allows you to adjust the guest list as you determine who can attend. Be sure to follow-up by email with all of the details.
Let each guest know that you called because it is important to you that they can attend and that you will email them the particulars. Be sure to get their email address and/or confirm that the one you have for them is the best one to use.
Unless your dinner party is particularly formal or commemorative, such as a 50th wedding anniversary, emailed invitations, via Evite.com, are an excellent way to manage your parties.
This free site helps you create and send your party invitations, manage your guest addresses and RSVPs, and will send out reminders before the party.
Furthermore, the first strong impression of your Evite invitation will convey festivity and create excitement in anticipation of a well-coordinated theme party.
Choose an invitation consistent with your theme and “dinner party”. Use the invitation text and/or title to identify the theme and any special purpose, such as a birthday or anniversary.
Evite’s “design your own” option lets you choose each component to use, and is a great solution for color-themed parties. You simply select the background, text color, and graphics to display. If you are particularly ambitious, you can upload your own pictures to be used.
Evite will also provide a link to Google maps on the invitation, but be sure
to verify that the map is correct.
Facebook offers a text-based “Event” option to invite guests and handle
RSVPs. This option is great to follow-up with details when making invitations by
In addition to the basics about the party, if applicable, include:
Any special driving instructions
Guidance on parking
Specifics on how to get in to the party
Suggested dress, if any
Any after dinner plans
Now it's time to begin planning all the fun details, starting with the party flow.