In the age of casual text and Facebook invites, I’m constantly asking myself, “am I actually invited or is this spam?” Some rules are meant to be broken, but not invites! If you expect someone to show up and give a darn about your special event or party, send an invite.

Think about it this way: we’re all busy. I am the first to admit that if it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist. I can’t keep track of anything unless it’s in my calendar or my brain dump notebook. If you combine my engagements with my boyfriend’s, it can get a little crazy. We have overbooked ourselves. We’ve gotten better at sharing calendars, so we can coordinate. The takeaway: assume everyone is insanely busy.

It’s really frustrating receiving texts days before a party. “You’re coming, right?” I panic and check my email trying to figure out where I lost the invite. Yeah. There wasn’t one. Don’t be that person.

when to send invites

Here are my rules when it comes to scheduling dinners, parties and get-togethers:

When are text invites ok?

I only send text invites to my nearest and dearest girlfriends. Generally a week before I want to get together. If there are last minute events that pop up, I’ll also shoot a text.

When are email invites acceptable?

I send email invites for casual cocktail parties, BBQs, potlucks, etc. I always follow this formula in the subject line: “YOU’RE INVITED: Sunday, November 1 | Wine + Cheese Night” and the layout pictured below. I design the invites quickly in Canva and download them to place in emails.

Example of an email invite


It’s simple, straight to the point and people understand that this requires an RSVP.

I send these invites 2 weeks to 1 month prior to the event. It depends on if it’s for clients or friends. Always set RSVPs 1 week prior to the date so you can send the final headcount to the caterer.

If you want to fuss even less with design, I do love Paperless Post. They have digital and print invitations. The digital ones are free! If you use their print invite service, you can import all addresses and they’ll mange the addressing and mailing of the invites. It’s pretty amazing.

Keep in mind, if you’re using something like Paperless Post or Evites: the invite could go directly to spam. Take that into account when you send the invite. I’ll give my friends a call or text to see if they’ve received it. If not, I ask them to check their spam box.

When should I send a print invite?

I love print invites and I look for any occasion to send them. However, I find that they’re necessary for the events that really matter: weddings, wedding showers, baby showers, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, galas, formal holiday parties, etc. They may seem like a no-brainer, but I’ve received wedding invites via Facebook. It was pretty awkward for me because I actually didn’t know if I was really invited or not. They had come from high school friends I hadn’t talked to in years. If you don’t have an address, take 2 minutes to send an email or social media message asking for it.

Do you have any pet peeves when it comes to invites?