AUTHOR: BEC OF 'FOR EVERY HEN'
Whether they're a physical product that showers guests with glitter once opened, or in the digital world via email or social media; invitations are an absolute MUST when putting together a hens night, bridal shower, kitchen tea or any other kind of event.
And whilst it appears to be a simple task, forgetting to add important details can result in more work for you (think answering a unnecessary questions because guests aren't sure what's going on) or a disaster on the actual day (people not turning up on time, arriving at the wrong place or, even worse, not attending at all).
So, to try and avoid the additional work-load (or last-minute shambles), I've created an overview of the points that should be included on your invitations. Follow this guide and guests will have all the information they need to ensure a wonderful day/night out!
WHAT IS THE EVENT (AND WHO IS IT FOR)?
DON'T FORGET THE (EASY) DETAILS
This may seem like a no-brainer! But when you're under pressure the most simple of points can easily slip your mind.
So, before doing anything else, make sure you include a heading that states what the event is and who it is for. E.g. 'Bec's Hen's Night!' or 'Let's Celebrate Bec's Upcoming Wedding with an Outdoor Bridal Shower'.
WHEN IS THE EVENT?
DATE AND TIME
Another simple point that definitely can't be missed! Make sure you tell guests when the event is and what time it starts.
If your party includes a number of different locations (e.g. starting off at a house, heading to an activity, going out for dinner, etc.) make sure you include approximate start times for each section. Doing so will mean guests' who can't make it at the beginning know where and when you'll be later on in the party; giving them the chance to meet you there instead.
WHERE IS THE EVENT?
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
When it comes to where the event is, don't just provide the initial meeting point. Rather, give guests' an overview of what will be happening at the party (e.g. 10.00am first Winery [insert address], 12.00pm walking to next Winery [insert address], etc.).
As mentioned earlier, this gives guests the opportunity to meet you later on in the party if, for some reason, they can't attend the whole thing.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Will guests be chipping in for the event? Or will it be cost effective enough that the bridesmaids can afford to shout?
No matter the situation, let people know!
If you need money, make sure you include how much (along with an outline of what this investment includes, such as drinks, nibbles, dinner, activity, etc.). I've also found that providing different sections of a party (with varying costs) allows those who can't fork out a large chunk of cash the chance to attend.
The following scenario, for example:
SECTION 1: Drinks, nibbles and games at Sarah's house $30.00
SECTION 2: Drinks, nibbles and games at Sarah's house, followed by limo ride into the city and dinner at a restaurant $100.00
SECTION 3: Drinks, nibbles and games at Sarah's house, limo ride into the city, dinner at a restaurant and comedy show $150.00
WILL GUESTS NEED CASH ON THE DAY/NIGHT?
EXTRA CASH TO SPLASH?
Will guests need to spend money on drinks, food, transport home? If there's ANYTHING at all that they will need to pay for on the day/night, let them know early so they have time to save (and don't get caught out at the actual event).
DO GUESTS NEED TO BRING ANYTHING?
ANYTHING AT ALL?
Will your guests require sleeping gear (e.g. sleeping bags, pillows), presents (for a bridal shower/kitchen tea), special notes for the bride-to-be, photos of themselves with the bride-to-be, etc.? If you need them to bring ANYTHING at all to the party, include it on their invitation (with clear instructions).
HOW ARE YOU GETTING HOME?
DON'T LEAVE GUESTS STRANDED
Have you included transport home from the party in your overall costs? If yes, make sure this information is included in your overview.
If no, make sure you highlight that guests will need to find their own way home from the final venue (whether this be by public transport, taxi or a partner picking them up). You don't want to have any girls (or guys!) stranded at the end of a fun night.
WHAT DO GUESTS WEAR?
WHAT WILL YOUR DRESS CODE BE?!
Is this a formal occasion? Or a casual affair? Are you having a theme for the party (e.g. all guests' must come dressed in a particular colour, such as white; or all must suit up!)? Do guests need to wear a particular accessory? Or wear closed-toe shoes to participate in one of your activities?
Make sure you include the dress-code on your invitations (and elaborate with more information if necessary).
IS IT A SECRET?
AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT DETAIL!
This is a big one! You don't want to plan an incredible and thoughtful celebration for your beautiful best friend, only to have one of the attendees let slip exactly what is going on before the actual day!
If you want to keep the finer details of the party a secret, definitely let people know! If the entire celebration is a secret (i.e. the bride-to-be has NO IDEA that a party has been planned just for her), this little detail is even more important.
RSVP DATE & TIME
FOR NUMBERS AND DOLLARS
And finally, make sure you include an RSVP date and time alongside your name and contact number/email. Setting a date at LEAST one month prior to the party is a good idea, as it allows you time to sort out the finer details (as you will have a final guest count).
If you are requesting payments, set the RSVP date as the payment date (you can even state that payment is confirmation of RSVP). This will hopefully reduce the number of guests you have to chase up in regards to money.
Handy hint: provide reminders every now and then that the RSVP date is approaching. People lead busy lives and may legitimately forget to reply with their attendance and/or pay without your prompt!
For guests, the excitement really does start with the invitations; and now that you know what to put on them, it's time to get the party started before it actually begins!
There are a number of ways you can do this. By creating a Facebook group for guests, complete with themed header, by posting out physical invitations or by emailing PDF invites. If you need a hand with the design side of things, I recommend taking a look at professionally created editable files on Etsy. For example, Black Bow Studio, a gorgeous little store who stock downloadable, editable invitations (along with other stationary and products!).
If you have any other details on your bridal shower, kitchen tea or hens party invitations I'd love to hear them in the comments section below (or via the Facebook/Instagram pages and Facebook group!).
Cheers to an AMAZING celebration where you're not forever answering the same questions!
Much love, keep smiling - Bec x