Throwing a party can excite and thrill a host, but the party itself will only be successful if guests attend and enjoy themselves. To get guests excited about the party, many hosts choose to send letters of invitation. More formal than a simple save-the-date or regular invitation card, the letter provides details of the party and the events that will take place there. Properly wording the letter of invitation can get guests into the partying mood.
Address the letter directly to the person or people invited to the party. Depending on the type of party, the type of address can vary. For a formal event, you may address the letter to "Mr. and Mrs. Jones," but for a casual gathering you may address "Bob and Joan."
State the type of party, date, time and location at the very beginning of the letter. You should also include the name or title of the hosts of the party, so that the guests know whom to contact for the RSVP. If you are hosting a surprise party, state this clearly so that guests know to keep the secret.
Detail specific facts about the party. Depending on the type of party, this may include dress code (or costume information), gift information and whether the guest can bring a partner or friend. If a gift is not expected, or if the host or guest of honour would prefer donations, include this as well. If the honoree is registered with specific gift registries, list these details.
Provide the specific address of the location, and simple directions to the location if applicable.
Inform the guests of the date by which they must RSVP. Depending on the event, you may want them to respond either way, or only to respond if they are unable to attend ("Regrets Only"). Make this clear in your RSVP instructions.
Repeat the date, time and location at the end of the letter. Consider restating this information in an easily readable list format. This will reinforce the most important details for the guests.
For informal parties, adding quotes, inside jokes, poetry and other friendly information to the letter can let guests know that the party will be an informal gathering of friends, as opposed to a formal event. Send your invitation letters at least two weeks in advance of the party, to make sure guests have time to clear their schedules and prepare for the party. This will also give them enough time to RSVP if necessary.