Examples of Formal Party Invitations

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people regularly underrate the importance of appropriate invitations when throwing a party. The invitation is crucial: it sets the tone for the event, giving guests an idea of what to expect and how to dress. When throwing a formal party, sending out a formal invitation is terribly important. When choosing a formal invitation, there are examples of stylistic choices that it must possess.


While an informal invitation can consist of cheap printer paper or no paper at all, and just be sent through the Internet, formal invitations always consist of the finest materials. For example, the card stock that makes up the invitation is often very heavy, made up of linen or silk and either has a very smooth feel or an intentionally very textured one, showcasing the grain of the paper. You can often find a smaller card of the same material enclosed within the larger invitation for your response.


Formal invitations often have gold or foil embossing or are sometimes layered. For example, many formal invitations have the words printed on vellum paper which is frosted, but transparent, paper. The outer layer of vellum paper lies on top of a bottom layer of thick card stock which often displays an image. Decorative addendums like silk or chiffon bows are common decorative elements of formal invitations. Delicate floral motifs are common as well; however, none of the flowers displayed should be overwhelming and too bold. The flowers should be slight graceful decorative details. A family crest or initials are also appropriate at the top of formal invitations.


The wording of a formal invitation is everything. A formal invitation uses the third person. Thus, instead of writing "We cordially invite," write "Mr. and Mrs. Maddison cordially invite." The phrase "You are cordially invited" is a common phrase for formal invitations, but not the only one. Consider "Mr. and Mrs. Maddison request the honour of your presence" or "Mr. and Mrs. Maddison request the pleasure of your company." Be sure to write all the necessary information such as where, when and what time the event takes place. Do not abbreviate any words whatsoever. Do not use punctuation at the end of each line. Use commas only when writing the date. Do not write notes on a formal invitation about not bringing children or appropriate attire. Popular fonts are script and antique Roman. The text of most formal invitations is all or partially engraved or thermographed.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."