holiday inviting….. Let’s throw a party…a guide to invitation etiquette

Holiday Open House

  • You have decided to throw a party  — but WHO to invite?
  • Asking someone to an event may seem less important, but how you extend the invitation gives Guests the first clues about what to expect from the party
  • An Evite, (email) suggests a casual affair as opposed to an engraved invitation sent by U.S. mail.
  • How do you set the scene for the kind of event you want – but you don’t want to offend anyone.
  • Here’s the information, scoop for your next Holiday Party.
  1. WHOM should you invite? Basically invite anyone you feel will have fun at the party and may have something to add.  Always include people from different groups of your life.  Such as neighbors, work friends, your son’s Coach, church friends.
  2. When should you write “Regrets only” instead of RSVP on an invitation? RSVP is french for an acronym for Repondez s’il vous plait, (Which is …please respond if you please).  While “regrets only” certainly makes it easier on your Guests, using it can wreck havoc on your planning. Theoretically no responses mean that everyone is coming.
  3. What about people who don’t reply and then show up?  Its your job to make everyone feel comfortable in your  home, so just grin and bear it and greet the Guest graciously in your home.  And remember the 67% percent rule for any party large or small. 67% percent will show up no matter what and no matter how many replied.  So if you having a seated event, have a backup plan – extra tables and chairs – just in case.  Getting upset will kill the party so just know this ahead of time and smile and keep your happy face on.
  4. So – if you are the Guest, how to get invited back? Always bring a small hostess gift that’s low maintenance such as cocktail napkins or bar of fancy soap.  Also take the pressure off the Hostess by self-mingling with new comers to the party.  You could also pinch in to help clean up the kitchen  or refilling the ice bucket or taking some dirty plates into the kitchen.  I have a good friend (Teresa S) who always jumps in and starts the dishes. She is a lifesaver to me.


About Poisematters

Lori is a recognized Protocol and Etiquette expert who received her training in 1997 from The Protocol School of Washington. Lori is certified and trained in International and Corporate Protocol and Etiquette instruction. Lori began her career with the Disneyland Resort in 1975 and has over 40 years of service with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. In 2001, Lori Dominguez received the Orange County Tourism Council's Service Excellence award in the area of accommodations (Hotels). Lori continues teaching workshops on Protocol & Etiquette to local schools in Southern California including Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach and Cal Poly Pomona and Chapman University. She enjoys Fashion, blogging, being a dog mom, loves social media and travel. Her family includes two grown sons; a husband who is a high school biology teacher; and one very spoiled Bernese Mountain Dog.
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2 Responses to holiday inviting….. Let’s throw a party…a guide to invitation etiquette

  1. RP2011 says:

    I am about to throw a first birthday party for my son! Any must-have advice for hosting such an important event?

    • Poisematters says:

      Yes, here are a few helpful hints for your son’s first birthday party
      – have a small cake just for your son to devoured, and make sure you have the picture of him attacking it !!
      – invite only those folks especially close to your son, such as family, close friends and neighbors. Many people invite too many Guests and the party becomes too chaotic.
      – start a tradition of measuring his height in the garage or a special wall in the house, use pencil and record the date next to the pencil line of his height. Later on – when he turns 16 or 17 and he’s much taller, you will be amazed at all of the measurements. Record his height only on his bday to make it extra special.
      Best regards for a fabulous birthday – don’t forget the goody bags !!! All my best, Lori

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