Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Party Invitations

If you want an immediate response and your party is of a fairly manageable size, invite guests by telephone. It’s true that voice mail and answering machines may make the contact less direct than you would like, but people tend to respond more promptly to telephone messages than to written correspondence.
Remember to smile when you make that call. It is true that a smile can be heard over the telephone. (If you are wondering what your voice sounds like, record it and listen.)
Remember that invitations of any kind should be welcoming and inviting. You don’t necessarily have to use engraved stationery, but the invitation should convey a spirit of festivity. Even if you write a personal note, it should convey this spirit and make the person feel especially welcome.
Whether you are inviting people by telephone o by mail, be sure to communicate all of the vital elements of an invitation—who, what, when, where, why. Include a map or verbal directions to the location. It is also kind to clue people in about how to dress. If you are inviting someone you have just met or don’t know well, give that person some idea about who else will be present. Some singles feel awkward going solo, so decide well in advance whether to invite them to bring a friend. If not, make sure they know there will be others in the same boat at the party. You don’t have to be a matchmaker and shouldn’t be tempted into those murky waters. Just prevent people from feeling like fifth wheels. Here are some examples:
➤ “I am calling to invite you to dinner next Friday, the tenth, and if you’d like to bring a friend, by all means do, although we’d be delighted to have just you.”
➤ “We’d like to invite you and a friend for dinner on the tenth.”
➤ “We’d like to invite you to dinner on the tenth.”
As a guest, never assume an invitation means to bring a guest. Always respond to an invitation immediately. It’s fine to ask who else will be there, but not until after you’ve given your answer. Otherwise, your reply will seem conditional on the guest list.

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