How to Write an Invitation Guests Can’t Refuse

How to Write an Invitation Guests Can’t Refuse

Read Time: 4 Minutes


17 Jul 2019

So, you’ve got a big event right around the corner and there’s something that’s got you stumped – just how to you write an invitation? From a formal letter of invitation sent out to co-workers at your business, to a party or wedding invite, we’ve covered all the bases with this guide. Read on to find out how to master the art of writing your own invites.


What Should You Include on an Invitation?

For any invitation, there are a few important details you will always need to include. Here’s a quick checklist to make sure you’ve got everything in yours.

  1. Who – state clearly who the host or guest of honour is. For example, for a wedding invitation the hosts are usually the bride’s parents, and the guests of honour are the bride and groom
  2. What – explain what you’re inviting guests to. This could be what kind of party it is, for example a birthday party or corporate event.
  3. When – the date and time of the party, e.g. Saturday, June 29th at 7:00pm. If the party is scheduled to end at a certain time, add this detail too.
  4. Where – whether the party’s being help at your house, place of work, a restaurant or function room, you’ll need to let guests know where to go. Don’t just assume they know where the host’s house is or a particular restaurant – give a full address so people can find it easily.
  5. RSVP* – need to know how many people are coming? Make sure to request that guests RSVP to secure a place. A quick call to action at the end of the invitation like ‘Call or text me on [phone number] to let me know if you can make it’, or some other kind of contact information should suffice.


*For weddings, it’s tradition to send an RSVP card as a separate piece of stationery along with invite in the post. The guest should then fill this card in and send it back to you. Make sure to add a return address or instructions on handing in back in person.


Additional Information

You might also want to include a few of these things although they aren’t applicable to every type of event:

  • Dress code
  • Menu
  • Order of events
  • Key speakers


Writing a Formal Invitation

For formal events, like weddings, baby showers, events honouring someone, business gatherings and formal dinners, you should always send a written letter of invitation. 

If you’re finding it tricking to prepare, here are our top tips and examples.


  1. Address the guest/host using their full name

    For formal party invitations, always use a full name with no abbreviations for the guest. Traditionally, married couples are referred to as “Mr & Mrs” followed by the husband’s full name, for example “Mr & Mrs David Smith”. For couples with different surnames, include both names in the invite.

    For guests with distinguished titles, like Dr, make sure these are also used.If you’re inviting the whole family, the invitation wording would go something like this: The Smith Family.

    The host or organiser should also be addressed by full name. Sometimes this is the guest of honour, a particular person or even the organisation or company. You should word this in its own separate line as ‘Hosted by Julia Gregory’.
  2. Write Out the Time and Date

    The proper way of writing the time and date on your invitation is to use the full date rather than an abbreviated version. For example ‘Saturday, 18th May, 2019’ as opposed to 18.05.19.
  3. How Should Guests RSVP?

    RSVP essentially means ‘please reply’. For many formal events you’ll need to know the number of guests attending before the event for things such as booking seats or catering. Let your guests know the best way to get in touch with you to let you know if they’re attending or not.

Here’s an example to show how these different elements piece together.

Dear Mr & Mrs David Smith
You are cordially invited to attend
Cocktails and Dinner
Celebrating our 25th Wedding Anniversary
Hosted by their daughter, Julia Gregory
Saturday 18th May 2019 at 7:30pm
Adrian’s Bistro
123 High Street, London
Please RSVP to Julia at


How to Write an Email Invite

If you’re planning an event for businesses and hosting as an organisation, you’ll likely be sending out an invitation email to list of email addresses rather than posting out written invitations. Here’s a quick guide to writing an electronic invite.

  1. A Professional Subject Line

    The first task on your list will be getting potential guests to open up their email. The best way to do this is to make it look formal and professional. That way it’ll stand out in their inbox from all the marketing emails they might receive.

    For example, “You’re invited to [Name of event] on 24th May, 2019)”. This is the most commonly used format for writing invite subject lines.
  2. Use Your Tone of Voice

    Your brand will have a ‘voice’ it speaks with that your customers know you for. This could be formal or more relaxed. Your main content should reflect this tone of voice too. 
  3. An Introduction & Purpose of Event

    We recommend starting your invite on a personal note by addressing the guest by name. ‘Hi Paul’, for example, shows you aren’t just sending this out to a bulk audience and will make the guest feel more special.

    You’ll then need to explain the reason for the invite and what will be happening at the event.
  4. Important Information

    Even though it’s an email invite, you’ll still need all the important information we discussed earlier, like the time, date and place.
  5. A Brief Itinerary

    Give a short description of all the things that will be happening at the event. This could be as a list, or link to a page with more information.
  6. A Friendly Sign Off

    Again, how you sign off your email invite will depend on your brand’s tone of voice. Generally, these tend to be a lot more casual than formal, written invitations. It’s also a really good idea to sign off by referring to the event, e.g. “Hope to see you there”. 

    Here’s an example to show how these different elements piece together.

    Hi Paul,

    Hope you’re well.

    It’s with great pleasure that we announce the return of our annual marketing summit on the 24th and 25th May 2019. We’re expecting over 20 of the best content marketers to share their strategies and secrets for success. 

    Join over 300 other leading UK businesses and learn:
    •    Why 2019 is the year of marketing technology
    •    Creating a popular marketing podcast
    •    The lowdown behind evergreen marketing
    •    The sure-fire way to scale your content

    And much more!

    Join us for this exclusive, invite-only event that you can’t miss on the 24th and 25th May at The Hub in Manchester, starting from 9am until 4:40pm each day. 

    Hope to see you there,

    John Reilly
    Events Management Team


Now you know how to write an invitation, the next step is to start designing your own. To get you started, here are 10 fun themed party invitations for inspiration. Remember to show us your designs by tagging us @instantprintuk or #instantprintuk on social media for a chance to be featured. 


About the Author

Hi, I’m Ally and I’m instantprint’s PR Lead. I enjoy writing content to help small businesses succeed and inspire them to get creative with their print marketing.