Home: Etiquette : Invitation Etiquette

The Basics Of Invitation Etiquette!

baby ripping through white paper

Before you send out your invitations, let's go over the basics of invitation etiquette. There are certain etiquette rules to follow when sending out invitations to others. Got your paper? Good. It's pretty easy. Once you have down the basic etiquette rules, everything should fall into place for you.

Etiquette rules have changed with the evolvement of time and society.

What might have been considered an etiquette no-no in your mother's day has become more acceptable with society today.

Basics that must be included in the invitation:

Giving your guests a theme to follow can help them choose gifts:

For example...

Perhaps the mother has almost everything she needs but knows that the budget will be tight once the baby comes. Than a diaper baby shower where the guests bring diapers for gifts would really help the mother out.

Following the diaper theme, you can assign certain diaper sizes to the guests so that they have enough diapers to last for almost a year or longer!

Dress code- Knowing the dress code does not need to be rocket science!

The dress code can tell them what is acceptable to show up in. If you are having a formal event, state it! People don't like to feel uncomfortable for being over or under dressed to a party.

~ Invitation Etiquette ~

Suggested gift ideas, if applicable:

Listing gift suggestions on the invitation can be tricky with etiquette rules. In most cases, it is most proper to list registry information rather than ask for specific gifts on the registry. I've been asked a few times for wording ideas for cases where there are specific gifts needed (or wanted).

The best wording I have been able to come up with in these circumstances is to have something like this on the invitation...

If you need help with gift suggestions, please contact (hostess's name)

To contribute towards the group gift, please contact (hostess's name)

With the gift suggestions wording, people who would like more help with gift ideas, will contact the hostess for more information. The group gift idea allows the hostess to pool together money to go towards a larger gift that is needed, like a crib or stroller.

It is important not to ask for money on a baby shower invitation. If you register at a place that has a good return policy, you can exchange gifts for gift certificates or even sometimes cash to get that needed item.

For special circumstances, there is no problems about listing specific needs on the invitaion. For instance, if the baby is to be born with a medical issue, you can let them know of the issue and needs of the baby. Most people have no problem with fulfilling the needs once they know the circumstances.

~ Invitation Etiquette ~

Store where the mother is registered:

Although most of the guests do not check on the registry items, it can be a big help to those who simply do not know what to buy for the upcoming baby shower.

Do not include too many registry locations.

If a registry is included, it might be more tactful to print it on the actual invitation rather than have little registration cards falling out with the invitation.

Etiquette definitions for baby shower wording:

RSVP information with a deadline for responding

This will help tremendously with planning for a certain number of people. It helps you know the amount to buy for. You will always have a few that do not RSVP and still show up. I always round the number up by at least 5 to make sure I have enough food and favors for everyone.

Regrets only

Regrets only can be used when you only want to know the number of people who cannot make it to the shower. This way, you know who will not be coming and can plan accordingly.

Inviting Men

This is a new popular trend in society today. Rules have relaxed enough to involve men in this special occasion. And why not, most daddies are just as excited as the mom to be. Ask the mom if the dad would be comfortable.

Choose a theme that will steer away from anything too frilly or girly that would make them uncomfortable. Use couple games and activities. State on the invitation that the men are invited to come and join in on the fun.

Adults Only

State in the invitation that it is an Adults-only party. If you would like, also state that a baby sitter will be provided for those that RSVP within a certain time frame. Make sure they RSVP if they are planning on bringing kids so the babysitter does not have too many kids all at once.

~ Invitation Etiquette ~

Some simple etiquette mistakes that can be costly.....

Did not allow enough time for guests to get ready

A big etiquette taboo is sending the invitation out too late. No one likes last minute invitations, or the thought that they were invited as an after-thought.

You will have more success if you focus on getting those invitations out in a timely manner. It gives the guests enough time to arrange their schedule and pick out the gift. It also helps them have a positive viewpoint on how the baby shower is being run.

Did not double check events that might clash

It is always sad to show up to a baby shower that has only a few people attending. It makes for an awkward situation when there are only a few people to play games or join in the activities.

Make sure that you check around for any conflicting things that could be on the same day. Depending on the ages involved there might be soccer games, church activities, and practice for school plays, etc.

Make sure it also does not conflict with a major holiday when people will be out of town.

For more etiquette information, please look at the baby shower etiquette page.

By following simple invitation etiquette rules, you will have a successful start to your baby shower!

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