The Essentials of Crafting a Thoughtful Formal Invitation

Did you know that when you're designing a formal invitation it's important to offer clear instructions that explain details such as what your event's dress code is and whether or not it is okay to bring a guest?

Contrary to what many people believe, there is a world of difference between formal and informal invitations.

When crafting a formal invitation, you must pay careful attention to the invitation wording. It will also be essential to know how to mail them correctly.

This is why it can be challenging to figure out how to design the best possible formal invitation.

To help you understand what the process involves, we have written a guide. Keep reading if you want to find out more.

The Differences Between Formal and Informal Invitations

Formal and informal invitations are two different styles of written or printed invitations that people use to request the presence of a person or group at a specific event or occasion.

Formal invitations are typically more traditional. It's common for people to use them for weddings, black-tie events, and corporate functions.

To write a formal invitation, you'll need to use a more formal tone, formal language, and proper etiquette. It is also a good idea to print them on high-quality paper or card stock.

People use informal invitations for more casual events. This includes dinner parties, birthdays, and baby showers.

You can write informal invitations in a more relaxed and casual tone, using everyday language and a more casual style. It is not an issue to print them on regular paper or to send them electronically.

Adding an RSVP

RSVP stands for "répondez s'il vous plaît," which is French for "please reply." It is a request that is often included on invitations, asking guests to let the host know whether or not they will be able to attend the event.

There are a few key situations when it is appropriate to use RSVP on an invitation.

When the Event Has a Limited Number of Guests

If you are hosting a smaller event, such as a dinner party or a wedding, and you have a specific number of guests in mind, it's important to use RSVP to get an accurate headcount.

This helps you to plan and prepare for the right number of guests and ensures that everyone who wants to attend has a spot.

When You Need to Know the Names of Guests

If you are hosting an event that requires seating arrangements or name tags, it's important to use RSVP to get the names of your guests. This helps you to create accurate and organized seating charts or name tags.

It will also ensure that everyone is comfortable and happy with their placement.

To Find Out About Special Requests or Requirements

If you are hosting an event that requires special accommodations, such as a vegetarian meal or a wheelchair-accessible table, it's important to use RSVP to get this information from your guests.

This will help you to ensure that everyone's needs are met and that everyone has a pleasant experience at your event.

Spelling and Names

When creating a formal invitation, you'll need to pay attention to the names and spelling of the people involved. This is especially true for wedding invitations, as they are a formal and important aspect of the big day.

First and foremost, make sure to spell the names of the bride, groom, and any other important individuals correctly. This includes the full names, as well as any titles or honorifics that they may have.

For example, if the bride's name is Elizabeth and she is a doctor, you would want to spell her name correctly and include the title "Dr." in the invitation.

In addition to spelling names correctly, it's also important to consider the format and placement of names on the invitation. For a traditional wedding invitation, you'll need to list the bride's name first, followed by the groom's name.

In most cases, people write the bride's name in full. They often abbreviate the groom's name to just his first and last name.

It's also important to consider the wording and language used when addressing the invitation.

For a formal wedding invitation, it's typically best to use formal language, such as "The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of..." or "Mr. and Mrs. John Jackobs request your company at the marriage of their son..."

It is a good idea for you to write formal invitations by hand. But make sure that the person who writes the invitations has good handwriting.

Writing the Time and Date

When writing the time and date on traditional invitations, make sure to spell out the full name of the month, rather than using a numerical abbreviation.

For example, "October" should be written out in full, rather than "Oct." This helps to make the invitation more formal. It also ensures that the information is clear and easy to read.

Next, include the day of the week, as well as the date of the month. For example, "Saturday, the third of October" or "Saturday, October 3rd."

When it comes to the time of the event, it's important to use a 12-hour clock and to include the "o'clock" designation. For example, "Six o'clock in the evening" or "6:00 PM."

Using Formal Language

When it comes to formal invitation language, try to use words and phrases that are appropriate for the occasion and convey a sense of formality and elegance.

This is especially true for nuptial mass and wedding invitation stationery. The wording and language used can set the tone and expectations for the big day.

In addition to proper titles and formal wording, it's also important to pay attention to the overall tone and style of the invitation.

This should include the font and layout of the invitation, as well as the overall design and aesthetics. For a formal wedding invitation, it's generally best to choose a classic and elegant design, with a traditional font and layout.

Choosing Paper for Formal Invitations

The type of paper you choose can play a big role in the overall look and feel of the invitation package. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing the right paper for your formal invitations.


The weight of the paper refers to how thick and sturdy it is. For formal invitations, it's generally best to choose a heavier paper, such as 100-110 lb cardstock, as it gives the invitation a more substantial feel.


The finish of the paper refers to the texture or surface of the paper. For formal invitations, it's generally best to choose a paper with a matte or uncoated finish, as it gives the invitation a more classic and timeless look.


The colour of the paper can also play a role in the overall look and feel of the invitation.

It's generally best to choose a neutral or classic colour, such as white, cream, or light grey, as it gives the invitation a timeless and elegant look.

Invitation Printing Techniques

There are several different printing techniques that can be used to create beautiful and unique invitations. Here are several of the most popular techniques that you should know about.


Letterpress printing is a traditional printing method that involves pressing ink onto paper using a printing press. This technique creates a deep and tactile impression on the paper and is often used for formal invitations.

Foil Stamping

Foil stamping is a printing technique that involves pressing a thin layer of foil onto the paper using heat and pressure. You can use this technique to add a metallic finish to the invitation and is often used for formal or luxury events.

Engraving and Embossing

Engraving is a printing technique that involves etching an image or text into the surface of the paper using a metal plate. This technique creates a raised and embossed effect on the paper and is often used for formal invitations.

Embossing is similar to engraving but does not involve etching the image into the surface of the paper.

Understand How to Create a Formal Invitation

If you are organising an important event like a wedding or a graduation party, it is important to know the top tips and tricks for creating a formal invitation.

Make sure that you use formal language and to use high-quality paper. You'll also need to figure out what type of invitation printing technique is right for your needs.

Do you need help designing the best possible formal invitations? If so, keep in mind that Pemberly Fox can help you. Don't hesitate to check out our wedding and event stationery today!

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