Invitations play a significant role in managing guests’ expectations about an event, and creative birthday party invitations are an excellent way to express the theme of your party. They also help suggest the formality of the affair and provide your guests with the details that they need to know such as the location and time of the event. The effort and thoughtfulness that goes into creating unique and unforgettable birthday party invitations will make guests feel honored and excited to attend your celebration.
To generate a theme for the event that can translate to the invitation, consider what makes this particular birthday special. You’ll want to express that in the invitation. Generally, we celebrate birthdays as a way of honoring our friends and loved ones. Most likely, we’ll accompany those honors with some good-natured teasing about being too old, or not being old enough. Consider the traditions that accompany certain milestone birthdays. The occasion of turning 16, 18 or 21 might be defined by new legal privileges. Other milestone birthdays might be defined by their popular labels, such as “quarterlife-crisis”, or “over-the-hill”. You can always put your own spin on one of those themes. For example, for someone who’s turning 29, and fears the onset of 30, perhaps a first-annual 29th birthday party is in order. Additionally, you can come up with your own numeric significance for the occasion. Turning 34? Search for a restaurant, bar or lounge on the 34th floor, and invite guests to a “34th on the 34th” birthday party. Simply selecting a clever way to name your event can make a generic birthday invitation feel customized and unique.
Another popular method of choosing a birthday party theme is to consider the passions, hobbies and interests of the birthday boy or girl. Popular themes such as “Girls’ Night Out” or “Day On The Links” can be turned into something more special when accompanied by a clever invitation. For the girl that loves to dance all night, make mix-discs and send them out to the guests with the party details on the jewel case. For the golfer in your life, plan a scramble at a favorite golf course and send participants the scorecard with the relevant event information enclosed.
Create an invitation that is as suitable for the occasion as it is creative. Using your creativity to craft an invitation that reflects your personal style is important, but equally as important is practicing good etiquette in informing your guests of all the relevant details.
To do this effectively, consider cluing guests into your expectations through the wording of the details. For example, if you expect that guests will pay their own way at a restaurant, do not indicate yourself as a host. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if you do the inviting, you’re doing the paying. It would be impolite to assume otherwise, so make your expectations clear.
If the plans include a sit-down meal, add that it’s a “Dutch-treat,” or you could mention, “Everyone’s grabbing a bite to eat together.” In addition, a casual event should be accompanied by an informal invitation. Spreading word of your get together via email, text, Facebook, or phone are all fairly standard ways to send a casual invite. If you intend to host a more formal event, mail or hand deliver invitations. Spell out the standard address abbreviations such as "Street" instead of "St." You could include a response card, and wording popular with wedding invitations such as “... requests the pleasure of your company”.
First, consider how you want to deliver your invitations: electronically, mailed, or hand-delivered. There are creative ways to handle all methods of communication both formally and informally.
Environmentally-friendly and efficient, electronic invitations can be creatively elevated from ordinary, informal communication into something much more exciting. Even texting can get creative: text your guests a photo of the birthday girl or boy, holding a sign that says, “Be there”, followed by the details. Karaoke birthday party? Get things started right with a singing voice message. For something more formal, utilize the customizable options on invitation sites such as Evite or Pingg to design your own creative landing page for your birthday party. Use personal photographs or your own graphic designs as the background so that your invitation really makes an impression. Embed a slideshow of the birthday boy or girl growing up over the years. If you’re blasting out word via email, take the time to design a fun, personalized flier to attach.
You can even print these fliers out to hand-deliver in person if you know you'll be seeing some of your prospective guests. Although paper cards are commonly used for invitations, hand-writing an invitation on stylish stationary, or hand-decorating plain cards can quickly lend the invitation a personal touch. You can also you’re your own invitations to send out. Think back to elementary school arts and crafts: colored markers, pencils, paints, crayons, pastels, glitter, fabric, sequins, feathers, popsicle sticks, beads, pliable foam, googly-eyes, stickers, rubber stamps and ink, embossing seals, wax seals, ribbon, foils, and so much more can be found at your local arts and crafts store. Have fun with it! Think about what you might be able to re-use at home. Throwing out a stack of old magazines? Look through the magazines for interesting images that can be cut out and turned into a collage that expresses the theme of the event. A simple etiquette reminder: unless the event is inclusive of everyone who may be present at the time, hand-delivered invitations should be handled discreetly at school or in the workplace.
Instead of using the traditional paper cards for a mailed or hand-delivered invitation, brainstorm what you might be able to tie in to the party’s theme using multi-media, or objects d’art. CD mixes and DVD slideshows are easy ways to creatively personalize a birthday invitation. Both can invoke great memories for everyone who’s coming together to celebrate the birthday, they make great party favors, and can be sent out to guests at a low cost. Think about other small things you could ship or deliver by hand that could be decorated in a personal fashion: Floral bud vases, photo frames, shot glasses, stemless wine glasses, totebags, tee shirts, coasters, socks, slippers, magnets, compact mirrors, and candle votives are just a few ideas to get your brain storming. These are all objects that can be relatively inexpensive to buy, can be decorated with paint pens, and can be shipped or hand-delivered with relative ease.
Birthdays are especially personal occasions and as we get older, they tend to blur together. With a creative invitation, the thoughtful host can transform any birthday into an event to remember for a lifetime.