Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Childrens' Party Tips #1: Invitations

I thought it might be nice to share some simple advice for childrens' party planning. Tid bits along the way! If you would like advice on anything regarding your child's birthday party, please contact me, I will do my best to answer as promptly as possible!

Childrens' Party Tips #1: Invitations

As you may know, I worked in the high-end custom stationery industry for over three years. I absolutely loved helping customers create birth announcements, baby and bridal shower invitations, engagement and birthday party invitations, of course wedding invitations, moving announcements...but childrens' party invitations were always a personal favorite.

Whether they were printed by letterpress, thermography or lithography (or engraving!) they were so fun to create. There are so many stationery designers out there today with a unique flavor. Papers are made of cotton, card stock is thick and heavy or light and airy, embellishments such as ribbons, threads, glitter or die-cuts are prevelant everywhere. And I love to see some of my favorite creative designers from the fashion world and domestic design world creating lines of invitations and stationery. It is wonderful to see your favorite dress pattern in an envelope lining!

Because of my love of invitations and passion for paper products, I decided I wanted to create my own line of invitations for Kate Landers Events, LLC. I wanted to offer something that was so simple, a great price point and designs that I was asked for all the time when working in the industry.

I worked with two extremely talented artists co-designing invitations that had the classic, charming, darling, simple, sophisticated, old fashioned, and whimsical feel I was looking for. I feel so very charmed to have had the opportunity to work with them, and look forward to releasing to you new exciting designs for both invitations as well as gift tags and custom labels later on in 2010.

For the line of invitations for Kate Landers Events, LLC, I was very particular about the card stock used--I wanted it to be the best quality I could offer. Textures and colors were extremely important.

I also wanted to offer low minimum order quantities, because I know that it isn't too often you need 25 invitations to a childrens' party, which is the minimum for many stationery companies. Therefore we have a minimum of 10, and after that you may order individual invitations to suit your needs.

I also wanted to include complimentary proofs for all our orders, so that you always have a chance to see a digital version of exactly what your order would look like before going to print, just in case there were any errors we could prevent by doing so.

And then the mailing labels on the front of the envelope--I have seen them popping up everywhere these days, adored them, and wanted to offer a fun and bit more unusual way to include your return address. Not to mention it adds some character to the very front of the envelope, so as soon as the recipient pulls it out of the mailbox they will know it is something special!

As you can tell, I could talk forever about invitations, but I will stop here about our designs, and move on to the tips!

Call me old-fashioned, but there is something so charming about an invitation you find in your mailbox. Whether it is traditional on paper or whimsical in a bottle or box, it not only gives you the need-to-know information, but also helps set the theme of the event, and build excitement for your guests!

Invitations for a child's birthday party should be sent out approximately four weeks before the event. I know for many people, they feel more relaxed about sending out a child's invitation and sometimes allow just a week or two. There is no set rule you must follow on this, however I suggest sending them out as close to four weeks as you can, as a courtesy to your guests.

Invitations should contain the basic information, and typically is in the following order:

Event Name/Description
Event Date
Event Time
Event Location
RSVP Information

I tend to recommend that if you plan to receive replies via e-mail, that you still provide a phone number as well. Almost everyone these days has e-mail and gps, but just in case they get lost or wish to speak to you over the phone, it would be a courtesy to provide them with that information.

Same invitation wording would be as follows:

Please Join Us As We Celebrate
Ava's First Birthday
Saturday, January 27th
12 Winterberry Lane

Kindly Reply 800.555.5555

You certainly may request an "RSVP by" date if you need to know how many guests will be coming before the party for caterers and such. In that case, you would just change the above to "Kindly Reply by January 19th" and move the phone number or e-mail to the following line.

You can add poems, a play on words or thematic elements to your invitation copy, to make it all the more fun. You may also keep it very clean and simple, and let the invition design itself do the talking. It is completely a matter of personal preference.

I always suggest hand writing addresses for the invitations as opposed to labels. It just adds a personal element that cannot be beat.

Double check that your invitation doesn't require additional postage. If you are unsure of the weight or dimensions (square envelopes always require additional postage) I suggest popping in your local post office and find out before sending.

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