Birthday party and event invitations sure have evolved over the course of my run as a mom over the last 13 years. Back in the printapalooza day, we searched all over town for the quest to find only the most precious printed invites that the Buttercup and Junior League of Charlotte’s League Print could offer. We were HORRIFIED when we went to the mailbox and saw that little Suzie sent out the exact same invitation as our little Sally. We probably spent more on the invitations than we did on everything else combined. OK, maybe our presh Edible Art cakes cost more. But you get the idea. Our invitations were a true reflection of the lifestyle we lived. We are Southerners at heart and we never skimp on our invitations. And then evite was born…
In the early days of evite, our inner Martha Stewart side gasped at the thought of not sending out a printed invitation. How tacky, uncouth and most importantly unSouthern of us to not send a proper invitation. But as the years went on, even the team at Emily Post embraced electronic invitations because, let’s face it. Electronic invitations are much more efficient and truly help us in planning the perfect party. And that’s the most important part for us girlies in the South – if you can’t throw a good party, you might as well move. We Southern girls love us a good par-tay!
In light of the new trend of electronic stationery taking over traditional printed invitations, I often see so many obvious snafus that could have (and should have) been prevented! Read on and take note!
Smarty tips: Evite 101
1) Don’t forget the basic and essential details for the party – I can’t tell you how many times the address or date is missing. We can’t come to your party if you don’t give us the day/time/location/end time and other necessary details.
2) NEVER.EVER.EVER hide your guest list. This is the biggest mistake of all, people. Thanks to evites, we can now carpool without the possibility of revealing that so-and-so wasn’t invited. And let me tell ya, this is a mom-war if you are the one who let that cat out of the bag.
In hiding your guest list, that tells me that you don’t want to share who you invited. You either left somebody really important off and on purpose for that matter. Or you’re new to this online rodeo and don’t know how to do proper electronic party planning. We need to see the guests. Period.
3) Take the time to enter a specific child’s name as the invitee (not just the mom) so the parent knows exactly who is invited. Example: Enter “Isabel Plym” not “Jen Plym” and keep in mind, it may default to Mom’s name since that’s how you have her entered in your address book. This is especially helpful for twin mamas or those with kids close in age.
4) If someone takes the time to ask you a question via your electronic invite mail, do not ignore and even worse, do not reply all. “Sorry, no sibs included!” as an afterthought is not meant for the entire group to see and chances are, you’ve officially offended one of your guests and guess what? Now she’s not coming.
5) DO send relevant periodic updates to your list – inclement weather alerts, don’t forget your socks, etc. This is a good use of reply all.
6) Double check the day/time when you upload to your calendar. This is for the invitees on evite only. This may be a mac thing or maybe I’m just on an old mac. But evite seems to enter the most random times for all of the parties when I select to populate on my iCalendar. It’s so annoying! So if the party starts at 1:00pm, it will populate my calendar for 7pm and on the day of the event, it will show 8am on the calendar preview. Again, I may be on an old mac, but none of my other auto-uploads have this problem. I’ve checked to see if I have inadvertently set up pacific time in my evite settings, but no such luck. Seems to have a mind of it’s own. So you may need to manually override the time stamp on your evite events.
All hail evite, Paperless Post, punchbowl and zazzle for making us the best party planners ever! We officially could not live without you. Smarties, please weigh in here and share your tips and/or observations!