A Bit of Etiquette:
We may not like to admit it, but even adults like a good birthday party every once in a while. What better way to get the party started than with the perfect invitation. As always, when sending invitations, keep in mind that sooner is better. A rule of thumb is two to four weeks before the event to allow guests to arrange schedules and purchase gifts if applicable. Also remember that the bigger the city or if your event falls on a Holiday weekend, even more notice is required.
The vital statistics to include on a birthday party invitation would be: the purpose of the invitation, the name of the guest of honor, the age of the guest of honor if significant, day and date of the event, time, name of place, location of place, name of host/ hostess and an R.S.V.P. if desired.
If there is a theme to the party such as "Birthday Barbecue", "This is Your Life Party" or "Back to the Eighties Party", this will need to be explained on the invitation as well, so guests will know what to expect. If the party is a surprise this should be explicitly explained and details given on different arrival times etc., so as not to spoil the surprise.
If lunch or dinner is being served, this should always be pointed out on a party invitation, otherwise guests will assume there will be the usual finger foods, cocktails and cake and will eat accordingly before coming.
Most etiquette references will tell you it is completely inappropriate to mention gifts on a birthday party invitation - even if your intent is to request "No gifts please."
There are endless ways in which to word a birthday party invitation and we have included some standard wording as well as some of our favorite more creative options below: