Invitation wording

ArabellaMillerJuly 22, 2012

I'm looking for some help with the wording on an invite for a party we are having in a few weeks. After going back to school to obtain a degree for a second career, I will finally be graduating. This past year in particular has been difficult for a number of reasons, so while this is technically a graduation party, I would really like to position it as a "thank you" party so that I can show my gratitude to my friends and family for all their support these past few years.

The party is at my home at 8pm after my graduation ceremony, but most people will not be at the ceremony. A few points I want to emphasize are my gratefulness to everyone so no gifts, and adults only - no kids. As these are mostly friends with kids who my kids are friends with, I am afraid that many of them will read "no kids" as "no one else's kids, but mine are ok".

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I don't think I would send an "invitation"...but rather a note saying something like..."Thank you to all my wonderful friends who were so supportive of me when I pursued my dream. Friends like you are among my greatest treasures.
As my thank you to you and in celebration, please join us (me?) as I celebrate my new direction and my very special friends with a few adult beverages on...saturday...yadda yadda

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 8:52PM
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yadda yadda, adult beverages won't do it. It requires "adult only." If your friends can't move without their kids, you will have to deal without them.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2012 at 7:36PM
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First of all, congratulations!

I agree with lindac; try to avoid putting "adults only" on the invitation. Start by having an invitation that looks adult-y, if you know what I mean. It's not that it's an etiquette no-no -- I mean, so is "no gifts please," but I think it's really the only way we feel comfortable giving parties for ourselves, so IMHO it's okay in your case. But "adults only" has a different feel to me (unwelcoming as opposed to unselfish) and I am guessing to you, too, because you're asking.

If you are part of a crowd that typically includes the kids, people may still assume that this party is no exception. So what to do? I'd want to know how many families are invited total and how many might bring kids. They're all your good friends, right? So I'd just talk to or email each of them separately, preferably when you're contacting them about something else anyway. Make sure it doesn't sound like you don't like THEIR kids particularly. Just say something like, "By the way, this time it's just going to be the 'grown-ups,' so I want to give you a heads-up so you have time to get a sitter for Thusnelda and Mortimer."

If someone asks, "But can't I bring Thusnelda? She won't be any trouble," you can say, "I'd love to have her, and of course she's always an angel, but I already told a bunch of people that this time we aren't having kids, and they will have fits if they come and see Thusnelda there, so please help me out, won't you? Thanks!"

Don't worry about the fact that your own kids will be there. Of course they will; no one is going to find that strange or unfair.

I like LindaC's idea of a note instead of an invitation, but it depends on how many you're inviting.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:25PM
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I just had a retirement party for DH a couple of weeks ago. Being of retirement age, and having just moved (we STILL have stuff in boxes), we really, REALLY didn't want anyone to bring gifts, but it's so hard to put that politely on an invite, isn't it--no matter how you slice it, it looks like on some level you DO expect them to at least consider gifts. I decided upon, "Please just bring yourselves and your good wishes (no gifts please)". Most brought cards--which was lovely, one couple gave us a restaurant gc--but her cousin owns the restaurant; one young girl brought DH a bag of snacks (inexpensive grocery store items) that she knows he likes, and one family brought us a plant for the new house. Some did call and ask if they could bring something so I suggested they bring dessert items (hoping it would do in lieu of gifts). Overall, that seemed to work pretty well.

As to the kids? Can't help you there--I cannot imagine having a party at home where kids weren't welcome. I encourage and welcome children into my house, and honestly cannot think of a kind or polite way to exclude them. If they're friends of your children, why not set up a separate area, with hired help--possibly a half dozen responsible teens or college students--with activities, crafts, games, videos, etc?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 2:49PM
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Thank you Gell & Linda, I appreciate how both of you are always at the ready with excellent advice.

I tried to fight it, but DH insisted on "Adults Only" at the bottom of the invite (we used paperless post). I've received about 50% of the RSVP's so far, and no one has complained yet. I did reiterate it gently with the one friend who I thought might have a problem, and she seemed to understand. Most of my friends' children are old enough to stay home alone, and the ones that aren't have plenty of time to find a sitter. The party doesn't start until 8pm and I anticipate quite a bit of celebratory drinking among my girlfriends who were amazingly helpful through this process (husband are along to be the designated drivers) so it wouldn't be appropriate for young children anyway.

For the invitation itself, I used a variation on Linda's wording with a big "Thank You" at the top and something like "the challenges of the past few years were far easier with the support and kindness of our friends. Please join us so that we might show our appreciation for your part in this achievemet."

As people RSVP, if they ask what they can bring, I've been saying to please not bring anything, the party is being catered and we truly want to just enjoy our friends' company and show our gratitude. I also mention No Gifts when I speak with anyone, but it's a generous crowd.

Thanks again for all your input.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 3:33PM
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That sounds great. It's going to be a lovely event.

One little thing: Please consider avoiding adding something like "we truly want to just enjoy our friends' company and show our gratitude" after you say no thank you. I know what your intention is (and your friends do too, I'm sure). But you don't want to be inadvertently implying that others who do accept help or gifts are entertaining for any other reason than to share their friends' company and to give them a good time -- or that that was the reason you yourself gave parties other than this one.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 3:01PM
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Yes, that's a good point. And I certainly wouldn't want to imply that.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2012 at 5:47PM
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