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Need help wording an invitation

Posted by littledog (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 24, 10 at 3:55

Next month will be my Mother's 70th birthday and her husband's 75th. They want to have a combined birthday party at their home for between 30 to 50 people. The plan is to have a "come and go" event, about 4 hours long, so that people coming from out of town won't feel rushed to get there, and everyone won't all be crowded in at once. We plan on serving finger foods, (sandwiches, veggie and fruit trays) and cake with ice cream. They don't want any gifts.

It's easy enough to write "no gifts, please", but is it tacky to ask that if they can't attend to send a card? There are several people who live out of state who in all likelihood will not be able to attend. These are people that are important to them, and I know they would love to hear from them even if they can't be there in person. If they can't attend, we're thinking about having all the cards sent to one place before hand and then letting the honorees open them at the party. Does this sound like a good idea, and can someone please help me with the wording?

thanks,
Melody


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Need help wording an invitation

As part of the invatation inviting friends to the open house, simply state if they are unable to attend you are sure the honorees would enjoy hearing from them with a card or note. Please send them to me at my address.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

No gifts please. Your presence is your present!


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

I think it's perfectly fine to put a note saying something like "We hope that you can join us! In the unfortunate event that you are unable to be with us that day and would like to send a card or note, we will add it to the others that Sue and Bob will be opening during the party".


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

It's never proper to put "no gifts" ion an invitation. That implies that you should have been thinking of sending a gift.
I would say something like:
"We will be assembling a memory book for them to presented as your gift to Gladys and Ralph. Please send a short note or a picture or a remembered story to their daughter, Melody by...name a date".
You have reminded those who can't come to send a note and skirted the gift issue....and will create s remembrance for your parents.
Linda C


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

I know they would love to hear from them even if they can't be there in person. If they can't attend, we're thinking about having all the cards sent to one place before hand and then letting the honorees open them at the party.

I think it will take a long while to open and read all those cards at the party. It's different at showers or a kid's party, when opening gifts and cards is part of the party. Not so at this kind of party. Besides, the notes on the cards may have private, personal things written in them. It's not much fun to watch people read, nod their heads and say, "Oh, how sweet."

Sherry


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

You could ask all the invitees (including the ones who will be attending, and some out of town friends and family, too) to write up a happy memory or just their good wishes and send them to you for an album that you compile and give to them. We did this for my parents' 40th anniversary many years ago (it was a LOT harder pre-internet!), and my husband did it for me for my 50th birthday. It is a great treasure. The stories, poems, jokes, pictures, and even artwork are a little more trouble for the guests than a greeting card, but they mean SO much more.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

What is "proper" anyway? Just some rule someone else made up. Why wasn't I consulted? I think it's fine to say "Please no gifts." A birthday invitation may imply that the recipient should bring a gift. If you don't say anything, it's not clear, so some guests may bring gifts and others may not. Then the ones who didn't feel bad.

But I wouldn't request cards, either. Let people who want to send cards send them.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

I have been to many parties of one sort or another, birthdays, 2nd weddings....3rd weddings where the invitation requested "no gifts"....and there were gifts.
When I get an invitation that says "no gifts"....I take a gift if it's for someone I want to take a gift to and omit a gift if I don't feel moved to give one.
don't say " no gifts please"....as I said that presumes you thought peolple would think a gift was "necessary".


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

I think the rule about not saying "no gifts" is silly. If you don't want people to bring gifts, put "no gifts". I do think it's rude to bring a gift if the invitation stated "no gifts", though, because you "felt moved to give one." If you feel so moved, you should use another opportunity to give the gift in private at least, I hope.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Invitations can be formal or casual. Sounds like yours will be more casual.

Announce the event as an "open house from time to time" to celebrate the birthdays of x & y. I would avoid including the "no gifts" statement. People will bring what they feel like anyway, so just have a space for them out of the main party area. You don't need to open at the party, but should send thank you's after the party for the gifts. It would be fine to include something like "if you can't make it and want to send a card they would love to hear from you."

Bottom line, write the invitation from your heart and remember to include address of event with phone number in case people get lost.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Ladies, thank you so much for responding and sharing all your great ideas. To update, the party was held on the 20th, and it was a well attended, casual affair. (roughly 65 people, nicely spaced out over 4 hours)

I used regular blank invitations, and wrote that my sister and myself were hosting a party for their (70th!) and (75th!) birthdays on such and such date, time and place, as well as letting them know it was "come and go". I gave people my email address and my sister's phone number to contact if they needed specific directions. Then I enclosed a second note that said "We hope to see you there, but if you are unable to attend we know R--- and S--- would enjoy hearing from you with a card or note." (pretty much what Texas Red Head suggested.) Keeping in mind lindac's suggestion that "no gifts" implies you expected one in the first place, I didn't write "no gifts", but that also worked out well, as almost everyone brought a card instead. Actually, the only people who brought gifts were a few of my mother's oldest friends (her traveling buddies) who arrived in a group toward the end of the day. In fact, by the time Mom opened her gifts they were the only other people there besides family, so it worked out fine.

I also took to heart what sherrman wrote and made surethey waited to open cards until after we'd cleaned up and were having coffee. Considering they had roughly 60+ cards to open, that was a geat idea.

We'd made a video/DVD thing of old family pictures of both of them, and had contacted relatives some time ago looking for pictures. They've been married for the last ten years, and there were pictures of each other that neither had seen, so it was a great surprise. FWIW, we mixed them all up, his and hers, and nothing was in chronological order; we didn't want it to come across as one of those "This was your life" slide shows that are so popular at funerals. The little DVD was about 12 to 15 minutes long on a continuous loop, and yes, people stood around watching, and laughing and saying "I remember that!" it was terrific ice breaker. As guests were leaving, I had them stop briefly out front so T could take a quick picture. Everyone received a print of themselves looking relaxed and happy, and Mom and her husband got pictures of all their guests without annoying anyone during the party by having them stop and pose.

It was just a very nice party, and again, I can't thank you all enough for your insight and advice.
You're (all) the best.
Melody


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Sounds lovely! Glad it turned out well.
And see, if you had said "no gifts, please"...those old friends may have felt strange about bringing their gifts.
I think that by the time people reach their 70th and 75th birthdays, their friends know they don't need "stuff".
Linda C


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Wow...sounds like you had a wonderful event. The DVD will certainly be appreciated for an affair to not be forgotten. GREAT JOB!!!


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Having a high school graduation party....Open House for my son. Will be serving only cake and ice cream.
Would like the word the invitation that it is an Open House and somewhere in there put cake and ice cream (so people will know to eat dinner before coming.) Also, somehow would like to put in there the name of the college he will be attending. Help....


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Graduation Open House

Please join us for cake and ice cream
as we wish Cuthbert well at Whatsamatta U.

Date
time
place

Candy Kane

RSVP xxx-xxxx

That ought to do it. Dessert open houses work great for graduations, as people often have more than one to go to on the same day, as all the kids are graduating. Don't have it over a meal time, though. Start at 7:30 at the earliest, or else do something like 3:00 on a weekend.


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RE: Need help wording an invitation

Graduation Open House

Please join us for cake and ice cream
as we wish Cuthbert well at Whatsamatta U.

Date
time
place

Candy Kane

RSVP xxx-xxxx

That ought to do it. Dessert open houses work great for graduations, as people often have more than one to go to on the same day, as all the kids are graduating. Don't have it over a meal time, though. Start at 7:30 at the earliest, or else do something like 3:00 on a weekend.


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