Holiday invitations can set the tone for parties

Sunday, November 13, 2011
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Arriving home after a long day at the office to find a pretty envelope with a hand-written address is one way to brighten a day. After quickly ripping it open, a sparkly explosion of bright colors and festive shapes are revealed, all well-crafted and printed on elegant paper. The mind promptly shifts from the stress of the day to the thought of attending a favorite annual holiday party, and the invitation is hung with pride on a bare and lonely spot on the refrigerator door.

Invitations are an important first step when organizing a holiday party. With their vibrant colors and variety of themes, they can truly set the tone for the occasion and offer guests a sneak peak of what is to come at the party.

It is important to customize a holiday invitation to correlate with the theme or feel of the party, offering guests that 'wow' factor before even arriving.

A first impression goes a long way

Typically, invitations match the style of the holiday party, so it is important to try and link the two as much as possible, said Beth Mungle, marketing supervisor at MTI Printing in Cape Girardeau.

"It's kind of like a first impression of what you perceive the party will be like," she said. "A good invitation should make people excited for your party."

She said the invitation should always reveal whether the party will be a formal or a casual event.

Holiday invitations also inform guests of any specific information for the party said Amanda Lukefahr, co-owner of Lukefield Special Events in Cape Girardeau. It lets guests know if there is a theme, such as an ugly sweater party; if a guest should bring something, such as a gift exchange, any food or alcohol; and also of its overall tone, such as a fundraiser, adult-only or family-friendly party.

A theme gives that little extra zing

Themed parties are popular during the holidays. For individuals who may have trouble thinking of or deciding on that perfect theme, tinyprints.com suggests choosing an invitation to start and basing a theme off of it. From the invitation, people can pull decoration ideas like certain colors or table settings.

Some popular and fun themes suggested include a gingerbread house theme with invitations featuring a gingerbread house or candy designs, a caroling theme with invitations as sheet music or a Santa Clause costume theme with invitations as Santa's head.

For hosts and hostesses with a busy schedule, using holiday invitations as a focal point to build the style, colors and theme of the party could make the organization and preparation for the event an overall easier process.

Out with the old, in with the creative

What used to be plain and simple is now much more extravagant and fun, Lukefahr said. Invitations have gone from two-dimensional to three-dimensional and now commonly include things such as folds, embellishments, ribbons and charms, offering a more eye-catching appeal.

"The more elaborate the invitation, you expect more from the party, and you get excited about it," she said.

Including a personal photo on the invitation has become a recent trend, especially with holiday parties, Mungle said. For annual parties, group photos or funny snapshots from previous years can make the guests feel a little more special and also makes for a great keepsake.

Popular color schemes for invitations have expanded from the traditional Christmas red and green. Mungle said brown and teal and also red and a winter blue are bright color schemes commonly incorporated on holiday invitations.

With all of the extra elements invitations can include now, Mungle said it also an important step to make sure the correct postage meets the size, weight and shape of the invitation.

Before beginning the party planning process, hosts and hostesses should envision what type of event they wish to have and then simply communicate their thoughts and ideas through the invitation.

Mungle said the most important part to remember is that "holiday invitations are just something to have fun with."