You’ve decided to throw a holiday party. Fun! The question is – who do you invite and how? Here’s your 411 on invitation etiquette, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.
- Whom should you invite? The basic rule is that you should feel free to invite anyone you think will have fun, or anyone you’d like to get to know better. That’s the word from Jodi R. R. Smith, president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. She says you should also include people from different areas of your life to shake things up. The more diverse the crowd, the better. Don’t worry about inviting friends who don’t get along with each other. Extend the invitation to both, and let them decide whether they’re big enough people to put their differences aside for the night.
- What if you’re questioning whether to include certain people? Go ahead and invite them! You probably won’t notice having a few extra guests, and they might forever feel slighted if you don’t include them.
- Be ready to spark conversations. Smith says sit down with the guest list ahead of time and look for shared interests or history among your friends. That way you can mention what they have in common when you make introductions: “Hey Beth, this is Jim. Jim spent time in Africa when he was in college, just like you did.” This’ll help get conversations rolling.
- What about people who don’t respond to your invitation? Feel free to call them up. That comes from the Emily Post Institute, which specializes in etiquette. They say there’s nothing rude about it, especially if you tell them you’re calling because you wanted to make sure they received your invitation. You can also email people who haven’t RSVP’d, but the phone is usually faster.
- How do you politely ask people NOT to bring their kids to your party? For starters, DON’T write “no kids” on the invitation. Instead, clearly address it to the adults – “To Mark and Mary Johnson.” You can also call friends with kids ahead of time and explain that as much as you’d like to invite the little ones, you just can’t this year. This is a much nicer gesture than putting a note at the bottom dissing their kids.