Over the years we have been all over the board with invitations too. They have all had a similar, elegant theme – but we have gone from printing them ourselves on pre-designed cardstock, to designing them ourselves and having them printed, to going through an online process to order directly, etc. This year, we changed it up again. I found a design I liked on Etsy through the Fine and Dandy Paperie store. I purchased the template, sent her the text for the invitation, we did two rounds of proofing, and voila – I had the images (one for the front, one for the back) on my hard drive. She has lots of great stationary options on her site, definitely worth checking out.
While thinking about the text for your next party invitation, always remember the key components: date, time, place, attire (if you are going for something specific) and definitely the date by when you need people to respond. If you have hired a caterer and need to give final counts to them on a specific date – make sure your RSVP date is a few days before that. In the past we have used “please accept or decline by X date” or “please respond by X date”. If I don’t hear from them, I call them – which I read in one of my etiquette books from when I was getting married – is perfectly fine to do! If you are the recipient of an invitation, remember – the hosts are working hard to pull this all together and have invited YOU to their party, give them the courtesy of a response before the date on the invite!
Evite is also an option - perfect for tracking guests responses, asking guests to bring something to share, etc. Evite will also prompt you along the way to ensure you incorporate all of the key components of an invitation that I mentioned above.