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One thing missing from every modern party invitation

Join us as we delve into the art of the party invitation. From their historical significance to modern alternatives, we’ll uncover the secrets to crafting the perfect invite. Get ready to make your celebration a resounding success!

Etiquette does not rend you defenseless.

Judith Martin aka ‘Miss Manners’

Formal party invitations are going the way of the Tasmanian Devil … rarely seen and extremely elusive. 

They collect on our fridges, trophies proudly displayed, showing the affections of friends and family, posted there long past the time when the cherubic one year has reached his 10th birthday. Treasured all the more for their rarity. Those wedding invitations, the big ‘0’ birthday party invites, the hilarious ‘I kept it alive for a year’ first birthday invites and the even more endangered, silver wedding anniversary invites.

The question we have to ask is: why do we send written invitations?

The history of the party invitation

As most things that have becoming intrenched in our culture, it has taken a long journey to get to its current form. Before literacy become a common denomination, invitations were typically announced by the Town Crier. The medieval version of a viral social media posts ’Party at my house … open bar’.  

The invention of the printing press in 1440s resulted in Wedding announcements occurring in newspapers. Which you can still find today if you look hard enough. 

Written invitations started to become more common in the 1640s for the wealthy. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution (1760s-1840s) that it became accessible for the middle class. Those with disposable income.  

In the aftermath of World War II (1939-1945) paper wedding invitations became the norm rather than the exception.

Which leads us to the why? Well, in summary:

  • Wealth and status symbol
  • Etiquette
  • Easy communication of specific details

Modern alternatives to paper

Today, the reasoning behind the written party invitation remain. However the price of paper, printing and postage can add up quickly. 

As a side note, if you are looking for an alternative to a paper invite to your wedding, I beg you, reconsider. A wedding is a legal event where you are vowing a life-time commitment in front of witness. Well worth the gravity, effort and solemn joy that a paper invitation lends, whatever the wedding reception that follows it.

However, that one year old’s birthday or the BBQ lunch for your seventh wedding anniversary can be well served by some new technological options available with a digital invitation. These get emailed to your guests.

Yes, these will take more effort than a Facebook post but it will serve you better in including your people. About 2.45 billion people have Facebook but 3.9 billion have email. 

You can check out the post at Tech Junkie by Arch for their Top Digital Invitation Sites.

So what should an invitation include?

At bare minimum: 

  • Who?
  • What?
  • Where?
  • When, date and time
  • Dress code
  • RSVP due date and contact details for the RSVP

So what information are invitations always missing?

Ohhhh this is such a pet peeve of mine! This is how the internal process goes for me:

Oh, I got a pretty invitation!

Hah, they know my home address WITHOUT ASKING!




Yes. I know it is Jessica. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY JESSICA’S I KNOW.

Last name. Where is the last name.


Which Jessica???

Jessica, Jessica!

Welp. This is going to be awkward…

Also, should I bring my 3 (hypothetical) kids?

Good luck with your Wedding planning!

The Head Monkey
Aka Amy