Archive for May, 2009

RSVP Etiquette & Response Cards

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

We all have had this happen one time or another – we send out 75 invitations, 40 people reply they are attending and then 60 people show up! Today’s modern generation for some reason just does not like to RSVP, which can be a frustrating situation for the host of a party.

The trick with RSVP’s is to give a reply-by date on the invitation along with your RSVP. This will give a strong message to your guests that the host needs to know the number attending for a specific reason, be it space at the location, catering or favors. The length of time for a reply-by date is typically about 1-2 weeks for a casual event, 3-4 weeks for a formal event or wedding. Just remember to give yourself enough cushion time so that in the days after the RSVP you have time to contact those guests that did not RSVP. Try to refrain from using “regrets only”. While this provides you with less phone calls or emails, this also may cause you to be expecting a large number of guests when only a small number attend your event.

If you are hosting a formal event, you may want to send a response card along with your invitation. If doing so, you should not include any RSVP information on your invitation. Simply enclose the response card in the invitation envelope. Remember to stamp the response card with postage and also have the return address written on the front of the RSVP card envelope so that all your guests have to do is fill out the reply and mail it in to you. When writing a response card you want to include the request for the reply, a reply by date, a “M________________” line for the guest to write in their name(s) and areas for the guest to check off whether or not they are attending. Depending on the space available on your response card, it is acceptable to include brief descriptions of meal choices if necessary. Refrain from using “will____attend” as guests will not know what to write if the ARE attending – do they write yes? Put a check there?

Need a response card for your next event? Our InvitationBox response cards come in a variety of colors, borders, patterns and designs. Check some of them out below! All can be ordered without envelopes if needed so that you can use the card for reception cards, accommodations cards, meal cards or directions cards.

reply cards

Jungle & Safari Invitations

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

It’s a jungle out there! Bring the wild to your own backyard with a Safari themed party for your little monkey’s next birthday! Safari parties are fun, vibrant and allow all kinds of variations for your personal budget. You can incorporate your Safari theme into your invitations, party decorations, games & activities, cake, party favors and maybe even party costumes or hats!

When picking out your child’s Safari Party Invitations, choose one that has your child’s all-time favorite jungle animal or maybe an invitation that incorporates the most popular safari animals like giraffes, elephants, zebras or monkeys. At InvitationBox we have an array of die-cut invitations, wiggler invitations, top-fold invitations and large flat invitations that feature your favorite jungle friends. When writing your invitation wording you can use jungle jargon like “Expedition starts at 7 o’clock”, “Explorers should dress like their favorite jungle animal” or phrases like “It’s a jungle out there!”. Take a look at some of the most creative Safari Party Invitation designs below…

jungle invitations

safari invitationsFor the decorations, you can transform your backyard, basement or living room into the tropical rainforest by pasting up cut-out palm trees, tropical birds and monkeys. Make a waterfall by taping blue streamers on the wall repeatedly to look like the falls and then set up a kiddie pool below it with exploration toys for the kids to play with. Play a CD of jungle or safari sounds in the background during the party. Run to your local craft store ahead of time and pick up some adorable safari hats made out of foam for each kid. These typically cost only a dollar and come in a variety of animal choices. If they don’t have them, making safari animal hats is a great party-activity to involve all the kids in. For other games, play musical chairs with stuffed safari animals instead of the actual chairs. Take an animal away each time and when the music stops each kid has to grab the closest animal. Winner gets to take the last animal home.

monkey invitationsMake a cake that looks like your child’s favorite safari animal or make the entire cake into a jungle filled with gummy worms and dirt, blue icing for the water hole and sugar safari animals. Give the other food at the party a jungle name like rattlesnake hotdogs, spider pretzels, roach burgers or fly dip for chips. For party favors give each kid a pair of toy binoculars to take home or take a picture of each kid and Photoshop them during the party into a safari picture. Be as creative as possible and your safari party will be one for the books!

Pool Party Invitations

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

“Summer nights…Everybody are you with me? Let that Igloo cooler mark your piece of paradise!” – Rascal Flatts

beach party invitations What’s the coolest party to have during the hottest months of the year? A pool party, of course! Offer some summertime relief to your guests by hosting a wild, crazy and fun pool party with your favorite friends and family members! Pool parties are a great idea for kids AND adults because it allows everyone to relax, socialize and enjoy some time in the sun with good food and friends while getting a tan! What could be better than that?!

pool party invitations Send your pool party invitations out at least two weeks in advance as people tend to be busy in the summertime with other arrangements, vacations and such. Choose a pool party invitation that portrays the type of pool part you’ll be hosting – whether it’s a BBQ event with kids, family and friends, a water slide fun park, a pool cocktail party or a relaxing soirée with your closest of friends. InvitationBox.com has some great pool party invitations out for the upcoming summer months with pool scenes, pool toys, flip flop themes, water slides and more.

Now for the essentials…When planning your pool party, make sure you incorporate some of these fun ideas that will make your pool party a SPLASH!!!

summer party invitationsSET-UP: Make sure your pool has enough space for the sun-worshippers AND those who need a little escape from the sun. It may be nice to set up your food in the shade to offer a little sun-relief for your guests, or set up beach umbrellas. Decorate your tables with bright, summery colors that remind you of the summer like hot pink, yellow, aqua blue and orange. Be sure to also have an array of pool toys for everyone to play with like a beach ball, pool noodles, flippers, goggles, diving sticks, tubes, rafts and swimmies for the kids, if needed.

pool invitations FOOD/DRINKS: Have lots of finger foods available for your guests, (nothing heavy), like chips & salsa, pretzels, burgers, hot dogs, cookies. Since it will be hot be sure to have an array of drinks available for all ages like water, soda, pina coladas, margaritas & daiquiris, (available alcoholic & non-alcoholic). It might even be fun to have ice cream available toward the end of the festivities.

FAVORS: When leaving send each guest home with a mini or travel sized aloe or after-suntan lotion! Wrap it in a cute ribbon with a summer drink recipe attached. Your guests will appreciate the kind gesture!

beach invitations

Ready to go for a swim yet? Grab your flippers and goggles because this pool party is gonna be one for the books…

Pottery Painting Party Invitations

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Get your art-on with a ceramics or pottery painting party for your kid’s next birthday. These parties are great for inviting girls AND boys and typically involve each child picking out a ceramic or clay animal, mug, plate or character to paint and design as they wish. Most pottery art studios have stencils for the artistically challenged, stamps, sponges, idea books and plenty of helpers! At the end of the party each kid gets to take home their masterpiece…what is better than that?!

painting invitations

Depending on where you book your party and what type/size of item the kids will be painting, these parties can be slightly expensive. But not to worry if you’re on a budget…many craft stores nowadays offer something called Active Clay so that you can host your OWN pottery party out of your home. This clay is malleable for the kids to be able to actually create their own animal, character or artful masterpiece and allow it to dry, (these types of artworks work best for sleepovers), the night before. The next morning all the kids can wake up and paint their pottery before going home. The only things you’ll need will be active clay, paints, clear acrylic spray paint and clay tools for sculpting. Active clay dries to look like it was placed in a kiln but no heat or fire is required. It is available in white, terracotta and green.

Need some great invitations to get the kids ready for your child’s ultra-fun pottery party? We’ve got you covered with this array of art-themed invitations:

painting party invitations

Don’t forget…pottery/ceramics painting parties are great for adults too! Many pottery companies offer programs for team-building office activities, mother-daughter classes and holiday painting gift classes.

Candy Invitations

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Need to sweeten up your next party? Candy themed parties are all the rage right now from kids ages 4 – 94! Candy themes or accents can be used for almost any occasion including kids’ birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, sweet 16 parties, weddings, bridal showers or baby showers. And the best part? Everybody loves candy and everyone loves parties…put them together and you’ve got a sugary mix that can’t be beat!

Candy invitations

When planning a candy party you have a few options. If you choose a color or few colors for your theme, you can find candy accents and decorations in those colors which are entirely possible nowadays with the vast array of different types of candy available. If you’re having a character themed party like Dora, Sponge Bob, Barbie or Hello Kitty you’re also in luck because many of these character creators have candy lines as well. If creating your own candy theme seems a little bit much, many areas have local candy stores that host candy parties for children. The kids can learn how candy is made, take a tour of the factory and then choose their own candy combination at the end! Like old fashioned candy? You could even create a candy theme of the decades featuring old favorites like wax bottles, mary janes, neccos or more. If someone at the party is diabetic, remember that many of our favorite candies also come in a sugar-free option too!

Candy parties are relatively inexpensive and are great for those of us on a budget. Candy can typically be purchased at a discounted price when bought in bulk…remember to do your research on candy prices before choosing one particular store to buy from.

When purchasing invitations for your candy party keep your theme, holiday or color scheme in mind. At InvitationBox we have some adorable candy store themed invitations that are sure to have your guests mouths watering for your upcoming event. Take a look at some of the great choices we have available…

Candy party invitations

Thinking about making your next party a candy land adventure? Go for it! Every guest will arrive and leave with a smile on their face and a full belly of sugar & chocolate – What is better than that?!

Corporate Party Invitations

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Summer is rolling in faster than we know it. Deadlines are all around us, stress levels are raised, work is becoming an 8-7 rather than a 9-5 and that guy in the cubicle next to you is suddenly more annoying than ever before. Raise your employee’s spirits, promote teamwork and encourage a positive relationship between all levels of management and employees by hosting a corporate picnic or event for all to attend. Summer is a great time to host one of these events and the weather typically holds up June – September better than the winter months. Whether you plan your team-building event for a weekend or mid work day, your employees will be happy to take a break from their hectic schedules to socialize with their co-workers. It is also a great way to give different departments a chance to interact if they typically do not during normal work hours.

company picnic invitations

When planning a corporate event choose a theme that people can get into like Western BBQ, luau & beach tropical or sports. Send out invitations to all employees either at work or to their home if families are invited to attend detailing the theme/activities of your event so that everyone knows what to expect. You can ask employees to each bring a dish or drink to share if budgets are low. Take a look at some of our popular corporate themed invitations below…

corporate bbq invitations

When hosting your corporate party, it’s a great idea to start with a few ice-breakers to get everyone involved and excited about the event. Maybe do a raffle or a door prize when the co-workers arrive. At the event be sure to have lots of food for everyone. Live music is a great way for people to get involved and into the event. If you’re hosting a picnic set up different sports or activities like canoeing, volleyball, basketball, team baseball or flag football. It’s great to see your CEO getting tackled by the mailroom clerk!

After your event be sure to have an assigned clean-up crew to do damage control. Most people are more than happy to pitch in to clean-up after such a fun event. Try to do one of these corporate picnics or get-togethers once a year or multiple times a year if the budget and work flow allows. It is really a great way to get people together and promote positive work relationships.

ODD BALLS Sale! 10% Discount

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Get them while they’re hot! There’s only two weeks left for our Odd Balls 10% off sale!
One of our most popular vendors, Odd Balls, is known as the “Best Little Paper Company” in Arkansas. Established in 1992, the Odd Balls line of party invitations and holiday cards began. Their line of invitations includes items for all types of occasions like adult birthday parties, corporate events and holiday party invitations.

The Odd Balls everyday collection of invitations is extremely popular as it features watercolor images that reflect the uniqueness of the event and it’s hosts. The everyday collection features an invitation for every party or event including shrimp and seafood boils, football parties, horse racing, croquet, country living, baseball, luncheon, tropical, fiesta, garden, seasonal and location themed invitations.

Take a look at some of the most popular Odd Balls invitations below…

odd balls invitations

During the month of May we are happy to offer a 10% discount on every Odd Balls invitation…but hurry, May is almost over, so now is your chance to pick up a classy design from this unique invitation collection!

Baby Shower Week at InvitationBox.com – Baby Shower Thank You Notes

Friday, May 15th, 2009

baby shower thank you notesAfter the shower is through it is extremely important to let your guests know how appreciative you are for their generous gift or kind gesture of hosting your baby shower. Let them know of your appreciation with a baby shower thank you note that you have personalized or hand written just for them!

When writing a thank you note for your baby shower gift be sure to mention the item they gave you and maybe add a little note about how it was nice to see them at your shower, etc. It does not have to be an extremely long note; just a few sentences will do. If at all possible, avoid having a pre-printed thank you note. This is considered to be extremely tacky and gives the impression that you do not have time in your schedule to write a quick note of thanks. If you are a busy mommy-to-be, or anticipate being very busy and not having time to write notes after the baby is born you can pre-address your thank you notes so that they are ready to go. If you are hosting a baby shower, have each guest fill out an envelope with their return address on the front and then collect them at the end of the shower so that the mom just has to slip the personal note inside.

When shopping through our < a href="http://www.invitationbox.com/bashthyounoa.html">baby shower stationery we have a multitude of designs for mommies expecting boys, girls, multiples or surprises! Our baby shower thank you notes includes expecting dress forms, a character that you can personalize to look like yourself, a classy silhouette or traditional baby graphic like a rattle, bottle or pea pod. Take a look at some of our most popular thank you notes below…

baby shower stationery

Whatever stationery you choose, your recipients will be impressed that you took time out of your busy schedule to thank them for their gift in such a timeless and stylish way!

Baby Shower Week at InvitationBox.com – Registry & Gifting

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Though it’s not required, giving gifts to the mommy-to-be at her shower is something the mom appreciates and the guests enjoy watching. It reminds us all of when we were expecting our first child or what we have to look forward to. Most mommy-to-be’s will register at one or a few stores (typically a franchise that is in mutiple cities for out of town guests). Some great places to register are Babies ‘R’ Us, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, Wal-Mart and Baby Depot.

baby shower invitations

When registering, be sure to register for small items like shampoo, lotions, rattles, bottles, etc. all the way up to diaper genies, baby furniture and other more expensive items. Your guests will all have a different range of budgets that you should keep in mind and some close family members may want to get you a larger gift. Registering for the items you need will help prevent receiving duplicate gifts or unwanted items which can save you time on returns. If you have a multitude of items already for your new baby, think outside the box with registering for books, nursery decor or baby clothing for 6, 9 or 12 months that will help you out later down the road with your little one.

When giving gifts to the mommy-to-be, it is important to use the mommy’s registry if they have one to prevent repeat gifts. This way after you buy the item you know she won’t receive three more of the same thing. If nothing appeals to your budget or ideas on the registry it is okay to shop elsewhere, but try to make it something creative that she will use and appreciate the time you took to think of the gift. At InvitationBox.com we have a multitude of baby shower gift items in our baby gift shop including cloud b Sleep Sheeps, Lullabags, onesies, bibs, burp pads, towels, photo albums, scrap books, picture frames, wall and door hangers and more…

Baby Shower Week at InvitationBox.com – Baby Shower Games

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

Baby showers are a great time to get together with friends and family to have food, cake and presents to celebrate the mommy-to-be but games are a great ice-breaker to get the group into baby-mode and to introduce new guests to each other. While browsing on Baby Shower 101, I found a bunch of GREAT baby shower games to play to incorporate the entire baby shower group, including the expecting mommy. Take a look at some of our favorites below. Remember to have little baby gifts to give to the winners:

Guess Mommy’s Tummy Size: (Materials- String or yarn and scissors) Have each woman pull the yarn to the size they believe would fit perfectly around the Mother-To-Be’s center of her pregnant tummy. After everyone cuts their string, compare the results to the Mommy-To-Be’s actual tummy. Give a prize to the woman who is the most close! This is a baby shower favorite.

How Many Baby Items Can You Name: (Materials- pad of paper and pen for each woman). Have each woman write down as many baby products as they can name (bottle, blanket, pacifier, etc) within 5 minutes. Sure it is easy at the beginning, but towards the last few minutes, the women will start racking their brains for more 🙂 Give a prize to the woman who gets the most baby products named!

Baby Bingo: (Materials- Pens, Pre-Printed Bingo cards that use the numbers of how many people attend the baby shower) Prior to opening the baby shower gifts, number each gift on the box starting with one. If you know that 15 people will be attending your shower, pre-print bingo cards with numbers 1 through 15 and randomly place them on 15 cards. When the mommy-to-be’s decides to open the presents, she grabs the present she wants to open and reads the number out loud. As soon as someone receives bingo, they win the baby shower game and the baby shower prize.

Guess The Baby Pictures: Ask for everyone’s pictures prior to the baby shower. Have all the pictures in a collage and make lines for people to fill in who they think the babies are out of the girls at the baby shower. If most women don’t know each other, just have the pictures of the mother, mother-in-law, sisters, and mommy-to-be. See how many people guess right. You can make copies of the baby picture collage to see how many can guess right!

Guess The Dirty Diaper: (Materials- 5-10 diapers with 5-10 different types of chocolates). This game is one of the funniest and most popular baby shower games. Have the baby shower host or appointed person moderately melt 5-10 different candy bars separately, placing each one in a diaper to be viewed by everyone. Mark each diaper as A, B, C, D, etc. Have everyone guess which candy is in each of the diapers. Make sure to use some candies that have nuts, toffee, caramel, etc. You are sure to get great laughs!

Blindfold Diapering: (Materials- blindfold, baby lifesize doll(s), diapers). One of the funniest baby shower games is for the women break into teams (up to five persons per team). Each team has a doll, blindfold and diapers. The object is for each participant to place the blindfold on, take the current diaper off the doll and place the new one on while blindfolded. After the first person finshes diapering, they run to the next team-mate who places the blindfold on and has to do the same. The first team to finish diapering wins!

Pregnant For A Day (Co-Ed): (Materials: Bag of medium balloons, a roll of yarn cut into approx. 20 inch pieces, and a chair for each male participant). Don’t tell the object of the game up-front. Make a statement to the women in attendance– “How many of us women wished that men could be pregnant just for one day?” This statement will leave the men full of suspicion as to what was about to unfold. Hand each man a balloon. For each man that doesn’t have on shoes with shoe laces, tie the piece of yarn around each of his slip on shoes to mimic a shoestring. Do not form the bow. Only make a knot to help keep the yarn around the shoe. For those who do have on string up shoes, instruct them to untie their shoes.

Instruct each man to blow up his balloon and tell each man when to stop filling it with air. The balloons should be filled with enough air that it could fit under each participant’s shirt, yet be a bit uncomfortable for them to sit down and tie their shoes without popping the balloon. Keep in mind that men who already have a “pot-belly” might need to blow up a smaller balloon. Give the object of the game and the rules. Start the game and whoever ties their shoes without popping the balloon, or lifting their feet from the floor wins. You’ll see husbands, cousins, boyfriends come up with such creative ideas as how to attack this difficult task. Naturally, you get a roll of laughter from the baby shower guests as they watch this hysterical event and the men will get to see what it’s like to be pregnant for a day!

Got any more shower game ideas that aren’t listed above?! Feel free to comment and fill the rest of us in on them!