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How to Create a Formal Invitation: Word Choice and Design Inspiration

Hosting a special event requires attention to detail, and one of the key elements is the formal invitation. A well-crafted invitation sets the tone for the occasion and gives guests a glimpse of what to...

Two formal event invitations with a champagne coup and a pear

Hosting a special event requires attention to detail, and one of the key elements is the formal invitation. A well-crafted invitation sets the tone for the occasion and gives guests a glimpse of what to expect. It also conveys elegance and sophistication, making your event stand out. In this article, we will explore how to create a formal invitation that wows your guests with the right word choice and design inspiration.

How to Write a Formal Invitation

Place settings at a formal event

Writing a formal invitation may seem daunting, but it becomes simple once you understand a few key concepts. First, formal invitations require attention to detail, meaning you should avoid informal abbreviations. Second, proper etiquette involves using the correct titles when addressing guests, especially if they hold prestigious positions. Let's dive into the essential components of a formal invitation.

Who's Hosting

The host details are crucial in a formal invitation, particularly for events like weddings. This information reflects who is responsible for the event's organization and financial aspects. Make it clear who is hosting the event by including the full names of the hosts, including their middle names. In cases where more than one family is hosting, such as joint celebrations for divorced parents, list both sets of host names. For weddings, it's customary to list the bride's parents' names before the groom's. You can also use the phrase "together with their families" to signify that you are hosting the event with your family's support.

Full Guest Names

Address the invitation using the full names of all invited guests, avoiding nicknames or initials. Double-check the spelling of each guest's name to ensure accuracy. For married couples with the same last name, address the invite to "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe." If the couple is not married, write their names on separate lines, using their full first and last names. In the case of married couples with different last names, list their names on separate lines, connected by the word "and." When inviting professionals or service members, include their titles and agencies after their names. Ensure that all invitees, including children and plus ones, are explicitly mentioned.

Date, Time, and Location of the Event

A proper formal invitation should provide all relevant information about the event, including the date, time, and location. Unlike casual invitations, formal invites require you to write out the information in full. For example, instead of writing "Saturday, August 17th," write "Saturday, the seventeenth of August." Similarly, avoid abbreviations when writing the address, using the complete name of streets, such as "2345 Sunset Drive." Specify the time of the event, indicating whether it is in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Use terms like "o'clock" only for events scheduled on the hour, and hyphenate the time for other instances.

Dress Code

Formal events often have specific dress codes, so it's important to state the desired attire on the invitation. Whether it's a white tie affair, black tie event, or a formal holiday party, provide clear instructions to avoid any confusion. This ensures that guests dress appropriately and adds to the overall elegance of the event.


Most formal invitations include an RSVP card to facilitate guest responses. If you're sending physical invitations, be sure to include an RSVP card and a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope for guests to return their response. Alternatively, digital invitations offer the convenience of easy online tracking for RSVPs and food choices. Platforms like Greenvelope allow you to see who has opened your invitation and who has responded, eliminating the hassle of paper cards and ensuring a seamless RSVP process.

5 Fancy and Formal Invitation Suites

Now that you know the basics of creating a formal invitation, let's explore five stunning invitation suites that will impress your guests:

1. Hydrangeas Invitation

Hydrangeas Invitation Caption: An elegant invitation design featuring delicate hand-lettering and stunning floral blooms.

This invitation design exudes elegance with its delicate hand-lettering and beautiful floral blooms. Ideal for a lavish wedding or a formal garden party, it offers a touch of regal style. With five different accent colors to choose from, you can easily match the invitation to your color scheme. The suite includes coordinating invitations, save-the-date cards, and thank you cards.

2. Princess Carriage Invitation

Princess Carriage Invitation Caption: A sweet birthday party invitation perfect for a formal celebration for your little royal.

If you're planning a formal birthday party for your little one, this invitation is the perfect choice. With whimsical elements and crisp, sophisticated text, it sets the tone for a fancy soiree fit for a princess.

3. Open Floral Wreath Invitation

Open Floral Wreath Invitation Caption: A delicate invitation with scrawling script and understated illustrations for formal parties.

This delicate invitation incorporates scrawling script and understated illustrations to invite guests to a formal party. The open floral wreath adds a touch of sophistication while framing the essential event details. It's an excellent choice for bridal showers, baby showers, or formal dinner parties.

4. Ombre Laurels Invitation

Ombre Laurels Invitation Caption: An elegant graduation invitation with watercolor branches and modern type, perfect for celebrating achievements.

Celebrate your graduation with this stunning yet simple invitation. Watercolor branches gracefully frame modern type, announcing your latest accomplishment. Pair it with a graduation announcement to share the joyous news with family and friends.

5. Clean and Elegant Invitation

Clean and Elegant Invitation Caption: A contemporary and elegant wedding invitation, featuring subtle gold foil accents and delicate script.

For an elegant and contemporary wedding, this invitation is a perfect choice. Subtle gold foil accents and delicate script add sophistication, while the marbled veil envelope liner enhances the overall design. Let this invitation inspire you to create a formal event that leaves a lasting impression.

Fashion a Formal Event with Greenvelope

Whether you're hosting a rehearsal dinner, wedding, birthday party, or graduation, Greenvelope offers a wide range of formal invitations to suit your needs. Our collection features sleek graduation invitation cards, fancy dinner invitations, and elegant monogram designs. Choose the perfect design for your event and use the tips above to create the perfect formal invitation. With Greenvelope, you can make an impression that lasts long after the event.

Now you have all the tools to create a formal invitation that impresses your guests. By choosing the right words and designs, you'll set the tone for a memorable event filled with elegance and sophistication. Happy planning!