When you’re organizing an event and want to invite English speakers, how you invite them is important. If it’s too formal, they may feel uncomfortable and if it’s too casual, it might not show your guests enough respect. Use these five simple questions to make sure you get your English invitations exactly right every time.

Who are you inviting?

Think about the people who are attending your event. Are they work colleagues, clients, or close friends. Use more formal language for people you do not know well or want to present a professional image to. A common introduction for formal invitations is “You are warmly invited to… (event)” and for more casual events, you could write “Please join us for… (event)”.

What is the event?

For large events such as weddings, people tend to use formal language in invitations, even for inviting guests they know well. For smaller, more intimate events, people tend to use more informal language except for when inviting people they don’t know well. Once you have decided on the level of language you are going to use, make sure to include what the event is in the invitation so people know how to prepare for it.

Is there anything special they need to know about the event?

What is the dress code for the event? If people need to wear a certain style of clothing, make sure to let them know in the invitation. If people are allowed to bring a partner, make that clear in the invitation, too. People like to know what to expect from an event so they can feel mentally prepared.

How will you contact people?

A letter is the most formal form of invitation. For smaller, more casual events, you may want to invite people by email. If you want to invite people by phone, use the expression “I am calling to invite you to… (event)” to explain why you are calling people you don’t know well. If you are talking to someone you know well, just mention the event and ask if they’d like to come “I’m having a party on Wednesday at my house. Do you want to come?”

Should people respond to your invitation?

If you want people to respond to your invitation so that you know whether to expect them or not, use the letters RSVP (or r.s.v.p) and then add your contact details. This tells the person being invited that they should contact you to let you know whether they will attend or not.

Whatever event your invitation is for, there is one important final step before you invite people. Make sure you double-check the details. Having to send out an update to an invitation is a real inconvenience so it pays to get it the right the first time. Then, once everyone knows about the event, all that’s left to do is to enjoy it!

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