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Invitation Etiquette 101 May 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — msmonogram @ 5:57 pm

So, you have found THE ONE…you knew it as soon as you saw it.  It fit like  glove.  It was YOUR invitation!

 

Your invitation sets the tone and style of your soiree. It’s the first impression that your guests will have of your upcoming event. Whether you are throwing a Bat Mitzvah for 250, an intimate wedding for 75 or a “just because” party for 120, your guests will look to your invitation as a guide…an instruction manual for the party.  What should they wear?  Is it formal or fun?  Should they have a bite to eat before hand or will a meal be served?

When designing the wording of your invitation think about what you would like to convey to the recipient.  Make very sure that the basic details are taken care of first.

Who – What – Where – When

Then, throw a bit of your own personality in.  Add a meaningful quote, an exciting ink color, an interesting font.  Find a fresh way to word things.  For instance; on your response card instead of the usual “will or will not attend” add something fun like “Delightfully accepts….Regretfully declines”.

How does your invitation look on the outside?  The envelope is equally as important as the contents.  A printed return address flap is essential.  Adding calligraphy is also a lovely touch.  Many of the companies that I work with also offer addressing services.  Simply send an Excel file to the company and they will address the envelopes for you….additional fees apply.

Create an invitaiton that is an expression of your event….you will be so glad that you did!

 

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Why Send a Save-the-Date Card? May 6, 2008

 

Using save-the-date cards is one of the most effective ways of gathering close friends, family or business associates to join you at your momentous occasion. Not to be confused with the actual event invitation, save-the-dates are the preferred choice for those induviduals who have loved ones or business clients that live out of the area and who would benefit from advance notice of your upcoming soiree.
The Purpose of Save the Date Cards

Save-the-date cards serve as reminders or to give one a “heads up” about your event. More than that, they allow the recipients to clear their schedules and make travel arrangements in advance.

Sending Save the Date Cards

Save-the-date cards can be mailed out up to one year before the actual occasion.

Couples that plan their weddings close to popular holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas and even Fourth of July) should mail their cards several months in advance so that their guests can avoid things like overbooked flights and hotels.

Types of Save the Date Cards

There are two types of save-the-date cards that are currently sold in stationery stores: cards and magnets. The wording on most save the date cards is usually straight to the point regardless of the type you choose. Usually, the information on the card consists of the hosts name, persons of honor (if applicable) and general location of the event.
The save the date cards with a magnetic backing are the most popular choice today. These are in great demand because they can be kept on the refrigerator door…no one is likely to forget the event date if the card is in full view!

 

The Importance of the Handwritten Note May 1, 2008

The Importance of the Handwritten Note

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten notes have become almost extinct in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.

There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or a note to someone with whom you do business or would like to. Most people think that writing notes by hand requires extra time and effort. Ironically, it can be quick and painless if you do it frequently and follow these tips:

1. Have writing supplies close at hand.
Store stationery and stamps in the most convenient place in your desk. When you need to send a note, all you have to do is reach for your stationery, dash off a few lines, address the envelope, put the stamp in place and mail it.

2. Keep your message brief.
These are notes so you only have to come up with three or four sentences. If you attempt to compose more than a few lines, writer’s block is liable to set in and you will never get past “start.”

3. Develop a system.
Before you head out of the office to a business meal or function that someone else is hosting, address an envelope to your host. It will be a breeze to jot down your short message when you return.

4. Use the appropriate professional stationery.
Both single-sided correspondence cards and fold-over notes with the company name or logo imprinted on them are business-like and will represent you and your organization well.

5. Poor penmanship is no excuse unless your handwriting is totally illegible.
The person who receives your note will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will not be grading your handwriting. If your penmanship does not meet your standards, it is never too late to improve. There are numerous resources at your library or on the Internet to teach you to write legibly.

6. Use any occasion to get noticed with a note.
A few of those instances are when…

  • You have received a gift
  • You were a guest in someones home
  • You were treated to a meal
  • You received a business favor
  • You are replying to an invitation
  • You are sending condolences
  • You want to offer congratulations
  • You need to apologize

 

7. Make your message timely.
Whether you are sending a note of appreciation, congratulation or condolence, do it as quickly as possible. A thank you should go out within 24 to 48 hours. However, don’t forgo sending a note because you think too much time has elapsed. There is no definite statute of limitations on appreciation.

8. Understand that e-mail is not a substitute for the personal handwritten message.
The Internet is fast, efficient and remote. If you are corresponding by e-mail immediately following a meeting with a business associate, include your expression of gratitude, but don’t let that stop you from sending a second message by ground.

Successful people pay attention to the details and look for ways to build better business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten notes, you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Your next big sale or job promotion may came about as a result of your doing business just a little differently.

-Taken from an article written by Lydia Ramsey of Manners that Sell

I personally have seen a huge benefit, both personally and professionally of being a “note writer”.  I became a note writer because, quite frankly, my parents made me.  While my friends could get by with a quick call to the grandparents to say “thanks”, I was made to sit and write a note.  The act of note writing later became a habit and I am so glad that it did.  I now own and operate a small stationery store, and, I am a first-class note writer….if I do say so myself!

I belong to several organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and a local women in business group.  When I meet someone I will always ask for a business card…every time…and follow up either that day or the next with a handwritten note.  I have gotten extremely favorable responses from note writing. I recently received a call from a very prominent local CEO after having sent a note following his speech at a breakfast meeting that I had attended. I also write a note to EVERY new customer who provides me with an address.  It is so important to show appreciation to your clients.

-Becky