rsvp etiquette

rsvp etiquette

I came across this article in the New York Times yesterday on how internet has changed the RSVP. It’s a good read –  but the cliffs notes version is that evites and email invitations are inherently casual so people don’t feel the need to RSVP or honor their RSVP, but event hosts have also made RSVPs not matter or made event invitations so casual that RSVPs were meaningless.

Oh RSVPs. Any event planner or event host knows how important RSVPs are. So much rides on the numbers – how much food to order, how many bartenders to provide, how many chairs to have, etc. The more formal event, the more important RSVPs become, as you may have specific seating assignments that are affected by RSVPs – someone shows up without RSVPing and you don’t have a spot for them; someone doesn’t show who had RSVPd and you have empty places at a table, or an empty table altogether.

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pumpkin week – fall wedding inspiration

pumpkin wedding ideas | amanda jayne events blog

For day two of pumpkin week, I wanted to look at some sophisticated ways to incorporate pumpkins into a fall wedding – it’s not just for Halloween nuptials! I will avoid discussing centerpieces, since I hit that yesterday. But there are plenty of other ways to have pumpkins make an appearance – from live pumpkins serving as décor, to a pumpkin design that can be featured in your printed stationery. Grab that pumpkin spice latte (I had my first of the season yesterday!) and enjoy:

You can set the pumpkin harvest theme before your guests arrive by incorporating pumpkins into your invitation design. I think these are really sweet – it’s fall without bashing you over the head. I also like that the color is muted – some brides may not like the bright orange often associated with pumpkins.  These are available from Etsy seller Essentialimages:

pumpkin wedding invitations

Also for pumpkin stationery, you can add pumpkins to your escort cards or table numbers, such as this pumpkin design suite. I like this one because the white pumpkin is subtle and reminds me of a certain famous pumpkin from Cinderella – what a fun, subtle way to pay homage to THAT fairy tale wedding without going full-blown Disney princess! Available from CharonelDesigns:

pumpkin wedding stationery

For ceremony décor, I love the idea of lining the aisle with pumpkins, especially for an outdoor wedding (although I’ve seen it work indoors as well!). If you want to go a bit more rustic with the harvest theme, you can use bales of hay as well (a la the first photo). Photo via

pumpkin wedding ceremony decor

I love mini-pumpkins (actually gourds) and I think they would make a fun escort card. You could really make this your own with the way you attach the escort card – I love the idea of an elegantly printed card tied to the mini-pumpkin with twine – both sophisticated and rustic! Photo via Event Now:

mini-pumpkin wedding escort card

For wedding décor – for the ceremony or the reception – there are plenty of ways to utilize carved or decorated pumpkins. There is the Mr & Mrs Pumpkins, such as below, or pumpkins carved with the wedding date. I’ve even seen silhouette pumpkins! You can do this with real or artificial pumpkins. These are artificial ones from Etsy seller purpleinkgraphics:

carved pumpkin wedding decor

I also love these stylized “Love is Sweet” pumpkins – you could do this with any phrase or quote. These particular ones would look amazing on the cake table or next to a dessert buffet. Photo via Want That Wedding:

pumpkin wedding decor - love is sweet

Table numbers are another way to use pumpkins. You can paint, stencil or even carve the numbers onto the pumpkins. I really like the way this one is paired with a tall floral centerpiece. Photo via Whimsy Decor:

pumpkin wedding table numbers

But I think this one is really unexpected – the white pumpkin (you can get this effect by painting as well) with the table number tied to it. Again, you can complement the motifs of your event through the font and materials you choose here. I love this! Photo via Janet Howard Studio:

wedding pumpkin table number

I’m not a huge fan of actual pumpkins as favors unless you think your guests would love that (and I prefer favors that people actually use!), but you can still use the pumpkin theme with favor boxes, such as these. Available via Etsy seller alittlemorerosie:

wedding pumpkin favor box

I also love these gift tags. They don’t exactly have a pumpkin on them (sorry, I’m cheating!) but they definitely fit with the theme. These would be lovely on a bottle of apple cider or pumpkin ale. Available via Etsy seller 33PaperLane:

fall wedding favor gift tags

Finally – if you ARE going to incorporate pumpkins into your wedding, don’t forget to get this photo! Photo via Koru Wedding Style – by the way, I got my wedding invitations from Koru Kate’s wedding shoppe and I highly recommend her if you are getting married in the NYC/NJ area!

wedding pumpkin ring photo

Phew! I bet that’s more pumpkin than you thought possible! Of course, you would want to pick and choose what worked best for you – you don’t want pumpkin overload! Editing down is always important!

Stay tuned for the rest of Pumpkin Week:

don’t put sand in your luau party invitation & send it through the mail

luau invitation ideas | amanda jayne events blog

I love how creative invitations have gotten, but always make sure that you’re thinking through those creative touches. For example, in this day and age, it’s not the best idea to send sand in a mailed invitation, because the FBI might just think it’s anthrax.

Seriously – a suspicious white powder was found in an envelope sent to a Fannie Mae office in Washington, DC. The FBI investigated, only to find that the powder was actually sand. And the mail in question was an invitation to a luau. This really happened.

I’m sure that the hostess thought she was being super creative by including some sand, but unfortunately it’s just not a good idea to put powder of any kind in an envelope these days. If only the hostess had asked my opinion! I would have steered her toward these ideas for luau invitations which do just as good a job (if not better) of demonstrating the luau/beachy theme:

Instead of added texture through sand, I love this handmade invitation, with the raised hulu girl and raffia skirt. This is available from Etsy seller bbrennan74:

luau invitation ideas | amanda jayne events blog

I love this hulu skirt peekaboo invite – definitely says, “Hey, you’re invited to a luau.” Photo via Stamping with Sweet E:

luau invitation ideas | amanda jayne events blog

Finally, if you REALLY want to step it up, I found this luau message in a bottle invitation. Would take a bit more postage to mail, but would definitely make your guests aware of the party’s theme (and even give them a few supplies to prepare!).  Available from Party Supplies Delivered:

luau invitation ideas | amanda jayne events blog

What are your ideas?

Top photo via Zween

are paper invitations still special?

When was the last time you received a paper invitation for an event, other than a wedding (where paper invitations still reign supreme)? For higher end events, such as fundraising galas or formal  corporate events, paper invites are still the norm. But for many other events, hosts have moved toward email invitations.

Of course, email invitations have come a long way. E-vite has a lot of customization available now, and the designs featured on Paperless Post are incredibly impressive, and these are far from the only options. Some organizations hire graphic designers to make their own e-invitations that can be viewed entirely as an email.

But… I still like paper. I can’t help it. I’m a romantic.

There’s just something about getting a big envelope in the mail and opening it up with anticipation, feeling special because you were invited. I love to feel the invitation in my hands – I get particularly excited if it’s fancy, perhaps a heavy weight paper or a vellum overlay or a special printing type. Except I feel like the whole inner and outer envelope tradition isn’t always necessary.

Of course, I still get all my magazines delivered in hard copy and we still have the Sunday newspaper delivered to our door. I also once dreamed of a career in publishing – an industry tied to paper.

Of course, printed invitations cost money. They aren’t very “green” (although they’ve made great strides in recycled paper invites). It addition to the hard cost of designing, printing and mailing the invitation itself, there is also a time cost in finding out mailing addresses (which always seems harder to track down than an email).

Personally, I think it’s worth it for certain events. If an event is truly special, or if you want your event to stand out. The latter is especially in the DC area, where there are so many different organizations hosting events all the time, sending a priinted invitation can often make your event stand out.

On the flip side, I’ve switched to email invitations for most of my personal events, such as dinner parties or birthday parties.

What do you think? Are printed invites on the way out? What about for weddings?


Photo Credit: Pearson Inspired