Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

(Good) Form Letters


‘Tis the season. Invitations are arriving. You’re narrowing your guest lists and thinking about seating or the hors d’œuvres.

You will probably receive more than one e-vite and emailed thank you. But, if you are anything at all like Mrs. E. and me, you will put pen to paper to send a thank you and your invitations will be printed, hand addressed, stamped and mailed. We used to send an engraved invitation to our annual New Year’s and Anniversary party. But in these economic times™, engraving is probably best saved for high holy days like weddings.

There are nice alternatives though. Mrs. E. and I have used printers-on-demand “Vistaprint” for some parties. They might even address and mail the invites for you if you’re very pressed for time. We’ve never used that service, so I don’t know for sure. The templates are easy to manipulate and there are some fun designs. We’ve been happy with the shipping times and the results. We even used them for the family reunion that we attended over the weekend.

Far more impact is made when we use our invitation “blanks” like that seen in the scan above. We had these made for our first party and are just getting around to reprinting the initial run of three hundred or so. The trick is to find a font and wording that you like and then leave a blank line on which you will hand write the specific details. On extra thick card stock, they make a nice impression. A reminder from the ever stylish Mr. Porter shows the usefulness of the engraved blank.


For very informal affairs, use your personalized correspondence cards. Once used only for communicating with tradesmen, I find the correspondence card to be the best size for all sorts of things — thank you’s and less formal dinner invitations included.

I love to get postcards from friends travelling here and abroad. Wouldn’t they make wonderful invitations for informal drinks and dinner parties? Especially if you like to have a theme for the meal. Thinking of a couscous?

(Image via: All the Best Blog.)

Just don’t forget to pen a thank you. I’m off to do so now.

9 thoughts on “(Good) Form Letters

  1. One of my pet peeves is evites…I usually just ignore them. Maybe I am snooty but I feel if someone doesn’t send a proper invitation they wont be hosting a proper party or taking it very seriously.

  2. sometimes you make me feel vey inadequate, chris. 🙂

    and i agree with others on evites- half the time they end up in ‘spam’ anyways. still, it’s a step up from the mass text i recently received advising of a friend’s birthday celebration. a text? really? is it a keg party? am i 19?

  3. E-Man…Just reordered stationery the other day when I picked up our company Christmas cards. It’s one of the last elegant touches remaining but one that seems also to be fading amidst the masses. I accumulate hotel stationery for LFG to use. She gets a kick out of it.


  4. m21, don’t be ridiculous. I bet you send Christmas cards. I can never get my act in gear… maybe this year.

    ADG, I used to do the same and loved dropping a line from a hotel. The more exotic the better. “Arriving last fight DCA STOP Drinks Ritz Pent City 12:00? STOP Chris/ Park Hyatt Dubai.”

  5. Opening up the “invitations” can of worms is a daring thing to do!! Until quite recently, and probably still in some circles, (in Britain at least), there is only one style of informal invitation…

  6. I love a good correspondence stationery / invitation post! And thanks for the Cole Porter blank (and yours), I am always looking for good examples of blanks.

    Merry Christmas ~


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