A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery/Chapter 5

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THE FORMAL INVITATION


ALL FORMAL invitations, which include the evening reception, dinner, or dance, are engraved. The names of both host and hostess appear on invitations for weddings, dinners or When to be Sentevening receptions and the cards should be sent at least two weeks in advance. Invitations for afternoon affairs, teas, At Homes, garden parties, etc., are issued in the hostess' name alone.

An engraved invitation form which is easily filled in for any occasion, is found convenient for those who entertain extensively. It is shown on page 38.

The guest's name, the date, hour and entertainment are written on the blank lines, and the favor of an answer is requested added if one is anxious for an immediate reply, although such an invitation demands an acceptance or declination within a week.

The letters R.s.v.p. are not used as often Invitation Form Actual Size 5⅛ x 3¼ 

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Invitation38.png

as heretofore. They stand for the French words Re'pondez s'il vous plait and should not be capitalized. They are not incorrect—-but the favor of an answer is requested seems more elegant.

The "At Home" Card  The afternoon reception invitation which takes the form of a tea or "At Home," does not require an answer. One goes, or sends a card at the reception hour if prevented from attending.

The visiting card is quite correctly used for inviting, with the word Bridge, Reading, or Music added, and the day and date at the left corner, thus:

Actual Size 

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Invitation39.png

The words At Home or Tea are not used on the card. One may also write on one's calling card: To meet Miss Frances Smith, if Miss Smith is a guest and the tea is given informally in her honor, but an "At Home" which includes a large number of guests requires an engraved invitation form, with To meet Miss Frances Smith added above the hostess' name.

The names of the friends who assist a hostess in receiving do not appear on the engraved card, but if two women combine forces and send a joint invitation, the card appears thus:

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Invitation40.png

For the Card Party  A new invitation form for bridge, euchre, etc., has a tiny playing card as a heading, and space lines for filling in the guest's name, day, hour and game.

Size The formal invitation card measures five by three inches, and is enclosed in a single matching envelope.

Upon no consideration is a printed invitation permissible; better by far to write to one's guests on good note paper if the expense of engraving must be considered.

The visiting card of a married daughter may be enclosed with a card of invitation.

The Dinner Dance The dinner dance really demands two forms of invitation, one for the dinner guests, with Dancing after ten in the lower left corner, and a second in the form of an "At Home" card, with the words Dancing at ten for those asked for the cotillion. A card for the large dance reads:

Actual Size 5½ x 3½ 

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Dance41.png

The word ball is never used except for an Assembly or charity dance. Cotillion or Dancing on the invitation is the proper form for the house reception. TheThe Debut  debutante's name appears below her mother's on the invitation which introduces her to society. The wording should be:

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Invitation42.png

Invitations for a large reception cover one's entire acquaintance. It is a mistake to exclude persons in mourning. After a short time it gives pleasure to feel they are not forgotten, but it must be understood that they cannot respond.

Children's parties must not be overlooked. A charming invitation form with "answer"Children's Parties  attached comes ready for filling in. The card is a folder fitting a small envelope. A second larger envelope is addressed for mailing. The guest detaches the "answer," fills it in and remails it in the smaller envelope.

A Desk Book on the Etiquette of Social Stationery Invitation43.png