Our Guide to the Perfect Summer is on schedule, and last week you should have chosen the type of gathering you wanted to throw this summer. This week, stay on schedule yourself by picking a party date and deciding what kind of invitations you'll send out. And we'll try and persuade you a bit to take on the task of DIYing a few paper invitations, too. The next steps to a fun and friendly summer gathering after the jump!
Set the date
If you want to wait and throw your party after our Guide to the Perfect Summer is done, you'll want to aim for some time in August. Check to see that your city or town doesn't have some huge event the same night. Have a core group of friends you know you'll want to invite? Reach out! Call or text them individually, or use Facebook to find out when folks are most available.
Decide who to invite
The main things to consider when planning your guest list for your summer gathering (especially if you live in a small space) is how many people you can accommodate in your home and how much money you want to spend. The next few weeks we'll be giving you options for food, drinks and decor, so if budget will be a factor, wait for those posts to decide the size and scope of your guest list.
If you're not too worried about budget, consider the space you'll be holding your gathering and come up with a number of people who could comfortably fit. This doesn't have to be a big shindig; in fact, if you're new to throwing gatherings, don't be afraid to only invite a few folks!
Decide when to send out invitations
Non-formal events that don't require guests to take off work or travel are considered casual, and you can send out physical (or digital) invitations anywhere from four to two weeks in advance. Be sure to mark on your calendar when you should have the invitations finished and when they should be mailed off.
4 Reasons Why you should Send Out Paper Invitations
1. It can be an afternoon of creative and crafty fun that also accomplishes a task on your to-do list!
2. Sending a digital invite doesn't mean you care any less, but friends always smile when getting something handmade in the mail.
3. Because weddings shouldn't be the only occasion you get to send out paper invitations!
4. It can really get you into the party planning mood (and mode).
4 DIY invitation ideas for your summer gathering
1. Chill Cocktail Social
Make your own marbled paper to jot down the party details on (you can just send the DIY paper in an envelope). The soft swirls will emulate all the drinks that will be swirling during conversations, and you can choose any colors you want to make for your gathering.
2. Sweet Sunday Brunch
Your circle of friends deserves celebrating, and your sweet Sunday brunch will be just the time to do it. Consider this fun confetti invitation to set the tone early.
3. Family-Friendly Barbecue Picnic
Okay these ice cream sandwich post cards are a little more work, but man they're cute. And they definitely give off the fun summer vibe that will get people stoked about coming to your family-friendly barbecue picnic.
4. Stellar Sci-Fi Movie Night Under the Stars
Decide this week what movie you'd like to show. Classic sci-fi movies work great! (We love this list of ten.) Then for an invitation, consider printing out a screen shot of the film on one side, and the party details printed or written on the back. Then make these rad galaxy envelopes (we think they work even if you choose a movie not centered around space!) to mail your invites in!
If you still would prefer to send digital invites:
What you should have finished by this weekend:
- Settle on a date for your gathering
- Decide if you're going to do paper invitations or digital
- Fill your calendar with important dates — the gathering, when to have invitations finished and when to send them out
- If you know your guest list and want to go the paper invitation route, collect (if you don't already have) the addresses of your guests
- Consider gathering supplies if you want to get a jump start on DIYing invitations