Whether you're hosting your tenth annual summer extravaganza, or you're feeling a little nervous about your first big BBQ, we want to help you feel as prepared as you can!
The easiest place to start planning is with the invitation. All you need to know before getting your invitations is a time, date, and location! With the absolute plethora of designs available to you across the web (though, we're pretty fond of our own!), it's easy to pick one that is beautiful, fun, or funny. It can be anything you want! Picking the right invitation, and picking it first, helps make clear to your guests what kind of party this is, and the level of formality they should expect.
Once you've picked your invitations, you can use them as a jumping-off point for decorations. So many invitation designs come with decor ideas built right in! Red checkered tablecloths for BBQs, beach balls floaties for your beach and pool parties. Garden parties are pretty simple to decorate for, because the garden itself is the best decoration! Add some strings of bistro lights and crisp tablecloths, and you're all set. If your invitation is more typographically heavy, take the decorations in any direction you'd like!
Not to toot our own horn, but Paper Style's got you covered in the tableware section, too. Our huge selection of Caspari napkins and plates means you'll be sure to find a design that you love, that also meets up with the ambiance you're developing for your party, and possibly even matches your invitations! You can get your invitations, plates, tablecloths, napkins, and cups all in one go.
How early to send out your invites depends on the size of the party, whether you're requesting a mailed RSVP, and how much individual planning you have left to do. Traditionally, though, it's best to send out invites between 2 to 4 weeks before the party (though with informal party invitations, the time frame is less set in stone). Giving your guests a couple of weeks' notice should also give you plenty of time to hear back from them, and then you'll have your final head count!
If you need some more help figuring out what you want to do for a summer gathering, we've got some other great resources for you:
- Our Invitation Etiquette page has some great little tidbits about traditional invitation etiquette for both formal and informal gatherings!
- Our Tips and Advice page has a sidebar full of all kinds of useful articles to help with the planning process!
- Paper Style's Pinterest page is a great place to find ideas for a cohesive, visually appealing party (we've got boards for all kinds of events)!