Archaic arts are kind of my thing. I love to send cards via snail mail (yep, I own stamps and everything!). So, forgive me if I get entirely too excited about a paper invitation. As a lost art, the paper invitation is reserved almost entirely for weddings as of late. In fact, many weddings are going nearly 'paperless' as well. While I fully support the need for trees (palm trees if you live in my hood), I still believe the best invitation is on paper.
I didn't start my planning process in enough time (or with a budget big enough ) to have custom designed invitations. I went the less exciting but less expensive route of using invitations I purchased at Target. I picked black and white with a red ribbon since it's a RED carpet event. However, I recommend if time and money will allow, finding a custom stationary designer to handle your invitation needs. An example of a great one company is one run by a friend of mine, Krystal, who I met in book club. She's the founder of Notably Krystal. On her site, she has a whole section for themed parties. So in my case, with my theme being Hollywood, she could design something incredible. I sent my invites out 2 days after I determined the date of my party, so sadly that was an impossibility.
Hey while I'm on the topic, by being the 19th follower of Notably Krystal on twitter (@notablykrystal) I won one of the mini calenders featured on the homepage. I love winning things. I won a calender from Krysal and a book from Brunette on a Budget's blog in the same week. Must have been a lucky week...right up until the Colts lost that weekend. Blast.
Back on task. While invitations, custom or not do cost more than a 'facebook invite' they also place more importance on your event. You are less likely to get a 'maybe attending' when you send a card with an RSVP date. Not that this is error proof or that you still won't have an inconsiderate friend or two that are impossible to nail down (you're not fooling anyone, we know you life isn't SO exciting you can't commit so cut it out). If making your guests feel important and valued is a priority, a 'real' invite is still queen.
For time crunch purposes and because my Dove sponsored event had an exact number of people I can accommodate, I placed the RSVP date exactly one week prior to my event. Honestly, I could think of 100 people I wanted to attend, but my limits were placed for me. The RSVP date is set for March 1st, but I've already got 3 of my 10 RSVPs in. All a go. I'm off to a great start.