Extend a Formal Invitation — Letter-Writing Tutorial


Formal invitations have a fixed format. They may be handwritten or printed, but never on business letterhead stationery. The invitation is centered on the paper. A stamped, self-addressed response card will frequently accompany the invitation.


1. First announce the name of the host.


  • The Springfield Arts Council
  • Mrs. Jane Doe
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Doe
  • John and Jane Doe
  • The Doe Corporation
  • Jane Doe
  • The President and The Board of Trustees<br />of<br />Springfield University
  • Mr. John Doe and Mrs. Jane Doe<br />(on a wedding invitation, for example, where the parents have been divorced but are co-hosting)
  • Ashley Johnson<br />and<br />Eric Doe

2. The second section presents the invitation.


  • cordially invites you to
  • cordially invites you to attend the
  • request the pleasure of your company
  • invite you to attend
  • request the honor of your presence
  • invite you to join them

3. The third section names or describes the event.


  • Annual General Meeting
  • Awards Banquet
  • a reception in honor of<br />Dr. Robert Johnson<br />on the occasion of his retirement
  • a party<br />to celebrate our Fifteenth Anniversary
  • at dinner
  • at the marriage of their daughter<br />Mary Elizabeth<br />to<br />Michael Ryan<br />son of Michael and Beth Luthy
  • at the marriage of their daughter<br />Mary<br />to<br />Paul Luthy
  • at the celebration of their marriage
  • at the rehearsal dinner for<br />Ashley Johnson and Eric Doe
  • at an open house<br />honoring their mother, Jane Doe,<br />on her 85th birthday
  • a dinner party
  • Cocktails and a Buffet

4. The fourth section gives the date and time of day.


  • on Saturday, June 16, at 6:30 p.m.
  • on Friday, August fifth,<br />from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 2,<br />at 7:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, the fourteenth of August<br />at half past six o'clock
  • Friday evening, July 10,<br />at seven o'clock
  • Saturday, the nineteenth of September<br />Nineteen hundred and ninety-seven<br />at half after ten in the morning

5. The fifth section gives the place. Give the full address if there may be any doubt about the location.


  • at the Springfield Country Club<br />1600 Main Street<br />Springfield, Kansas
  • at The Springfield Hotel<br />648 Maple Lane
  • 648 Maple Lane<br />Centerville
  • 648 Maple Lane<br />Centerville, Kansas 12346<br />555-5555
  • in the Alumni House on Campus
  • at Trinity Church<br />1600 Main Street<br />Springfield, Kansas
  • The Springfield Inn<br />Springfield, Kansas
  • in the Springfield Hotel<br />Garden Ballroom<br />1600 Main Street<br />Springfield, KA 12346

6. Place a request for response (R.S.V.P.) below and to the left of the body of the invitation. If you request a specific mode of dress, place that information on the same line as the R.S.V.P., but on the right-hand side. If it is a "black tie" occasion, meaning tuxedos for men and evening gowns for women, say so, in order to avoid confusion.


  • R.S.V.P.<br />555-5555
  • R.S.V.P. Black Tie
  • R.S.V.P. card enclosed
  • The favor of a reply is requested
  • R.S.V.P.<br />Jane Doe<br />555-5555
  • R.S.V.P. Black tie requested
  • R.S.V.P. The Does<br />648 Maple Lane<br />Centerville, KA 12346<br />555-5555
  • R.S.V.P. 555-5555 by June 2

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