No matter how formal or casual the dinner, all dinner party invitations should include the names of the host, the purpose of the party, the date and time, the location, a response date and a response person with contact information. Additional helpful information includes directions to the party location and any special attire such as black tie, informal evening wear, dressy business or casual clothing.
Guests should be asked to RSVP to the event by a specific date if an accurate head count is needed. Another tactic forgoes the RSVP for a phrase such as "Regrets only." A phone number or email address should be included for guests to use to send their responses. If it is an outdoor dinner party and there is no backup plan for moving the party indoors, guests should be given a rain date. Guests also should be given specific information about who is invited to the dinner party. This can include the addressee only or the addressee plus a guest, spouse or children.
Invitation styles include engraved invitations for formal dinners, pre-printed invitations for casual parties or informal notes or emails for very casual gatherings. Dinner party invitations can be printed or handwritten. In either case, the information should be clearly legible.