Guest Acquisition – Formal Note or Email?

So, we’ve decided to have some folks over, and we want it to be casual. We have some vague ideas of what we want to do when our guests arrive. But, we have no guests. This is somewhat problematic. Hosting Nobody can be less than enjoyable, and not at all helpful in our hostessing practice. But, how does one acquire guests?

Formal invitations are, naturally, nice… But, what if it’s spur-of-the-moment? We’ll cover all the formal invitation etiquette in later posts, and focus, for now, on VERY casual invitations. This may include word-of-mouth, emails, or phone calls. Of course, nowadays it could also include texting, chatting, tweeting, FaceBooking, and such. For the moment, though, we will jump back in time a bit (long before the days of tweeting), and read a paragraph from Emily Post’s “Etiquette”.

Telegraphed Invitations

That telegrams are rapidly taking the place of telephoned as well as written invitations sent out by hosts and hostesses of highest fashion is not surprising. In the first place nothing is simpler than handing a list of names with a form note to a telegraph operator and letting the telegraph company do the rest. Or for that matter, telephoning a message and fifty names to the telegraph office takes at most five minutes whereas calling each of the fifty numbers (including busy signals and messages left for those not at home, and enforced conversation with those who, answering themselves, talk for half an hour) would take anywhere from twice to ten times as long as writing notes. But, the greatest advantage of telegraphing is that, when giving a spur-of-the-moment party, everyone not only answers but answers at once.”

Charming, isn’t it? And, though we cannot simply give our information to the operator, I think we may safely say that this could be compared to email. So, for your casual and/or spur-of-the-moment event, feel free to compose one email, and send it out to each of your invitees.


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