6 dinner invitations on a table

One of the best ways to bring people together is to share good food and drinks. Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner for the whole family or inviting close friends for an impressive Italian feast, sending a dinner invitation is a fun way to start the celebration.

In this guide, we’ll take you through dinner party essentials like when to send invites and what to include, as well as some tips on how to make the process easier. We’ll also share our favorite dinner party invitation designs to inspire you.

Reasons to Send a Dinner Party Invitation

If you’re bringing people together to celebrate or mark a date with good food and drink, you can send a dinner invitation to spread the word. Here are some of the most popular events to send dinner invitations for.

Casual Get-Togethers

Want to invite your friends for a pizza and beer night in lieu of a housewarming party? Or maybe you plan to gather all your single friends to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style?

While you might normally send a text message to ask everyone to join you, sending a fun digital invitation adds a bit of occasion to the event. Find a themed event invitation card or get creative and DIY your own for a casual gathering they’ll be excited to attend.

Formal Dinners and Cocktail Parties

Sometimes you may be gathering everyone around a table to celebrate something special with a formal dinner. Maybe you want to celebrate a graduation or bring people together for your partner’s birthday dinner party. Dinner party invitations or cocktail party invitations are perfect for events like these where you’ll want to give plenty of notice to guests so they can reserve the date.

Holiday Parties

If you’re hosting the big Thanksgiving dinner this year, sending out invitations is a great way to stay organized and let people know your house is the place to be for the holidays. The same goes for other big holidays throughout the year — from Fourth of July BBQs to Christmas dinner. Holidays are all about enjoying good times together, so start the excitement early with a fun invitation.

Business Dinners

You don’t have to be inviting your BFFs or family members over for it to count as a dinner party. Dinners, business galas, and fundraisers are all popular ways to bring people together to celebrate something new, exciting, or big. Use your dinner party to raise funds for a nonprofit or charity, to celebrate a profitable year, or to welcome all your clients into the New Year.

When to Send Your Dinner Party Invitations

Unlike with more formal invites like rehearsal dinner invitations, save the date cards, or wedding invitations, there are no rules around when to send dinner invitations. You’ll want your guests to be able to make it to your dinner though, so give them reasonable notice. It’s also sensible to give yourself enough time to plan the menu around your guests and their needs.

When sending out your dinner party invitations, plan for 3-6 weeks in advance. Adjust this based on the formality of your dinner and how far ahead you’re planning. Guests attending an extravagant anniversary party may appreciate more notice than when you’re hosting an informal garden party to make the most of good weather. You know your guests best, so if they’re fine with only a week or two’s notice, you can be more flexible about when you send out your dinner invitations.

What to Include in Your Dinner Invitations

Painted Dinner Party Invitation

Design: Jackie Crawford

Matching invitation: Painted Dinner Party Invitation

Once you’ve decided to send an invitation for your dinner party, you might be wondering what to include. It’s easy to miss a detail or two, but with our handy list, you’ll be confident you’ve covered the essentials.

Event Type

Your guests will know they’re heading to a dinner party, but they’ll appreciate knowing a little more about the event. Let them know whether they’re coming to your place for a sit-down meal to mark an occasion or for a more casual BBQ in your backyard.

Event Theme

If your party has a theme, mention this on the dinner invitation. This is especially helpful if it’s a costume party or if there’s a fun theme — like tropical, the 1920s, or a murder mystery dinner party. Mention the dinner party theme on the invite, and use Greenvelope’s details panel to go into more detail if you want to — like whether to dress up, what the menu will be, or if there are any fun themed dinner party games afterwards.

Date and Time

One of the most important details for any event is when it’s taking place. Be really clear about your date and avoid any confusion by using the full date, including the day of the week spelled out. This creates less chance of someone turning up on the wrong date. The same goes for the time — leave no room for error by adding “a.m.” or “p.m.” to your hours. While it may seem obvious that your brunch takes place in the morning, it doesn’t hurt to clarify for your guests.


Next up, you’ll want to add an exact address so your guests know where to travel. Even if you’re hosting the dinner party at home and your guests know you well, it doesn’t hurt to make the party location clear in case they don’t have your address saved. If the party is happening at a relative’s house or you’re renting a private room in a restaurant, include the full address, with the ZIP code, for your guests.

Dress Code

Like with any event, your guests will really appreciate a heads up on the dress code for your dinner party. This way they can plan the perfect outfit and won’t have to worry that they’ll feel out of place when they arrive. Keep it simple with a well-known dress code like formal or casual, or ask your guests to do something fun like wear a certain color.

RSVP Instructions

Include a line on how your guests should RSVP. This could be a phone number they can call or text, an email address, or an address to send an RSVP card to if it’s a particularly formal dinner. If you’re using Greenvelope, your guests can RSVP with just a click straight from the invitation itself.

Other Relevant Details

Every event is unique, so it may be that you’ll want to include other details about your dinner party. This is especially true for gala dinners in aid of a charity or foundation or for a potluck-style gathering where everyone will bring a dish to share.

Getting the details right on your dinner party invitation means less back-and-forth communication to clarify, so you can spend more time planning the menu for your dinner party.

An Easy Way to Send Dinner Party Invitations

Dinner invitation: Whimsical Doodles Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Matching invitation: Whimsical Doodles Invitation

When you’re in the middle of planning a dinner party, there’s already a lot to do. This is why it’s easy to forget about sending invitations or leave it until too late and opt for a casual invite via text.

Get your guests excited about your upcoming dinner party and make it easier for you at the same time with the help of email invitations. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to greeting card invitation templates — from fun themed invites to sophisticated ones.

Email invitations are easy to customize, so you won’t need to call in the help of an artist for a bespoke design. This means that even if a design was originally created to celebrate a baby shower, engagement party, bridal shower, or retirement party, it can quickly be updated to suit your event. Change the fonts, wording, colors, and layout to make it feel unique.

When it comes to sending your dinner invites, going digital means you can fire out invites all at once with just your guests’ email addresses. So, there’s no more looking for addresses, handwriting them on envelopes, and making a trip to the mailbox.

As well as simplifying the sending process, our digital dinner party invitations make it easy to manage your guest list, menu choices, and dietary requirements. Guests can RSVP to your event with a few clicks, which saves them from sending RSVP cards and updates your guest list instantly.

You can list your menu options (if you have them) on your invite and ask guests to confirm their choices when they RSVP. Include a note about dietary requirements and let your guests know they can email you about their needs.

With so many dinner party invitation templates and the allure of a done-for-you guest list, it’s easy to see why so many people opt for a digital invitation for dinner parties.

Our Favorite Dinner Party Invitation Designs

We’ve searched thousands of digital invitation designs to bring you our favorite dinner party invitations. There’s inspiration here for casual parties, elegant dinners, and holiday dinners.

Rustic Dinner Invitation

Rustic Dinner Invitation

Design: frau brandt

This earthy, rustic dinner invitation is perfect for Thanksgiving feasts. The design will get your guests excited about sharing an authentic, homemade, and hearty meal with you. To make this design work for other dinner parties, customize the text to suit your event.

Colorful Emblem Invitation

Colorful Emblem Invitation

Design: Stacey Meacham Design, LLC

Invite your guests to join you for dinner with this beautiful modern dinner party invitation. Whether you’re hosting a formal meal or asking friends to join you for burgers and wine, this watercolor design keeps things simple and puts the focus on your event. While this example is for rehearsal dinner invitations, you can customize it for your dinner party with just a few clicks.

Muted Motif Invitation

Muted Motif Invitation

Design: Owl and Toad

If you’re looking for a design that’s both elegant and understated, this muted motif invitation is ideal. The warm colors and soft background make a welcoming first impression. For dinners in aid of a charitable cause or foundation, this example features some useful wording to inspire your own.

Neon Tropics Invitation

Neon Tropics Invitation

Design: Claudia Owen

Make a colorful impression with this fun, modern party invitation. Whether you’re planning a tropical themed dinner party with delicious Caribbean food and cocktails or you’re a fan of the leaves and neon color scheme, this design is a winning choice. 

Geometric Peaks Invitation

Dinner invitation: Geometric Peaks Invitation

Design: Stellax Creative

This modern, geometric party invitation gives you plenty of space to share your dinner party details. The fun, bright, citrus-inspired colors make it an ideal choice for outdoor parties, and both casual and formal dinners.

Simplify Your Dinner Party Invitations

With a design that matches your event and an easy way to send and manage invitations, you have a winning combination that makes planning your dinner party a simple and fun process.

We hope this guide has helped you create and send your dinner invitations with confidence, knowing you’ll have all the details covered — and with Greenvelope, you have the perfect dinner party invitation design ready and waiting for you to personalize.