Four Ways to Ruin Birthday Invitations

You might not think it's possible to ruin birthday invitations, but unfortunately many would-be celebrants do just that when they hastily design invitations weeks before the big day. A seemingly simple snafu during the design phase can have disastrous consequences down the road. Here are four ways to ruin birthday invitations. 1. Typos By far the most egregious way to ruin birthday invitations is via the typo; to more specific, a name misspelling. Even though family and friends will likely know who the birthday boy or girl is, a misspelled name on birthday invitations carries consequences such as constant teasing at the party the person in question is supposed to be enjoying and insecurities over how someone who loves you dearly could possibly misspell your name. The solution? Get a full hard-copy proof before you print your entire run of custom birthday invitations to ensure that there are no typos. 2. Poor paper Print invitations on poor-quality paper, and you're bound to end up with torn and tattered invitations. To be sure, the USPS valiantly tries to deliver mail free of defects; but reality dictates that some invitations will go through rough handling, mechanical machines, weather and other variables that lead to ripped paper. The solution is to print your birthday invitations only on premium paper stock. A super-thick 16-point gloss cover stock or 13-point recycled matte cover stock not only looks great, but is durable enough to withstand rough handling. Add an extra layer of protection with UV coating and your birthday invitations will be delivered intact and dry. 3. No map or directions Imagine yourself in this scenario: your first-grader is having a dozen friends (with parents in-tow) over for his birthday party. Everyone is arriving – friends, family and neighbors – you're busy trying to coordinate everything from where to put the coats and gifts, getting the food on the grill and making introductions between those who don't already know one another – and Aunt Edna calls your cell phone. She's on the four-lane trying to find your place (in all likelihood driving on the wrong side of the road). You need to talk her through every turn because you didn't include directions. The solution? Simple – include directions and a map, and ask anyone who isn't familiar with how to get to your house to call you before the big day. 4. Unclear instructions Make sure you carefully think through everything guests need to know before they attend your birthday party, and that you list all instructions clearly on your birthday invitations. Nothing could be worse than a party full of covered dishes without any beverages or chairs – because you forgot to tell guests to bring their own. The solution? Simple. Make sure you list all special instructions clearly on your birthday invitations. From a design standpoint, it might be helpful to employ a special box in a bright, attention-getting color so you're sure it can't be missed. And, of course, make sure you include a number guests can call if they have questions beforehand.