Répondez s'il vous plat
You never know when your company might want to hold an event to celebrate a particular achievement or anniversary. And an invitation can be just like a marketing text in making sure people will (want to) come! This means you have to get it just right.
As with any text, there are different types of invitations for different levels of formality. Let us start with the most official type where English has the odd tradition of using the third person. So you might say, for example:
'The Managing Directors of [name of organisation] request the pleasure of the company of Mr Smith at their dinner celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of our organisation.'
where Mr Smith is the addressee. Naturally, if you do not have the name of the person to hand you can use, '...request the pleasure of your company...'.
A less official approach, for guests that are better known to you or the person on whose behalf you are sending the invitation, could read as follows:
'Our Managing Director, Mr Brown, will be attending a lunch in London on Friday and we are intending to hold a small dinner party for him in the evening. We would be delighted if you could join us.'
Other information you might have to add to an invitation would be:
Finally, English often uses the abbreviation
RSVP in one of the bottom corners of invitations
to request that addressees reply to indicate
whether they plan to attend. This stands for
the French phrase 'Rpondez s'il vous plat'.
Many invitations will also have tear-off or
fax-back reply forms where the guests need only
fill out their name and tick one of a choice
of boxes, such as:
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