LESS FORMAL INVITATIONS.
Invitations of a less formal character are sent for charades, private theatricals, and for archery, croquet, sailing and garden parties; but, however informal the invitation (except only when a visiting card is used) on no account neglect to give immediate attention to it, by sending an acceptance or a regret, for any want of courtesy in this respect is unpardonable.
PROMPTNESS IN ANSWERING.
All invitations requiring answers should be answered as soon as possible after receiving them. The French have a saying, applicable to all notes of invitation, to the effect that it is as important to reply as promptly to a note requiring an answer, as it is to a question in speaking. All refined people who are accustomed to the best social forms, consider that it would be an unpardonable negligence to omit for a single day replying to an invitation or a note requiring a reply.
In accepting dinner invitations, repeat the hour and day named in your letter of acceptance, in order that if any mistake has been made it may be corrected.
Promptly acknowledge all attentions you receive, such as receiving presents of books, flowers, etc.
EXPRESSIONS TO BE USED.
The expression “presents compliments” has become obsolete in the writing of invitations. The expression “kind” or “very kind” invitation has taken the place of “polite,” in notes of acceptance or regret. Be particular to distinguish between “go” and “come,” you go to a friend’s house and your friend comes to your house.
TIME TO SEND INVITATIONS.
Invitations for parties and entertainments of a formal nature, can be sent out for a week or two weeks before the entertainment is to take place. A notice of not less than one week is expected for such invitations. They should be printed or engraved on small note paper or large cards, with the envelopes to match, with no colors in the monogram, if one is used.
INVITATIONS FOR SEVERAL MEMBERS OF A FAMILY.
It is not considered good form to have one card of invitation answer for several persons belonging to the same family, or to address an invitation “Mrs. Blank and family,” as it indicates a scarcity of cards. One card or invitation may be sent to Mr. and Mrs. Blank, and one each to the several members of the family who are to be invited.
THE LEAST FORMAL INVITATIONS.
The least formal, of formal invitations, is when a lady sends or leaves her own visiting card with the invitation upon it. An invitation of this kind need not be answered unless an “R.S.V.P.” (Respondez s’il vous plait), is on the card. You go or not, as you please, but if you do not go, you call, or leave a card as soon after as is convenient.