Invitations to dinner parties are not usually sent by post, in cities, and are only answered by post where the distance is such as to make it inconvenient to send the note by hand. They are issued in the name of the gentleman and lady of the house, from two to ten days in advance. They should be answered as soon as received, without fail, as it is necessary that the host and hostess should know who are to be their guests. If the invitation is accepted, the engagement should, on no account, be lightly broken. This rule is a binding one, as the non-arrival of an expected guest produces disarrangement of plans. Gentlemen cannot be invited without their wives, where other ladies than those of the family are present; nor ladies without their husbands, when other ladies are invited with their husbands. This rule has no exceptions. No more than three out of a family should be invited, unless the dinner party is a very large one.
MANNER OF WRITING INVITATIONS.
The invitations should be written on small note paper, which may have the initial letter or monogram stamped upon it, but good taste forbids anything more. The envelope should match the sheet of paper. The invitation should be issued in the name of the host and hostess. The form of invitations should be as follows:
Mr. and Mrs. Potter request the pleasure of Mr.
and Mrs. Barton’s company at dinner on Thursday,
the 13th of October at 5 o’clock.]
An answer should be returned at once, so that if the invitation is declined the hostess may modify her arrangements accordingly.
An acceptance may be given in the following form, and may be sent either by post or messenger:
Mr. and Mrs. Barton have much pleasure in
accepting Mr. and Mrs. Potter’s invitation for
The invitation is declined in the following manner:
Mr. and Mrs. Barton regret that a previous
engagement (or whatever the cause may be)
prevents their having the pleasure of accepting
Mr. and Mrs. Potter’s invitation at dinner for
Mr. and Mrs. Barton regret exceedingly that owing
to (whatever the preventing cause may be), they
cannot have the pleasure of dining with Mr. and
Mrs. Potter on Thursday, October 13th.]
Whatever the cause for declining may be, it should be stated briefly, yet plainly, that there may be no occasion for misunderstanding or hard feelings.