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Informal invitations can be done verbally but formal ones need to be in the written form and should be drafted thoughtfully. While some go with invitation cards, some choose to send out formal invitation letters. You may want to invite the dignitaries of your area for a social event, or invite your clients for a function at your workplace. You may need to invite your business associates to a social gathering, or you may be wanting to invite foreign delegates to your office.
The content of a formal invitation letter varies depending on the occasion for which it is being sent and the guests to be invited. But the way in which they are written is similar - they are formal invitations. Here we look at some tips on writing formal invitation letters.
How to Write a Formal Invitation Letter
✦ While writing a formal invitation letter, do not forget to include the names of the host and the guest, the address for response, and the details of the function being hosted.

✦ Choose a font according to the organization's standards, and of a size that's readable.

✦ The size of your invitation letter should be that of a standard card. As it's a formal invitation, do not choose fancy colors in the font or the paper.

✦ Mention your name if you are the host or the host's name if you are writing on his behalf. As the letter of invitation has a formal nature, you need to make an official address to your invitees. Mention their names along with their designations.
✦ The most important part is the main content of the invitation letter. Start the letter with a small preamble to the actual reason for the invitation.

✦ After the preamble, describe the actual event for which the guest is being invited. Mention the details of the venue and the date and timings of the event. Make a mention of the reason to invite.

✦ If the event has a particular dress code, mention the same in detail, in the invitation letter.

✦ Express your pleasure in inviting the guests. Make them feel that their presence is important.

✦ Furnish the host's address and ask them to confirm their attendance for the event through a letter or a phone call.

✦ You may want to include a special response form with the invitation letter or go with the typical R.S.V.P. format. It may be in the form of a confirmation or may require the guests to post their arrival details in the response.
✦ End the invitation letter with your name and designation and the details of the host (if the host is different and you are writing on his behalf).

✦ Do not forget to thank the guest. Thank him anticipating that he has accepted your invitation.

✦ Phrases like, Looking forward to see you, I am highly honored to have you as my guest, Grace the occasion by..., ...request the pleasure of your company..., The honor of your presence is requested or ...cordially invite you for... can be used in a formal invitation letter.

✦ Use salutations like Dear Mr./Mrs. or Respected Sir/Ma'm depending on the designation of the guest and the kind of rapport the host shares with him/her. Use letter closings like Sincerely, Faithfully or With Regards for the invitation letter.

✦ Be polite, be cordial, and maintain a formal tone throughout the letter.
Formal Invitation Card Examples
Formal invitations need to be precise and short. There is not much scope for poetic language or creative writing as such, because it's a formal invitation. So, cards is something many prefer, as they look both formal and classy. Here, we give you three templates for formal invitation cards.
Sample 1
Host/Hosting Organization's name

Request the honor of your presence

For Event Name

On Date

At Time

At Venue
Sample 2
Host's name

Cordially invites you to grace the occasion of
Event Name

On Date
At Time
At Venue

Dress Code: Give the dress code details here
Sample 3
Host's name

Request the pleasure of your company

On Date

From Time To Time

At Venue

R.S.V.P before Date
Formal Invitation Letter Examples
For a letter of invitation, the invitation wording is not as brief as that in cards. The event is described in greater detail. So there is scope for describing why the event is being hosted and the different things planned for the same, the inauguration, the opening speech, the meal, cultural programs (if any), etc. Also, the dress code can be described. It's a good practice to enclose a map to the venue, with the invitation letter. Find two invitation letters here.
Letter #1
Dear Mr./Mrs. 'name(s) of the invitee(s)'

We request you to attend the 'event name' organized on 'day and date' at the 'venue details'. The dress code for the event is 'dress code details'.

The event will commence with an inaugural speech, followed by cocktails and dinner which will be served in 'location' at 'time'. Looking forward to a positive reply from you. Find a map to the venue enclosed herewith.

R.S.V.P. 'contact details'

Sincerely,
Host's Name
Letter #2
Dear Mr./Mrs. 'name(s) of the invitee(s)'

On account of 'reason for the event', we have planned a dinner party on 'event date'. We request the honor of your presence for the 'event name' on 'day and date' at 'venue details'. The event will start with a formal welcome speech by 'speaker's name' and will be followed by speeches of the dignitaries. A four-course lunch will be served in the banquet hall at 'time'. Grace the occasion with your presence. We will be glad to have you with us. Please accept our invitation and confirm your attendance.

Sincerely,
Host's Name
While drafting a formal invitation letter, take these three things into account; the occasion, the invitees, and the host's relation with the guests. If the invitation is being sent on behalf of an organization, ensure that it adheres to its standards. Also, take into consideration the social status/designation and age of the invitees and decide your salutation and wording accordingly.