Entertaining

The ABC's of RSVPs

Our favorite holiday and New Year's Eve party invitations

Whether you're throwing an ugly sweater soiree or a swank New Year's Eve fete, the time to send holiday party invitations is now (seriously, hurry). Sure, a quick email or Facebook post will do, but a thoughtfully designed invitation sets the tone for the party and creates a bit of anticipation for the night to come.

Paper invites never go out of style, but online options are making things really easy: There's no hassle of collecting addresses or buying postage, guests receive their invites immediately and, best of all, it's easy to track who's coming.

Paperless Post is my go-to for online invites: I love the designs and think they're a step above sites like Evite or Punchbowl, and the whole process, from personalizing the cards to sending them out, is ridiculously simple. Though the company does charge a small fee to send out cards in pretty (digital) envelopes, the expense is still significantly less than what you'd pay for a printed version.

For printed cards, Minted is a favorite: The company works with independent designers to create unique designs on different paper stocks (for different prices), and if you need to get your cards out soon, it offers an express shipping service. Zazzle and Tiny Prints are also good options for paper invites (and also offer rush delivery). I tried Greenvelope and Smilebox, but both required signing up for the service before trying it out, which I found cumbersome.

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Whether you go print or digital, choose a design that fits the vibe of the party. If you're having a black-tie, Champagne-soaked New Year's Eve bash, look for a sleek black and silver or gold and white number. But if you're having a casual holiday gathering with spiked cider and mistletoe, go ahead and send out a cheeky, colorful invite. And either way, always double-check that your invitation includes all pertinent details: date, time, location, party theme and, if necessary, dress code. Definitely ask guests to RSVP, so you have a head count in advance.

Here are 20 gorgeous invites to browse for inspiration, no matter what your holiday party looks like.

  • Leafy Bliss Invitations

    tinyprints.com, $50 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Prints

  • Sophisticated Snow Invitations

    minted.com, $60 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

  • Peaceful Drinks Invitations

    tinyprints.com, $48 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Prints

  • Holiday Market Invitations

    paperlesspost.com, $12 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Paperless Post

  • Josephine Baker Gold Invitations

    paperlesspost.com, $6 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Paperless Post

  • Champagne Bubbles Invitations

    paperlesspost.com, $6 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Paperless Post

  • Moon Phase Swirl Invitations

    paperlesspost.com, $6 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Paperless Post

  • Holiday Wreath Invitations

    minted.com, $60 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

     

  • Pink Champagne Invitations

    minted.com, $60 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

  • Sparkling Holiday Soiree Invitations

    minted.com, $60 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

  • Cocktail Party Invitations

    minted.com, $60 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

  • Midnight Vineyard Invitations

    minted.com, $72 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Minted

  • Bubbly New Year Invitations

    tinyprints.com, $48 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Prints

  • Ringing Celebration Invitations

    tinyprints.com, $28 for 20

    Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Prints

  • Very Merry Party Invitations

    zazzle.com, $43 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle

  • Classic Snowflakes Invitations

    zazzle.com, $43 for 25

    Photo: Courtesy of Zazzle

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