We know how it is. Months of Whatsapping back and forth to find one free evening to get everyone together, then missed Facebook invites and Google calendar alerts mean your grand dinner party plans just end up being you and the quiet neighbour from the flat downstairs scraping that last-minute corner shop bought hummus for all its crushed chickpea worth.
As we all get busier, running around with our heads in our phones, taking the time to get our nearest and dearest round for a shared meal and a few drinks becomes even more special. It's quality time that matters even more in this fast-paced day and age. So we've put together a few themes to hopefully inspire you to post out the paper invitations and bring the people you love together for a truly memorable night.
Autumnal Family Get-Together
As cardigans are unearthed from the back of the wardrobe, a quality family get-together with some warming autumnal fare becomes increasingly inviting. Just picture it: a long walk, kicking through the orange leaves, picking conkers, before coming home to a rich bottle of red and something root-veg-based simmering away in the kitchen. A surefire way to warm those cockles. And who doesn't love a few gourd and pumpkin table decorations at this time of year? Teamed with the deep colours of fashion label, Mother of Pearl's Amber Tulip print invitations, menus and place names, you and your loved ones have got yourselves an elegant and cosy Sunday afternoon all wrapped up.
We'd recommend Stephen Fry's film 'Bright Young Things'
Bright Young Things Birthday Party
If like us, you have a penchant to party like it's 1929, then embrace the bohemian spirit of between-the-wars London socialites with an extravagantly colourful bash. The modern embodiment of such Bright Young Things is artist Luke Edward Hall. On invitations and menus, his free-flowing illustrations of classical columns and cocktails will add a touch of insouciant glamour to your birthday celebrations – as will his homewares like this plate for Anthropologie. Perfect for fizzing parties that start with a fancy dinner and continue popping well into the wee hours of the morning. (Plastic lobster not a necessity.)
Capote spent the whole summer of '66 working on his guest-list.
Black & White Ball Dinner
Breakfast At Tiffany's author Truman Capote enjoyed what his fame and wealth afforded him. After the critical and commercial success of his book In Cold Blood he threw the lavish party he always dreamed of at New York's Plaza Hotel. In November 1966, his Black & White masquerade ball drew the cream of the city's high-society, including Frank Sinatra, Mia Farrow and Andy Warhol. If you weren't invited, you were a nobody in New York. Really, it was all an egotistical way for Capote to cement his celebrity (and as we're talking about it 50 years later, it clearly worked). Your six seater dinner might not have think-pieces being written about in a half-century's time but there's still not much more chic a way to spend the long nights than with a monochrome themed soirée – complete with starry place names and menus from calligrapher Lamplighter London. And we reckon you can do better than the scrambled eggs and sausages that were served at Capote's ball.
Have you tried stilton with a mince pie? Delicious.
Classic Christmas Cocktails & Canapés
There's never a better excuse to get people over for a few drinks and nibbles than Christmas. And Christmas is all about traditions, so keep it classic with mulled wine, mince pies and a dark red and gold colour scheme. A stylish way to spend some quality yuletide time with good friends. Of course, this time of year is party season, so ensure that the your festive shindig stands out from the calendar requests flinging into people's inboxes by sending an invitation that drops through your guests' letterbox. This beautiful Audrey design from Tuppence Collective should do the trick.
New Year's Eve Art Deco Bash
Has any design period felt more glamorous than Art Deco? Maybe it's just because of The Great Gatsby (or probably, more precisely, Baz Luhrmann's film version) but we would say not. Sipping Old Fashioneds from cut-glass tumblers and pouring a time-honoured champagne fountain (careful there) and it'll be like you're hosting the greatest party West Egg has ever seen. To complement your glitzy decorations, set out a smart gold and black dress code for your guests in your invitations. Whether you've hired a hotel's private dining room or you've just pulled the table out in your kitchen, dressing up for a New Year's Eve dinner always adds some excitement to the celebrations. For your place settings, our Art Deco menus and name cards couldn't be more in keeping with the theme.
If you're feeling suitably inspired to get your nearest and dearest round, then take a look at our collections of invitations and set the theme for your party.