Your card should convey the kind of party you are trying to throw. For example, if your party is based on a theme, let your guests know about it, as you would not want them to feel out of place. If it is a surprise, make sure to note that as well as if you do not want any gifts brought. Along with the tone of the party, most importantly include: date, time, and the address of the venue of the party. Along with these details, also do give your phone number or email address, so that the guests can contact you, if any need arises. People usually prefer weekends to host a retirement party, so that all your invited guests can make it to the venue, and on the correct time. Other tips can be found here.
Based on the tips above, I went all out for my ‘Last Class’ themed teacher retirement invitation. The summons card had wording that denoted a more jovial and light retirement party. I also included a direction card to help my guests.
For the Envelopes:
I chose black to look like a black board effect. Ordering online is the only way to keep the cost down. I got 100 envelopes for $27.70 (28¢/envelope). But, to make the invitations a bit more designed, I opted for envelope liners. A great tutorial is offered by blog Budget Savvy Bride. I made a template as the tutorial instructed and for did the full liner for the hand delivered envelopes, but only lined the bottom section for the mailed envelopes. I believed people would rip it when opening. I made the apple/composition pattern on my computer and printed 100 full color copies to cut from. In retrospect, I would have printed this on my home printer–color copies cost $50 (50¢/liner)!!
The wrap around address label was printed on full sheet labels purchased online (100 for $21). I got 5 labels per sheet (4¢/label). I printed these on my home printer.
For the Invitation:
I found a template for the file folder online and sized it to be small enough to accompany a 5×7 card. I used A7 envelopes as well. I bought a pack of 100 manilla envelopes and cut one from each (6¢/folder). Then I had clear address labels which I printed with ‘Confidential.’ I also used my label maker to add the name to the folder tab. These are items I had, but the cost per invite would be 2¢/confidential sticker and label.
Next, I went to Target and printed ‘school picture’ sized images from years past on 4×6 photos. I got 4 photos on one sheet (25¢/photo). Then I printed my invite on card stock from home. I then added a real paper clip and a bit of foam sticky squares to pop the photo up off the paper. I got the foam squares in the dollar section at target and the paper clips were 100 for 80¢. These prices were nominal to the overall invite.
For the Directions Card:
Using my home printer, I printed on school notebook paper I had from years past. I then highlighted some of the key information and placed it in the file folder behind the invite. I used a paper cutter to cut the ‘Cheat Sheets.” This was practically free since it is items I had on hand.
I sent out about 110 with a total cost to me of approximately $1.80/invitation.