Southerners’ll send an invite for the opening of an envelope if you let ‘em.

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Camerique/Getty Images

The question for a Southerner isn’t so much when to send the formal invite—as we’re inclined to find an excuse for snail mail any day—as it is when not to send a formal invitation. Try as we might, we can’t seem to find an event that doesn’t warrant a formal invite whether it's a wedding invitation, birthday party invitation, bridal shower invitation, baby shower invitation, or even a bachelor party invitation. If you're less inclined to bust out the stamps, here are a few occasions when you should absolutely skip the Evite in favor of a good old-fashioned paper invitation.

Any and All Wedding-Related Festivities

In addition to the proper wedding invation, bridal showers, the engagement party, rehearsal dinner, even the bachelor and bachelorette parties all need a formal invite. Truth be told, our modern Southern gents would rather send a mass email to their 20 best buds when it comes time to take roll call for the bachelor party but, we’ll continue wagging our finger until they listen up.

Watch: 5 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs

Baby Showers, Sprinkles, and Sip and Sees

Just like weddings, anything surrounding a new baby warrants a formal invite. A baby shower is typically for a first baby, while a second baby will oftentimes have a sprinkle. Sip and sees are usually get-togethers after the baby’s arrival and range in formality depending on the location and Mama’s wishes.

Birth Announcements

While this isn’t technically an invitation, a birth announcement most assuredly warrants a formal note. If you’re planning the arrival of your little one, reach out to your stationer ahead of time to have her mock up a proof. Once baby arrives all you’ll need to do is send her the stats (we recommend date and time of birth, but you can also include height and weight).

Baby’s First Birthday Party

You’re going to want this one for the scrapbook.

Baptisms and Christenings

If the attire is formal and/or said event takes place in a place of worship you’ll need a formal invite. Case in point: baptisms, christenings, and weddings


Your 20th anniversary, a retirement party, even housewarming parties are all fair game for a little formality.


Send an electronic invitation to the after-party if it’s a little less formal, but the actual graduation ceremony requires snail mail.

What did we leave off the list? Share with us the events you think always warrant a formal invitation.