How Not To Writte… A Halloween or Fireworks Night Invite

The leaves are turning myriad shades of gold and rust on the trees, the huge, spindly-legged spiders are once again returning to their haunts in the corner of the living room, and across the land, families are arguing about whether it is, or is not, cold enough to justify putting the central heating on – it’s Autumn, folks!

And as any self-respecting Brit will tell you, there are only two dates in the Autumn social calendar worth worrying about:

  1. Halloween – the coming of the Autumn’s evil spirits, the Day of the Dead, or the night Cheryl from the local pub dons an ill-advised catsuit and emits a feral growl at anyone who’ll listen.
  2. Fireworks/Bonfire Night – the day we all gather around a giant bonfire and set off fireworks to commemorate the day some bloke in a massive hat almost succeeded in blowing up the English Parliament with gunpowder (yeah, we’re not sure why this is suitable for kids either…)

If you’re going get everyone along to your Halloween bash/Bonfire Night extravaganza, you’re gonna need to craft some ghoulishly great copy for your invites.

Here’s the dos and don’ts:


  • Be creative. Go wild, indulge your inner puns, dodgy Paint and Photoshop skills and overuse of Halloween fonts…(hello ‘Onyx’ my old friend).
  • Remember to give the location and a contact number – you’ll be amazed once you’ve covered your invite with pumpkins and Trump effigies that there’s no room to tell people where they need to assemble.
  • Give the date/time… always useful to know when we’re supposed to turn up, before midnight, lest you want a pile of Cinderella-style pumpkins littering your doorstep.
  • Be clear if you are expecting people to RSVP (or materialise ghostlike out of thin air), come in fancy dress (and the dreaded couples costumes), or bring something (severed head, booze, zombie survival kit).
  • Go mad with the alliteration or throwing in a pun or two, just don’t overdo it. Halloween Hijinks, Poltergeist Party, Ghostly Get-together…the list is (sadly) endless.
  • Go old school/vintage – an intricate lace-patterned gothic-style invite, with archaic terminology can work particularly well. Remember this was the time of Stoker, Mary Shelley, Poe (but not Pooh), gothic romances etc, so feel free to take inspiration from literature. Think soiree, affair, reception rather than party. Be very formal; i.e. ‘Your presence is cordially requested’.
  • Use language to create a little bit of mystery and intrigue (and a lot of internet searching)  by promising Nanty narking and that everyone will be tight as a boiled owl (Ed: nope, I’m none the wiser either).


  • Start your first line of the invite with the words ‘Fancy a big bang?’.  It’s a cliché, it’s dull and unimaginative – use at your peril or fear of derision.
  • Use any other clichés. The same goes for witches brew, the witching hour and spooktacular…….
  • Be a knob when people don’t turn up in fancy dress. Their body, their choice.
  • Make the invite so cryptic that your intended guests have no idea they’ve actually been invited to the party/firework display of the century.
  • Forget to state if it’s family friendly, and what time carriages can come and collect as some of your guests may have babysitters to relieve (Ed: no, not like that, you filth-monger).