Invitations set the stage for the events they herald, and making your invites unique and memorable is the first way to pique the anticipation of your guests. As any regular of the Sarasota gala scene knows, invites here compete for attention with their clever puns and design. Many are three-dimensional and visually stunning, incorporating themes from the event itself.

Write-On Sarasota owner Eileen Hays Wallace and her staff work closely with clients developing invitations. "We've all become such good listeners," Wallace says. "I tell the clients to think about why they are having the party."

Wallace draws clients out about the hobbies and interests of the person being honored at the party, and encourages them to consider having something custom-designed if they don't like what's on the shelves. For a woman throwing a birthday party for her husband, a race car aficionado, Wallace designed a card with a border of black-and-white checks and racing flags, and carried the theme through to the menus. Having a card designed often costs about the same amount as buying stock cards, Wallace says.

"We can go as wild as your mind can go," she says.

Wallace and her staff showed their stuff by designing custom invitations for the theme parties we featued in the April issue of Sarasota Magazine. Take a peek at the following creations from Write-On Sarasota.


An elegant evening aboard the Lady Sarasota. Elite paper and calligraphy by Dorothy McMillan.


Bang those bongos and down a mojito: It's a vintage Cuban party. Designed by Beata Brodala.


Sway your hips to the rhythms of the South Pacific at this island party. Invite by Itty Bitty Inc.

Photos by: Jackie Pidcock