20 gala invitation examples and ideas for your company’s most elegant, elevated events

A black and gold “O.S.N.A” gala invitation with painterly gold brush strokes in the center rectangle paired with a golden envelope liner sits amongst a glass of champagne, a small plate of appetizers, a champagne cork, silver confetti, and a gold fork and knife.
Paperless Post BlogBusiness > 20 gala invitation examples and ideas for your company’s most elegant, elevated events

Gala events are formal gatherings where nonprofits, corporations, or other large organizations roll out the red carpet for their guests. From the Old French gale, meaning “rejoicing,” galas aren’t your average office party or get-together. Instead, they have lots of guests, high-quality food and drink, and upscale venues decorated to impress. Some galas raise funds for important causes, while others thank donors or members of the organization for their support.

But before you put the finishing touches on your event plan for the most epic gala ever, you actually need to invite your guests. So how can you make your gala invitation stand out from all the other events your VIPs may attend this year? The ideal gala invite combines design and communication for an attractive, easy-to-understand message that brings in as many “yes” RSVPs as possible.


20 gala invitation examples

Gala ideas can range from black-tie to professional fundraisers to fun, themed events that are more casual. No matter what type of gala you’re organizing, the right gala invitation template can make your event stand out and attract guests. 

Below, you’ll find 20 online invitation designs with the option to add branding, customize templates, track RSVPs, create a Custom URL, and add Password Protection. When you use Paperless Post, you can customize any gala invitation to your specific event. 


1. Simple and in-style

Send a sophisticated message with the “Simple Brushstroke” gala invitation design.

  • This is an easy template to personalize for any event
  • It’s ideal for cocktail events or less formal galas
  • The gold stroke adds a nice touch for seaside events or galas on a ship


2. Modest dazzle

Left: A black and gold invitation with a gold dot border reads “golden thread” gala shown with a matching gold lined envelope. Right: An overhead view of a decorated table with white and gold place settings and twinkling string lights above.
Modest Dazzle” by Paperless Post; Image via Style Me Pretty.


If glitter, glitz, and glamor fit the vibe of your gala, the “Modest Dazzle” invitation lets guests know.

  • It’s a pretty invitation for ballroom or “under the stars” galas, letting guests know the theme
  • It adds flair to an event where you’re giving awards or presenting honors
  • It’s excellent for galas with sparkling décor 


3. Blue and white

Add a bit of color to your gala with pretty “Ikat Dot” invitations.

  • You can use it for galas with a beach or nautical theme
  • It’s great for less formal non-profit events
  • Its modern theme works for outdoor or more casual galas, too


4. Black tie

If you’re throwing a really fancy gala, send “Black Tie Affair” invitations to set the tone.

  • It nods to the dress code right away
  • Its attractive design is perfect for formal balls or dressy galas
  • It’s also appropriate for high-profile events, such as product launches or ribbon-cutting events


5. Pop the Champagne

It’s time to celebrate with the “Champers” gala invite, which brings just the right combination of sophistication and fun to your event.

  • It fits the tone of a holiday gala 
  • It’s also nice for celebratory events, including corporate galas
  • It pairs well with a cocktail theme or sparkling décor


6. A grand event

For the classic tuxedo-and-gown galas, the “Grand” invitation provides a vintage touch to your event.

  • Use it for formal, black tie, or 1920s-theme galas
  • It’s perfect for commemorating special occasions or fundraising goals
  • It’s an upscale way to invite guests to an awards dinner
  • Upload your company’s logo for a branded touch 


7. Cocktail gala

Left: Glasses of champagne are being served on a silver tray. Right: A white invitation with a gold border and matching envelope line and reads “black-tie cocktail party” and features illustrations of bar tools and cocktail glasses.
Image via Gabe Aceves; “Cocktail Jigger” by Paperless Post.


Combine the formality of classic fêtes with a fun, social vibe when you use the “Cocktail Jigger” invitation for a cocktail gala.

  • It’s nice for guest lists filled with 20-somethings 
  • You can use it for smaller events or galas focused on a cocktail hour
  • It’s a good option for start-ups or small companies since it’s casual and to the point


8. For a cause

Gala fundraisers can be an excellent way to raise money for worthy causes. Start it all off with the “Charity Ribbon” invitation.

  • It’s ideal for any charity benefit or gala
  • Its simple and understated design sets a classic tone
  • Use it for any dress code, from black tie to business casual


9. A beaded affair

Whether you’re throwing an ultra-formal affair or a “Great Gatsby” themed event, the “Josephine Baker” invitation inspires guests to dress their best.

  • Nice for any gala that includes a more formal dress code
  • Its understated design fits galas with sparkling, golden decor
  • Use it for New Year’s Eve galas or other holiday events


10. Aquatic evening

Left: A navy and beige underwater seascape is illustrated onto an invitation that reads “save the sea” gala with a matching illustrated envelope liner. Right: A venue is beautifully decorated with sparkling lanterns and draping curtains. Round tables are decorated with place settings, flowers, and candles.
Big Wave” by Schumacher for Paperless Post; Image via Lorenzo Accardi.


Invite guests to a stylish celebration with this lovely “Big Wave” invitation.

  • It’s ideal for galas hosted in an aquarium or near the ocean
  • Use it for fundraisers that raise money for sealife
  • Adds a sophisticated touch to galas with any dress code


11. Celebrate in style

If your organization has a lot of donors to thank or victories to celebrate, make your event shine with “The Great Pyramid” invitation.

  • Use it for holidays or celebratory events
  • It’s a nice way to thank donors for their continued support
  • Galas with Champagne fountains make a particularly nice match for this invitation


12. Winding ribbons

Planning a gala for the arts? Use the “Biotic” invitation to inspire guests before they even walk in the door.

  • It’s a lovely invitation for galas hosted in an art museum or celebrating local artists
  • Use it for events with performances or silent auctions
  • It’s ideal for galas with less formal dress codes like cocktail or business casual


13. Geometric

Award dinners and themed balls can begin with the appealing geometric design of the “Fullerene” invitation.

  • The gold color and design coordinate with formal gala dress codes
  • Use it for business or corporate galas
  • It’s a timeless invitation for yearly celebrations


14. Green and growing

Garden galas are a lovely way to bring people together in the great outdoors. Invite guests with the “Fern II” invitation to promote the natural theme. 

  • It’s a must-use invitation for outdoor galas
  • Ideal for semi-formal dress codes
  • Best for galas that use lots of greenery in the décor


15. Dramatic flair

If your gala has a flair for the dramatic, send the “Black” invitation to hit the right chord.

  • Use it for galas with formal or black-tie dress codes
  • Perfect for high-profile events
  • It’s an alluring preface to awards dinners or annual charity galas


16. Timeless tradition

Left: A table is decorated with tall champagne glasses, a black tablecloth, gold and black tableware, votive candles, and flowers. Right: A black and gold invitation with delicate flourishes features calligraphy script that reads “golden thread gala” above a matching gold envelope liner.
Image via Enza Events; “Grand Swirls” by Paperless Post.


Take a step into centuries past with the “Grand Swirls” invitation, which promises guests an elegant affair.

  • It’s versatile for use with semi-formal or formal events
  • And it’s a lovely way to welcome donors or members to a commemoration gala
  • It’s perfect for holiday occasions


17. Greek celebration

Get your brothers and sisters together with the “Pytheos” invitation, perfect for sorority or fraternity fundraising events.

  • Use it for any gala for college alumni
  • Versatile for formal or less formal dress codes
  • It’s a nice way to set both the tone and the theme for specific events


18. A circle of friends

The “Spirals” invite is an elegant gala invitation to raise funds within a community or support a local organization with the help of your friends.

  • It works as both a save-the-date or an official invitation
  • The circle design illustrates the collaboration of a community in efforts to support an organization doing good
  • It’s perfect for nonprofit galas


19. Get in line

Left: An invitation reads “save the sea” gala on top of a black, gold, and white abstract, striped vertical background with matching envelope. Right: A decorated table is set with gold plates, wine and champagne glasses and golden votives. A golden tree centerpiece is surrounded by white flowers in the center of the round table.
Paradigm” by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post; Image via Amy Anaiz.


The fresh and modern “Paradigm” invitation combines Art Deco design with a futuristic flair.

  • Works for product launches or celebrating start-up success
  • Fits well with a holiday gala theme, particularly for a tech company
  • Great for both formal and semi-formal dress codes


20. A colorful night

Add a touch of color to your special night with the light and bubbly “Coriandoli” invitation.

  • Use it for any dress code, from black tie to business casual
  • Best for galas with a bit of whimsy in the theme
  • It’s a fun way to invite guests to awards nights (or check out our other ideas for fundraisers) that are full of color


How to write a gala invitation

Once you’ve picked your template, it’s time to decide how you’ll word your invitation, including all the details your guests need to know about the event. Though your wording can vary, there are a few elements to a gala invitation that are especially important to include:

  • Event description: Whether you’re celebrating an accomplishment, thanking donors, raising funds, or throwing an annual shindig, people need to know what to expect.
  • Date, time, and venue: Make sure that guests know when and where the gala will be. You can list these details in the gala invitation wording directly, or you can include it in a Detail or Schedule Block beneath your Paperless Post invitations.
  • How and when to RSVP: If you want your guest list to be long—and accurate—sending RSVPs should include as few steps as possible. Paper invitations can include an addressed RSVP card and envelope, while online invitations have a clickable RSVP option for guests. Include a date for guests to RSVP by, and follow up with non-responders using Paperless Post’s RSVP tracker.
  • Dress code: The design of your gala invitation helps establish your dress code to an extent, but explicitly stating the dress code is also helpful. Black tie, formal, semi-formal, cocktail, and business casual are the most common dress code for galas.
  • Contact information: List email addresses and phone numbers for last-minute questions or details. Paperless Post also allows guests to message their host directly in response to their invitation. 


Additional parts of a gala invitation may include:

  • Ticket price: Does your gala require guests to purchase tickets or tables in advance? How much do they cost? With Paperless Post, you can link directly to a ticketing site from the invitation.
  • How to donate: Many galas set up fundraising websites that track donations, but if your organization uses another option, make sure guests know about it. Add it to a Link Block on a Paperless Post invitation so guests can’t miss it.
  • Accommodations: If you’ve secured a block at a nearby hotel, let guests know in the invitation’s Accommodations Block—or list additional accommodation options in the area.
  • Meal options: Are guests dining at your event, or are you serving cocktails only? Can they choose from different meals or list dietary restrictions? Let them know, and use Guest Surveys if they are able to make selections ahead of time.
  • Parking or valet options: Make sure guests know where to park or whether they should expect valet service—and if it’s complementary.
  • Corporate sponsors: Does your event have a corporate sponsor other than your organization? List their name on the event page for publicity and awareness.
  • Plus-one: Can all invited guests bring dates or additional guests? How many can they bring, and is there an additional cost?


When to send a gala invitation

No matter the level of extravagance, planning a gala takes a lot of preparation. Guests should know about the event well in advance, which gives you a few options when it comes to timing.

  • Send a save-the-date card 4–6 months in advance. Opt for a longer timeline if guests will need to make travel and/or lodging arrangements.
  • Invitations should go out 7–8 weeks before the event, giving guests time to RSVP.
  • Follow up with guests who haven’t RSVPed 2–3 weeks before your gala so you can provide accurate headcounts to venues and vendors.


Gala invitation wording tips and examples

You know what to include in a gala invite—but how do you say it? Depending on the tone, theme, and dress code of the event, your gala invitation wording may vary.


Themed gala invitation wording

You’ll find as many gala theme ideas as stars in the sky. But no matter your gala theme, the invitation wording should be engaging and clear:

Hollywood glamor

[Organization] invites you to a glamorous awards night on the red carpet. 

Get ready for your Hollywood dreams to come true!

Arrive at 6pm for drinks; awards ceremony begins at 8pm

Formal attire requested

300 Hilltop Ave.

Lyndhurst, New Jersey


Casino night

Spin the wheel at [Company’s] casino night gala

On April 7th

The games begin at eight o’clock

at Taylor Hotel, Ballroom A

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Please RSVP by March 1


Formal gala invitation wording

Planning an ultra-fancy affair? Make sure your wording matches the attire:


[Business] requests the pleasure of your company at our anniversary gala

Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6pm

April 7th at the Turner Street Aquarium

You’re cordially invited to share a night 

under the stars at [Organization]’s charity fundraiser

Enjoy drinks, dinner, and dancing while supporting a worthwhile cause

Plus-ones welcome


Corporate gala wording

Corporate invitation wording can range from formal to friendly, depending on the culture of the company and the mood of the event:




Party like a VIP at [Corporation]’s annual gala.

Cocktail hour begins at 7, dinner served at 8, dancing immediately after.

April 7th, Turner Memorial Ballroom at [Corporate] Headquarters

Contact Joseph Murphy (jmurphy@corporateemail.com) with any questions.

Bring a guest and join us!


Please join us for a dinner party to celebrate another successful year. 

Significant others are welcome!

April 7th at 8 pm

East 5th Street

Cocktail attire

Valet service provided


Holiday gala wording

The holiday season always adds a bit of sparkling glamor to any event. Reflect the vibe in your wording:


Please honor us by attending this exclusive gathering of your peers at our Holiday Gala for an evening of conversations, food, drinks and holiday fun.

December 13 at Loyola Hotel

8–11 pm

Formal attire requested

Join us in celebrating the Christmas Season! 

Enjoy a catered dinner & live music 

Holiday casual dress 

Indoor/outdoor party

Please RSVP by [Date]


Donor gala wording

For occasions that honor or thank donors, use an appreciative tone in your gala invitations:

A sparkling affair celebrating our members, overlooking San Francisco Bay.

Music from [musical guest]

Black tie attire

Guests welcome

Save the Date!

[Organization]’s Annual Donor Gala

Natural History Museum

April 7

See below for hotel room block


Planning an affair to remember

A gold bordered online invite features details of the event on the left with an RSVP button on the bottom. On the right side of the invite, bold type reads “museum of modernity fundraising” gala imposed on an art gallery image.
Modern Space” Flyer by Paperless Post.


As a gala organizer, we know you have a lot on your plate. Between event planning and researching different event marketing strategies, putting on the gala of the century is no easy feat. Paperless Post’s invitation templates make inviting guests as easy as a click of a mouse. Remove our logo in invitation emails and add your own for a branded design. Create a Custom URL for your event that’s easy for guests to remember, access, and share. Keep it secure with Password Protection on all invitations as well. 

Need tips for staying within your financial means when planning a gala? Find stress-free tips for making (and keeping) an event budget for any occasion, from black tie galas to a kid’s birthday party.



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Hero image: “Gold Brush Stroke” by Paperless Post.