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Paperless Post’s CEO on hosting, etiquette, invitations and more

(Simone Noronha for The Washington Post)

James Hirschfeld, chief executive and co-founder of Paperless Post, answered your questions on Thursday about how to create engaging online invitations. He developed the idea for his online invitation and card company when he was a sophomore at Harvard and launched the company with his sister in 2009. The company pioneered the stylish online custom invite and took on design partners that have included John Derian, Rifle Paper Co. and Oscar de la Renta plus scores of top illustrators and graphic designers.

As entertaining has become less formal, invitation wording has loosened up, as I discovered in an interview I did with Hirschfeld in 2019. A lot of party details besides the date, time, place and host are being included: Think attire, dietary needs and whether dogs or kids are invited. Here are some of the questions he answered:

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Recent Q&As have covered whether it’s okay to replace a tub with a stand-alone shower, how to keep mice out of your house, what to do with a collection of costume jewelry and how to use the steam settings on your washer and dryer.

Read the Q&A below, or check out some of our past discussions. If you have suggestions for Q&A topics, please email me at

Looking for more? Read some of our stories about invitations and parties:

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Helen Carefoot, writer and editorial aide for the Lifestyle section, produced this Q&A.