Whether you’re choosing Pink Cupcake Invitations, Monkey Invitations, or any other type of birthday invitations for your child’s party, picking the cards is only the first step of preparing the invitations. You also need to worry about etiquette and wording.
Let’s look at some of the most common etiquette issues and how you can address them in the wording of your invitation.
Parents: Should They Stay or Should They Go?
When you’re having a birthday party for a child, other parents are always going to be an issue. Depending on you and your party, you may want the parents to either attend with their children or to just drop them off. The question is how do you pass on that information politely and what limits should you expect to set on those parents.
Although you can suggest on your invitation for parents to attend, including wording such as “This is a drop off party” or “Please pick your child up at (time)” can come across as rude to some parents. Plus, parents should feel comfortable to stay if they choose. Remember, they don’t know you.
However, it’s fine to include wording that encourages parents to stay, such as “Parents welcome to attend,” “Separate Refreshments Available for Parents,” or something along those lines. Be careful about addressing the invitation to the mom and the child, however. Many mothers and their children don’t have the same last name, plus many fathers are just as likely to attend as the mothers. You should also encourage guests to RSVP so you can find out if parents (and or extra siblings) will be attending.
Siblings: Are They Automatically Invited?
As parents, we hate to see any of our children feeling left out of something fun, such as a birthday party. However, we have to realize that birthday invitations are meant for the invitee only (unless otherwise specified on the invitation) and possibly a parent. Imagine what would happen if every invited person to a party showed up with all of their siblings – the poor party host would run out of refreshments and sanity pretty fast!
With that said, many parents will bring younger siblings to parties if they are planning to stay at the party, too. This is why I strongly suggest sending out the invitations early enough so you can request an RSVP, preferably by email or phone so you can contact the person directly to make sure you know how many people will be attending. It’s a little more work for you now, but you won’t have any surprises on the day of the party.
While there’s no polite way to exclude siblings on the invitation, if you’re throwing a party and have to pay a per guest fee then you could specify “We are only allowed 15 guests so please let us know as soon as possible if (Name) will be able to attend.” In this way, you are letting the parents know that there is a limit on the number of guests you can have without specifically saying leave your other kids at home.
Do We Send Birthday Invitations to the Whole Class?
For children in pre-school or elementary school, their whole social lives revolve mainly around a single group of kids every year. Although kids tend to be close to only a few of their peers at one time, they may also have a bond with the rest of the students in their class and may want to invite them to the party. The question is should you invite the whole class.
If your budget (and your patience) can afford such a large party for your child, then go for it. Sending birthday invitations, such as the Cupcake Invitations which can be personalized with your child’s name in the cupcakes, to every member of the class is a great way to make all of the kids feel good.
The problem comes in when your son or daughter wants to invite everyone, except a couple of students he or she isn’t particularly fond of. Should you agree to their wishes? Etiquette rules would say no. If your child doesn’t want to invite everyone, then allow him or her to choose five or ten from the class only.
When to Send Birthday Invitations for Children Parties
Like most parties, the rule of all birthday parties is to give guests enough time to make plans and to send in a response. For children’s parties that time frame is usually one to two weeks. Because these parties are more casual, you don’t need a mailed RSVP just ask parents to phone or email you. Most of the easy-to-prepare fill-in invitations, have a spot for RSVP information.
Now there are some times when you may need to send out advanced warning. For example, if your child’s birthday party will be held during the summer, spring break, of over Christmas break then parents may need extra notice so they don’t inadvertently plan another activity on the day of your party. You might even want to consider sending out save the date cards, such as the Save the date Post Card Announcements which basically let you circle the appropriate date, enter the last two digits of the year, then drop them in the mail.
While save the date cards are generally for weddings, if you’re having a big party for your son or daughter that you don’t want ruined by missing guests it might be worth sending out extra notice two to three months before the actual party date.