Often, even first birthday invitations come with the option of purchasing corresponding items like thank you cards and reply cards. However, the question becomes: do I really need reply cards?
The answer really depends on the type of first birthday party you’re planning and is a matter of personal preference, although there are some pros and cons that will help you decide if you aren’t sure which way is right for you.
Reasons to Enclose Reply Cards With First Birthday Invitations
Reply cards are most commonly associated with wedding invitations and typically come with pre-printed envelopes that hold your address. This way, guests simply fill out the card, usually stating whether or not they will attend, and who will be attending. Sometimes, a dinner choice is included, for example, asking whether guests prefer chicken or fish. Then, the guest simply places the completed reply card in the pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelope and mails it.
If you’re planning a large, formal first birthday party, it might be easier to keep track of who is and isn’t coming by enclosing reply cards. That way, instead of taking notes from RSVP phone calls and even sifting through emails, you’ll have a neat stack of reply cards filled out with who exactly is coming.
Although many people seem to have difficulty responding, when they’re presented with an easy reply card to mail, many find it much simpler to fill out a reply card and mail it rather than placing a phone call or sending an email to RSVP to an event.
When It’s Not Necessary to Enclose Reply Cards With First Birthday Invitations
If you’re planning a casual first birthday party, big or small, you don’t really need to enclose reply cards. Reply cards are, in general, deemed more formal, and might make your first birthday party seem daunting to some who could get the wrong idea. Also, casual first birthday parties tend to ask guests to send “regrets only” responses.
Reply cards are also an added expense, and if you’re planning a large or elaborate first birthday party, or if you’re just on a strict budget, you might not want to allocate a portion of your budget to purchasing, printing and stamping reply cards. When you have a one-year old at home, reply cards can get lost, dirty and ripped, making it even more difficult to determine an accurate head count. Often, it’s easier to simply make a list of the invited guests and write “yes” or “no” beside each name as you receive phone calls or emails responding to your invitation.
Although there is no hard and fast rule, in general, for first birthdays, reply cards aren’t a necessary enclosure unless they will help you organize the guest list and will enhance a formal first birthday invitation. Otherwise, use your reply card money and put it towards a fabulous birthday cake and prepare to watch your child enjoy her first birthday party.