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How to word b-day invitation

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Carriebear Posted: 07-27-2010 8:47 PM

DS is turning 7 in August.  He wants to go to Chuck-e-Cheese, which is fine, but I can only afford to pay for pizza/coins for his friends (the kids).  Not the adults or possible older siblings that may come.

Do you think that will be implied or should I say something in the invitation?  How would I word that without sounding rude? 

I myself have only been to two b-day parties there and in one, WE paid for our own pizza/coins as it was all of us (DH plus the boys).  With the second one, I just assumed I wasn't going to be eating - just my son.  And if I wanted to eat, I would've bought my own.

Thoughts?

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piper replied on 07-28-2010 7:23 AM

So my child is only 22 months so I am not there yet - BUT...... parents bring siblings to other kids birthday parties???  WHAT?? really?

If my DS was invited to a party why on earth would I bring his brothers and sisters - that seems rude...... hmmm.......

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replied on 07-28-2010 8:05 AM

piper:

So my child is only 22 months so I am not there yet - BUT...... parents bring siblings to other kids birthday parties???  WHAT?? really?

If my DS was invited to a party why on earth would I bring his brothers and sisters - that seems rude...... hmmm.......

 

Ditto, mine is 3 yrs but I do have an 8yr old nephew so my sister has told me all kinds of stories *eye-roll* about some of her party guests.

Maybe you could word the invitation something like, "John Doe is turning 7 and would like to treat (friend's name) to Chuckie Cheese to celebrate.  Parents welcome at their own expense. Please RSVP by 11/11/1111"

If I got this invite, I wouldn't be offended in anyway and  would understand that I'm welcome to stay and watch my child but that my soda etc is on me (which I would assume already).

I can understand in a way how a parent wouldn't want to leave their child somewhere so public but also have no other opt. for younger sibs.  Atleast this way they would know that you aren't taking their whole family to dinner lol! HTH

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Malgal replied on 07-28-2010 2:05 PM

Yes parents bring other siblings to b'day parties.  My older DS is 4 and is just beginning the birthday party rounds.  He is way too young to be attending a birthday party without one of his parents present, IMHO (especially since I don't know the parents of the kids who's party it is).  I am not going to tell him he cannot go because DS2 wasn't invited.  But what usually happens is that I call to RSVP and I ask if it is OK for us to stay and tell the parent I will pay my own way.  What then usually happens is that the host mother makes it very clear when we arrive if there is food and drink for the adults.  I also think that the venue plays in to it.   I am hosting a party at home for my son in a couple of weeks and plan on having adult food and kids food for any siblings that come along.  So far, we haven't been to a 4 year old birthday party where the invitees' families haven't been there.  Once the kids are old enough to be dropped off alone, I think the situation probably changes. I would never drop an uninvited sibling off at a party.  I also would never just show up with extra people without asking the host first.

Back to the OP, I totally understand your dilemma and I think one of the other ladies wording is perfect - "parents and siblings welcome at your expense".  This leaves no doubt as to what is expected and I think you will find that parents appreciate knowing what to expect.  I know that I was really unsure of myself when we started getting party invitations and I would have appreciated a note in the card to let us know what the expectation was.

 

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mrss replied on 07-28-2010 4:35 PM

piper:

So my child is only 22 months so I am not there yet - BUT...... parents bring siblings to other kids birthday parties???  WHAT?? really?

If my DS was invited to a party why on earth would I bring his brothers and sisters - that seems rude...... hmmm.......

 

My DS is 4 and at every home party it has been expected that parents and siblings also attend.  I actually didn't realize it the first couple times and I took DS, not expecting that it was a whole family affair and that DH should also go.  After I got tired of hearing, "Where's Bill?" I realized that he was supposed to be there, too. I think for most families, drop off parties don't start until kids are about 6 or so.  When I send an invitation for a party and I'm providing food for family, I make sure to put Tyler and family or something like that on the invitation and I always have enough favors for all the kids who will be there, including siblings.

OP:  I do understand not paying for siblings at an outside venue or when a child is older.  I think PP's wording suggestion is appropriate.  Here's another one I found online.  "Siblings and Parents are welcomed to join us at their own expense"

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Princess Giggles replied on 07-28-2010 7:43 PM

As a former Chuck E. Cheese birthday hostess (high school job), make sure the employee running your party also  knows not to include siblings and other parents in the count. This goes for party favor bags they may provide and the cake included in a party as well. It could get awkward when the bill comes if you haven't made that clear up front.

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Carriebear replied on 07-29-2010 6:21 PM

Princess Giggles:

As a former Chuck E. Cheese birthday hostess (high school job), make sure the employee running your party also  knows not to include siblings and other parents in the count. This goes for party favor bags they may provide and the cake included in a party as well. It could get awkward when the bill comes if you haven't made that clear up front.

Thanks for the tip - although I'm not planning to purchase their "party option".  I looked at it and it looks awfully expensive!  I was just hoping to grab a couple table and do it myself.  We don't need all those extras.  I figured I'd bring a cake, buy a few pizzas and sodas and coins - plus use some of the coupons we get in the mail.

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tortuga replied on 07-29-2010 7:01 PM

I do think it is rude of people to bring their whole families to parties that aren't at home (i.e. parties where you have to pay per head.)  For the most part around here at least, everyone knows that isn't acceptable and if they are in a situation where both siblings need to be together, they will ask ahead of time and clear it with the host, offer to pay, etc.  There are always exceptions, of course.

But at a home party where you aren't really paying per head, I have to be honest I would be a little put off if I needed to bring a sibling and the host told me I couldn't or asked me to pay.  

What you're describing sounds more like a home party at chuck-e-cheese.   While there is nothing wrong with that (if it is okay to bring a cake to chuck-e-cheese -- I didn't know you could do that) and there is nothing wrong with telling people that parents and siblings can come at their own expense, doing both of those things together is a bit much.  Assuming that at most you end up with a couple of siblings and parents, I can't imagine it would cost you more than a couple of slices of otherwise leftover pizza.  And I would like to think that most parents/univited children would make sure all the kids are served before diving in themselves.  If there is none left, then they'll figure it out.  If you are the one buying the tokens and doling them out, it is certainly easy enough at the party to hand them out to the kids who were invited and if a non-invited kid actually comes up and asks for some, just tell him you only have enough for the DCs friends.  If my uninvited kid actually did that, by the way, I would be mortified!

This is all to say that I think it is better to assume that your guests have manners and take the chance of being out a few slices.   By putting that wording in the invitation for that type of party, it kind of says that you think your guests don't really understand what is appropriate and need things spelled out to them.  JMO.

Just curious, it sounds like you followed the 'rules' at the two birthday parties you attended.  Did you see a lot of people who did not and is that why you are concerned? 

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Carriebear replied on 07-29-2010 8:23 PM

tortuga:

What you're describing sounds more like a home party at chuck-e-cheese.

Yeah, I see where you'd see this, although I still feel like I'm spending more than I would at a regular "at home" party.  Last year we went to a park (free) and I brought cupcakes and juice boxes.  Pretty cheap!

tortuga:

Just curious, it sounds like you followed the 'rules' at the two birthday parties you attended.  Did you see a lot of people who did not and is that why you are concerned? 

You know, I didn't watch to see what other people were doing but it appeared as though most families were understanding that the pizza/treats were for the invited kids only and that if they wanted more, they purchased their own pizza.  As far as what their invites said - one was a really good friend so she invited me over the phone.  The other...I don't think said anything about it, but I could be wrong.

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tortuga replied on 07-29-2010 8:42 PM

If it seems like most people toe the line, I would probably err on the side of polite, not mention it and hope for the best.  If you know how many pizzas you are going to order, the worst case scenario is that you run out, and I just can't imagine that happening and kids who were invited not getting to eat.

Laura 

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replied on 07-30-2010 8:08 AM

tortuga:

If it seems like most people toe the line, I would probably err on the side of polite, not mention it and hope for the best.  If you know how many pizzas you are going to order, the worst case scenario is that you run out, and I just can't imagine that happening and kids who were invited not getting to eat.

 

I can understand other's feelings on this but some parents don't have what we figure to be common sense about these things.  They get in the food line first,  they finish off the 2Ls of soda and they expect gift bags for the extra kids they bring if not for themselves........

To the OP:  I like many other's that commented really don't see any problem with being up-front about what is to be expected in the invitation.  I like to keep as polite as possible but you really have to make sure you don't let ppl walk all over you on this or it will never end.  And even if you DO minutely happen to offend someone with this invite,  then they can choose not to come or just get over it.  This is a Party for your SON and his invited friends, NOT parents and siblings of your son's classmates.

I was just talking to my big Sister yesterday about the worst party she ever threw for my nephew.  A swiming party for his 7th B-day for him and his 10 friends at the local rec center.  She put in the invites that parents were welcome to stay as it was a swiming party and she can understand how some wouldn't want to just drop off their novice swimmer to a place they don't know.  One parent brought an older brother along (10yrs) who my nephew didn't know and asked if my Sister could keep him for a bit while she ran and got tires on her car!!! Rude Much!!!  That parent ended up being gone for 4 hours!!!  My sister was well done w/ the party and couldn't leave b/c this kid she didn't know was stuck there...what a mess!

Another kid came with both parents and two younger sibs-and they ALL swam, never offered to cover their own entrance and helped themselves to the food she had set up for the kids!  No other parents swam, some just came and chatted with the other parents and kept an eye on their kid for their own peace of mind (which I would do too).  My Sister ended up having to pay for their whole family which at $8 a person was a kind-of PITA amount she had to pay + that extra kid who's mother left for tires...

I don't know about you but money is kind-of tight with a second baby on the way and very costly insurance.  My son's b-day is coming up and I just want so badly to give him as much as possible and something like an added $50 extra to pay for other ppl is a bit of a sting.  And in my sister's case, that was mainly from just one invitation!  Imagin if the rest of her guests had all brought a tag-along and left you with the bill?!  My sister could've been paying hundreds of dollars!!

I know this post is running long but I just really don't want you to get caught off guard and end spending more money on stranger's rudness then your own son's b-day gift.  Please let us know how it turned out and what you ended up doing as I be back to check for up-dates:)  Good Luck!!!

 

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Scoutie replied on 07-30-2010 11:52 AM

We recently received an invite that said, "Coins and lunch provided for Colin's preschool class".

I'm amazed that parents would bring siblings to a birthday party.

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Carriebear replied on 07-30-2010 3:58 PM

Scoutie:

I'm amazed that parents would bring siblings to a birthday party.

You know, part of why we see lots of siblings at parties is my kids attend a small private school and they know a lot of the siblings.  For example, one family has a girl in DS's class, and a younger one in preschool that's in DS#2's class.  I would expect that mom will probably bring both. 

Thanks for the suggestions - I will see what I can come up with.  I may need to limit the number of kids DS invites, and hopefully that'll keep costs down too.  I'll let you know how things go!

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