Birthday invitations...etiquette please!

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by marijanad, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. marijanad

    marijanad Well-Known Member

    Hi, can I ask a quick question? We are just entering the world of birthday parties since my two just turned three...when we had their party I sent out invites about 2 1/2 weeks ahead so everyone would have time to prepare and rsvp, etc. especially my friend with twins...well the other day a friend of mind sends me an email invite for her daughter's birthday (third also) on a Tuesday afternoon for the following Saturday party! I didn't even see the email until late Tuesday night. She came to our party, btw. Well, sensitive old me immediately thinks-are we an afterthought? I wasn't very impressed. I actually declined the invite via email and said we had a family commitment we couldn't change. My husband thinks I'm reading too much into it, but isn't that a tad rude? If she planned it soooo late, shouldn't she have at least called? Would love opinions...Thanks everyone.
  2. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    I like to send invites out well in advance as well, 2-4 weeks, but apparently less than a week's notice is very typical in elementary school. My 7 year old has received many invitations on a Monday or Tuesday for a Saturday or Sunday party of that same week. It is so much easier to have more notice! So, I doubt your were an afterthought, I bet she just sent her invites out "late."
  3. eagleswings216

    eagleswings216 Well-Known Member

    Rude, yes, but I wouldn't take it personally unless you have some evidence of it being something personal to you (which is easier said than done to not take it personally, I know....).

    My three SIL's do this to us ALL the time - almost every party for our 7 nieces and nephews, we find out a week or less in advance, and we're family! (and they get annoyed if we can't come or already have plans....). Me personally, I try to give 3-4 weeks notice for a party, partially because my kids have a birthday three days after Christmas, which is a busy time for everyone, but also because I think that is the polite thing to do. In fact, I've already sent out the invitations for their 2-year party, which is on the 30th.
  4. Danibell

    Danibell Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Well being I am one of those people who tend to get invites out late (I always call if it's within a week of the party as well), I would guess you weren't an afterthought and I would guess they weren't trying to be inconsiderate. I sure hope the people I invite don't consider me "rude" ;) Here's my issue. If I send an invite out 2-3 weeks in advance, everyone ALWAYS forgets the date, and don't show up. It's happened many times with my older kids. So, I wait until the week before, in the hopes that they'll actually remember that it's *this coming saturday* instead of 2 weeks from now. Make sense??

    I understand wanting to give lots of warning. And if you have completely reliable friends and family, that works. However, if you have friends and family like I have around here (dh's side of the family), your best bet is to plan just a few days in advance, call everyone, and then call everyone again the night before if you expect anyone to show up.

    Case in point, our dd's 5 yr birthday party had to be postponed, she woke up the morning of her party puking. DH told everyone when he called to cancel, that we would have it in 2 weeks, same time same day, just 2 weeks later. No-one showed up. My inlaws came, only because they live in the same yard as us and we reminded them, and one extremely sweet old lady friend of ours came, but no friends, no other family came. And 2 friends have since had the nerve to ask me "Oh when's KK's party going to be??"'s been and gone already. Then I feel like a heel because it's over with and they think we didn't let them know. Frustrating!

    So, that great big long story all to say, I wouldn't take it personally, and I wouldn't consider it rude. If you had a family commitment already, no problem. But I wouldn't have lied about it just because you felt put out that they didn't get the invite out on your proper time schedule ;) Maybe they were waiting on a confirmation from a play place, or maybe had to see if hubby was working, or maybe the kids have been sick and they wanted to make sure everyone was well, or maybe they just got really busy with everything else and almost forgot to get the invites out at all (been there done that one).....lots of different reason's why the invite could have came when it did.
  5. marijanad

    marijanad Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm this is all so interesting! No, I didn't make up the family story, we did have family coming but a bit later and yes probably if I'd had more notice I would have tried to make both things work but I had too much on my plate with having people coming over that afternoon. I just don't get the 'people forgetting' if the invite is too early! If we are invited to something, I write it in my calendar and that's it, it's booked. Everyone is so busy, I think that if I sent out invitations four days before the event many people might be committed to other things and couldn't bring their children to the party, which would be really disappointing to my own children. For our birthday, everyone who was invited came to the party and I think at least two weeks is nice both for the guests and for the host, who might need to do appropriate shopping, put together loot bags, etc. or whatever needs to be done. Maybe that's just me! But thanks for your thoughts :)
  6. MarchI

    MarchI Well-Known Member

    I think it depends on the person sending it. We've gotten invites up to a week from the party. I know no disrespect was meant by them because of who they came from. Usually it is my son's BFF's who we know when their birthday is but get the formal invite to the party late. Finally, some things to consider. First, there have been lean years that I have sent out party invites later just to control the number of kids who come. Also, with my son, we often have to ask people to RSVP (it means yes AND No) because we send out invites before thanksgiving and people are often caught up in the holiday planning. I doubt you were an after thought and my guess is that she has a good reason for sending them out so late. Sorry you couldn't make your schedule work out.
  7. sulik110202

    sulik110202 Well-Known Member

    I like to send out invites 3-4 weeks in advance, but we have family out of town, so we want to give plenty of notice if they want to travel for the party. I wouldn't think you are an after thought. Some people just don't give as much notice for parties.
  8. stefwebb

    stefwebb Well-Known Member

    I don't think you should assume you were slighted or second choice at all. I understand you wanting more notice, but sometimes it just takes us procrastinators a bit to get to everything :) No offense is intended.

    My boys' party was last weekend and I didn't manage to get invites out until the Tuesday before and I only emailed them. I did however mention the time/date to everyone ahead of time so they could schedule if necessary. I meant to get invites out earlier, but it's a tough time of year with holidays and other family birthday's etc. I also make the kids invites in photoshop every year and I knew if I sent out other write in invites then I would never get around to finishing what I was working on. So when I got done on Tuesday (very, very late) I emailed them to everyone. I was only inviting good friends of ours so I knew email was a good form of communication, if I had anyone that wasn't attached to their phone (with email) I would have called or mailed one as well.

    Anyway, if you are going to make assumptions, I would just assume the friend is running a bit late pulling everything together and is probably concerned that her late efforts may mess up their kids b-day party. I know I was worried and then thankful that our friends could make it. Though I would have certainly understood if someone had other plans at that point.
  9. lharrison1

    lharrison1 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I usually send out a 'save the date' email or text about 4 weeks prior, and then two week prior I mail an ivitation so they have something physical to remind them (that has all the details on it) I request an RSVP and if I dont hear from someone I will email or text a follow up to see if they can make it. this has worked out well.
    I do have friends that send out invites a few days before and I am pretty sure they understand if people have other plans just doesnt seem very fair to the birthday child if no one can come, but I bet most people can make it work.
  10. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I am not a fan of the last minute invitation & more often than not my kids won't make it if we aren't given a bit more notice, we are just really busy. But I wouldn't be offended, I do know that many people are just last minute planners. L&L received an invitation a couple of months ago, by email, on a Saturday night for a party that was the next day. Now, that is last minute!! I felt bad because they were the only two kids from their class that the little boy invited & we were unable to rearrange our schedule for them to attend, but, really, the night before?!?
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