Birthday Party Invitation Etiquette
3 mins read

Birthday Party Invitation Etiquette

Birthday party invitations can be a tricky thing. In the request, you are inadvertently asking guests to attend your party, with or without supervision, and to bring a gift to help celebrate your loved one’s birthday. Save yourself any embarrassment at the next PTA meeting with properly worded invitations.


Before sending out your invitation, talk with your child or other loved one about the kind of party he wants. The more elaborate the party, the fewer guests you should invite. Decide on a number, and stick with it. You don’t have to invite every friend and acquaintance. Be sensitive, though. If there is just one friend or person in a social circle not invited, consider expanding just enough to include her.


Try to avoid embarrassing those who aren’t invited by mailing your invitations. Although this costs a little more, it avoids cruel bragging about the party around those who aren’t invited. Make sure the invitation arrives at least two weeks before the party to give parents and kids an opportunity to rearrange schedules to fit in with the date and the time of the party.


If you are hosting a party for kids, you might find it useful to have parents attend with their kids. They can help keep an eye on everyone and prevent you from dealing with discipline or medical issues. Make a note on the bottom of the invitation, inviting parents to stay. You shouldn’t demand it, but a simple invitation will encourage many to stay.


If you are hosting a party for adults, make it clear in the invitation whether kids are welcome. If you are hosting a casual party, you might find most people will attend if they can bring their kids and not worry about a sitter. If your party is an excuse for an adult night out, write the adults’ names on the invitation and write a little prose about how excited you are for a kid-free evening.

Special Requests

If there is something unusual or extraordinary happening at your party, be sure to mention it in the invitation. Make sure you mention the dress code, even in kids’ invitations. You don’t want anyone to show up embarrassed by being under or over dressed. Think about what you would want to know and include that information in the invitation.


For the most part, etiquette dictates that you shouldn’t mention the possibility of gifts at all in the invitation. It is assumed that gifts will be given. However, if you really see gifts as a problem, add a small note that tells your guests that their presence is more than enough.

Photo Credit

  • colorful envelopes image by Marek Kosmal from

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