Delicate Birthday Invitation Wording

Updated on January 13, 2012
L.V. asks from Hollywood, FL
23 answers

My son’s 7th birthday is going to be at a party place. We can invite 25 kids. We plan to invite his 2nd grade class which is 26 kids. My problem is with the siblings. As much as I would love to be able to include all the siblings, we can’t. How do I word the invitation to indicate that the party is for the 2nd grader only? If the siblings want to attend, the place charges $8 admission, and it can be paid when they arrive. Please no negative, critical or judgmental comments. We are doing the best we can to make this a great birthday party for our son.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I've never understood why so many parents think that an invitation for one child is actually an invitation for the whole family. My siblings and I never attended the parties of friends when we were growing up. But I know it happens a lot these days, so you're right to worry a little.

Send paper invitations in the mail and address each one specifically to the child you are inviting. You can put this on the invitations:
"We hope Chris can attend. Please RSVP by Jan 31."

If anyone asks specifically about the siblings when they RSVP, tell them they are welcome to bring them for $8, or tell them that, unfortunately, the party is just for the 2nd graders. It's up to you to decide whether you even want the extra people there at all. If a sibling does come, require that the parent stays too. You shouldn't be responsible for their extra kids.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Madison on

Address the invitation to the invited child. I don't think you need to add anything about not bringing siblings or them costing extra. I would never think that my child's siblings were invited unless it specifically says their name on the invitation as well.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Albany on

What's delicate?

"Siblings are welcome for an $8 admission fee."

I've got three kids, this would not bother me if you invited one of them, then included this on the invite. Standard procedure I think.


12 moms found this helpful


answers from La Crosse on

I would put..

John is invited to join us for Joe's birthday at King Kongs Palace at 2pm.

If siblings want to join, they are welcome under your parental supervison at $8 a person.

** When ever any of my kids have been invited to a birthday party it has never even crossed my mind that siblings are included unless the sibling comes home with an invation also! My boys are a year apart and share 99% of the same friends.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

You have a lot of great responses here. Can I just say that I HATE IT when parents assume all of their children are invited when the invite only has ONE child's name on it? I really wish this assumption that all sibs are invited if one is would finally, once and for all, be seen for the rudeness it represents.
"As the party host, I am not responsible for what you do with your other kids while the one child I invited to our party is at our party. No, I don't feel bad for them for not being included. No, I don't want to pay for them." That's what I wish you could tell these parents lol.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

a pox upon delicacy. if you're delicate, people will feel free to 'misunderstand.' of course you can't pay for all those siblings and it's obnoxious that freeloaders have made this into an issue.
be courteous but upfront. something along the lines of 'any children other than the invited guests will be welcome, be sure that they have the $8 admission charge with them.'
really. be very clear.
and enjoy the party! you are very generous already to have one that big!
:) khairete

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

Why would anyone be critical of you? You are making a party for your son and are NOT required to invite siblings. I would state JUST what you said on the invitation..."so and so" is invited to share (your son's name) birthday! And at the bottom of the invitation, add, (siblings are welcome, but you must pay an $8 charge for each. Cost of your second grader is included in the party!)

I don't think it needs to be delicate...parents will understand.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think that most parents understand that you cannot include everyone's siblings at your child's party! I have taken my younger child with to parties that my older child was invited to, and I ALWAYS expect to pay for my younger one to get in. On the invite, you can say something like "Parents are welcome to stay during the party, and admission is $8 at the door for siblings who would like to attend."

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

L. that is 100% normal! I'm a mom of 3 (2 school age). Both of my daughters have been to separate bday parties with kids in their classes. I have NEVER thought the other child was invited unless the invite said both of their names. I think inviting the whole class is a huge thing you are doing! Most people would just choose a few friends and that's it. That is pricey.
I absolutely do not think you need to clarify no siblings. People know that, at least where I live. In our case, we have several neighbor friends with kids my daughters' ages. My girls are only 14 months apart. All of these neighbor friends invite both my girls to any party, because they're people we've all been friends with since they were babies and all the kids play together. But in the case of a class party, come on, it is obvious people! :-)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I think your answer is as simple as what Theresa N. wrote.
Wouldn't bother me at all.
I think it is nice to offer. :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Specify on the RSVP line that you must know if that child (name the child) will attend or not by x because the venue charges per guest and you need to make reservations accordingly. If an invite does not say "family" or name each child, then it is only for the kid named on the invite.

That is not to say that you might not have turnups but if they do show up with a sibling in tow, take the parent aside and say that the invite was for x child and you've already paid for your party. If they really want y child to stay, they must pay the $8 to the venue. I would not feel embarrassed. It is THEY who failed to read the invite. You can also hold firm. 26 is already a lot of kids and you've already planned food, games, etc. for that number.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Chances are at least 1 of the kids won't be able to make it and should solve your capacity problem.

Can you say something like "Admission for anyone in Jr.'s class will be provided. Parents will be expected to pay $8 per child for any siblings in attendance."?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm assuming 25 kids are included in the price you are paying and that anyone over #25 will be +8? It might be worth just letting it roll, some classmates won't be able to make it and a few might have siblings.....

Or just add O. line (additional children $8/ea.) that should tip them off that they'll need to dig in the wallet if they expect to bring other children.
(Then, of course, there will be the boneheads that will see it, forget about it and bring 3 younger sibs!)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

currently, most parties are running at 50% or less this may not even be an issue.

But, on the other hand, I hate when families assume "all" are welcome!

At age 7, parents should feel comfortable enough to drop off. I also realize that many parents do not have that comfort zone. & it's a shame. So I would seriously be prepared for parents to be there, too. Having the party at a party very different from a home party....& many parents will be stressed over supervision - both at the door & in the bathroom.

How about putting on the envelope: "To The One & Only _____. Admission fee for other family members is $8"

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I would put something along the lines of due to space limitations space is tight. We hope that "X" can attend. drop off is at 3 and pick up at 5 or whatever your time frame is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

You have already gotten some excellent answers. I hope it works out for you. Be prepared for parents to be upset that not all syblings are invited. I had some personal friends get upset when I told them that only 1 of their children were invited. Don't let them push you into changing it just for them. You can get your self in trouble with others and so starts the domino effect. Stand your ground and Have Fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I tend to take care of this with the RSVP portion. I really like the way AV suggested it.
My husband is tied up most Saturdays when the majority of parties are - I have frequently had to call the RSVP in and follow with a question about the other sibling (prior to this year not able to "drop off"). The other parent has always been gracious AND honest.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

inviting the whole class seem excessive to me...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

My advice would be to address the invitation to the 2nd grader only. Specify your times as drop off and pick up. I would also state "please kindly RSVP for your child by "X" date as "The party place" requests us to call in the number of children attending"

Don't even mention siblings, parents, or the 8.00 admission fee, or you will have MORE parents considering the option that they could come, stay, and bring along their preschool crew, pay the 8.00, and sit them right down at your table for cake, expecting party favors, and possibly your supervision.

When people call to rsvp, if they are so bold as to tell you little Joey's smaller sisters will be coming, you can gently tell them "I'm sorry, because we are having the whole class we can't host all of the siblings." If any just show up, smile, be gracious, but don't feel you have to pay their admissions. Most people wouldn't dream of expecting you to pay for siblings, and would only show up with them if the invite said their names or "siblings welcome" or they had discussed it with you prior to the party day.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I have worded it like this before.

You are invited to XXX at XXXX..... a parent may stay with the child. For additional people the buffet is $x.xx for adults and $x.xx for children. The game room admission is $x.xx and parents are free with a child...they get the idea, you are letting them know that you are paying for the one child only.

But if they have to pay if they bring their child and plan on staying then you need to clarify that, if you'd like to stay with your child the cost of the admittance fee is $

I would not let my child attend any function like this where I could not stay and supervise them. I would not expect to pay for myself to attend your birthday party either. So of parents have to pay to go in to the party place to be with their child then you need to rethink this or cover their cost for one parent only.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You should first address each invitation to the 2nd grade child (don't leave it blank). Since some you will need to spell it out for you could try something like "Please RSVP as soon as possible so we can provide our head count/guest list to "party place". Then add a note at that bottom with something like "Due to limitations, additional guests are not permitted" or "Due to limitations, any additional children/siblings will be $8 payable at the door" (with the word additional bolded or underlined).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

First of all, a seven year old can be dropped off at a party if a place is well staffed-one adult for every 7 children-because they're all around 7. I wouldn't even mention the 8$ admission fee for siblings-if the parents would be so rude as to assume they can bring the family-then I'm sure they will be able to scare up 8$/child.

The name on the invitation should be the single child whom you are inviting-that says it all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I don't think you need to worry about the 25 kid limit as all the children from his class will not attend. This will help balance out if any siblings need to come. Also, it's just my opinion but inviting one child and excluding a sibling is rude. I would just pay the difference out of my own pocket. You probably wouldn't even pay very much as I doubt all the children from the class will attend.

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