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How much notice do you give for a birthday party:

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
My stepdaughter brought home an invitation yesterday--handed to her mom at pick-up at school yesterday (so it wasn't stuck in the backpack for weeks or anything)--for a party next Saturday, February 13, at a bouncy place. It's 1-3 p.m., the kid is turning 8, it doesn't say anything about whether parents need to stay or whether siblings are welcome. Apparently, the whole class was invited (and the class is 28 kids).

How much notice would you give for this type of party?

We got 8 days notice and, once again, a sobbing child because we've already made plans that involve another family and money spent already, and we're not going to cancel and lose money AND inconvenience our friends.

To me, this just doesn't seem like enough notice (unless the idea was to get quite a few "no's" out of that 28, which may be the case), but maybe I'm that out of touch.

Am I? What say you?
post #2 of 27
I try to give 3-4 weeks notice, at least. I know my calendar fills up quickly, so I go ahead and assume that the same is true for everyone else. I don't think 8 days is anywhere near enough notice.
post #3 of 27
That's really short notice. I once gave four weeks and that was way too long. Two-three weeks is about perfect.
I'm guessing that there is no way to combine both plans? Stay for an hour at the bouncy place and then move on? I've done that before. [I actually kind of like it because I hate parties and it's a good excuse to leave.)
post #4 of 27
Well, for my oldest son's bday last weekend, I gave less than a week's notice. He wanted a sledding party and it was looking iffy on whether or not we'd have snow (in Ann Arbor! sheesh!) so we sent invites out on Tuesday for a Sunday party. I'll admit that the prospect of fewer kids coming did appeal to me-- he invited the whole class and 22 kids is a LOT to have in our <1000 sq. ft. apartment. Eight of his friends were able to come which was plenty.

Usually we'd send them out about 2 weeks ahead of time.

For an 8 yr. old's party I'd assume it was drop off unless it specified otherwise. Only one parent stayed at my son's party, and most of the kids are still 6. I haven't stayed at any of his classmates' parties this year.
post #5 of 27
I vote for they didn't want everyone to come. That's pretty short. I aim for 15 - 20 days.
-e
post #6 of 27
Here just about everyone gives 1 to 1.5 weeks notice. Anything more than that & people are more likely to forget. If a person can't come, they can't come. The older they get the less notice that seems to come. My 11yo dd was invited to a party last friday for the next day, the birthday girl was turning 13.

Here at a bouncy place at age 8 it is expected that the kids would be dropped off & no siblings would be included.

Quote:
it was looking iffy on whether or not we'd have snow (in Ann Arbor! sheesh!)
ot, have you heard of the issues Vancouver has had in getting enough snow for the Olympics.lol
post #7 of 27
2-3 weeks.
post #8 of 27
two and half weeks
post #9 of 27
Around here, standard seems to be between 1-2 weeks notice.
post #10 of 27
We try to give 2 weeks notice.

Our girls will routinely come home from school on Wednesday with invitations for parties on Saturday though, so 4 days notice. I think they've only ever been able to attend one of those parties. My oldest is to the point now where if someone hands her an invitation for a party anything less than a week away, she automatically declines.
post #11 of 27
The shortest notice we have ever given was 2 weeks. Normally we give 3 or more weeks notice. For an event like that people need to know far enough in advance that they can have it on their calendar when something else comes up.

We as a family are big on planning though. We've had a few invitations that were a week or less in advanced.
post #12 of 27
This is a helpful thread! For some reason, I was thinking a week notice was good, maybe closer to 2 weeks - b/c I don't want it to be so far ahead they space it out by the time his party comes. LOL.

My DS is turning 5 on the 28th. I better get moving on his invites so he can pass them out at school (he is inviting his whole pre-k class). I really do want a good turn-out, so I guess letting them know sooner than later is a good idea.
post #13 of 27
1-2 weeks at the most.
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Interesting responses! It seems 2-3 weeks is the average (with some variation). We made these plans Monday, so 2 weeks would have given us time. I do understand why giving people more notice might cause them to forget, but we usually make our plans a week or two out if they're for special events.

We can't do both--and this time, it isn't even distance (we're 70 miles apart), as we've arranged to meet our friends for lunch at their house (they have a 5-year-old who my SD adores, and a toddler) and then to a public event (for a family Valentine's thing at a museum) and the time is similar.

It's just hard to make plans at all (and, until yesterday, SD was excited about the Valentine's event) with as many parties as my SD is invited to--it seems most kids invite everyone in the class or everyone of their gender, and with 28 kids, there are a lot of parties. We've been in this scenario a few times, and while my husband is committed to not letting distance get in the way of SD having a social life (i.e. he's not going to refuse to transport her for a party during "his time" simply out of laziness), he also isn't going to drop existing plans with others because something "better" comes along (which is important etiquette anyway).

(And, as for the drop off/siblings thing--I don't think we'd have to stay (and there are no siblings to worry about) but I added that because in years past, there also hasn't been anything on the invitation and once we got there, it was clear we had to stay because the place had a specific supervision ratio. So I wondered if that would influence notice. (Would it?)

I do think, by the time they're teenagers, most plans seem to be by text message (flash mob?) and last-minute...so that makes sense to me.
post #15 of 27
For DS I give 4 weeks notice because the Houston Rodeo is right around his birthday (March 1) and last year EVERYBODY first rsvp-ed YES and then NO like three days before the party. What a bummer, I was in tears and so disappointed. In the end family showed up and it was still fun.DS didn't care (it was only his second birthday).

This year, I again gave 4 weeks notice, the invites went out yesterday and I'm hoping people will show up.

For DD (she's born in August) I usually give 2-3 weeks notice.
post #16 of 27
2-3 weeks here, too
post #17 of 27
Quote:
It's just hard to make plans at all (and, until yesterday, SD was excited about the Valentine's event) with as many parties as my SD is invited to--it seems most kids invite everyone in the class or everyone of their gender, and with 28 kids, there are a lot of parties
This slows down as they get older.
post #18 of 27
I honestly would like to give 2-3 weeks notice, but hey, I've been known to send out the invitations 1 week ahead. Sometimes the kids don't make up their minds what kind of party they want until the last minute. Then we're stuck with what may be available if the party places are booked up. Sometimes life gets busy and the invitations don't get done. Whatever. When it happens to us, I've always explained to my kids that they can't make it to every single event that's happening.
post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post
When it happens to us, I've always explained to my kids that they can't make it to every single event that's happening.
This would be easier (maybe--dunno) if we weren't in a blended situation. Usually, my SD gets an invitation while she's with her mom, asks her mom, her mom says, "you'll be with your Dad so you'll need to show him the invitation" (which makes sense--it would be doubly aggravating to have Mom RSVP without asking us if we already had plans), and then by the time she does come over here and show us the invitation, she's already mentally planned for how she'll divide her time between the bouncy castle and the bouncy slide.

Years ago, we did get an "SD got invited to a party at Chuck E. Cheese near me so I'll be meeting you Sunday morning instead of Sunday night" edict (less than 48 hours notice) from Mom...that didn't go over well (especially because, yup, we had plans for Sunday); we later found out that this was a child of SD's mom's co-worker, SD had never met the kid, and (as it was a parents-stay party) SD's mom was looking forward to going herself!

I will freely admit I am not a fan of the automatic "invite everyone" party when there are that many kids in the class...it seems to have fostered this culture of one-upsmanship (at least among my SD's classmates) where, because most people can't have that many children in their house, it has to be out somewhere, and just doing a cookout (SD has a warm-weather birthday) at a park with a shelter, with a couple of games and a playground, would be the ultimate in "lame" (at least during the planning--I suspect the kids would be fine with it once they were there). So, she's been invited to bouncy places, gymnastics places, an indoor pool, a hotel waterpark, and the one park party she's been invited to has has a rented bouncy castle and a pony ride. And this is not a wealthy school.

Meanwhile, her mom cannot afford any of these places--she can afford to invite 6-8 kids to her house for pizza and cake, so that is what she does. The kids have a good time, but SD does notice that her parties aren't nearly as lavish. She won't accept our "charity" (she would see us even partially funding a party out by her as "charity" because it would be for the school friends out by her--SD's friends here probably wouldn't travel), which, OK. We're not too keen on the idea of a massive spread for a second grader (we generally stick to modest/frugal things in general, so it's not like we wear Prada and dress SD from the thrift store--our own wedding reception was at our house). (SD will usually have a small birthday event here as well--last year she asked for a trip to Six Flags with her best friend, so we did that in lieu of a party AND gifts.)
post #20 of 27
DDs birthday is mid summer so lots of her friends are on holiday (last year so were we!)

So far I have managed to work out a date with the parents of her closest couple of friends so they have had 6 weeks or more notice. Then we send out invitations about 3 weeks before. I think we are about 50/50 with people being busy.

1 week seems quite late to me
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