Stay at Home Moms

Has something changed in regards to invitation etiquette?

I've been browsing some other boards, and am shocked at all the invitation etiquette confusion. I guess if I receive an invitation that says "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" I immediately know that my children are not invited.  If DD receives a birthday invitation, I know that it is for HER, not her siblings.

I will be planning a birthday party for my soon to be 4 year old in the near future. Last summer I sent the invitations to the child on the guest list. I never dreamed people (parents) would assume that this meant the entire family, or siblings, etc. When DD is invited to a party, it has never crossed my mind to bring the twins. If my husband isn't home, then I make childcare arrangements.

Has something changed? Am I living in "la la land"? As I plan her birthday, do I need to put something on the invitation to indicate that then entire family isn't invited? It never crossed my mind. 

Mom to Big Sister (2008) , and boy/girl twins (2010) Life is busy!

Re: Has something changed in regards to invitation etiquette?

  • No nothing has changed except for people's manners.  You are right that only the person(s) on the invite are the only ones invited, not extra siblings unless specified.  You can always put "you are welcome to drop off", or "due to party size, please no siblings, you are welcome to drop off."

    Also I would have never dropped my 4 year old off at a party unless I personally knew the family well.  So when I rsvp'd I always asked if it was ok that I stayed.

     

  • I agree with PP. Nothing has changed. I don't bring my whole family to parties unless it's a family party. People are weird sometimes.
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  • Nothing has changed.  I do see people on here insisting that receiving an invitation addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" doesn't always mean that all the little Does are not invited.  YES - IT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS.  No - you should not call and ask if you can bring them!

    I only have 1 child so I won't ever have sibling confusion.  But my son is still little and can't be dropped off.  I have to say that I find it rude to invite me and son without my husband on a weekend. My weekend plans do not include DH spending even more time away from son and me spending even more time alone with him!

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  • Every party I've been invited to has been for the family - siblings included.  I'd never drop my 3 or 4 year old off at a party and I'd die if I had to care for multiple 3-4 year olds at once.. If I invite a kid, I always assume that the family will be coming.. but my kids are only 4 and 1 1/2.  Maybe when they are school age that will change (I'm sure it will).  But if I got something invited to us (Mr. and Mrs.), I'd definitely know it meant no kids.
  • image Dochas:

    Nothing has changed.  I do see people on here insisting that receiving an invitation addressed to "Mr. and Mrs. John Doe" doesn't always mean that all the little Does are not invited.  YES - IT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT MEANS.  No - you should not call and ask if you can bring them!

    I only have 1 child so I won't ever have sibling confusion.  But my son is still little and can't be dropped off.  I have to say that I find it rude to invite me and son without my husband on a weekend. My weekend plans do not include DH spending even more time away from son and me spending even more time alone with him!

    People are just confused about proper etiquette. DH and I have been invited to adult parties with the invite saying "Mr. & Mrs. John Doe." The invite did not say DD, so we got a sitter. Once we got there, everyone including the host asked where the baby was. We have also been invited to a kids party and the invite did not say DD, it just said DH and I. Honestly, I didn't even call to ask, I just brought her and everyone with kids did the same. I know, hypocrite. But it was a kid's partyEmbarrassed I just did the invites for DD's 1st birthday. I put "The Doe Family" and such on the invites so that everyone knows that the whole family is invited, but I doubt people will pay attention. I could put one person's name and the whole family will show up. Also, I agree with you on inviting both parents. I love my weekend time with DH.
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  • No, nothing has changed. People have just become rude and tote their kids everywhere, invited or not............ 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • I should also clarify, the party I had last year was at her gymnastics place. A parent did stay with each child, but the kids participated in a group activity with instructors, and then we all had lunch/cake in the party room (parent/child). This year will be something similar. I cannot imagine having a drop off party at my home. I'd go crazy.

    If people start bringing siblings to places such as the one from last year, I am going to have to pay for each extra child last minute and that irks me. 

     I guess my main point is....how the heck will I word her birthday invitations this summer? Party will most likely be at a jumpy place, and I was just planning on her friends....not her friends AND their siblings. 

    Mom to Big Sister (2008) , and boy/girl twins (2010) Life is busy!
  • image Hav=Fath:
    Maybe it's regional? I always went with my sister to her parties, as did she to mine, nobody ever minded. My best friend, sister, other friends all normally have the parents and siblings stay, usually they're big cookout or pizza parties with as many adults as kids. I've never known anyone to drop their kids off at a party, unless they had somewhere else to be. 

    You've never been to a drop off party?  I cannot think of a party (aside from nieces & nephews) that were family parties.  All my birthday parties that I can remember as a kid were me and my friends and my siblings.  No other parents aside from my own.  I have proof too (at my parents house) with pictures of my 6th birthday.  Just me and the 4 or 5 friends.  I can't remember ever going to a party where other parents stayed either.  Maybe I just grew up in a weird place?

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  • image dhviel:

    image Hav=Fath:
    Maybe it's regional? I always went with my sister to her parties, as did she to mine, nobody ever minded. My best friend, sister, other friends all normally have the parents and siblings stay, usually they're big cookout or pizza parties with as many adults as kids. I've never known anyone to drop their kids off at a party, unless they had somewhere else to be. 

    You've never been to a drop off party?  I cannot think of a party (aside from nieces & nephews) that were family parties.  All my birthday parties that I can remember as a kid were me and my friends and my siblings.  No other parents aside from my own.  I have proof too (at my parents house) with pictures of my 6th birthday.  Just me and the 4 or 5 friends.  I can't remember ever going to a party where other parents stayed either.  Maybe I just grew up in a weird place?

    No, you didn't grow up in a weird place! LOL! All of my parties were drop offs as a kid as well. You only "stayed" with your kids at a party if it was a relative and they were doing like a backyard BBQ.

    Also, Hope - it's not really a big deal for a sibling or 2 to come to a party you are describing (although STILL rude) where it's at someone's house and they're getting pizza or having a BBQ, etc. BUT, when you're at one of these "pay per kid" type places and around here they are $20+/per kid, it starts to get very expensive. 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • In my group of friends everyone brings all of their kids and their husbands usually. Most people have two or three kids.  When we had DS's party (at a kids party hall) I counted siblings because I knew they would be there which was fine with me.  I also counted adults and I knew most families would have both parents there... no big deal to me.  Only two kids from DS's class came and one of them brought both parents and a younger sibling.  I thought it was great to meet the whole family since their son is in my son's class every day. 
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  • image wifeandmama:
    Every party I've been invited to has been for the family - siblings included.  I'd never drop my 3 or 4 year old off at a party and I'd die if I had to care for multiple 3-4 year olds at once.. If I invite a kid, I always assume that the family will be coming.. but my kids are only 4 and 1 1/2.  Maybe when they are school age that will change (I'm sure it will).  But if I got something invited to us (Mr. and Mrs.), I'd definitely know it meant no kids.

    This.

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    We haven't reached big birthday party age yet. I do go to California for my nephew's birthday every year and am amazed by how many people show up. They are usually at their house and every kids family is there. He turned 6 this year and had the zoo mobile come to the house, my SIL specifically wrote on the invitations that due to space and zoo requirements the kids would need to be dropped off and no siblings would be able to come. 20 little boys was definitely overwhelming though.

    I would also say that the invitations I receive for just DH and I always end in the 'where is the baby?' once we get there, but I would still never bring him without him specifically being invited.






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  • image trizzie:

    image wifeandmama:
    Every party I've been invited to has been for the family - siblings included.  I'd never drop my 3 or 4 year old off at a party and I'd die if I had to care for multiple 3-4 year olds at once.. If I invite a kid, I always assume that the family will be coming.. but my kids are only 4 and 1 1/2.  Maybe when they are school age that will change (I'm sure it will).  But if I got something invited to us (Mr. and Mrs.), I'd definitely know it meant no kids.

    This.

    Drop off parties don't start around here until they are 5. If it's a gym party, then the parents are in one room watching the kids, but they aren't participating.

    I don't ever assume that the whole family will be coming. And I have had people bring siblings in the past and it IS very annoying. 

    I find this as bad as people who bring their kids to weddings and their name isn't on the invite....... 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • image Hav=Fath:

    Wanted to add... I have also never been to a wedding that kids weren't welcome. Here the weddings are always at a church (or outdoor) and the reception is usually at the church fellowship hall, or outside.... I make my town sound pathetic. I've only been to one wedding where there was dancing and even then there was no alcohol, never seen alcohol at a wedding.  

    Doesn't sound pathetic. Just different. Many weddings (mine included) around here are adults only. No kids. The reception begins usually at 6pm and lasts until 11pm or midnight. Not really a good time for most kids......... 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • While your way is the correct way, I find so many people are clueless, even when inviting people. I received a wedding invite addressed to me and DH, and because DD was 10 days old (and I wasn't sure she would even be that old!), I said I wouldn't be able to come, unless a newborn was okay to bring. The bride was shocked and said that all three of our kids were of course invited, and she just thought that went without saying. With birthday parties, I have arranged a sitter only to be told later by the host that siblings are welcome, after I'd asked if I could drop off DS1 because I didn't have a sitter, only to find out lots of younger siblings were attending.

    I think it's manners to clarify, but I can't believe how many times my kids have been included after not being on the invite, and it's never been because I was pushing for it. So now I never know what to think.


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  • We invited Alex's friends to her birthday.  In Kindergarten is when "drop-off" parties start around here.  Her birthday is in October, so I didn't want to tell parents they HAD to drop their kid off.  I think I had 3 parents stay - two with younger siblings.  One of them is a close friend of ours, so we may have invited the whole family to the party.

    Alex was invited to the same family's DD's b-day.  I asked the Mom if I could bring Taylor (who is also good friends with her DD) if I stayed to help her with the party.  She was nervous about inviting all of the girls in her DD's class.


  • I work p/t so my kids go to daycare p/t. Among the parents of kids in DD's class, there is at least one single mom with 2 kids. There is a nurse, a librarian, and a home health worker. What all those people have in common is that they sometimes or always work weekends or have no additional parent to keep the kids. And while they earn a decent living, they might not have the spare funds for a babysitter on top of a birthday gift. So with no-sibling parties, their kids get shafted. 

    At the last birthday party (bowling party 5th brithday), I think I was the only one who didn't bring a sibling. The siblings ranged from newborn to maybe 7yo, and several had both parents there. If it's at a place where going over the limit would be extra $, we offer to pay and others have done the same when we had a bounce house party. It's pretty much expected among this group of parents.

    If it's a party at your house or a park, then yeah, I'd give you the side-eye for making my life difficult.

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  • image KateB1984:

    While your way is the correct way, I find so many people are clueless, even when inviting people. I received a wedding invite addressed to me and DH, and because DD was 10 days old (and I wasn't sure she would even be that old!), I said I wouldn't be able to come, unless a newborn was okay to bring. The bride was shocked and said that all three of our kids were of course invited, and she just thought that went without saying. With birthday parties, I have arranged a sitter only to be told later by the host that siblings are welcome, after I'd asked if I could drop off DS1 because I didn't have a sitter, only to find out lots of younger siblings were attending.

    I think it's manners to clarify, but I can't believe how many times my kids have been included after not being on the invite, and it's never been because I was pushing for it. So now I never know what to think.

    We've had a couple weddings like that!  The invite was address to my husband and me, so we went without Jude (this was pre-Noel) and everyone was soooo confused about why we didn't bring him!  There were tons of other kids there!  Well, the invite was addressed TO US ONLY!  The  _____ Family would've made me think, "Oh!  It's for ALL of us!"  Duh.

     On the other hand, I got an invite for a FAMILY party from one of my ILs that stated, "This party is for ADULTS ONLY!!"  Tacky, tacky, tacky. 

  • DD {8} is just starting to go to drop off parties. All the parties up until now have been come and hang out for the parents. Including the skating parties, etc. that are pay-per-person. It's always expected that you are bringing whoever with you. Not a big deal at all around here. Of course, I always address the invite to the whole family anyway.

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  • I was beginning to wonder the same thing as op. I have never heard of siblings attending parties just because they are siblings. To me, that just sounds crazy. I wouldn't expect a drop off party until about 5 or 6. All the wedding invites I have ever received have been addressed to the family and the RSVP most often has a blank for number of adults and number of children.
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  • For DS1's 5th birthday party, we had 13 kids from his class RSVP. There ended up being 17 kids who participated in the party because siblings came along and 4 babies who were also there (1 was my younger child). It worked out fine because we had purchased everything in bulk because we were nervous that this would happen since we hadn't heard anything from the other kids. Our invites were written only to the classmates so we were surprised that so many siblings came as well.
  • To me, unless it specifically states DDs name or the word "Family" then only those written on the invitation are invited.

    If it's an adult party I won't bring DD unless they specifically ask for her to be there-even then DH and I decide that if it's during the day then she can go but if it'll be during/around bedtime then we get a sitter.

    If it's a kid party and it doesn't say to bring siblings then you don't bring siblings. (Obviously I've never had to deal with this yet since brother is still in utero).

    Also, I understand wanting to spend weekend time with DH. Totally get it. But if (in the future) the sibling isn't invited then he'll stay home with either me or DH while one of us takes DD to the party. It's only 2 hours. No biggie.

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