Not sure what to do for 1st bday party invite list. Help! — The Bump
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Not sure what to do for 1st bday party invite list. Help!

I know it's almost 5 months away, but DH and I were talking about it today and can't figure out what to do.  He wants to only invite family and a few close friends with kids, and because of his large family that puts us at over 30 people!  I want to include my close friends that don't have kids, and he thinks we shouldn't invite them.  If I invite these friends, I need to invite their fiances/spouses, right?  I realize that the husbands/fiances won't want to come, but I'm sure it would be rude not to invite them.  If I do invite my close friends and their significant others, then it puts us at around 50 people, in our small house, in the winter (so no outside porch/deck/etc).  UGH. 

We are really trying to be minimalist about this and just have a small get together, but it seems impossible.  So, what did you do if you've already had the first bday party, or what are you planning to do if you've thought about it?  Also, do you think my childless friends will be offended if I don't invite them at all, but I do invite a few friends with kids?  I feel like that would be weird. 

Re: Not sure what to do for 1st bday party invite list. Help!

  • You could do it open house style so that not everyone is there at the same time.  I do think if you invite friends, then you need to include spouses/important significant others.  I've always thought the 1st birthday was mostly a family affair, so I've never expected to be invited to a 1st birthday unless it was a family member. So I don't think you have to invite your kid-free friends.

    DS's 1st b-day is on a Wednesday, and it's the week before Christmas, so DH and I are both taking the day off work and then maybe having the grandparents over for cake later - but that's going to be tricky since my ILs are divorced.

  • DD's birthday is in December.  We did just grandparents (DH has one sister out of state and I am an only child.)   We figured we would do bigger parties later.  It was actually really nice having only close family.
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  • Since you seem to have lots of family who would attend, I would probably just make it a family only event.  These things can so out of control so quickly when you have to decide which groups of friends to invite, so I might just err on the side of just inviting family.

    I will say that when I was childless I always felt a little left out when our friends with kids wouldn't invite us to events like this.  I think they thought we wouldn't be interested.  But, I always felt like I so rarely got to see my friends with kids that I would be thrilled to be invited to anything they were putting on!  So I do think it is nice of you to want to include your childless friends.  I just think the numbers in your case are going to get really large quickly so it might just be simpler to keep it to family. 


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  • We only invited immediate family and a couple that have a son who is a month younger than DS.  It ended up being about 20 people.  Honestly more than that would have been too much.  As it was DS started to have a melt down immediately after cake because he had missed his nap and from the overstimulation of all the people.

    Since it's winter time and you're trying to be minimalist I would just do family and the few close friends with kids.  Honestly, I wouldn't invite childless couples, especially when their DH or significant others are going to be dreading going.  I don't think they should be offended by not being invited.  It is a kids birthday party after all and I would expect people with kids to be invited.  Have another party (non-birthday related) in the spring and invite those people without kids to that one if you're worried about their feelings being hurt.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker TTC #1 Cycle #18 m/c Jan. 9, 2007, chemical pg May 4, 2007, methotrexate shot Oct. 5, 2007--m/c Oct. 9, 2007, IUI Nov. 17, 2007 It worked! beta 11/30 & 12/6 TTC #2 Cycle #5 IUI July 20, 2009 -BFN 8-3-09 Cycle #6 IUI August 17, 2009-BFP! 8-31-09, beta 9-1-09, 9-8-09, saw the H/B 9-22-09 EDD 5-10-10
  • this was a dilemma to us too. We cannot do family only b/c it'd just be 11 ppl total (incl. DH, DD, and me) and DH's parents are divorced so it's always awkward unless there are a ton of other ppl around. So we are inviting them (DH's 3 parents, brother; my parents, sister, her BF), but aren't inviting any non-immediate family (our cousins, aunts, etc - they all live OOT anyway). Then I'm inviting my 3 friends whose kids are ages 2-6. I've been to most of their kids' parties and if I wasn't single at the time, DH still did not go, it was not his thing and I knew if I forced him to go and he saw the chaos that these parites were, he may never want to have kids!

    I'm always inviting a couple of other child-less friends who will come w/out their SOs (SOs are invited but they both told me they probably won't come).

    However, this will be mid-Oct and likely nice enough where ppl can go out in the yard if they want to.

    On DD's actual b-day we are both taking the day off to spend w/ her, take photos, etc.

  • I invited my immediate family (mom/dad, sister & neice). DH's parents live out of town, so we put them on the webcam when we did DD's cake smash. Because my family is small, I invited my close friends who don't have kids (significant others were also invited), and some friends who had kids around DD's age. We also invited DD's in-home DCP. She takes such good care of Natalie, that I couldn't imagine NOT inviting her.

    Unfortunately, because DD's birthday is a week before Xmas, the only child that showed up was my neice. So this year I am thinking of having her birthday party right at the first week of December.

    All that being said, think of who is close to you, not just who is "family" that you feel obligated to invite.

  • We had a similar dilemna.  We decided our house was too small for a big invite list.  We decided it was stupid and expensive to rent a place to have a huge party that she'll never remember.  So, we cut the list to just a few family members who we knew really would come, and only friends with kids who Allison regularly plays with.  It worked out really well that way and I'm glad we didn't spend a lot of money and effort for a ridiculously big party.  My friends who don't have kids (who I originally wanted to invite) literally didn't even notice.  1st Birthday parties just aren't on their radar yet lol.
  • I don't really understand differentiating btw. friends with kids and friends without kids for a first birthday party.  The kid has no idea what's going on, so this is really a party for the parents, and parents not inviting their friends to a party because they don't have kids doesn't seem like a very nice thing to do.

    It only gets more complicated as they get older, so I'd keep it simple while you can and stick with family only. 

  • I just posted something similar a few weeks ago. We were thinking about having a party but our house is too small for more than 2 or 3 couples with kids. My family lives out of town so they wouldn't come but I would like to invite some of the women that I work with who have babies, neighbors, and a few of my friends with kids. But we would not be able to jam all those people in here. I looked into renting a place like Gymboree or The Little Gym but its too $$$$.

    So we just decided not to do a birthday party. We are going to do a cake here at home just the three of us and then maybe take her to the children's meusum in Baltimore.

  • I would say to just stick to family. If you plan on having more kids, do you want a have a party that size for each of them? Your DD won't know any different and it will be a lot less stressful on you!
    Married 7.9.05
    DD1 9.24.06
    DS 7.1.08
    twins due 9.7.11 lost twin A at
    DD2 4.7.12
  • I figure we'll have endless future birthdays to worry about planning and entertaining people.  DD's first birthday celebration will be a small family gathering. 
  • I heard one time the suggestion of inviting one other kid = to the age of your kid.  We've sort of done that.

    DD #1's 1rst birthday we did close family only (which happened to be all adults) and one set of couple friends (childless) and no kids.

    Her 2nd birthday, we did the same plus had our neighbors over who have a daughter our daughter's age.

    I figure for her third birthday we'll have maybe 2-3 kids her age.  When she starts preschool this Fall I expect she'll have more friends her age.

    Our house is tiny, so none of the girls' birthday parties will be very big until later - when we'll do stuff at a park or something - but when they're old enough to remember.

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • just a shout-out from someone with no kid:

    i agree with the PP

    "I will say that when I was childless I always felt a little left out when our friends with kids wouldn't invite us to events like this.  I think they thought we wouldn't be interested.  But, I always felt like I so rarely got to see my friends with kids that I would be thrilled to be invited to anything they were putting on!  So I do think it is nice of you to want to include your childless friends."

    i agree with this 100%

    i have a friend here that i have known for years, did her bachelorette party, baby shower, traveled together , invite over to our house etc...yet I found out accidentially through another friend when her daughters 5th birthday party was. 50 something people were invited but not DH or I...b/c we don't have kids. i was very hurt. we have no family here and I love my friends and their kids. i don't get to see them very often b/c of normal life business so it stinks just to be left out of a milestone like that b/c you don't have a kid. i enjoy the company of other adults and seeing their children as well. if things get that boring or uncomfortable i can leave, but i am guessing any friend you would want to invite to the birthday party is a close enough friend that would want to see the cake smash etc. i've played scavenger hunts at other parties, blew up balloons, ran around backyards FWIW don't leave people off just b/c they have no children.

  • Just echoing SStrug's comments, I feel similarly, esp as a currently childless person who works with and LOVES children!  
    ***Jean & Kevin * July 9, 2005 ***
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