Party Planning 101 – Guests, Invites and More!

Party Planning 101 – Guests, Invites and More!

- in 2023 Editions, Magazine, March 2023

Celebrating your little one’s birthday with a party? Here’s a few tips and tricks to help you manage your guest list, pick the perfect venue and send out invites for your child’s special occasion. 

Guest List

The first thing you’ll need to consider is who you are inviting to celebrate. While you might feel the need to invite everyone in your circle, trimming the list will help keep the celebration much more manageable. 

According to Emily Post Etiquette, a good rule of thumb is “one guest for each year of your child’s age, plus one.” So, a 5-year-old’s birthday party would have six guests. 

For younger children, parties typically involve family and close friends. However, once they hit school age, children may want to start inviting their classmates or teammates to celebrate. 

It’s not uncommon to host two separate parties, one for family and one for friends. Or, if you’re having primarily a family party, just invite one or two special friends over so your child doesn’t get overwhelmed.  


Digital invitations are a modern and convenient way to invite your guests to your celebration using a phone number or email address. Many digital invitation services let you pick a theme, upload photos of the person you’re celebrating and make a gift registry or wish list. You can also set up automatic reminders for your guests in the days leading up to the party.

An invite by mail is always an exciting thing to receive, especially for children. If you’d rather send a paper invitation by mail try drug stores, big box stores or apps such as TouchNote or VistaCreate, which have a variety of print designs to choose from and allow you to print  easily from the online options. It’s also a good way to send thank you’s when the party ends. 

Either way you choose, make sure to include important information such as the date, time and location of the event as well as the deadline to RSVP. Some invites also allow for gift registry information. If you’re inviting mostly children, it’s a good idea to specify if parents are expected to stay with their child for the duration of the party.  

If your child is inviting school friends, make sure to check with their teacher to see what the classroom policy is for handing out invitations. 

Party Location 

Are you hosting at home or using a venue? There are benefits to both. An at-home party can be more cost effective and allow you to control things such as time of day for the party, food and guest count. Hosting a party at an entertainment venue (such as a play place, bowling alley, or even the zoo) is usually more all-inclusive and doesn’t require you to do much, except show up and have fun. 

 A few things to consider if you’re hosting at home:  

-Will it be indoors or outdoors

-How will you keep food heated or chilled

-What type of seating will you need

-Will you need entertainment such as a balloon twister, face painter, bounce house, special characters, games or animal encounters 

-Are there rooms or items in your home that are off limits for guests 

 A few things to consider if you’re hosting at a venue: 

-Make sure they have your date and desired party time (venues can book several months in advance, so the earlier you plan, the better)

-Ask about number of guests and if there are extra charges for additional guests

-Do they let you bring in your own food/cake or do you have to order from the venue or a preferred caterer

-How long is the party and how much time will you have beforehand to set up 

-Do they provide items such as plates, cups, decorations, or do you need to bring those items 

-What type of entertainment is provided

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