Birthday Planning Woes

January 25, 2009 by Kailani  
Filed under random thoughts

Girlie Girl has a birthday coming up and we’re planning on having it at Lisa Rose Tea & Doll House. It’s a place I’ve been dreaming of having her birthday ever since the day she was born. It’s all pink and pretty and girly. They girls will get manicures, pedicures, new hair styles, dress up in princess costumes, and even put on a fashion show. When I showed Girlie Girl the website, she was so excited! She immediately started making her guest list.

The only problem is that the party package is for only 8 girls including the birthday girl.  You may pay extra for every additional child which we will probably have to do. However, who do we invite?

  • Option 1: Invite all her female classmates.
  • Option 2: Invite only her closest friends.

Option 2 probably sounds like the most logical choice but some of her friends are in her class and I’m worried that the other girls will feel left out. You know how girls talk.

What would you do?

About the author:
Owner and founder of An Island Life. Sharing my life as a mother to 3 wonderful daughters, working as a flight attendant, and living a blessed life in Hawaii.


48 Responses to “Birthday Planning Woes”
  1. witchypoo says:

    At $25 extra per child, I would go with the closest friends. You want it special, not a class event. Who is going to manage all those kids?

  2. Emily says:

    I would go with option 2 because option 1 sounds like it could get really expensive. It might be too chaotic to have more girls there too. Good Luck! It sounds like either way you go, your little girl is going to love her party.

  3. AmyG says:

    Wow… that looks like a lot of fun! I would just invite her closest friends… but that’s because it would be all I could afford, lol.

  4. Megan says:

    I agree with the others, only invite her closest friends. We usually mail the invites to the girls, rather than hand them out in class. We also put a small note in the invite that says something to the effect that not everyone in the class is invited, so please keep quiet about the party so others don’t get their feelings hurt.
    Hope it goes well!

  5. Rach (Heart of Rachel)f says:

    I think it would be more meaningful to invite her close friends.

    I visited the site. I think it’s a wonderful and memorable way to celebrate a young girl’s birthday.

  6. Qtpies7 says:

    She can’t have close memories with 12-20 girls, right? With only 7 friends, she will have better memories with all of them.

    She’ll just have to say that her mom would only let her invite 7 friends, and that is that.

    I have never done the invite everyone in class party. Life isn’t like that, and we need to learn it from the beginning.

    My dd is 12 and her friends are only allowed to have 2-3 friends over for a sleepover, so sometimes she is left out and sometimes she has to leave someone out. She hasn’t been scarred from it, and actually hasn’t pouted about being the one out.

    It will be fine if you stick with the 8 people party. You’ll see! I bet that if someone in the class whines about it, their mom will totally get that you can’t be expected to pay that much for every girl your dd knows, and will calm her child down.

  7. Naomi says:

    I’ve been waffling over that problem, too, since Roo will turn 5 in March and she’s already been to several birthday parties from her preschool classmates.

    I think if you are having to pay extra for each child, you should definitely limit it to close friends. Just given the age group, though, I might try to call the girls’ parents to let them know that not everyone in class will be attending. You might even ask the parents not to tell the kids until the last minute so there isn’t any teasing or feeling left out at school. Then again, they are 12 year old girls so they are pretty much at the age of teasing, no matter what!

    And it is a valuable life lesson to realize not everyone gets to go to the same parties and just because you’re all in the same class doesn’t mean you’re best friends. Have you asked Girlie Girl what she would like to do? I think when I was her age Castle Park with your entire class was the big thing to do. I am sure times have changed!

  8. Alexandria says:

    How many girls are in your daughter’s class? That’s another thing you could look at. Maybe, if there’s only 9 girls (including your daughter) then why not invite all of them? However, if there’s just too many girls there, then I would agree to just her closest friends.

    At my son’s school (he’s in Junior Kindergarden); we can send invites and the teacher will make sure they go into the specific agendas/homework books. That way the other students don’t even see them. You could ask the teacher is he or she would be willing to do that for you.

  9. Sues2u2 says:

    I totally understand that one! I really like what # 8 Alexandria, said. She really nailed it. You do have to place some kind of limit on it & just go w/ your gut. It’s okay to not invite everyone. This isn’t going to be a picnic where inviting tons of people would actually work.

    Just explain to girlie girl. Betcha she’ll be more agreeable than you might think. Have fun! That sounds like a blast!

  10. Renee says:

    That’s kind of the bummer. If you’ve been receiving invites to all fo GG’s classmates parties then it would seem that the norm is to invite everyone.
    However, in this case I’m gonna go with the majority here…she really can’t have a memory with a ton of girls.

    I’ve had to FORCE DD to limit how many kids she invites to her parties because she just gets overwhelmed by all the activity and doesn’t have a good time at her own party. I think her best party was last year when she invited her two best friends over. This year she wants a big party but only some will stay the night. I hope she knows what she’s doing. LOL!

  11. Sweet Child Kisses says:

    I am getting ready to plan a party for my son. So many deatails and stuff to do. I would probably go with option 2, then the good friends don’t get left out for the not so good friend classmates.

  12. LissaL says:

    As a mom of 4, I agree with the majority here. Sometimes difficult decisions must be made. However maybe you could bring cupcakes or something else to share with the class for her birthday? That way everyone gets to share in her special day. Whatever you decide, I know that you heart is in the right place!

  13. Cat @ 3 Kids and Us says:

    I would go with closest friends as well.

  14. sagemom says:

    I’d invite just the closest friends.

    She’s going to have so much fun! All my co-workers who have girls that had parties there said their daughters just loved it!!!

    I’m sure it would be fun for us “older” girls to get manis and pedis and dress up too =).

  15. Mozi Esmes Mommy says:

    I’m with the majority on this one… Though if she’s having trouble coming up with the 8, you might suggest inviting someone who may not get a lot of invites – a “special” person she’d like to become friends with…

  16. Pamela Kramer says:

    Honestly I would invite the class because you know they all won’t show up. That’s what usually happens. Stress the importance of RSVP so you can get a close number and then you will have a better idea.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    Our kids’ school doesn’t allow party invitations to be passed out unless everyone gets one. I’m thinking you’re going to need to handle the invitations privately, and I think Naomi is right-you might need to encourage your daughter to keep birthday talk to a minimum at school so no one feels left out.

    I wish we had a place like that Lisa Rose Tea & Doll House here, Kaitlyn would be ecstatic! Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  18. Jen E @ mommablogsalot says:

    I think closest friends is the most realistic – it’s her birthday party and she should have her favorite people there to enjoy it with her – and inviting everybody (even people she may not be close with at all?) could get expensive.

  19. Dee says:

    dicey situation…….I have no advice, but let me know how her special day goes!

  20. Rita @ My Precious Pennies says:

    I would invite just her closest friends to the special thing, and then maybe let her take cupcakes to school for her actual birthday. Or even just have this massive playdate for everyone else, so no one feels left out but you won’t have to take out a loan to afford it.

    Ultimately, it shouldn’t really matter too much. After all, you don’t have sleepovers with your ENTIRE female class. If you have some type of open celebration (i.e. take donuts or cupcakes for everyone), and then have a close more private solution it should be fine.

  21. maria says:

    invite her closest friends to the makeover party, but maybe have a much cheaper, at home party where you can invite everyone. I have done this in the past, except it’s usually something like a hockey game, because, well boys don’t like pedis…lol.

  22. Cathie says:

    I would have a small party at home for classmates the day before the child’s birthday and have the girls that are attending the tea party spend the night then have the special day. in the invitation of the girls spending the night include that it is just a few going at to keep that on the qt. We actually did something like that for my granddaughters birthday only it was just a few spending the night…..The little “extra” home party would be a lot less than trying to take so many girls to the Tea Party.

  23. The Social Frog says:

    I would only invite her close friends to something like that, then maybe on another day have a small party with all of her classmates to celebrate :)

  24. jenn(ifer) says:

    I think I would go for Option 2. Honestly, the other kids will get over it in a matter of minutes. :)

  25. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    We’ve struggled with that before too. What we did for Hannah’s party last fall was invite just the few friends from her class that she wanted to invite, but didn’t send the invitations to school – we sent them directly to the kids’ homes. It’s just so expensive, and really they have so much more fun when it’s the kids they really get along and like playing with. Besides, they celebrate at school by taking treats in on their birthday anyway. :)

  26. Alicia @ Experiencing Each Moment says:

    Megan (#4) said exactly what I was thinking.

  27. tracey says:

    At age 8, they should be aware that life isn’t always fair. It sucks, but we can’t all be invited to ALL of the parties. This is a good opportunity for Girlie and her friends to practice not bragging about opportunities that not everyone can have.

    Sounds like fun. Hope it goes fabulously!

  28. Heather Lessiter says:

    I’d invite the closest friends, but don’t send the invites to school. That is one sure-fire way to hurt feelings. My son is 11 and I’ve always let him have as many friends as his age (6 when he was 6, etc.).

  29. Asianmommy says:

    I think it depends on the culture of the school. If everyone invites every girl, then I’d be more likely to include all the girls. If not, then I’d have no problem choosing close friends.

  30. common mom says:

    Go with the closest friends. My kids have never been able to invite the entire class. They get to invite their closest friends, and that’s that. We NEVER hand out invitations in class. Always put them in snail mail or send an email invite. If we don’t have snail mail addresses, we leave a note for the parents in the child’s folder at school and ask them to call us so we can get it.

    My kids are never allowed to talk about their birthday party, or any party they’re invited to, at school.

    So, I guess my advice is to keep it separate from school and invite only those closest friends. Your child (and you!) will have much more fun that way :-)

  31. Melissa says:

    I know it’s hard, but I would say just the closest friends.
    If you’re really worried about it, maybe you could do a really simple cake and ice cream party at a park for all the girls in the class one day and then the tea party for her close friends another day. Good luck!

  32. Busymama Kellie says:

    That place sounds like fun, I’ve always wondered about it! I’d go with the friends, although the majority of my daughter’s close friends in the group are boys so I doubt they’d have much fun there… Let me know if it’s worth going to!

  33. Cathi says:

    Hi Kailani,
    Close friends. Very simple. Hard, but simple. It may even be harder for you than Girlie Girl. A smaller group will get along better with each other and no one will get lost in a crowd. You can mail the invitations rather then passing thm out at school. That might help anyone from feeling left out. Limit the group to friends she spends time with and never argues or fights with. Friends she has been close to for a while. Friends with moms that you like too!! :)

  34. Lissete says:

    Definitely option2. Rule of thumb that I always followed for these type of parties was invite the age. Say my daughter was turning 7, I would invite 6 + my daughter. Sometimes I would do the age + the birthday girl. (7+1)

    Now, house parties were a different story! :)

  35. Rebekeh says:

    Really what do you do?
    My baby turned one in Oct. and I was just going to have a quiet birthday at home. Not like the big luau we did for our older girl. Before I knew it we had 48 people in our little house! But it was fun. And the kids got to wear the Halloween costumes (her b-day is close to Halloween). But how do you balance it so other don’t feel left out?

    On another note – fun to hear about this place. We are traveling to Hawaii in May for Miss M’s 5th b-day. We might have to check it out~

  36. Jennifer says:

    At that price, I would choose her closest of friends. Then, if she wants have a larger party later on outside.

  37. Muthering Heights says:

    I would probably just invite her closest friends…if you’re worried about other kids feeling hurt, you could always do a casual little party for the whole class!

  38. Angela says:

    Oh! I can’t wait to see pictures (I hope you’ll post them!). You and GG are gonna have a GREAT time!

    As far as the great debate over Option1/2, I’m with the majority…closest friends-only. Not just because of the money (though, that would definitely influence my decision), but also because limiting the number of girls limits the amount of drama. (And with that many girls, you know there’s gonna be drama)

    I would definitely mail the invites (as opposed to handing them out in class), so as to keep the “left out” factor to a minimum.

    Good luck…no matter what you decide, GG is gonna love her party!

  39. VeRonda says:

    Wow! That’s a lot… Is it possible to have two parties? Maybe something bigger at the house and then this one?… I think people will understand if you tell them (either way). I think it’s when you try to hide or pick certain ones when there’s a big group involved. Most importantly, its about her so she is the one who should be made happy. BTW, Hubby’s birthday is coming and I’m in the midst of doing my own planning…

  40. katy says:

    I’d say option 2, but if she has a really hard time choosing one person to toss out, then pay for one more. But definitely not the whole class. The ones who didn’t get invited will get over it :)

  41. Melissa Markham says:

    I’d go with option 2, unless there aren’t too many other girls in the class. If there are only one or two, I might just go on and pay the extra. What you could do is take cupcakes to class if the teacher allows it.

  42. Cindy Lietz, Polymer Clay Tutor says:

    Only invite her friends. It doesn’t seem right to always have to invite all the kids in someone’s class. It also doesn’t seem fair to have to buy presents for kids that your child isn’t friends with.

    I remember when my son was in Kindergarten, he was invited to 13 parties. At $20 a pop that’s $260 and most of them weren’t even his friends.

    The party is about your child and her close friends. Not about who throws the biggest and best parties in the class!

  43. HeatherY says:

    I agree with all the other comments. Sounds like something she will enjoy with her closest friends. I like the suggestion of mailing the invitations. That way there is no big issue in her class. Birthdays are getting a bit out of control these days so it sounds like a great idea.

  44. Autumn @ My MoonBean says:

    I really have to agree with the others, a small party is better. We have gotten to the point where no one wants to hurt anyone’s feelings, or feel disappointment, but life isn’t like that. I think it’s better to start that way from the beginning instead of giving our children that skewed view of the world.

  45. jennifer says:

    I’d go with the majority here…close friends but don’t send the invites to school.

    Next year you can give her the option and ask if she’d rather have a smaller party again or if she’d rather opt for a big pizza party where ALL of the kids can attend. She might opt for the bigger next year….

  46. Amanda says:

    go with #2! We ended up with 15 girls for Sam’s party. We invited all her friends from school. These were the ones she is ALWAYS playing with. We did not invite all of the girls in her class.

    Ask HER who she wants to invite.

  47. Bethany says:

    I’d go with #2– it sounds like it would be really expensive to invite everyone!


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