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Challenge: Happy Birthday!

Birthday Party Etiquette

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Birthday Party Etiquette


Little Dude’s long awaited Birthday Party is finally here! He has been so excited to celebrate his birthday with all of his friends at the bounce place. It’s also, maybe the last time he will see some his friends since we are moving in 2 weeks. I started planning his party a month ago. I scheduled the date with the bounce place and mailed out invitations.

It is a little shocking at the number of RSVP’s I had received. Not all the guests had responded and I had to give a final number to the bounce place. On the party invitations, I gave guests a date to RSVP by and 3 ways they could RSVP; my email, cell number to call or text. And I still had to follow up with several guests. It made me wonder if RSVP’ing is a thing of the past.

I understand that things need to happen prior to RSVP’ing, the calendar needs to be checked, schedules have to be coordinated, etc. However, I do feel that a phone call, text, or email to the party host is appropriate to let them know if your child won’t be attending or will be attending. If you did RSVP and then something happened any you can no longer make it let the party host know as soon as possible.

Check out our list of Birthday Party Etiquette for both the party hosts and the party guests. And remember if you are unsure how to handle a situation always refer to how you would feel if you are the party host or the party guest.

Birthday Party Etiquette For Both The Party Hosts & The Party Guest


Mail, hand deliver, or email out invitations 1 month ahead of time. Make sure to include host’s contact information, email address, phone number, and the date you would like people to RSVP by. If you are inviting twins or siblings, make sure to give each child an invitation.


Always RSVP. Whether or not you can go. It is always nice to let the host know in advance so they know how much food & drinks they need, goodie bags to have or even to know for planning purposes.

RSVP’d yes, but now something came up and you can’t make it. Let the host know ASAP especially if it is a destination party.

Do I Stay or go…

Find out ahead of time if it is a drop off the party or if it requires the parents to stay. My Little Dude is only 5 years old, we always plan on staying. However, with kids 8 years old and older definitely check with the parents. Also, if you don’t know the family or are not comfortable leaving your child staying is always a great option. Some hosts appreciate the extra set of hands.

Destination Parties…

If the party is at a different location then the hosts home, park or at an activity center; check with the host. Sometimes an adult is required to stay or a signed waiver is required for participation in the activity.


Decide on a price amount for a gift. $15- $20 is enough to spend on a child. Remember to include a card and wrapping paper. Always include the gift receipt. Duplicates happen, the child may have it already, or the child doesn’t like it. Make it easy for the parents and attach the gift receipt. Do not re-gift.

Goodie Bags…

A nice gesture but definitely not required. A goodie bag could be a small bag of treats, a small item, or a specialty wrapped cookie.

Twins or Sibling…

One party…

The parents are having one party for both children. Buy two (2) gifts. Some people buy one big gift for both children. However, most twins parents want their twins to be seen as individuals and prefer two separate gifts.

Two Parties…

The parents had individual parties for each child. Then bring a separate gift to each party!

Then in reverse, if your child invites twins to their birthday party each twin should get a separate invitation and each twin should bring a gift for the birthday child.

Siblings same rules, siblings ages could be different and they could be different genders buy two gifts one for each child.

Can Siblings Come to the Party?…

If the siblings don’t get an invitation probably not. It’s a question for the a party host that should be asked prior to the party. Life happens. Reach out to the party host as soon as possible.

Thank You Cards…

They are a must and often times forgotten. Have your child help in some way, write them out, or have them write their name. Sending an email thank you is always an option too.

Something I missed or something you think I should add? Let me know in a comment below.

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