2 min read

Birthday Invite Etiquette?

My son's 4th birthday is coming up at the end of the month.  I have already decided on the theme (dinosaurs), found some cool and fun decorations through Oriental Trading Company, and have made the invitations. The only thing that I have not finalized is the guest list.

Last year we had well over 75 people at my son's birthday.  Fortunately our house can hold a large number of people and we have a big backyard. Too bad it rained last year and we had to have most of the party inside. This year it looks like Mother Nature is still playing hardball and we'll have some snow still left on the ground for this year's party.

Last year's party was great, but a little overwhelming for most guests.  For us, 75 is doable, tiring, but doable.  My husband comes from a large family. Each of his four siblings are married with children. My kids are 2 of the 17 grandchildren on my husband's side. A regular family gathering with his immediate family and my parents is 31 people. So no matter what a family party is going to be big, what's another 40 people?

This year my husband asked me to limit the guest list to 50 people...including his family. That leaves me with the ability to invite only 16 more people to my son's birthday.  Not a big deal to some, but a big deal to me. I hate leaving people out. I always invite everybody and I'm always shocked that we get more yes's than no's.  Hence, 75 people coming to a 3 year old's birthday party.  If you've never been to a party where the guest of honor has 15 cousins, it's a bit overwhelming. Some of last year's guests stayed on the outskirts and commented on our large family. We're so used to it, it doesn't even faze us anymore.

March seems to be the birthday month for most of son's friends. We have already been invited to 5 other birthday parties and I'm already having to decline the invitation to one because we can't fit it all in. Here's the thing...I can't extend the same invitation to all of them and invite them to my son's birthday so do I: a) leave it to just family? or b) invite a very small group of friends and realize that I might be hurting someone's feelings because I can't invite them?

Option C would be to have a separate party for my son's friends...but it still means that I'm preparing a party for 75 people, but in two different groups, more work, and more time.  I'm just not ready to do option C until my son is kindergarten. Is that ridiculous?

There's my dilemma have a party for 50 or if I added everyone up I think I'm now up to around 90.  Any advice for birthday invite etiquette?