“I Wanna Take 35 Friends to Luna Park!” and Other Guest Stress Dilemmas

August 18, 2017

bee box parties guest stress dilemmas blog

If we let kids plan birthday parties, each one would be “epic”. They would invite the entire class, anyone under 12 that lives in your suburb and the grocer down the road that sells their favourite ice cream. And a live Pokemon would jump out of the cake. Which would be made entirely of icing and fashioned into their favourite footy player. And the celebration would last until their next birthday. Oh, and each guest would take home a new puppy as a a party favour.

The finer points of negotiating the party planning aspects with the birthday child can feel a little bit like being poked repetitively and ferociously with a rusty fork; and guest lists are often first on the agenda. So, here are a couple of loose guidelines to get you through to the fun parts. (Like choosing decorations, menu options and themes, as well as your wine list for the evening after):

  • Decide on a location and venue first. This may make decisions for you and give a firm starting point. Also, you can legitimately blame the venue for not being allowed to invite 143 of your child’s closest friends (and their pets).
  • Give invitations directly to the class teacher to avoid disappointment on tiny faces. From experience, extravagant public invitation hand out ceremonies not only lead to upsetting some kids, but also creates the little discussed practice of guilted invites; “Oh, you’re sad that little Calypso Frangellica didn’t ask you to her party little boy I’ve never seen or heard of before? I must have left your invitation at home! Here’s a spare.” A guaranteed number bumper. Do not take invitations into the playground.
  • As kids get older, they crystallise into more concrete groups (or in some cases, cut throat cliques). This means you will gradually be able to invite less kids. In later years, smaller celebration “occasions” with a higher cost per invitee are possible. Until then, hold tight and plan ahead. (I’m thinking you’ll need 100ml of wine per invitee for your own after party).
  • If you aren’t sure how you will possibly fit in every man and his dog you’ve ever met, think about splitting the celebrations. An after school play at the park with netball friends, cupcakes for the whole class, or a family dinner might be ways to streamline the party itself. Plus, your kid will get to milk to celebrations for a few extra days. Win win.

Birthday parties are meant to be fun - not just for your child, but also for you, the host. With a little forward planning (and a lot of wine following) you can leave the guest invite stress behind and focus on the sound of oohs and ahhs coming from your fabulous shindig.