Okay, apologies in advance but I need to rant about the whole birthday party RSVP thing.
Bit of a controversial one possibly, but where does everyone stand on RSVPing to birthday invites?
Because I stand very firmly on the ‘don’t be a dick and just fucking reply to it’ side of the fence.
Do you do it straight away, or stick it in a drawer somewhere never to be seen again? To leave the poor parents forking out hundreds of pounds on parties not knowing whether your kid is going to show up or not.
A rant about birthday party RSVP etiquette
See, I told you this was going to be a bit of a rant. And birthday party RSVP etiquette is an angry topic for me right now.
Last month saw us have the ‘birthday weekend’ of the year. And no, I’m not showing off about how bloody amazingly I throw a birthday party. I’m saying that it is our ‘only’ birthday weekend of the year. All three of my boys’ have their birthdays within three days. The twins’ was on the Saturday and the eldest turned seven on the Monday so it was a weekend of birthday parties on both days.
On the one hand it was pretty good planning – get it all out of the way in a oner, then spend the next six months refilling the bank account ready to empty it again at Christmas.
On the other hand, it was pretty BAD planning. Three birthdays in three days is not only full on and hectic. It is ridiculously fucking expensive!
But we are where we are, and a three-day period of absolute sodding carnage takes place in our house every year.
Apart from this year, I was determined to take the easy way out when it came to parties. And just pay someone else to have the stress of running them.
I’ve done a hall party – I’ll never do one again
Been there done that with a hall/bouncy castle/non soft play party. Will not be repeating it. I put on a joint hall party for their second and fourth birthdays and as much as it was flipping awesome (even if I do say so myself), I will never do it again. Think 35 kids in a school sports hall, a ball pool, a bouncy castle, 10 push along ‘diddi’ cars, and an inflatable track. Making meals for all the kids in Happy Meal type cardboard boxes, loading up party bags, and basically being responsible for them all having an great time. Whilst at the same time waiting for the other mums’ approval that it was a ‘good’ one. Because you KNOW how much we all like to judge. I think the gin and tonic in the party bags helped on that front. For the mums obviously, not the kids!
It was all lovely, but I vowed then, I’d never do it again. It was a LOT of effort.
So three years down the line, I opted for a trampoline party for 24 kids on the Saturday, followed by a soft play party for another 17 kids on the Sunday. On the Monday, I spent most of the day in a darkened room to recover.
Which takes me back to the original question about the whole birthday party RSVP subject.
Clearly parents don’t share my views on birthday party RSVP etiquette!
Despite chasing many, MANY mums in Foundation (not to be sexist, but it’s generally the mums that tend to deal with this stuff), two had STILL not replied right up until the day before the party.
The invite had my number on it, with an RSVP date – as obviously I had to pay these places for the pleasure of entertaining my children. And for those who are not in the know, venues that put on parties, amazing as they are, are not cheap. You’re talking anywhere between £11 and £15 a head for a birthday party these days. So yes, without spelling it out, we spent a LOT of money.
Parents know all of this, having done the same themselves. So you’d like to think they know the birthday party RSVP etiquette. Which for those still not clear at the back, is that you reply to the invite as soon as possible, and most DEFINITELY by the date stated. So as not to leave the poor parents wondering whether that particular little darling is gracing us with their presence at the party – and more importantly whether or not we should fork out the money for their place.
Deadline day came and went, and I had to chase about 8 mums. Most of which replied apologetically and said they could come.
A lost cause
On the day before the party, and approximately 10 days post deadline I’d still not heard from two. One of which I have no clue who they are – and the invite could very well still be screwed up in the bottom of the book bag, as I never heard from or saw them. Total lost cause.
The other of which I messaged again personally – to be ignored.
So I’m sorry, but what am I supposed to do with that?
Do I pay the £12.50 it’s costing me per head for her child, *just in case the mum decides to show up? Or do I say tough shit – no reply, no party.
Or even better – make her pay if she comes (which is what I’d REALLY have liked to do but know I would never have had the nerve on the day. Because actually I’m a nice person).
I’m sorry, but it’s just DAMN RUDE not to reply to an RSVP especially when you’ve had a personal text from the person who’s invited you.
I know all the excuses, and yes, we’re ALL busy parents. Every single one of us. And we forget things. You need to add it to the to do list like everything else we have to remember, maybe?
It’s not rocket science
It’s one quick text. It’s not like you even have to tear off and fill in the RSVP strip at the bottom of the invite like in ‘our day’. (Might be showing my age a bit there…)
In the end I messaged her again the night before the party saying that because I’d not heard from her, I’d not paid for her child’s place. The last thing I wanted was for her to turn up and it be awkward. Although of course I’d have begrudgingly paid. But that’s not the point!
You know when she finally replied? Ten minutes AFTER the start of the party, wishing them a happy birthday.
Funnily enough that child won’t be invited next time. In fact, will there even be a next time?! The amount children’s parties cost, whether it’s a hall, or at a venue, we could take all three to Legoland for the weekend.
And at least I won’t need RSVPs for that…
How did I do?
Did you enjoy this post? Why not check out a few more. You may like The Ridiculous Things Mums Stress Over When Throwing A Kid’s Birthday Party, The Highs and Lows Of Throwing A Kid’s Birthday Party, or 10 Tips On Throwing A Birthday Party At Home. Or if you fancy having a giggle at some of my other parenting rants, head over to read some of my Mum Life posts. Or check out my Travel Section for some UK holidays and days out inspiration.
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