Booked Parties

The Guest List

Creating a guest list for your child’s birthday party is no easy task and if you are anything like me you are always adding people at the last minute–either because your child has a growing list of friends as they get older, or because they tend to verbally invite other children in passing. 

It’s hard to know where to draw the line.  

Parties for one year olds tend to be smaller in size and are more for the parents than the child.  It’s a time for parents to gather their family and friends and capture some cute photos.

As your child get’s older and there are more friends in the mix you need to decide if you want to host an intimate party for a small group of friends or if you want to have a larger gathering.  If your child is in mommy and me classes inviting a handful of friends should be suffice but if your child is in a pre-school program, it seems to be common to invite the whole class. Such is the case for kindergarten and first grade too.

By the time children enter second grade birthday parties tend to decrease in size-with parties either splitting up into all girls or all boys parties or with children inviting a smaller group of friends. By fourth grade and beyond the guest list is down to a few close friends. 

Hosting an event that’s manageable for both you and your guests will make it more enjoyable all round.  

Here are a few tips;

  1. Decide how many children you feel comfortable inviting—does the party venue have a capacity or if you are hosting a house party, how many children do you feel comfortable having in your home?
  2. Budget—how much money do you want to spend on the whole event?
  3. Create a list of all of your child’s friends from their various activities–school friends, neighborhood friends, etc. Try to spend time going through the list with your child.
  4. Talk to your child about the guest list and how to use discretion when talking to classmates about the party.
  5. Avoid hurt feelings by mailing invitations or better still send an evite so you can track the RSVP’s. 
  6. Consider hosting an all-girls or an all-boys party as your child get’s older to cut down your guest list.
  7. Host two events–one for friends and another for family members. 
  8. When sending invitations indicate how many children the invitation is for. Are siblings invited too?


For more planning tips, please take a look at some of our free printables on Pinterest.  

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