Author Topic: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?  (Read 3941 times)

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Betelnut

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"Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« on: January 24, 2012, 01:32:14 PM »
Hello all:

I was wondering if it would be weird or tacky to essentially "overbook" on invitations to my daughter's birthday party that is coming up at the end of March.

Background:

My daughter has never really had a "big" birthday party but this year she really wanted to have a party at the local indoor pool.  When I went to book it, the limit was 20 kids which sounded like a lot at first.  Now I'm realizing that in between church, kindergarten, day care, dance and girl scouts that we may actually have MORE than 20 kids especially because the small group activities (dance and girl scouts) make inviting only 1-2 girls very awkward.  Dance and Girl Scouts would already be about 12 girls.  (We may just leave out inviting any of the Girl Scout girls because my daughter hasn't made a lot of friends there yet.)   Yet, even if we leave out Girl Scouts, we still make have a potential list of 25 kids!

End BG

So, do you think it is crazy just to invite the 25 girls (or however many), assuming that some won't do able to make it?  The pool is open to the public during the party and I would very happily pay extra for the any child that does show up but the actual party area is small and I'm not sure if there is seating for the extras.  The pool staff did say that I could order extra food the day of the party (they provide pizzas that are ordered out) so if I know more people are coming I could simply order more food.  I'm just worried that there might be seating issues plus only 20 kids/names can be on the "official list" that will be let in free at the door.  Even I have to be on the list if I don't want to pay to get into the pool!

Is overbooking rude or tacky or worth the risk?  In my very limited experience, 25% don't come (and they let me know that they wouldn't be there) but that is based on the one party I have thrown for my daughter and only 4 kids were invited to that!
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yokozbornak

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 01:43:18 PM »
I did this last year for my DD's birthday party.  The ask people to limit the party size to 20, and I invited 25.  We had 17 kids RSVP and 19 show-up so it worked out fine although I was a little antsy that we would go over.  My DD wanted to invited everyone, too, and I gambled that not everyone would show up.


Like you, I knew the place where we booked would be fine if 21 or 22 showed up (I called and asked before inviting 25) or else I wouldn't have gambled inviting more than the venue allowed. 

cicero

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 01:59:43 PM »
I've never done that kind of party - but i think you have to ask yourself "what do i do if 25 (or more) girls do show up?" - not enough chairs/room for them? they might feel like an afterthought? if it was *just* the matter of paying for the extra guests, that would be one thing - but i would be concerned that there wouldn't be room in the party room

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Hmmmmm

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 05:55:51 PM »
I'm not clear.  What happens if 21 guests appear?  Are they not admited to the pool or will they end up having to pay an entrance fee?  Does the 20 limit include you and your DD?

Is there a party area with tables and it only has seating for 20 guests?  If that's an issue, just throw out beach towels on the ground and let your DD and a couple of her guests sit on the towels when having the food. 

jpcher

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 06:46:25 PM »
I'm not clear.  What happens if 21 guests appear?  Are they not admited to the pool or will they end up having to pay an entrance fee?  Does the 20 limit include you and your DD?

Is there a party area with tables and it only has seating for 20 guests?  If that's an issue, just throw out beach towels on the ground and let your DD and a couple of her guests sit on the towels when having the food.

This might be a safety issue and not allowed by the venue. Also some places have rooms with a restricted occupancy level.

OP -- double check with the venue. They did say that you could order extra food, so it does sound like it's okay if other people show up. You'll just have to pay extra for whatever is outside of their package deal.

Gently saying, sometimes I'm confused about the rules but that's only because I didn't ask the questions in the right way or thought I did and they misunderstood. (Like you asking about extra food and guests, but not about seating at the tables.)

Also, you mentioned that the entrance guest list that they will have is limited to 20 people . . . that's the amount of people they cover in your package. You could have an extra list at the front desk saying "I will pay extra for these people" that way there is no confusion that these people are actually part of your party and you don't have to be at the front desk with cash in hand.

I know this because I've held parties for more than the package deal included. ;) The venues I had were very accommodating, but we had everything spelled out up front. All the "What if's" were taken care of.


Write out a list of questions/suggestions/concerns . . . no matter how petty they might seem and call the venue back.


I would hate to invite 25 people and have a problem with the venue at the time of the party if all 25 show up.


The other thing to consider is . . . how old is your DD? Will some parents want to stay? (I'm not saying that you need to pay for the parents and they most definitely should not eat the kids food . . . but will there be space enough in the room for extra adults?)


Good luck and have fun with it! Hopefully the party planner at your pool will be extremely helpful.

hyzenthlay

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 07:17:14 PM »
I have never seen 25 kids all sit down at the same time outside of a classroom ;D

You won't need seating fro 25, just room for everyone to be able to sing happy Birthday and grab some cake. The rest of the time at least some of the will be swimming.

I think you're probably fine.

bopper

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 01:56:32 PM »
I would invite the 25...no way that many kids are coming.

Betelnut

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 11:21:37 AM »
I'm not clear.  What happens if 21 guests appear?  Are they not admited to the pool or will they end up having to pay an entrance fee?  Does the 20 limit include you and your DD?

Is there a party area with tables and it only has seating for 20 guests?  If that's an issue, just throw out beach towels on the ground and let your DD and a couple of her guests sit on the towels when having the food.

I am essentially paying for 20 people and a party "area" so yes, the 20 include me and kid who will be turning 6.

If more than 20 show up, they would be admiteed but would need to pay for it (I would pay, that is).  The party area is limited and is inside in a hallway--the pool is at the local high school.  It might be too cool for wet kids to be outside (all depends on the weather in April which can be variable).
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Betelnut

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 11:23:06 AM »
I have never seen 25 kids all sit down at the same time outside of a classroom ;D

You won't need seating fro 25, just room for everyone to be able to sing happy Birthday and grab some cake. The rest of the time at least some of the will be swimming.

I think you're probably fine.

Good point but the food will definitely be served at one time.  They will be squirmy but since most are 5-6 years old they are used to sitting down for school, etc. so that is less of an issue.
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Betelnut

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 11:24:11 AM »
I would invite the 25...no way that many kids are coming.

That's what I think!  I will invite more than twenty, hopefully GET 20 responses and will be able to provide the pool with a list of confirmed kids.  If people show up who didn't confirm, I will pay for them extra.
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Roe

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2012, 07:24:21 PM »
I would invite the 25 but definitely no more.  For a place that doesn't put a limit, I usually invite about 5-7 more than I would like to show up.  ;)

Only once, did EVERYONE show up.  I have three kids and never thought that would happen but luckily, I always plan, financially...just in case.  We basically had the entire back room of the pizza place.  It was crazy.  Like 60 people showed up.  Ha!  It was an expensive party but boy, it was one for the record books!  We still laugh about it. :D 


WestAussieGirl

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2012, 08:23:03 PM »
I just had my daughter's birthday party.  It's in the school holidays so I counted on some people being away.  I wanted 20 kids. I invited 24.  I ended up with 26.

I would check with the venue and only invite the number that can be comfortably accommodated.

Betelnut

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2012, 08:56:59 AM »
Good points everyone.
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emeraldsage85

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2012, 08:53:17 PM »
Just to be on the safe side I wouldn't overbook. If you really are going to do it though, I'd say one or two more kids, not five.

blarg314

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Re: "Overbooking" a child's party--tacky?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2012, 10:57:43 PM »

What would happen if you overbook and everyone comes?

Either you will have to change the venue of the party completely at the last minute, or you will have to phone families and dis-invite the children. The first is potentially very complicated (and only really possible if you haven't told people what the plans were), the second is horribly, horribly rude.

If it were a case of cost, or being a bit crowded, I'd say go for it, because you could manage if hte party were a bit bigger than expected. But for a venue with a hard limit (and for a pool, that limit is safety based), only invite the number you can actually handle.