Author Topic: uninvited guests to birthday party  (Read 5634 times)

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darkprincess

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uninvited guests to birthday party
« on: August 06, 2013, 06:50:25 PM »
We are throwing a birthday party for DD.
 
BG: Invitations will be handed out by DD at daycare. We do not have the names or phone numbers of most of the parents and daycare is not allowed to give out that information. It is a big daycare and it is not possible to hang out and wait around to try to bump into the parents. We are asking DD to ask her friends for their parents phone numbers. We will see how that works out ::)
In the past we have had two different things happen with parties. First almost no one RSVPs. Other parents have told me that this is common. Second many parents will bring siblings (without a RSVP for either child.)
The party is at one of those party places that you can rent out, it is very popular in our town. You reserve a time and pick a party package for a set number of kids. If more children come you are charged $ for each additional kid. Parents can stay at no charge. But all kids are counted. The party lasts 2 hours and is staffed by the party place. The kids are old enough and it is common practice to drop off kids and come back to pick them up.

The location is pretty organized and requires that all parents sign a release form and leave emergency contact information, the form to fill out is actually part of the invitation. This invitation has very clear spots to say who is invited, how to RSVP, the drop off and pick up time, and there are check boxes to mark what will be served. We are doing a package that gives two pieces of pizza and a soda to each child included in the party package. We cannot bring extra food other than cake and bottled water, and we are bringing both.

We had a party there two years ago. Only 1/2 the kids RSVPd, three parents brought siblings. One was too young and was disruptive to the activity. One was fine other than I had to pay extra for them, the third had a disability that we hadn't made accommodations for. This was very frustrating because we had invited other children with special needs and we worked very hard to make sure we could accomadate their needs so they could have a good time. So the third sibling required extra help that we were not prepared for. In addition, two of the siblings demanded gift bags, and the parent of the third asked me where their gift bag was :o During the party I actually had to resort out the bags so I had enough and I took the one I was going to give to my daughter and gave that one away too.

So I am looking for ideas on how to deal with the situation this time. Some ideas that I am already working with. DD is trying to collect phone numbers for the kids so I can follow up. At the time of the party, I will stay by the door and greet people who come in. If parents bring siblings I will cheerfully let them know that we expect the party to be over in two hours and the parent and little one can feel free to go do errends or whatever until then ;D If they say they are staying I will let them know that we did not order enough pizza for siblings but if they really need to stay they can pay the money the place will charge me for extra guests so the sibling can at least play. We will make sure all the kids get cake. Then I will escort them to the counter so they can pay. I have called the place and they have told me that this happens allot and they are set up for it.
Instead of gift bags the locations is handing out glow in the dark stuff as part of an activity. I plan on bringing some glowing stuff of my own and any sibling can have some that I brought, but the location is only going to have enough for the set number of kids that I bought the package for. I cannot order extra of this, or extra pizza, or extra soda without purchasing the more expensive party package for a bigger group. And I am not doing this "just in case" someone brings people that weren't even invited.

Any other ideas to prepare for the situation. Or what to do at the party.

Luci

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2013, 07:14:24 PM »
Replan for a small party with parents you know and can rely on, and wait until the young guest of honor is old enough to appreciate it and you will have more reliable and favored guests. I have read many, many horror stories and quandaries that you are asking about here on eHell.

Our children, who can afford something like that, have never planned for people they don't know but do neat stuff (zoo parties, a place like Chuckie Cheeses) for their church friends and others they really know well. The kids remember their parties with fondness.

(We just had home parties in the 70/80's, so don't have the experience you are looking for.)

shhh its me

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 07:36:43 PM »
When is the party?

I'd go with a note addressed to the parents " we'd like to invite you to DD bday party at  name of fun place. call me for the details"

darkprincess

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 07:40:15 PM »
Replan for a small party with parents you know and can rely on, and wait until the young guest of honor is old enough to appreciate it and you will have more reliable and favored guests. I have read many, many horror stories and quandaries that you are asking about here on eHell.

Our children, who can afford something like that, have never planned for people they don't know but do neat stuff (zoo parties, a place like Chuckie Cheeses) for their church friends and others they really know well. The kids remember their parties with fondness.

(We just had home parties in the 70/80's, so don't have the experience you are looking for.)

Too late to redo the party, We have already reserved the location  :) We have done lots of at home parties, and they are great, but daughter really really wants this and we told her if she did X she could pick. She did X, Y, and Z so the party is on. Also our house in not the best at accommodating one of the children's special need. Daughter wants to make sure all of her friends can have a good time and she picked this place because she knows they can fully participate.

She also wants to invite both the friends that we know really well and the kids she sees at daycare that we don't. At the last party that we did this we found out two of the kids we invited were foster kids (our daycare works with child protective service to provide a stable daycare for children who may not have a stable homelife). The foster parents told me that they don't get invited to a lot of things because they don't have a lot of "family friends" so they were thrilled that these kids got to do some of the things that the other kids take for granted. We were able to get to know and become family friends with two of the kids because of the last party. It was great to make new friends.

I guess I know with open eyes that we are walking into the lion den. I am hoping that you etiquette masters can help me find solutions to some of the solvable problems or at least be able to see the problems and come up with some things to prepare for them.

A silver lining is that we have been able to discuss manners because of things like this and daughter knows that we always come on time, RSVP, bring a thoughtful present, never expect a gift bag, say please and thank you, send thank you cards, participate in the games and birthday song, we don't "help" the Guest of Honor open their gifts, we play the games the Guest of Honor wants to play, we share stuff from a pinata and help little kids get pinata stuff too, even if it means we get less, the list goes on and on.
When is the party?

I'd go with a note addressed to the parents " we'd like to invite you to DD bday party at  name of fun place. call me for the details"


I like this, I will talk with my husband and maybe we will live the date, but leave off the time and instead write call me for details.

hobish

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 07:47:39 PM »
When is the party?

I'd go with a note addressed to the parents " we'd like to invite you to DD bday party at  name of fun place. call me for the details"

I have heard other EHellions suggesting that, too. I think Shoo said it worked well for one of her daughter's parties before?
I would love to know what goes through the minds of people who bring extra kids to a birthday party. They can't *all* just be cloddish jerks, can they? They have to have some sort of reason that makes sense to them. I wish I knew. I don't have kids, but i've helped throw them enough times for my nieces and nephews and such. Next time I'm going to bite the bullet and just ask.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
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Luci

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 07:56:39 PM »
Thank you for answering my post! You explained it to me without the "Oh! She's just an old curmudgeon!" You must know that if I was thinking it, many others are too; as in if one student in the class you are teaching asks a question, the must be 3 others who were too shy.

You sound like a thoughtful, caring family, and I wish you luck!

Hopefull

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2013, 10:12:28 PM »
How about when the parents say they intended on the sibling staying then you can let them know how much the place charges for the child to play and that the parents are free. Let them know (if the place does have it) that there is an area for parents to sit while their children are playing. Hopefully they would catch on that you will be in the party are and will not be watching their child as well.

Definitely don't feel bad for not paying for uninvited guests!! Oh and keep us updated! (when is the party)
I felt this thrill going up my leg!

TootsNYC

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2013, 10:23:33 PM »
I actually believe that situations like this should get a dispensation so that you can say, "Classmates only are invited--no siblings."

Hopefull

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 10:24:21 PM »
I actually believe that situations like this should get a dispensation so that you can say, "Classmates only are invited--no siblings."

What Toots said!!
I felt this thrill going up my leg!

snowdragon

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2013, 10:24:54 PM »
I actually believe that situations like this should get a dispensation so that you can say, "Classmates only are invited--no siblings."

What Toots said!!

ITA.

*inviteseller

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2013, 10:45:07 PM »
I swear the non RSVP thing with kids parties is so out of hand!  All of the parties I have thrown for my DD's have been an exercise in futility in figuring out who was coming!  I always rent a grove at our local park and just have a big bar b que, but without knowing who is coming, the prizes and gift bags can be trouble.  And I have had so many parents bring the whole darn family (including grandparents!).  Guess they think because it is at a park, it is all good but there are actually limits to how many people can be there!  The last 3 parties my DD went to, which were held at the GOH's houses, I saw parents try to drop off younger siblings too (and these parties were for kids turning7!).  I swear some parents think it is free baby sitting.  2 of the parents said "Sorry, we are unable to have the smaller kids because of the activities planned and there is only enough for the invited guests." and the 3rd one, who was having a big yard party with a bouncy house and sprinklers told 2 sets of parents that their little ones were welcome, but the parents had to stay too (parents were all invited to stay) and the both sets of parents were mad that they had to stay to watch their toddlers! 

I think you can either make them call for the details (altho they can barely call to RSVP) or be ready to tell them, either by phone if they call to RSVP or when they just show up with all the kids that the venue only allows so many kids per party and you are sorry but the extra kids cannot stay for the party due to the venue rules.

PastryGoddess

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 11:42:24 PM »
Also someone needs to be a gatekeeper.  If one of the parents shows up with an uninvited kid, then they need to either be turned away or they need to give you the money for the extra child right then and there.  I personally have no problem saying no and turning them away, but I understand if you aren't comfortable with that. You should not be on the hook moneywise for someone else's bad manners.

Also, maybe you could put on the invitation that if you don't hear from them by X date then you will assume they will not be able to attend. 

kudeebee

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 12:01:33 AM »
We are throwing a birthday party for DD.
 
At the time of the party, I will stay by the door and greet people who come in. If parents bring siblings I will cheerfully let them know that we expect the party to be over in two hours and the parent and little one can feel free to go do errends or whatever until then ;D If they say they are staying I will let them know that we did not order enough pizza for siblings are only able to accommodate invited guests in the party area, but if they really need to stay, the place charges $xx per child for the sibling to stay and play they can pay the money the place will charge me for extra guests so the sibling can at least play. We will make sure all the kids get cake. Then I will escort them to the counter so they can pay. I have called the place and they have told me that this happens allot and they are set up for it.

Any other ideas to prepare for the situation. Or what to do at the party.

I made a few changes above. You do not need to worry about giving the siblings cake, but if there is extra, you might as well serve it to parents and siblings if there. 

I would write "please call xxx-xxxx and tell us yes or no".  I have had good luck with this in the past.  Guests then know that you need an answer either way.

I would put the specific child's name who is invited to the party on the invitation.  I also agree with following up with guests you haven't heard from.

TootsNYC

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2013, 01:23:30 AM »
Lots of the party places near me will actually check names at the door, or insist on your bringing the invitation (which is marked "admits 1"). And *they* will be the bad guy and tell the parent that he/she has to pay for the sibling themselves.

Margo

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Re: uninvited guests to birthday party
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2013, 05:31:42 AM »
Lots of the party places near me will actually check names at the door, or insist on your bringing the invitation (which is marked "admits 1"). And *they* will be the bad guy and tell the parent that he/she has to pay for the sibling themselves.

That sounds like a great idea! OP, can you speak to your venue and ask them if they can do this?