You can buy personalized birthday invitations in cute themes and many can include a photo of your child.
If you’re crafty, make invitations by cutting large number 1s from bright colored paper. Write your child’s name on the front of the number and the party details (time, location, etc.) on the back of the number.
Or use a recent photo of your child with the caption “Look who’s turning 1!” above or below the photo and write and the party details on the back.
If you’re mailing invitations, you’re pretty much limited to standard card-style invitations. If you’ll be hand-delivering the invitations (to family, neighbors, playgroups) you can have a little fun with 3 dimension invitations, such as an invitation tied to a rubber ducky, toy truck or a balloon.
Invitations should be timed to reach the guests approximately 2 weeks before the party. This allows enough time for guests to “hold the date” and also allows enough time to collect RSVPs before you make your final purchases of party ware and favors.
Request RSVPs by phone or e-mail one week before the party. Some parents may ask for gift ideas when they call to RSVP so have a few ideas in mind.
An invitation should clearly provide the following information:
- party occasion (1st Birthday)
- party host (your child’s first and last name to avoid confusion… “which Jennifer?”)
- day and date of party
- start and end time of party
- party location and address (with map if needed)
- RSVP deadline and phone number and e-mail address
- rain plan (if outdoor party)
Be sure to include any special information or requests. For example, if you want children to dress-up or bring their favorite teddy bear, suggest this on the invitation.
If the party start time is SHARP, specify this. Otherwise many parents will assume times are flexible and may arrive late.
At this age it’s assumed that parents will stay for the entire party. If you want to know exactly how many adults will attend (both parents, a parent and a grandparent) ask this when you accept the RSVP.
Some families assume it’s OK to bring both younger and older siblings. This usually isn’t a problem, just have some extra food and party favors on hand for this situation. However, siblings who require lots of attention or dominate all the activities can be an issue. If you can’t accommodate siblings of invited guests, tactfully discuss this when you accept the RSVP.
If the party location isn’t well known, enclose a map. Google Maps will generate a map for most locations.
Remember to buy or make Thank You notes to send after the party.