Entertaining & Celebrating

How to Create the Perfect Birthday Party Invitation and WHY its Important

Photo by Sofiya Levchenko on Unsplash

My boys are 2 and 4, and their birthdays are approximately 20 days apart in November. In this season in their lives, I sometimes do a joint party like their Brochella Festival last year. I love celebrating all of life’s events, especially their birthdays because I love seeing the joy on their faces from having friends and family around for their special day. For Demetrius’ third birthday, I did a Three-Rex themed party, and for Richard’s first birthday, I did a Jazz Brunch themed party. 

People often ask me how I find time to throw these big bashes, managing all the intricate details like sending out physical birthday invitations. The reality is, it’s a VERY busy time of year for me, but planning early and leveraging helpful tools like Basic Invite is a big help!

Before I share details on how to create the perfect birthday invitations, I first want to share WHY it’s so important:

  • It sets the tone for the event. A great party invitation can set the tone for any event. It helps people understand the theme, occasion, and that it’s a special event.  
  • It serves as a reminder for your event. In a world of all things digital, I know it’s common to simply send digital invites. While these are convenient and often free, one of the many downfalls is out of sight, out of mind. A physical invitation is something tangible that people can place on their fridge, post on a family calendar, or even set aside in a planner as a reminder. Sometimes when I receive digital invitations, it’s in the middle of the day. I get the text, open it, and forget to go back to it and respond.
  • It visibly provides all pertinent details. My boys are often invited to parties of friends at school or friends in our neighborhood. Sometimes we receive a digital invitation. There have been times that I didn’t scroll down enough and missed pertinent details that the host included at the bottom or on a different digital tab, like special gift requests (or no gifts) or details/instructions of what to bring. 

These are a few reasons I tend to send physical kids birthday invites in advance of any party. It has helped to provide clear communication to guests and resulted in the majority of favorable RSVPs.

How to Create the Perfect birthday invitations

To create the perfect invitation, start with the theme. Whats, the theme for your party? Basic Invite has hundreds of themed birthday party invites and almost unlimited colors that you can customize with the details of your event. Before you begin searching, so that you don’t get overwhelmed in a sea of invitations, determine your party theme or color scheme and then have fun searching for the best option. 

Next, establish all pertinent details and include them on the invitation:

  • Party Date
  • Party Time (I like to include when it starts and when it will end to set expectations, so people aren’t arriving at the end of the party and missing all of the fun).  
  • Party Location. I include the name and address. For example, if it’s at our home, I will include “Anderson Family Home” and our address. If the party is at a different venue or a local park, I include those details in addition to the address.
  • RSVP Details. I usually include a phone number and email address and give people the option of texting their RSVP to make it easy. Include whichever instructions will work well for you and your guests. Don’t make RSVPing too hard, or they may put it off and forget. 
  • RSVP Deadline. This helps guests to understand you need confirmation of their attendance in advance of the party. Letting you know they are coming the morning of or even the day before usually isn’t beneficial with planning. I tend to do an RSVP deadline of one week before a party. That allows me time to make any food adjustments and make sure I’ve got enough party bags. 
  • Additional Pertinent Information. This is information I usually place at the bottom of the kids birthday invites or on the back. This is where you would put special details like “Bring a towel” if it’s a swim party, or “lunch will be served” if you will have a full meal planned. I also like to include details such as “siblings welcome” if I know many of the attendees have brothers or sisters and I don’t want that to be a barrier to them not attending. With my boys being just two years apart, I know it can be challenging to bring one to a party without the other, so I’ll include this information depending on my capacity constraints. 

Don’t forget to Proofread!

After you’ve included all the essential details, be sure to proofread your invitation. Is it clear? Is everything accurate? I once printed a whole batch of invitations and realized I forgot to include the party time! To prevent potential errors, you can have a friend or family member proofread it for you or step away for an hour or so and come back to the invitation and re-review it. As a former marketer, I know first hand that sometimes, when you are close to a project, it’s hard to catch errors because all of the details are fresh in your mind, and you assume you’ve seen them on your invite, even if you haven’t. One of the great benefits of using the Basic Invite card service is that they offer free proof printing of invitations. You can order a proof, ensure all of your information is accurate and see how the invitation looks firsthand before printing. 

Addressing and Mailing 

Once your invitations are printed, it’s time to send them out. Basic Invite offers FREE recipient addressing options if you’re mailing out your cards. This is a service I take advantage of because I like the neat look of printed envelopes. If you hand the invitations to guests directly, you can still leverage this service and just get their names addressed. If you’re mailing your invitations out, one of the other small details that make a big difference is ordering stamps online from USPS rather than going into the post office. I notice they have more options online, and I can select a stamp that aligns with the theme of my party or at least compliments it. A good rule of thumb is to order your stamps the same day you order your invitations, that way, both will arrive on time and will be ready to be stuffed, stamped, and sent out once you receive them. 

WHEN to mail out kids birthday invites

I try to give people plenty of notice! I often send out invitations four weeks in advance and follow up on any outstanding RSVPs one week prior. This practice gives me plenty of time to plan and gauge an appropriate headcount, as most of the RSVP’s come in a week after mailing them.

Save One as a Keepsake

Lastly, don’t forget to order enough invitations, including a keepsake one for yourself! I keep at least one invitation from all of the parties I host, and I love looking back on them as a reminder of the day. It’s a beautiful keepsake and something you can even share with your children to remind them about their party as they grow older. 

Do you have questions? I’d love to hear them! Feel free to send me a message on my contact page or a DM on Instagram.

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