My daughter’s birthday is my favorite day of the year. I love celebrating my sweet girl and all of the hard work I went through to get her here. For her first 2 birthdays, only family and adult friends came to her parties. Last September I finally had a classroom full of preschool friends to invite to her party. I was so excited.
When it came time to decide what type of invitation to use, I was faced with a dilemma that my parents never had to think about.
Should I do paper invites or email invites?
There is something exciting about a child receiving an invitation addressed to them. Growing up I loved getting party invites in the mail. It adds a personal touch that conveys you took careful consideration to include someone in your big day.
My gut told me that paper was the best way to go for my daughter’s invites, even if it was a little old fashioned.
On the flip side, paper is great, but can easily get lost in the mail. Even if the invites make it to everyone safely, there is the chance that the parent will misplace the invite and forget the details. It’s just one more piece of paper to keep track of. With email invites you don’t have to worry about them getting lost or misplaced.
Most email invite websites also send a reminder about when the party is and a reminder to rsvp. For the host of the party, you can also see when someone opens an email invite, so you don’t have to wonder whether or not it was received or if they are just ignoring the invite. I get the pull and ease of sending email invites. They are environmentally friendly and simple to send with the click of a button.
Despite the fact that email invites appear to be more convenient, I ended up going with paper invites for my daughter’s birthday last September. I love making children feel special and I wanted her classmates to be able to hold the invite in their hands and see that it was important to my family that they were included in my daughter’s special day.
I got feedback from some of the moms telling me that their kids were so excited to receive their own mail. One mom told me that her daughter slept with the invitation under her pillow because she was so excited. For many of them it was their first piece of mail addressed to them. Stories like that made my heart warm and helped affirm my choice to use paper invites instead of email invites.
My choice was not without mishaps though.
Tragically, we had the wrong address for one of my daughter’s classmates. This is always a risk when you rely on the directory that goes out before the start of the year. Our address was also listed wrong but later corrected, so this possibility should have been more on my radar.
The mom emailed me when the invitation finally made it to their new address and offered to meet us for a play date to make up for missing the party. I thought it was such a generous offer, considering it was my mistake.
It’s really important to me that all of my daughter’s classmates are included. I still feel bad that there was the potential for someone to feel left out.
At the time, I didn’t want to bother parents by emailing them to make sure they received the birthday invitation. I have a complex about appearing too pushy. When some parents never RSVP’ed I assumed it was the birthday version of ghosting or that they were busy. I tried not to read too much into it.
However, since inclusion is so important to me, for my daughter’s party this year, I have decided to do both paper invites and email invites. This way the child will get their special personalized invitation and the parents will have their easy to remember email invitations. I can also ensure no one will be left out due to mailing errors. Even if it seems a little redundant, I don’t care.
When it comes to my daughter’s special day, I want her to be surrounded by as many of her friends as possible. I also want her friends to know that their presence at her birthday celebration is important to us.
What kind of party invites have you used for your children’s parties? Do you have a preference for the kind you like to receive? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments.