Tag Archives: family parties

So you’ve decided to have two birthday parties, one for friends and one for family. To minimize your time, effort, and expense plan for the invitations, decorations, and food to stretch through both parties. And since you’ve already come up with a killer party theme, why not just use it the whole day?


A no brainer. Order or make or buy extra invitations so that you’ll have some for both parties. You’re keeping the same theme anyway, right? Easy peasy.


Same thing. Once you’ve decked out your house, yard or even just the kitchen table, keep it up so that all of your family can see your cool stuff. You deserve all of the praise that those cute little six year olds didn’t give you. The decorations stay.


The Birthday Cake: I’m a huge fan of having an awesome birthday cake. But sometimes it’s just not worth it when you can serve cupcakes instead and no one will know the difference. But a back-to-back friend and family party is the perfect opportunity to show off your hard work (or the extravagant topsy turvy cake that you had specially made) to a crowd of adoring adults. The kids at the friend party will love cupcakes just as much, so serve them cupcakes–meanwhile keeping the cake in its pristine condition. It can be your table centerpiece or the candleholder for singing “Happy Birthday.” Then your gorgeous cake takes center stage for your family party where everyone will ohh and aww over it. When you’ve had your fill of compliments, feel free to serve the cake.

Party Food: I always use caters for the parties I plan and they require minimum orders of food items. The upside is that you have leftover food to serve at the family party. Places like Costco and Sam’s Club tend to sell food in larger quantities at a lower price, so if you buy some party food there this will give you an ample amount of food for both parties as well. If you make your own party food then it’s just as easy to make a few extra of each item for the second party. You can use the leftover food from the friend party as appetizers or side dishes for your family dinner. It’s hard to see food wasted from picky party kids so this is the perfect opportunity to use the rest of it up. Or you can forgo serving food at the friend party and focus on serving your family a great dinner instead.

I hope these suggestions help. I can’t wait to hear how your parties turn out.

Oh, birthday parties, I love them! The planning, the fun, the chaos. But what do you do when this happens? YOUR CHILD wants to invite friends to a birthday party. YOU don’t want family to feel left out. It’s more practical to have friends over during the day but family can’t come until nighttime, after work. You want to have the party on your child’s actual birthday, but their birthday falls on a Tuesday. You can go back and forth, back and forth trying to make a decision.

When to have a combined party:

1. If it’s a “big deal” age for your child. One, eight, and 16 are a pretty big deal around here.
2. If cousins are the same ages as your kids, so they would be coming to both parties anyway.
3. If you always invite your mom or sister or sister-in-law to every party you have, then you might as well combine.

When to have two separate parties:

1. If hosting one huge party is just going to add more craziness to the mix, and you really can’t handle any more craziness.
2. If cousins aren’t the same age as the birthday child and you’d have to really alter the friend party to include them.
3. If family members can’t attend during the day because of work, school, long travel, etc.

Sometimes kids are better behaved during the day and nighttime parties are just too late for them to be awake (especially neighbor kids or school friends whose parents might think it’s weird that you are having a late night fête for 5 year olds–know what I’m saying?). However, family members are usually comfortable coming over at night after the first event is over to enjoy a more relaxed party. If work schedules and evenings are the only factors, you know that a logical alternative is to just have the birthday party on the weekend or a holiday when everyone can attend. But if you want to have the party on the day of their actual birthday or if it’s just too much to have that many people over, then split it up.

Keep in mind that sometimes grandparents just want more. More time with their grandkids. More involvement in everything their kids and grandkids do. More attention when they are around. They might want to be a part of the friend party, even if it’s just to sit back and watch their grandchild have fun. So go ahead and invite them to be apart of the whole day. After all of the friends go home–serve dinner, spend some time together, and let them have their one-on-one time. They can watch the birthday kid open the present from grandma and grandpa without all of the chaos of friends around. And your child will have more time to ohh and awww over the gift.

I will honestly say that I’m biased and I love birthdays. I say have two parties to extend the fun and prolong the excitement. Let your child have their day, the whole day. Let their friends have a fun party and then let your family have their time too. If you’re up for a long, crazy day then go for it! It only happens once a year.

Friday–Part 2: plan your invites, food & decorations to stretch through two parties.

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