Child's Birthday Party Invite to 26 will ONLY pay for the first 15 RSVP?

Mary - posted on 01/05/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )




My daughter is 6 and in Kindergarten.
Yesterday she came home so excited about a birthday party she has been invited to, along with the rest of her class.

The party is to be held at an indoor water park.
The invite says "The first 15 to respond will be paid for".


I checked the website. General admission is $24.95.
The invite doesn't specify a reduced rate for additional party members.

I am in South Jersey. We are not an affluent area.
It's cold. Of course the response to an indoor water park is going to be high.

If I were to call and RSVP, should I say... "Yes, we will be coming but only if we are in the first 15?"


"Yes, Rosie would love to attend" and then wait for them to say... "Great... you made the cut" or "Great! You can pay at the front?".

What if I did make the cut and we get there and then a BFF or family friend who previously said they weren't coming now can come and we get downgraded to #16.

How as I a parent NOT pay $24.95 so my daughter doesn't feel that disappointment. At that point would I not give a gift to the child and then return it to make back some of the money I had to spend?

I fully understand saying " RSVP's after XYZ Date will be not be covered".
One has to budget and being surprised the day of is no fun either.

Honestly, I think it is beyond tacky and borderline ghetto. :)



Dove - posted on 01/05/2013




I agree with you. If they are only going to pay for 15... only 15 should be invited and if they 'had' to invite the whole class... do a cheaper party option and take your (their) kid to the water park another time. I wouldn't have my 6 year old at an indoor water park without me, so we wouldn't be going whether we made the 'cut' or not.

Very, very tacky invite. If your daughter is a good friend of the kid... I'd still get her a gift that your daughter can give at some time cuz it's not HER fault her parents are tacky. ;)


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Mary - posted on 01/11/2013




The child has been talking about this party all week.
She is telling kids they need to bring their bathing suits... how much fun it will be...etc.
I understand a 6 year old being excited about a birthday party at a water park.
I also know there are parents in our school who couldn't afford an entry fee.

We are not going.
I have nothing to do with my other 3 kids unless I take them as well.
This could turn into a minimum of $125 (not including a gift) and I am 1 parent with 4 kids ages 10,8,6, and almost 5.
I would need my husband there as well to keep an eye on the boys.

I am not normally a helicopter mom, but this is a water park and God only knows what sickos hang out there to oogle kids and I can't go with the boys into the men's room and they are not allowed to go in a men's room without my husband.

I take them in the ladies room or a family restroom.
However, I can't take them into this ladies room as it is also a changing area.

Of course my daughter is disappointed so I promised here we would play with her new cake pop maker this weekend. We also just got a new puppy... so there is a distraction.

Amy - posted on 01/06/2013




The parents should of only invited 15 and as no responses came in they could mail out additional invites. More importantly I think the invite should of made it clear the invite was for the child and if the parent wanted to stay they would need to pay the $$ at the door. As a parent there is no way I'd let my 6 year old to a waterpark without a parent supervising.

Mary - posted on 01/06/2013




That's just...odd. I'm honestly not sure how I'd handle this. I think it sucks even more because all of these kids know about it, and are excited for it. It means that the parents are put in the rather awkward position of having to tell their kid "no" if they aren't one of the first 15, and can't afford to pay for it.

I guess, if my child was a good friend of the birthday girl, I would respond that same day, and hope like hell I was one of fortunate 15. If I wasn't, and I truly couldn't afford the general admission price, I would be very clear to explain to the parents that my child would love to come, but it is simply beyond our means to pay for it. TBH, I'd most likely use that opportunity to then tell those parents how much I resented being forced to disappoint my own child because they didn't limit their invites to the number of kids they could afford.

If my child wasn't especially friendly with this kid, I'd probably just decline from the outset. Make plans now to do something fun (and less costly) with her that day. Start saving so that you can take her to that water park on her own some time in the future. There is no way to avoid her disappointment, but you can do something to soften the blow.

Do you know these parents at all? I just find it a very bizarre way to handle things. We recently had a bday party for my 4 y/o, and invited her entire preschool class. Total number of kids invited was 15. The venue we had it at allowed for that many; it was $10.00 a head for each child over that number (every child invited came, and some brought siblings - I ended up paying for 21 kids!). Not cheap, but significantly less than it would cost for a child to attend a class there independently. I say this because it might be worth your while to check out this place's website, and see if they have party packages like this; there is a possibility that you wouldn't have to pay the full general admission price, or have to buy your own ticket to supervise her.

Michelle - posted on 01/06/2013




I know some of the parents at my son's school invite the whole class just in case "Little Jonny" get upset that he isn't invited but I have never done that. I have a limit of about 8 (usually less though) because that's a reasonable amount of friends that they have. Not every child in their class in their friend.

Firebird - posted on 01/05/2013




Yea it's tacky... and inviting 26 people in the first place? My kid gets to invite 8, that's all. Doesn't matter what we're doing for the party... skating, bowling, at my house - 8 is 'my' They should have only invited as many as they wanted to pay for.

Denikka - posted on 01/05/2013




Considering that the tickets for the 15 kids alone is going to be costing about $400, I can't really blame the parents for putting a limit on how many they can pay for. Not to mention the parents paying for themselves and whatever else like snacks, cake, presents etc that are going to be going into the party. I personally think they're crazy for spending so much on a 6yr old's birthday. . .
I can also kind of see the point, because many times people don't RSVP, whether they intend on going or not, and some may not be able to go at all. So inviting 26 people and expecting only 15 to actually RSVP and show up is not THAT unreasonable.

That being said, yes, I agree. Tacky. Think what you want (as the parents throwing the party) but you don't need to voice it and throw it on the invites. It is tacky and it is rude. It definitely could have been much better handled, even if I CAN somewhat understand the reasons that may have been behind it.

Nancy - posted on 01/05/2013




At first read I agree that it seems tacky, but it's also possible that their daughter really wanted those particular 26 people to be invited and the parents could only afford to pay for 15 tickets. Lots of people are watching their budgets and not everyone will be as graceful as some about the way they deal with it. Or maybe they are just tacky? Personally, I'd either RSVP yes if you can pay the $50, or just say no. I wouldnt ask if I'd made the cut so to speak, but I would not fault others for asking. And I would get a small gift in both cases, I agree that it's not the girl's fault her parents were so awkward about the invite.

Michelle - posted on 01/05/2013




I agree with Dove, if they can't afford more than 15 then that's all they invite or make every person pay.

Mary - posted on 01/05/2013




You just brought up an excellent point.
I would not leave here there and would have to stay.
Considering she is not a great swimmer yet she would need assistance on all those water slides.
I would have to buy a ticket for myself and ride with her because I wouldn't trust the hostess to watch my daughter every second at a water park.


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