1. Vanna Keiler

    EPI, I think it’s an excellent suggestion.

    There seems to be a surfeit of topics doing rounds on advice and etiquette columns nowadays, such as this, where the question is always “someone was invited, but wanted to invite so-and-so also. What do I do?”.

    Whatever happened to the good old days, where people politely accepted invitations (or declined politely) and did not try to orchestrate or customize the event to their own comfort or needs? If one cannot attend an adults-only party because one has children, then one need only decline the invitation. Similarly, if one wants to invite their entire family or additional friends to a wedding or other event which specifically stated certain invitees, aside from calling and asking if so-and-so can also attend, either accept or decline the invitation.

    The key to etiquette and courtesy is to evaluate the invite “as is”, and determine if one can attend or not attend according to the invitation at hand. Don’t make assumptions, don’t try to inconvenience the coordinators by customizing aspects of the event to your own needs. If you cannot eat food you are certain will be served at a wedding, eat before you go and have the salad (or nothing). Of course, one could argue that invitations are in the eye of the beholder, as in “one should accommodate one’s guests to their best abilities”. This may hold true for smaller venues such as intimate get-togethers with few friends at one’s house. The larger the event and the number of people, the more the guests should assume they need to make their own arrangements if they have specific requirements or needs…or just politely decline.

  2. Lilli

    I agree with this advice for when you are making plans, but if the parents just shows up with an extra kid to a birthday party let the other be included – it’s not their fault that their parents don’t have manners and the kid probably didn’t see the invitation to know they weren’t invited. I would mention for the next party which children are specifically invited and maybe call the previously offending parents to remind them.

    • Joanna

      I had a childhood friend whose mother ALWAYS did this — it would be a girls-only party, and the mom would drop off my friend along with her toddler brother. Not only was he younger and a boy, but he was, quite frankly, a demon child whose behavior was incredibly difficult to control. As far as I know, however, my mother never said anything out of politeness or fear of rocking the boat. I have Little Brother in the group photos of a decade’s worth of birthdays, LOL

  3. Cyra

    A totally agree about not extending the invitation if the mom asks ahead of time, but I think this changes when she’s actually standing at your front door. If it’s a drop-off-your-kid kind of party then I totally agree with EPI about standing your ground. But if parents are staying then you need to be a gracious host to whomever shows up. I would though, reconsider inviting this family to my events in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *