Category Archives: Etiquette Tips

Check the birthday card etiquette list before sending out the invitations.

Birthday invitation etiquette

All successful birthday parties start with the invitation. Before any pinata bursting and candle blowing can occur, your guests will receive a little note asking them to attend your child’s birthday party. The invitation is highly important – not only will it let guests know when to show up at the party site, but it will also inform them of formality, theme and rules regarding presents. Follow proper card etiquette rules with these tips:

The format
Email invitations are more than popular these days, but though they offer speed and simplicity, they are not the best choice. Emails can be sent to spam, opened and deleted by accident, or even read and forgotten. A physical card carries more weight for a child’s birthday party. Friends will receive the notes in the mail or at school and enjoy the opportunity to open the envelope to gaze at the wonderful design. Parents can then take the card and tack it to the refrigerator, setting themselves and their child a daily reminder of when and where the party will be held.

By mail or by hand
Handing out birthday invitations by hand can be fun for your child. Getting the opportunity to see his or her friends’ faces light up as they read the note is one of the best ways to prepare for a party, but there are times when hand-delivery is the wrong choice. Send your cards by mail if your child is not inviting everyone from his or her class. Kids who don’t receive a hand-delivered card could feel left out. Plus it could lead to parents calling to ask about the situation, forcing you to expand your birthday party to include those left out.

You also do not want to hand the invites out at school if the children are younger than the second grade. More often than not, the guests will forget the card at school or lose it while reading it on the bus. You may have to call all of the parents to check if everyone got a card, and that can waste time.

Birthday message
Young children may not be able to read the invitations or have difficulty understanding clever phrases. Your cards need to be age appropriate, so choose a sentiment that will appeal to a range of ages. If the guests are at an age where they can’t read yet, choose an invite that is simply stated, with a picture standing at the forefront. For example, take a look at Pear Tree Greetings’ Monster Mix in Purple birthday invitations. This card is brightly colored and features two spaces for a cute picture of the birthday boy or girl. If the kids are a little older, feel free to choose a card that focuses more on the words. Pear Tree’s Searching for Superheroes cards use clever phrases like “report to duty” and “r.s.v.p. to headquarters.” These are words a child can get excited about.

After checking you have your invite count down to a tee, make sure that all of the spelling and information is correct on the cards.

Get ready for your rehearsal dinner by brushing up on etiquette.

Rehearsal dinner etiquette 101

If you're approaching your wedding day, you have a few more steps to complete before you say "I do." You've already sent wedding invitations to all of your guests, and your dress is fitted, but you have to practice the actual ceremony at your rehearsal. Traditionally, couples complete the rehearsal process on a celebratory note by having dinner with everyone involved in the wedding. If you're following suit, you'll want to be sure to use proper rehearsal dinner etiquette. Here are a few tips for making the night go smoothly:

The host
In most instances, the groom's family hosts (or pays for) the rehearsal dinner. Such is the case if the bride's family is paying for most of the wedding. However, every wedding is different. Therefore you and your fiance may want to pay for the dinner, the bride's parents could take over the costs, or several parties could split the bill. 

Who is invited?
The rehearsal dinner immediately follows the ceremony practice session, so anyone who attends the first event should be at the second. Generally, this includes the bride and groom, bridal party, parents on both sides, readers, flower girls, ring bearers, ushers and the officiant. Additionally, you should invite the significant others of any of the aforementioned people, and other family members who aren't in the wedding party. All these people are instrumental in the ceremony, so you should thank them for their help with a delicious meal.

How to invite people
Sending paper invitations is the best option for your rehearsal dinner. The physical copy is a good reminder to your guests of when and where the event will take place. Your invites can be simple or elaborate, fun or formal, whatever you choose! You and your fiance may enjoy the Rehearsal Shoes invitation from Pear Tree Greetings. This cute and colorful rehearsal dinner invitation features a drawing of his and hers shoes.

Where should it be?
You can host the rehearsal dinner anywhere you want. Some couples go to a restaurant (with a reservation) and others host it at home. Your budget and available space will factor into your decision. Furthermore, you should determine whether your event will be formal or casual. The dinner likely won't be as fancy as your wedding, but let people know if they should dress up. The venue will factor into dress code. For instance, a backyard barbecue won't be as dressy as dining at a four-star restaurant. Finally, make sure the venue is close to the ceremony location. You'll be going from one to the next the night of your rehearsal.

Start planning ahead
As a general rule of thumb, you want to plan your rehearsal and following dinner three to six months before the wedding. Try to make reservations then. If the restaurant doesn't accept such early reservations, then waiting a little longer is acceptable.

When should it happen?
In most cases, the rehearsal takes place the day before your wedding. That way, all the important details will be fresh in your mind. Plan the dinner early in the evening so you can get home at a decent hour – no staying up all night when you have to make it to the church on time the next day!

When crafting adoption announcements, keep these etiquette tips in mind.

Proper etiquette for adoption announcements

Just as birth parents celebrate the arrival of their little bundle of joy, adoptive parents too wish to welcome a new addition to their family with love and fanfare. That’s why so many couples are choosing to send out adoption announcements! Like traditional birth announcements, adoption announcements let the world know about your growing family. As you prepare to send them out, keep these etiquette tips in mind:

Get the timing right
Because the adoption process can be tricky, there’s a little leeway when it comes to the timing of sending out the announcements. A good rule of thumb is to put the announcements in the mail no later than six months after your new child officially becomes a member of your family. “Officially” could refer to the date you bring your child home or the date the adoption is legally finalized – it’s up to you.

Include important dates
Traditional birth announcements always include the child’s date of birth, but adoption announcements should also include the date that you brought your child home. You can use many different phrases to accompany that date, including “Was welcomed into our family on …” and “Arrived on ….”

Add interesting information
Your loved ones may also be interested to know additional information about the new member of your family, including where they were born (particularly if they were born in another country). If the child is older, you may even want to include some interesting facts, such as what grade they are in and what hobbies they enjoy.

Allow older children to take part in the process
If you are adopting an older child, you should allow them to take part in the process of designing their adoption announcement. After all, they may have a very specific idea of how they want to be presented to the world! Plus, designing the announcements together can be a great bonding experience.