Lisa Kothari’s Ten Worst Party Planning Mistakes

Whether throwing a first birthday party for a tiny tot, or hosting a teenager’s birthday bash, parents often make party-planning mistakes that result in a disappointed birthday girl or boy, offended guests, or just a true mess on their hands!  With the help of party expert Lisa Kothari – author of “Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties” – parents can be sure to avoid these ten worst party planning mistakes and rest easy about everything from invitations to party clean up!

Lisa Kothari’s Ten Worst Party Planning Mistakes:

1. Spending mega bucks on your child’s first birthday party.
RESULT: An empty wallet and a memory your tiny tot will never remember!

2. Not doing something that revolves around the birthday child during his first birthday party.
RESULT: Nothing to capture the special moment for your child.

3. Not following school guidelines regarding invitations.
RESULT: Left-out classmates’ hurt feelings!

4. Assuming people will RSVP.
RESULT: Not knowing how many guests to prepare for in time!
**Hint: Although everyone expects people to RSVP, most people don’t due to busy schedules or forgetfulness.  Avoid ending up with unexpected guests by:

  • Backing up your RSVP date to as many as 10 days in advance of the party.
  • Making sure to have the contact information of all party guests in order to be able to can call them for an answer as soon as the RSVP date passes.
  • Not including the place or address for the party; write, “Call for Directions” instead to get people calling for details and that RSVP!

5. Expecting parents to not stay at the party when kids are six-years-old and younger.
RESULT: 20 extra guests who are looking for adult snacks and drinks!

6. Not listening to the child when planning the party.
RESULT: A disappointed and disinterested birthday child.

7. Throwing spa parties for girls under the age of eight.
RESULT: Concerned parents when their little girls come home made up well before they should be.

8. Arranging activities at your party that involve toy and water guns.
RESULT: Offended parents and misunderstandings between the kids – many children have no access to guns and have no knowledge of how they can be meant for play!

9. Requesting guests to bring brand-name toys to the birthday child’s slumber party.
RESULT: Stressed guests and parents who don’t own the specific toy and fear being ridiculed by their peers.

10. Over-planning teen parties.
RESULT: Teens rebelling because all they really want is a party where they can hang out, chat, eat party food, and play video games!

For more of Lisa Kothari’s party etiquette advice, check out her recently-released Dear Peppers and Pollywogs…What Parents Want to Know About Planning Their Kids’ Parties, available at for $9.95.  Also be sure to visit Lisa’s website at before you plan your next celebration!