Party Planning Madness: Your Super Mega Hot WHAT?

Today's Party Planning Needs A Reality Check

I know this blog is about consumer tips and reports, but let's talk about party planning for a moment. A friend of mine was planning her daughter's birthday party, which is coming up next month. She asked me to look over the invitation proof and give my opinion. The fact that she was having custom invitations made should have tipped me off right there that something was amiss, but when I saw the invite, that's when I realized that today's party planning trends have gotten out of hand.

You Did What?

Now, let me be the first to tell you that my friend is normally a rational and sane adult. However, when looking at her daughter's birthday invite, I started to wonder about that. Why? Well, there was mention of clowns (not just one, mind you), a moon walk (you know, the bouncy things), prizes, games, popcorn, cotton candy -- heck, it sounded like an all-out carnival.

What's the problem?

This isn't a carnival -- it's a birthday party. A birthday party with 2 clowns, a face painter, a magic show, a big bouncy accident waiting to happen and a 3-tier cake.

Oh, did I mention the little princess is turning 6? No, not 16 -- she's turning SIX.

Party planning trends have definitely taken a turn for the extravagant.

God help us all.

Keeping It Real?

Now, I will credit my friend with the fact that she didn't throw all of her common sense to the wind during the party planning process. She did shop for entertainers (clowns) who charged reasonable rates, she is setting up and taking down the bouncy back-breaker herself instead of paying to have it done and she is bartering some of the other stuff to even out the costs.

So, how much is my friend spending on this bash? About $700. To me, that's ridiculous, although it would have been well over $1,000 if she hadn't cut costs by being a smart shopper. I personally think kids' parties should be kept to less than $300. Although I do think her lack of restraint this year has something to do with one of her neighbors leaving her daughter out of something (long story).

As far as party planning goes, it seems to be getting pricier and pricier and, dare I say it, more political (even for the tots). I don't know if I'm the only sane one left, or if I'm just too old fashioned for my own good. I'd be interested in hearing what you think reasonable party planning budgets look like.

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