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Etiquette for a Father-Daughter Birthday Dinner

by Barbie Carpenter , studioD

Hosting a joint birthday dinner for a father-daughter duo might seem easy -- you celebrate two milestones with one event. However, the father and daughter likely have different interests and groups of friends, which can make planning a birthday party a bit challenging. Following proper etiquette can take the guesswork out of throwing a father-daughter birthday dinner that delights everyone.


As the organizer of the father-daughter birthday dinner, you are responsible for scheduling the event and giving guests proper notice so that they can attend. Whether you're hosting the event at a restaurant or in your home, you should give your guests at least a few days' notice, according to etiquette expert Emily Post. Doing so ensures that guests can attend and make proper arrangements, such as babysitters, if necessary. If you're celebrating the birthdays at a popular restaurant, you might want to make the plans even further in advance to secure reservations on the proper time and date.


If the father-daughter birthday dinner is outside of your home, you might wonder who is responsible for paying for the dinner. Emily Post explains that the birthday guy and gal should not have to pick up their own tab. As the party organizer, you can pay their way or you can have guests chip in to cover the meal for the father and daughter. However, in a public space, you do not have to worry about paying for your guests' meals. If you host the dinner in your home, the cost of food is yours, unless you set up a potluck where everyone contributes a dish.


Gifts are a thoughtful way to send the father and daughter birthday wishes. While you might choose to get each guest of honor a special gift, do not ask or expect your party guests to do the same. Some may opt to bring a gift, but your party invitation should not mention gifts -- either by requesting them or instructing guests not to bring them. Leave the gift decision making up to your guests.

Guest List

When you're planning a joint party, you want to welcome friends of both the father and the daughter to celebrate their birthdays. If you're inviting children from your daughter's school, do not hand out the invitations in the classroom unless you're inviting the entire class. Likewise, if you're only inviting a few of the father's coworkers, stick to mailed invitations to avoid excluding certain coworkers or friends.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

Photo Credits

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