Post # 1
own meals and drinks?
(I signed up for this website because my brother just got engaged and I am a bridesmaid. Figured it would help to have more knowledge since this is the first wedding I will be a part of.)
I noticed someone else had posted a similar question but it was for her MIL and MIL’s friends whom were a little older.
I just turned 23 and am still in school. I work but there is no way I would be able to afford hosting a dinner at a restaurant. My apartment is very small otherwise I would just do something at my place.
The surprise birthday dinner is for my boyfriend who will be turning 30 the beginning of October. We started dating 4-5 months ago and I wasn’t sure what would be appropriate for a 30th birthday.
For my birthday he surprised me with brunch and a day out with my brother and his fiance who would have been out of the county for my actual birthday. I normally do not like surprises (we are both planners) but was so touched that he would go out of his way to plan a surprise for me. (He did a lot of other things as well)
He does not like surprises either but I feel like he may enjoy an intimate dinner with about 20 friends that he doesn’t see all the time. A lot of his friends are married and some even have kids. I wanted to send a private facebook invite this week so everyone could plan in advance. I have not met some of them yet but heard of.
We went to dinner at a restaurant last weekend (that he again surprised me with) that he absolutely loved. It was a restaurant he had wanted to go to for awhile. It was absolutely beautiful and he was in awe and completely relaxed. The outdoor seating had a table with a firepit and another large table with water running underneath your plates. He loved everything about this restaurant and immediately I thought he may enjoy a surprise gathering here. Dinner and drinks.
I can of course pay for his meal and drinks and everyone else would pay for their own. Is there a good way to phrase this on the facebook invite so I don’t seem rude? (Please keep in mind I have only met half of the people I will be inviting. I don’t want to give a bad first impression)
I was thinking of seeing if the restaurant would do a prix fix menu and that way the bills may be easier to split up and the food may be more consistent for a large group? Or would you recommend just letting everyone order whatever they would like to order?
Post # 3
If you send out formal invitations to a birthday celebration for your BF and then expect guests to pay for their own meals, I think that would be problemmatic. However, if you call your BF’s friends and say, “Some of us are planning to get together to take BF out to dinner in honor of his birthday. Would you be interested in joining us to do this?” I don’t think it’s a problem.
Post # 4
In my circle, typically the host/hostess does not end up paying for the entire bill themselves, although it does vary somewhat depending on the age and the financial situation of the host/hostess. I’ve been to birthday dinners where a guest, as a surprise, will cover the very pricey bill and I’ve been to birthday dinners where it was split amongst the guests. I always walk in with enough money to do a split/cover my plate and usually don’t expect the guest to cover, unless it is a birthday party with a formal invitation versus “dinner with friends”.
The only thing that can be a problem with splitting the bill is when it is very very uneven with one guest having a salad and water and someone else having 6 cocktails and three pricey meaty courses and everyone pays an even amount. Having been the salad person occasionally, I can say that is really annoying. If you know some of your guests are big drinkers and some are not, I would consider the prixe fixe option. Some guests are gracious enough to throw in extra money for their extra drinks, but some are not.
ETA: I think a FB invitation can fall into the “dinner with friends” category as that’s fairly informal.
Post # 5
My advice would be to just invite people to join your for drinks at the restaurant. Maybe you could swing enough money to pay for a few appetizers to have out while people are drinking. When going to parties, people expect to pay for their drinks (unless its a big occasion) but usually expect to be provided with some sort of food.
Post # 6
I always expect to pay when invited for someone’s bday, unless the host has arranged for a special, catered meal ahead of time. Don’t approach others with it as a bday party, as them if they’d like to get together and join you guys for dinner to celebrate his bday. It’s all in how you word it.
Post # 7
I always expect to pay when going out, but I would ever expect others to pay. I think n fb or evite would keep everyone in the loop.
Post # 8
I totally don’t think it’s rude! One of my friends had the same kind of thing…her invites just went out as like, “please join X to share in the celebration of her birthday at such and such restaurant on whatever day/time” and we all totally thought it was fine to pay for our own meals! When I invite a bunch of friends out for dinner it’s not like they think I’m paying for everyone…we’re just all getting together for dinner.
Post # 9
I just went to something just like this. It was an evite that basically said ‘to celebrate Xs birthday’. They provided pre-ordered apps and desert but everyone ordered meals a la carte and paid for them individually. It was great.
Post # 10
I’d expect to pay my own way and chip in for the guest of honor’s meal! Agree that it’s all in how you word it.
Post # 11
Agree with Brielle:, the biggest issue is going to be how you set the tone.
Lol over 20 Years ago, I did exactly the same thing when my then Hubby turned 30.
To set the correct tone, it was very casual… I didn’t send out written Invites… (sending anything in writing traditionally IMPLIES that you will be Hosting & therefore Paying the FULL FREIGHT).
I just called everyone up on the phone… which is also a lot more personal… and you’ll get a better idea of WHO is going to come vs putting up a random OPEN INVITE up on FaceBook (that also tends to IMPLY that you are “young” and therefore not knowledgeable on how to throw a proper Adult Party… OPEN INVITES are fine for a Frat Party, not for somone turning 30… just saying)
The phonecall Invites were easy, and a nice way to connect with Hubby’s and my mutal friends as well as “reach out” to his Guy and Work Friends… I just said…
“Hey planning a Get-Together for Drinks & Dinner for ___’s 30th Birthday on ___ at ___ PM. I have made arrangements to get the Private Dining Room at the ___ Restaurant, and we’ll be ordering from the ___ (regular) Menu where prices range from $ ___ to $ ___ for Appys, and $ ___ to $ ___ for Mains. The Restaurant knows we’ll be having seperate Bills, but they’ve told me that because we are a large group that an 18% Gratuity will be charged”
“Of course it is a SURPRISE, so I’d appreciate it if you kept it under wraps… and planned to arrive early so you can be parked and in the Restaurant BEFORE I plan to arrive with Hubby at ___ PM”
The party idea was well received, and most people made it. And NO ONE complained that they were paying. And most folks brought a gift or at least a card (I never made any mention of that… cause to do so would have been tacky).
Hubby was properly surprised, and it was a great way to mark the milestone Birthday.
Hope this helps,