Post # 1
I’m planning a birthday party for Darling Husband but I’m curious on etiquette. We’re planning to have the party at the casino where they have an adult lounge/bowling alley. We’d like to have dinner beforehand and then, go bowling. The venue has packages (cheapest at around $65 pp) but I don’t want to front the entire party and have no one show up. Shouldn’t we all chip in for dinner and if people want to bowl, they can do so? Thoughts?
Post # 3
Sorry you would pay, if you are hosting you should be paying
Post # 4
I think it depends on how you phrase it.
1) “We’re going to XYZ Casino for his birthday! Please feel free to stop by!” That, in my circle anyway, implies that you will pay your own way and the birthday person’s spouse/SO will cover the birthday person. For example, a friend of mine recently had a get together at a local restaurant and it was phrased in a way that you knew they would be there and you are welcomed to stop by and say hi to the birthday boy, but were in no obligation to eat/drink/be merry and they wouldn’t cover it either way.
2) “We’re having a party at XYZ Casino and you are invited for a night of drinks/food/festivities! Please RSVP.” That implies this is a hosted event and you will be paying for all your guests.
Post # 5
@lilbluebird: This is a good rule of thumb.
I am throwing a surprise 60th for my mom at a restaurant. No one is paying for their own anything because we sent a formal invitation.
Post # 6
It depends on how you word everything. In my group of friends, when we go out for someone’s birthday, we all chip in. I would say something like “I’m planning on taking Darling Husband to XX to celebrate his birthday and would love for everyone to join us! If you can’t make it to dinner, we will be bowling after1”. I think this implies that everyone is invited, but at their own cost.
Post # 7
In your situation if you want to get a package deal thing then I’d expect you would be paying. It’s more of a hosted party versus, hey lets all go to dinner. It all is really how you word it though.
Post # 8
I expect to be in the minority on this, but I’m not really a fan of people planning expensive nights out to celebrate themselves or their SOs and expecting their friends to foot the bill; I would rather be invited for wine and snacks at your house if that’s what you could afford.
But if this is socially acceptable in your circle, I would send a casual email (or call people) saying, hey, I’m taking Darling Husband out to [place] at [time] to celebrate his birthday; if you want to meet up with us for dinner or bowling afterwards, we’d love to see you there! I think “meet up” is kind of universal code for “we’re not paying”.
Definitely do not send any kind of formal invitation unless you’re paying.
Post # 9
@lilbluebird: I totally agree with this!
Post # 10
@lilbluebird: This sounds great! I was thinking of having hors deurves and having more of a cocktail party (cash bar) is that a no-go, too?
@JrzyGurl: In my group of friends, we all chip in, too. Your wording sounds great, too!
I’m not looking to have someone pay for an expensive dinner or outing. (The package deal is too much for anyone to pay.) Everything is completely optional! I just don’t know how to phrase it correctly so people don’t show up and be surprised of the “casual” arrangement. BUT if none of these situations work, I’m just going to keep it to a simple and just have everyone meet us at some local bar instead.
We’re a LDR and we don’t have space to host a party. If we did, I totally would.
Post # 11
Host pays. Usually I like to treat people on my birthday (but nothing beyond my means).
Post # 12
Word of mouth can go either way, actual invite means you pay!
Post # 13
@mnp: If you want to cover hors d’oeuvres, then what you can do is do option 1 where it’s more of a “hangout” than a formal “party” and when they get there, you can cover appetizers/hors d’oeuvres and people can get their own drinks. So essentially, they don’t expect anything and when they get there, you can say, “Hey, thanks for coming! We’re ordered some appetizers to share! Help yourself to some dip or some calamari!” It’s more of a pleasant surprise than anything else.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
I guess I’m in the minority… as grown ups, I don’t expect anyone to foot the whole bill for a birthday get together (that’s not hosted in a home). I think that’s just weird. Folks pay for their own dinner, but the birthday person’s meal is covered by someone else.
I’d say, “DH is turning #! To celebrate, we’ll be dining at XZY Restaurant. The cuisine is A, and the entrees range from $B-C. This is the website. After, we plan to grab some bowling shoes and have at it. Cost is $C for unlimited games for two hours. Contact me if you plan to join us for dinner so we have an accurate count for reservation. Hope to see you there!” I’d send it in an email. My sister did this for her husband as a surprise party at a restaurant, and my cousin did it too– she emailed; he called.
Post # 15
It comes down to whether you’re “getting people together for _____’s birthday” or “throwing a party”
Post # 16
You are really responsible for paying.