Post # 1
So Darling Husband and I are hosting a dinner party next week, I have a menu that I’ve carefully planned out in terms of timing and the available space and what not in my kitchen. We have a TINY galley kitchen, so narrow that we have to have a side by side fridge/freezer or you wouldn’t be able to open the fridge door all the way without hitting the counter on the other side of the kitchen. We’re expecting 14 adults and 2 children total. Pretty much every couple who’s attending has said “Oh I’ll bring a dessert” or “I’ll bring a side dish, I just need it heated up in the oven for 45 minutes” or “I’ll bring hot appetizers”.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but there isn’t time in my schedule or room in my oven or kitchen for 7 extra people to be in there preparing various dishes. As it is, the turkey will be cooked in an electric turkey roaster in our spare room/office and the ham in a crock pot in the master bedroom! Is there a way to turn them down without sounding ungrateful?
I’ve already bought most of the things I need for the dinner over the last two weeks as I’ve been able to find sales/coupons (turkey, ham, potatoes carrots etc), there’s only about 3 or 4 perishable items I still need to buy, and I’ve purchased in quantities that Darling Husband and I just won’t be able to eat in a timely manner on our own. So it would be a pretty big waste for me to have to change my menu so last minute, not to mention the time I spent figuring out a schedule for when everything needs to be started. There’s also the issue of allerigies. I’ve prepared my menu so that all those with allergies are accomodated, myself included, and many of the items that people are bringing contain foods that a few people won’t be able to eat.
I wasn’t really sure where to put this since it’s Not Wedding Related…
Post # 2
Can you tell your guests that they need not bring anything? Maybe just politely asking if they insist a bottle of wine?
Post # 3
Odd. We’ve only had “oh, can I bring anything?” Send out a reminder email, a few days ahead saying, “you are our guests, and we ask only that you bring only your sparkling personalities, and funniest story. please come, relax, and let us take care of everything!
Everyone will, then, bring you a bottle of wine or spirits. This is a hostess gift and you do not need to open them during the party.
Post # 4
sarahalthea: We did and they’re still insisting. We even offered suggestions on things like veggies and dip for the one person who wanted to bring hot appies that would have to be cooked here when they said they wanted to bring food when we suggested wine, but they’re insisting on bringing the exact dish they want.
I was hesitant on having the dinner party in the first place because I thought this would happen but it’s “our turn” to host, we’ve had dinner with these couples at their places on several occasions. It doesn’t help that our kitchen is extremely poorly laid out too! We have a decently sized house (4 bedrooms, 2 baths, living room, den, dining room) but our kitchen is tiny, very little counter space and super narrow.
Post # 5
futuremrste: ” I’d really prefer that you don’t bring anything this time. I have the menu planned and I’d like to do this on my own.
If you must bring something, a bottle of wine would be great.”
It might be a bit late for this though, if you weren’t assertive enough the first time they raised the issue.
Post # 6
Just say, “thanks so much, but please don’t worry about it. I”ll take care of all the food.”
Or if you want to give people a way to contribute, “thank so much but I’ve got all the food taken care of. If you wanted to bring a bottle of wine that’d be great.”
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2014 - Prague
HA! Who are these people? I’m always ECSTATIC not to have to bring something. 😀 I’ll be your dinner guest, no problem!
Post # 8
futuremrste: don’t duggest any alternatives. “Sally, I truly appreciate the offer. We have everything covered from start to finish. Looking forward to seeing you & Bob next week!”
Post # 9
People like to bring something so let them know they can bring a bottle of wine if they like and follow it up with “but really, we’ll have everything we need – thanks so much!”
Post # 10
futuremrste: Let them know you’ve got all the food covered and really just want them to come and relax. If they keep pushing, I would be honest and say that logistically heating up something at your home wouldn’t work as you will be preparing dinner there.
Post # 11
futuremrste: Just shoot them a text or call them and “don’t worry about bringing a thing. We have it covered. See you at 6” or whatever
Or as a PP stated just have them bring a bottle of wine. There is always room for wine! and that way they feel as if they have contributed.
Post # 12
just be honest — “that sounds delicious but you know how our kitchen is! I don’t think that we can fit even one more plate in here …. next time you come by I would love to try XXX though!”
Post # 13
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
futuremrste: Tell you have everything covered or taken care of but if they would like to bring a bottle of wine or 6 pack you won’t argue with them!
Post # 14
honesty is best here. there simply is not enough room to cook anything else, but if they feel like they have to bring something suggest veggies, a cold dessert, or something else that does not require cooking.
Post # 15
Thank them for wanting to bring something and then tell them what you told us … that you don’t have the kitchen space to accommodate things being heated up or prepared on premesis.