Etiquette Questions

snickerdoodle564December 18, 2007

My mom turns 50 this January, and I wanted to have a small celebration in her honor. I don't have the room in my apartment to entertain her friends, nor do I (a "career-less" college senior) have the funds to rent or cater an event. If I were to invite her friends to dinner at a local restaurant's banquet/party room, would I be expected to pay for everyone's dinner? I was planning on putting "No presents, please" on the invitation (come to think of it, is the "no presents" line rude?). My mom's friends are all very laid back and fun, but I don't want to run the risk of making her look like she didn't raise a polite daughter, well versed in etiquette! Thank you so much for your help!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I faced the same issue when I was your age (I was a college sophomore), except it was my parents 25th anniversary. I couldn't fit everyone in my place and it isn't proper to invite someone to a party and then expect them to pay for their own meal (that answers one of your questions), so I hosted it at my parent's house. I had friends of theirs invite them out for something, to get them out of the house, and then I stormed in with my aunt and we got everything ready for when the guests arrived. I made most of the food offsite and brought it in. My father was in on it (at the last minute, because he balked about the activity the friends planned), but my mother was surprised. Maybe you could do something like that? Now, I wouldn't normally take over someone's house without their permission to have a party for them, but I think children are given some leeway on this with their parents. This only works if the house is kept relatively clean and neat because you are only going to have 2-4 hours to pull it off.

I wouldn't put "no presents". Some people always bring them anyway and then the ones that don't feel awkward. And technically, in terms of "rules", you are not supposed to because it implies that a gift is otherwise expected, when it is not.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2007 at 4:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I see this done more and more, organizing a get together in a restaurant and everyone pays their meal- usually people try to find a reasonably priced venue
and state the details in the invitation so guests know what to expect.

A restaurant can do a fixed price menu with 3 choices and everyone gets their bar bill individually.

It's probably not right etiquette wise to do this, but it's a reasonable alternative when the host cannot pay for everything. I am not insulted when I get this kind of invitation, I have the choice of going or not.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 5:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't think of it aas you are "throwing a party for her" are arranging for her friends to get to gether with her.
Call her friends and say something like...
"Mom will be 50 and I would love to find a way to have her celebrate with her friends. Maybe wwe could all manage to get together and go out for dinner on that day?"
A you could say...."Why don't we plan to meet at my place for a glass of wine before we go?"...And that would allow you to be a little bit of a hostess.
Linda C

    Bookmark   December 19, 2007 at 1:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I still sort of think if you arrange something you are going to be expected to pay and your mother may be embarassed if you don't.

I would lean towards trying to do something different. Maybe breakfast out instead of dinner (cheaper), Maybe meet to go to the Dollar Show together, or meet at a museum, zoo, etc. Could you handle just doing a dessert party at your house?

Are there any relatives that could help...maybe an aunt whose house you could use. Does your mother have one best friend that may offer her house if you hinted hard? You could call her, tell her you predicament and see what she suggests.

Another option would be to really just cut the list and have dinner for say, only, 3 or 4 friends... or whatever the amount you think you could afford.

If all else fails, hit up mom herself for the money... You'd be surprised how many people pay for their own parties. Of course, I'm sort of kidding... but really if you think your mom really wants a bigger party and has the easy means to pay for it, it may be your best bet. I've seen worse done. It may be a faux paux, but at least she could have her nice party and not be embarassed in front of her friends.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much for your input!

After talking to my dad, I've arranged for him to get her out of their house for dinner, giving me time to clean and decorate hers. I'll be inviting over a small group of her friends for a dessert party. I've got a friend/coworker that makes amazing fondant cakes, and she's volunteered to make one for me. The other desserts I'll prepare in advance, or let my friendly neighborhood grocery store do the work for me (with the price of groceries these days, it's almost as cheap to buy as it is to make from scratch...). I don't think my mom will have too much of a problem with me inviting people to her place; my dad's okay should get me off the hook if it's not. :o)

    Bookmark   December 20, 2007 at 12:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sounds like a great plan !!

    Bookmark   December 22, 2007 at 9:40AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Disappearing Brunch Guest
I'd love to hear your responses. We had a brunch for...
Tipping a Personal Chef
I've been given a gift of having a personal chef come...
Preparing Roasted Chicken Beforehand
Hi! I have been reading posts from here for a while,...
guests who just won't leave
I couldn't find a thread on this topic, so here goes... I...
Guests always bring along a dog
How would you handle this? My wifes long time friend...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™