Join us at Workfest for expert advice on kickstarting your career ×

To think that if you host a party for yourself you should provide food and drink

(278 Posts)
housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:03:56

One of my friends is having a birthday party for herself at her house. She has invited people but asked everyone to bring a dish and given out a list of things they need for people to tick off. This encompasses everything you might have at a buffet plus alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks to I assume that this means she is not providing anything!

There is nothing saying that we are not to bring gifts either so she is clearly expecting pressies too.

Said friend and her husband are fairly well off so well able to afford to cater for the small group that have been invited.

I understand that if someone is having a general get-together like a BBQ and offering their house as the venue you might ask people to bring a dish but if you are actually having the party to celebrate your own birthday surely it is quite rude to basically ask people to pay for your party!

Bunbaker Sat 01-Mar-14 23:08:51

"I make horrible salads (I've never got the hang of it) "

I'm bewildered that you can't make salad. You just wash and cut up the ingredients and put them in a bowl, then make up a vinaigrette with one part balsamic vinegar, three parts of extra virgin olive oil and some seasoning, then mix it in just before serving. What is so difficult about that?

PublicEnemyNumeroUno Sat 01-Mar-14 20:46:56

I never get invited anywhere sad

2rebecca Sat 01-Mar-14 18:09:02

throw not through

2rebecca Sat 01-Mar-14 18:08:15

If it is a "friend" (I'm maybe fussier than many if my definition of friend so don't have many) I'd be delighted to go to her house to celebrate her birthday, would presume she was a bit skint but be pleased she's still putting on a party where I can meet people and even if I'm providing my own food and drink it's no more expensive than staying at home (kids teenagers).
This is the reason students and teenagers have more parties than middle aged people, they just through a party and don't bother about providing stuff apart from the venue, glasses (there will be alot of tidying up before and after) and the venue.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 01-Mar-14 18:04:00

I think that the hosts should provide most of the food, but that things like salads and desserts can be brought by guests if they ask if they can bring something. That's how I do it when I have people over for dinner, in any case. I make horrible salads (I've never got the hang of it) and I am not interested in making desserts, while some people love it, so I think that if they'd like to, then great! But I would never require it of anyone, and I would never expect it. I always buy in some posh ice-cream and a box of chocolates just in case.

I think that this is the norm for Scandinavia (where I live). Also, the host provides soft drinks, guests bring their own alcohol. That's mainly because alcohol is so expensive that having people over would become outrageously expensive if the host provided all.

winterhat Sat 01-Mar-14 18:01:20

If you host, you provide food and drink. And when you go to other people's parties, then it's their turn.

arethereanyleftatall Sat 01-Mar-14 17:59:11

Exactly whoknows

We are unable to host parties of any size because of our tiny house, we go to parties at the much larger houses of friends every now and then and I much prefer the all contribute something approach because it re-dresses the balance a bit for us not being able to host. If sharing the load means more parties then that's got to be good hasn't it?

arethereanyleftatall Sat 01-Mar-14 17:49:11

The op aside, which is indeed bizarre, those saying it's grabby to get guests to bring anything, are the grabby ones themselves.
I would never go round someones house without bringing anything. Can't care less if I get told what to bring .
My group of friends enjoy loads of parties, and it's because everyone chips in regardless of who hosts.
If one person was expected to provide everything, plus clean, plus run around getting people drinks etc , I suspect our social life would take a serious nose dive.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 17:30:51

Sounds good to me. I will be there!

Grennie Sat 01-Mar-14 17:29:44

I am happy to throw a party. You can all come as long as you bring some food and drink - I don't care what. You can bring kids and dogs too. And although there will be some chairs, if you really want one, bring that too.

Only rule is that you are easy going. If you are going to complain if people keep their shoes on and you have a toddler, or that all the gluten free food you brought has been eaten, or someone is getting a bit merry on wine, you are not invited.

Grennie Sat 01-Mar-14 17:26:39

fireside - The only thing I have really changed in what I do is that I no longer take really good quality wine to parties. I don't mind sharing it, but I drink quite slowly. So usually I got 1 glass, and by the time I went back, the rest had gone. I just take middle of the road wine now.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 17:25:05

Well Thankyou, Fireside. You can come to my party and I will send you a list later of what it would be helpful if you could bring please. I'm sure we will have a great time.

Joysmum Sat 01-Mar-14 17:23:35

I think if somebody is going to get offended about bringing a little bit of grub it shows how little they think of the person they are going to.

firesidechat Sat 01-Mar-14 17:21:08

Sorry to do this to you again Chocolate, but I'm going to have to agree with you.

I've been to posh dinner parties with my husband's work colleagues, had friends round for 3 course meals (I did all the cooking), bought plates of food to socials, birthday parties and weddings and all sorts of other variations. Each one was fine in it's own way and I honestly had no idea that people were so set in their ways.

The only ones I haven't enjoyed so much are the bbqs where you bring your own meat. I like nice food and somehow I always end up with the value sausages and someone else gets my farmers market specials. It makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it.

Grennie Sat 01-Mar-14 17:19:43

I don't really have a vision of a host that some here seem to have. As friends we get together all the time for lots of things. Birthdays, anniversaries, just because people feel like it. Occasionally someone will choose to do a more formal dinner party type thing.

But most, the host provides venue, decorations, some food and drink. Others bring stuff too. Sometimes jobs are assigned e.g. x could you do a playlist, or y could you bring a few extra chairs. And everyone tends to muck in with some clearing up, although the host will do more.

On birthdays everyone brings cards, but they don't bring presents unless they would have given one anyway to that friend.

I am not sure I would like the more formal expectations of being a host and doing absolutely everything.

firesidechat Sat 01-Mar-14 17:08:44

Pippilangstrompe That is taking things to an unacceptable extreme and I would probably have turned down such an invite. To be fair I'm slightly on the fence about a food list at all. I know it means you don't end up with 4 quiches and no salad, but it slightly goes against the spirit of the thing.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 17:06:05

Etiquette eh!
Perhaps we should just try to be a bit more flexible. We won't explode if we go to a party which is organised differently to the ones we've been to before. We might enjoy it more. We might enjoy it less. We will have tried something new. Come out of your comfort zones a little!

SOme friends of mine have an annual party with a tick llist, everyone loves it. THey provide a hog roast and most of the booze, to be fair - but the llist encompasses a range of options so people can select what to bring according to their circumstances. I usually opt for either 'acuces and pickes' or 'biscuits for cheese' as I have to get their on public transport and transport bedding and stuff (it's a sleepover as well) and therefore can't do a tray of stuff or a fancy pudding.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 01-Mar-14 14:11:32

I was once invited to a dinner party with an invitation much like the OP got. I was assigned to make corn bread, which I was fine with doing. However then I got a following up enail asking what recipe I was going to use and that she'd have a strong preference for me using the one she had attached to the mail. Apparently she did the same with all the other guests. Someone else was assigned to bring a turkey big enough for 8 people.

Now, that was really taking the piss.

Bunbaker Sat 01-Mar-14 13:51:44

I think we should have an etiquette thread on here:
weddings
parties
house guests
work
friendships

Anything else?

PMDD Sat 01-Mar-14 12:59:22

I think etiquette is if you host a party then you provide food and drink. However, it is rude for a guest to arrive empty handed, there is normally a gift for the host. That gift could be towards the party, often guests phone before the party and ask what they can bring to help. However, the gift could be not party relevant, a friend once brought a nice scented candle for the host.

Bunbaker Sat 01-Mar-14 12:32:22

soverylucky were you told or asked?

I agree that being told is rude, being asked nicely isn't. If someone had said "would you mind bringing some crisps/baguettes/cheese etc?" would you still think that was rude?

I'm very much with chocolate and fireside on this.

soverylucky Sat 01-Mar-14 10:06:52

Yanbu.
There is a big difference between the sort of Christmas and new year get togethers where people bring stuff and a party for an individual at their home. I think it is very rude. Someone did this to us. We accepted an invite then a few days before were given a list of what foods to bring. Was amazed at how rude that was.

nkf Sat 01-Mar-14 10:03:57

It's worth knowing that not everyone hosts parties the same way. It's good for children to learn that. It's probably better that they see a range of social occasions. Makes them adaptable. And I guess usually people find their own way. And nobody is massively offended. It's only on MN that it gets magnified. Someone muses about a birthday party invite and everyone joins in.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now