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!

Quoteunquote Thu 27-Feb-14 18:05:02

pot luck?

expatinscotland Thu 27-Feb-14 18:06:17

You decline the invite. Pisstakers can only get away with it if others enable them.

Roseformeplease Thu 27-Feb-14 18:06:28

Not sure. We often go out for a birthday and split the bill in the restaurant. However, if we host at home, we cook.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Thu 27-Feb-14 18:06:34

I wouldn't expect all my guests to bring food, no. It's cheeky.

A BBQ you generally bring something, but the host also provides food and drink.

As a guest to a party don't you generally just turn up with a bottle?

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:07:09

I understand the premis of a pot luck party but thought the idea was that everyone took it in turns to host and everyone brought something.

This is someone inviting people to her birthday party but expecting them to pay for all the party food and drink!

What expat said.

dexter73 Thu 27-Feb-14 18:07:22

I wouldn't have a problem with bringing a dish to a party + a couple of bottles of wine.

intheround Thu 27-Feb-14 18:07:28

I think it's quite a nice thing to do- that way everyone has helped make it special. Most people take a bottle of something when they go to a party, so why not make it food?

Janethegirl Thu 27-Feb-14 18:07:38

I think it depends on your group of friends. I would expect your friend to provide some food and drink but not necessarily all of it. Certainly most people would bring a bottle or some beer to a party.

BillyNotQuiteNoMates Thu 27-Feb-14 18:08:42

SO don't go - problem sorted

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:09:16

I would probably have brought a bottle but I object to be told that I "have" to bring drink and food! I will also have to buy a birthday gift too.

I think I am going to decline!

The list for people to tick off is cringeworthy. Asking for specific stuff. Cheeky mare.

Yika Thu 27-Feb-14 18:09:48

I think it's a bit odd for a birthday, yes. Otherwise I don't mind - I find it quite nice actually.

Janethegirl Thu 27-Feb-14 18:12:25

I don't think I've ever gone to a party and not taken a bottle or two. It's also really easy to get a ready to eat packet of snack food or a cheesecake from a supermarket before you go. I think the OP is BU.

I wouldn't go to a friends house empty handed anyway, and if they were throwing a party I would also offer a hand with food anyway so it really wouldn't bother me. It sounds nice, but you sound as though you would resent it so, no, you shouldn't go.

It's just a bring and share. I've been to loads of parties like that, NYE, birthdays, just for fun, housewarmings. Can't see the problem. hmm

derektheladyhamster Thu 27-Feb-14 18:14:35

I really wouldn't mind, they are friends after all!

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:14:43

Jamethegirl I know it's easy to buy the food but the principle is why should I pay to provide food for someone elses party? The party giver is well off and has a good job as has her DP so why can't they just pay?

WilsonFrickett Thu 27-Feb-14 18:14:57

My circle of friends wouldn't mind this at all, we often do it for things like NY, one person hosts but that's really just providing the venue and the beds and food for the kids. I don't think we've ever done this for a birthday but tbh I wouldn't mind it.

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:15:27

If I have parties I always pay for the food and drink

OwlCapone Thu 27-Feb-14 18:15:46

why should I pay to provide food for someone elses party?

So tell her that and don't go.

PrincessOfChina Thu 27-Feb-14 18:16:04

For a birthday it's odd.

I'm hosting all my uni friends, their husbands and all the kids next weekend. Everyone has asked what to bring so I was going to circulate a list - I'll do main savoury stuff but they can bring desserts and crisps, dips etc. hope that's not rude!

OwlCapone Thu 27-Feb-14 18:16:11

Being asked to take food wouldn't bother me in the slightest.

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 18:16:49

I do understand when it's something like New Year and one person provides the venue and everyone brings something but I think when you want people to specifically come and celebrate your birthday with you you should lay on the food.

I agree housebox. Your birthday. Your house. You pay for the food at least.
The tick list is entitled too. Not just 'bring a dish' is it? Bring something off my list.

well, this is how wealthy people STAY wealthy.

The poorer people are, the more generous as hosts, IMO

Janethegirl Thu 27-Feb-14 18:22:07

Sorry Housebox I just don't understand why you don't feel able to spend £5 or less to take some food to share at a party. If you don't like the terms of the invitation, just say you can't go, or tell her you don't like the conditions attached to the invitation.

Joysmum Thu 27-Feb-14 18:23:08

We do this.

It means we can get together more often.

On a family buffet, each person brings a little something.

We also have dinner parties with 2 other couples and the hosts do the main course and the others do either pud or starter.

Tell us what's on the list. smile

Viviennemary Thu 27-Feb-14 18:24:32

Of course most people do take a bottle along to a party. But I don't think it's quite the done thing to ask for bottles or food to be brought. Except if they are penniless students or similar.

Bowlersarm Thu 27-Feb-14 18:26:19

Very odd invitation to celebrate a birthday party.

I can understand someone wanting to have a party or gathering and say 'we'd love everyone to come to ours for a party. Can't quite afford to fund it all. Would you mind chipping in? We'll supply xxxx but could you bring xxx'

But for a birthday party, especially if a present is expected, it does seem greedy.

I had a birthday 'get together' last weekend, it was all very informal didn't expect presents etc and we did provide all food and non alcoholic drinks but did ask people to bring what they wanted to drink. We are skint and this is what as a group of friends we have done every time we socialise.

Hmm I think we need to see the list tbh ;)

I don't know OP, you don't actually know she's not providing anything.

nkf Thu 27-Feb-14 18:28:28

I want to know what's on the list.

And it was only 5 couples including us and 8 kids (who we provided drinks for)

WhizzFucker Thu 27-Feb-14 18:32:36

Lovely thing to do and not odd at all.

Sounds like you're not really friends - just decline the invite.

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 18:34:16

I can't understand my you're put out by this.

Most of the get togethers we have are ones where we bring a plate of food and I would consider it fairly normal. It would never occur to me to be offended and I positively enjoy them. At least your guaranteed that one dish will be something you like.

If I worried about everything that MN finds rude I would never leave the house again.

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 18:34:41

I have been to lots of birthday parties where it is a bring and share food and drink. And the hosts provide stuff too.

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 18:35:01

why not my.

My typing has been appalling today.

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 18:36:17

Don't think there was ever a list though. It was literally pot luck.

starlight1234 Thu 27-Feb-14 18:39:26

Would everything on the list be all that is there? Would she not just provide what someone doesn't tick off

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 18:41:56

"I would probably have brought a bottle but I object to be told that I "have" to bring drink and food! I will also have to buy a birthday gift too.

I think I am going to decline!"

My, you are easily offended. So, you are going to cut your nose off to spite your face just because you were asked to bring some food. Most gatherings I go to are bring and share. You don't sound much of a friend.

Preparing food for a party is a right old hassle. It isn't so much the expense, but the time, and having enough dishes and fridge storage. We had a party at new year. I didn't ask anyone to bring food but said yes to those that offered.

I think sending a list was a bit OTT, so you could just bring something off list if you prefer, or stay at home instead of enjoying yourself at the party grin

I would imagine the hostess is supplying a multipack of value crisps. grin

manicinsomniac Thu 27-Feb-14 18:43:12

oh gosh, I'm having a birthday party, have asked people to bring a drink if they can and haven't specified that they shouldn't bring presents. Is that rude?

I haven't mentioned food (but am planning on doing it myself) and it hadn't occurred to me that people would bring presents. I haven't had a party since my 21st. I'm an adult. People don't take presents to adults birthday parties do they? My close friends buy me presents because they want to anyway, I really don't think party invite = buy present however well you know somebody once you are grown up.

Eek, worried now.

I (hope) YABU

alwaysneedaholiday Thu 27-Feb-14 18:43:17

I would always offer to take something to eat to a party, but would probably feel a bit miffed about being issued with a list!

Wine and present would be normal too - wouldn't be an either/or for me.

The hostess will have a whole house to clean, and food and drinks of her own to organise.

whois Thu 27-Feb-14 18:44:29

Always take a bottle.

For a general party where one person is offering their house you can do an organised 'bring x' list.

For your birthday it would be good form to provide the food at your own party!

Bowlersarm Thu 27-Feb-14 18:48:30

manic that's fine. I think the OP is surprised at having to bring both food and drink. The birthday girl herself doesn't seem to be supplying anything.

Is 'massive birthday cake with candles and my name on' on the list?

HesterShaw Thu 27-Feb-14 18:50:36

Don't go then.

lazyhound444 Thu 27-Feb-14 18:55:24

For an ordinary get together it would be no big deal but for a birthday party, she really should provide the buffet herself. I would always bring my own alcohol to a party and expect the host to provide fizz for the toast and a reasonable amount of soft drinks for mixers.

A few years ago we were invited to a BBQ which was a "homecoming" party for a distant relative who had decided to settle here after living her entire life in Canada. Clearly they do things different there as we were e mailed a list of what to specifically bring food and drink wise but, get this, she also asked us to bring "lawn furniture". Many of the guests lived in flats or rented accommodation and had no outdoor furniture to speak of. They were told they'd have to stand!

I don't understand why some people "host" parties when they clearly have no idea of how to do it and just end up offending people and pissing them off.

expatinscotland Thu 27-Feb-14 18:56:43

Just decline. The list, though, we need to know what's on it.

YY. Please tell us what's on the list. We really need to know.

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 18:58:39

"Clearly they do things different there as we were e mailed a list of what to specifically bring food and drink wise but, get this, she also asked us to bring "lawn furniture"."

There are three of us so we have three garden chairs. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask people to bring chairs for an outdoor party if they want to sit on one.

Whatisaweekend Thu 27-Feb-14 19:00:23

Perhaps worth checking with the hostess to see what SHE is providing first? I say this because some very good friends sent an invite saying " we are having a BBQ - bring booze....and something to put on the BBQ". We were a bit hmm but when we arrived we found that they had done the most wonderful array of salads, breads, different dressings, crisps, dips...loads of stuff. So actually it was pretty brilliant.

But if she is providing nowt, I'd tell her where to get off as it is colossally rude to basically say - everyone celebrate MY birthday and YOU are paying for it all as I am so marvellous you clearly want to celebrate my being.

lazyhound444 Thu 27-Feb-14 19:01:19

Bunbaker I understand that, but she was asking for tables and everything, and this was from people she had never actually MET, they were all relatives of her late father who emigrated to Canada in the 1950s. It was just bizarre. She provided next to nothing at her own party, almost everything was brought by guests.

CeliaFate Thu 27-Feb-14 19:03:29

It depends on the type of gathering I think. If it's a case of, "Let's get together, I'll host. Come to mine and we'll all chip in."
I have no problem with that.
But if it's a case of, "It's my birthday, bring me a present and provide your own food and drink," then that's taking the piss.
My sil did this - she hired a hall, invited loads of people and said "bring your own drink", but expected everyone who was coming to bring her a present as well.
If you're having a more formal get together, eg an invitation party, then you pay.
If it's a group of mates going round someone's house on a weekend, then you take something.

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 19:03:30

Like Bunbaker I've taken so many random items to parties because the host didn't have them and didn't mind at all. I thought this was what everyone did. These sort of events are always good fun, feel more friendly and it's nice to share food and drink together.

I think I am going to have me one of these new fangled 'get everyone else to do it all so you don't have to' parties. You are all invited. Just give me ten minutes to write my list of desires.....

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 19:04:09

Hmm. I must admit that I never demand anything of my guests, but happily accept offers. The main problem is that people always bring more drinks than we get through - we also supply drinks BTW. OH is a wine enthusiast and we always end up with crap bottles of wine left over. And this year we had loads of Shloer left over, but DD loves it so that isn't a problem.

whats4teamum Thu 27-Feb-14 19:04:34

I got an invite to something like this and was asked to provide meat for 40 people. Other people got to provide a green salad or French bread. Bit of a disparity no?

Aeroflotgirl Thu 27-Feb-14 19:04:57

It is a bit cheeky really, if your hosting a party you provide some food and drink. There have been times when people have asked guests at a wedding to bring a dish instead of a present as they are skint or they feel it's nicer, but thus situation sounds very grabby. I would politely decline.

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 19:05:24

Now that is ridiculous whats4teamum. Sounds like someone was taking advantage.

What cheeky beggar brought crappy wine to your soiree Bunbaker? sad

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 19:05:47

But the party girl didn't say people had to bring a gift, she just didn't mention it. As an adult I wouldn't expect friends to buy me gifts and perhaps she assumed the same thing.

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 19:07:45

I wouldn't expect a gift. And I have asked people to bring chairs to parties/sit down meals.

Savvyblonde Thu 27-Feb-14 19:25:29

I went to a children's party like this in the summer, guests provided everything and a present. Host took all credit for it. We won't be going again this year.

Twilightsparklesmama Thu 27-Feb-14 19:35:43

I think this is really cheeky, my friend did this for her DS's first birthday!!!

Savvyblonde Thu 27-Feb-14 19:43:16

I felt especially angry as the host's child had been to many other parties that year, so to me it was their turn to host. However we all ended up paying for it. Again these people are not poor, probably richer than most of the rest of us, but as already said, that is how the rich stay rich perhaps.

FamiliesShareGerms Thu 27-Feb-14 19:45:07

How do you know she hasn't bought cases and cases of vintage bubbly and piles of oysters and caviar for you all as well? Would that make it OK?

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 19:50:42

We do this a lot amongst friends. But the hosts also provide lots of stuff. A list is more unusual. But I really don't see this as an issue.

Sometimesbrunette Thu 27-Feb-14 19:56:46

I had a friend who wanted a baby shower and got her friend to organise it. A chinese was ordered and we had to chip in, pre order and transfer the money in advance too! Plus bring her a present.

She's not very good at hosting- she gave me Victoria sponge for breakfast once.

Horses for courses. Personally I wouldn't, I'd feel embarrassed and grabby. We enjoy hosting, big house, no kids etc , put toiletries on the bed etc but we get taken the piss out of a bit. People say 'can't invite you back as don't want to cook for you' (hubby amazing in the kitchen).

If you don't like it, I guess don't go.

Sometimesbrunette Thu 27-Feb-14 19:58:19

But like to add, everyone scrambles to
Come to ours!!!

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 20:07:28

I'm afraid the list is nothing too exciting - just your usual stuff like pizzas, salad, crisps and dips, french bread, cheeses etc.

I don't think the hostess is planning on providing much as we got a follow up email that said "items we still need...and listed things they don't have yet and they said that they were still quite low on drinks" so from this I'm assuming they have no plans to make up the shortfall

OMG. A follow up email with more demands? shock

housebox Thu 27-Feb-14 20:11:03

Actually this thread has reminded me of when we used to do pot luck meet ups with NCT group. People took turns to host and everyone had an item to bring.

For the first couple of meets the person who had been tasked with salad took along a lovely made up, greek salad type thing with olives, feta etc. When I was hosting the salad person came in, plonked a lettuce, whole cucumber and bunch of spring onions on the kitchen top and I had to make the salad myself!

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 20:11:10

I admit that it does sound a bit grabby. I dare you to ask what the host is contributing, apart from her house.

Bowlersarm Thu 27-Feb-14 20:13:18

It does sound really grabby.

Email her back and ask if she's supplying anything at all, the tightarse.

BoJolly Thu 27-Feb-14 20:14:54

Take a bottle of cheap wine and a dairylea triangle. Job done. grin

lazyhound444 Thu 27-Feb-14 20:19:15

BoJolly Killing myself at Dairylea triangle. Make sure the wine is Blue Nun and you're on a surefire bet she'll never pull this grabby shite again.

SueDoku Thu 27-Feb-14 20:20:44

Take a decent bottle of wine - hand it to her when you go in, say, 'Happy Birthday' in a loud cheerful voice, implying that this is her present..... Job done grin

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 27-Feb-14 20:28:23

It sounds fine to me. I'd much rather bring a drink and some nibbles to a party than pay for a restaurant meal out to celebrate someone's birthday. I have a couple of friends who do bring and share parties and it works out really well. No one spends more than £5 on food and the list means that you don't get stuck with huge amounts of brie and no bread or salad.

Egusta Thu 27-Feb-14 20:28:26

I am Australian (although now permanently in the UK) and this is exactly the sort of party (including birthdays and christmases) that i understand. Everyone brings something. We all pitch in and have a great and relaxed time. In fact, just last summer we sent out an e-mail invitation for a BBQ. We said 'bring meat and booze of choice, plus anyone else who wants to come'. We provided booze also, soft drinks, homemade ginger beer, salads, jacket pots and desserts. i would have been mortified if people thought we were being cheap, it was more of a 'let's have fun' thing, everyone welcome in our home. People brought friends, hangers on, elderly relatives who had come for the weekend. That is my idea of a really good party.

TheRaniOfYawn Thu 27-Feb-14 20:32:13

I agree. Parties like that feel more welcoming and full of community spirit than the sort where the host provides everything.

expatinscotland Thu 27-Feb-14 20:37:09

The follow up email? Oh, fuck that for a game of soldiers! Decline politely.

Bunbaker Thu 27-Feb-14 20:52:27

Given the answers from overseas posters can I ask what nationality the host is?

I still wouldn't not go to a party because I had been asked to take some food. That is just petty.

arethereanyleftatall Thu 27-Feb-14 21:10:40

yabu. I am,absolutely happy to take a dish and drinks,when I go to someone elses house. Hosting is a massive amount of work anyway, with cleaning before and after, that I think it's only fair they don't do all the food as well.
For my bday last year we did a lamb spit which we bought, and for my bday presents I asked everyone for a salad or dessert instead of a present. I thought everyone was happy with it....

arethereanyleftatall Thu 27-Feb-14 21:15:42

My dh is south African and I love how they do it over there- for any party everyone always brings pretty much their own food and drinks. 'chop 'n dop'. It means they have a massive social life as there's never any arguing about whose turn it is, or no one wanting to host, or massive planning. All chilled.

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 21:16:22

arethereany - They probably were. People on MN get upset about things that I have never heard anyone getting upset about in RL.

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 21:18:33

I used to do the massive buffet all prepared by myself, etc. I just found most found it too formal and much prefer the bring something to share parties. Parties are supposed to be fun.

For me it's the fact it's the hostesses birthday do. If it was a summer BBQ for no reason other than a get together then that's different.

The list thing is just embarrassingly cringey too. Who does that? It's odd.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Thu 27-Feb-14 21:25:12

Depends on the mood of the party, I don't mind a pot luck, but the follow up email tells me she's grabby.

Dsis group of friends actually charge each other per head £5-£10 when they take turn to host parties (although a couple including Dsis don't as they can't bring themselves to actually charge guests for food/drink!) - the lot of them definitely aren't skint hmm

I wonder if she'll email a wish-list of presents to buy her too wink

Financeprincess Thu 27-Feb-14 21:35:08

Oh, I knew somebody like this. She made a big song and dance about having a barbecue one summer, then sent all her guests an e-mail telling us that we had to bring all the food and drink! We denounced the hostess as a tightarse and I think your friend is part of the same breed, Housebox!

Really, I wouldn't have the brass neck to pull a stunt like this. I'd expect people to bring a bottle to a party - not mandatory, but a nice social convention - but sending a list of the food she wants???

Grennie Thu 27-Feb-14 21:42:37

I would always expect to take a bottle, or at least a present for the Host.

firesidechat Thu 27-Feb-14 22:38:39

Well I'm British and live in England and this is my favourite sort of do.

BoyFromTheBigBadCity Fri 28-Feb-14 01:31:54

There is a difference between 'bring a dish, chip in, friendly gathering' and 'I require you to bring x, y and z to my own party to celebrate my birthday'. Bring a bottle is normal, even 'we're a bit short of chairs, please can you help?', but this is just cheeky and not in the spirit of hospitality at all.

eightandthreequarters Fri 28-Feb-14 01:44:08

I always offer to bring food (plus the obvious bottle of wine) if I'm invited. Mostly it's a 'no' from the host, although sometimes if they're stressed or pushed they accept. Or if it's a let's-get-together potluck thing. But a list of specific stuff to bring? No.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Fri 28-Feb-14 01:50:47

I have a friend who does this, but also picks complicated themes, and has multiple dietary requirements. So for her 40th, she wanted everyone to bring a dish of authentic 1940s food, preferably gluten and lactose free.

PastPerfect Fri 28-Feb-14 06:40:14

It's all in the asking.

Suggesting that a good friend brings a salad or pud to a weekend BBQ is fine, requesting a casual acquaintance brings a plate of homemade goats cheese canapés to your 40th not fine.

OwlCapone Fri 28-Feb-14 07:02:43

A list makes perfect sense unless you want 40 plates of sausage rolls.

The OP clearly isn't a good friend of the birthday girl anyway or she wouldn't have bitched about her and ridiculed her on a public forum.

Booboostoo Fri 28-Feb-14 08:02:41

It's a cultural thing.

I'm Greek, in Greece the host provides everything and would be mortified at the suggestion that guests contribute to the party itself. However, it is extremely rude to turn up without a gift for the host (a personal present if you know the host well enough, or a cake (NOT to be consumed during the party), or flowers).

I live in France where it is customary for the host to provide everything but guests turn up empty handed (I admit to struggling with this every time!!!).

In the UK I've been asked to bring specific food/drink items and in rare cases specific party items like fireworks, etc. I think that's taking the mickey because the host orchestrates everything but pays for nothing. I am happy to bring something but it then has to be something I like!

MetellaEstMater Fri 28-Feb-14 08:11:54

Completely agree owl. OP obviously doesn't like the host.

I'm also amazed that everyone presumes to know about other people's finances. They may be in good jobs but you never know what expenditure people have. For example, years ago my dad had a great job but was supporting not only us but my mum's brothers family after they lost their business. Nobody knew that.

There's also the time factor. DH and I both have birthdays this week so have right friends over for dinner tonight. On this occasion we are doing all of the food and it will take an age to prepare (admittedly due to our menu choice). If I wasn't on maternity leave everyone would be chipping in and bringing something.

The host may not expect presents - that seems to be an assumption.

YouAreTalkingRubbish Fri 28-Feb-14 08:30:48

I think it is ok actually and I think a list is quite sensible. She has 'asked' if you want to come and told you the deal upfront. May I tentatively come out with the old mumsnet favourite 'it's an invitation not a summons'. The only way I could feel outraged by this is if she had specified what presents she wants.
Her food list seems very straightforward and modest.
I guess you could downgrade the present if you wanted and I think it's ok not to take a present at all.
I think the best thing would be for you not to go. If I were the host I wouldn't want you to come feeling the way you do.

flowery Fri 28-Feb-14 08:40:39

I wouldn't decline because of it but I think it is grabby. If you want to host a party for you birthday, er, host it. Don't just provide a house and demand everyone else provides everything else.

And the finances thing - you cut your cloth. If you can't afford a big party, you have a smaller one and just have a couple of friends over.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 08:52:18

"If you can't afford a big party, you have a smaller one and just have a couple of friends over."

I don't agree at all. On other mn threads the advice is if you can't afford a big party ask the guests to contribute some food.

That's what we did when my cousin got married. The reception was in my auntie's garden. He paid for all the booze (and there was an awful lot of it) and the guests brought the food. It was the best wedding I have ever been to.

I agree with Owl that the OP clearly doesn't like the host very much and obvious doesn't understand that organising a party is a PITA.

firesidechat Fri 28-Feb-14 09:02:02

I wasn't going to say this, but in for a penny and all that. We did a similar thing for our wedding in the 80's and I don't think anyone minded. We provided the drinks and some food, didn't ask family to bring anything and the church friends we had at the time made a plate of food for everyone to share.

I've also made food for other weddings like this and didn't mind at all. The weddings were all very, very low key and it felt like a lovely community effort. Perhaps I'm a bit strange though.

flowery Fri 28-Feb-14 09:04:21

I think a wedding is different.

OwlCapone Fri 28-Feb-14 09:07:36

How is a wedding different? It's exactly the same thing - a celebration that you are hosting and expecting others to cater. I don't have a problem with it at all.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 09:08:32

Oh, and whenever we are invited to friends' houses I always offer to bring something. Does that make me weird?

I think the whole thing is fine including the list and follow up email. We often do this sort of thing and when we started it ended up all bringing sausage rolls to a party!! Since then we do lists- the hosts job being to organise rather than to provide everything.

That being said, I don't think the OP should go as she clearly doesn't like the idea- these things work on mutual liking for each other and the concept. Bringing a plate of resentment doesn't work well.

flowery Fri 28-Feb-14 09:10:21

It's different because there's absolutely no need or tradition or expectation for an adult to have a celebration with lots of people for their birthday, whereas that's far more the case with a wedding, which is more of a community/family celebration.

Why would you be weird for offering to bring something Bunbaker? confused

itsbetterthanabox Fri 28-Feb-14 09:12:15

I would provide food and a couple of bottles. And then ask people to byob. But we are young and skint. If we were well off I'd buy drinks.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 09:15:30

"Why would you be weird for offering to bring something Bunbaker"

Clearly, by those who don't like to be asked to contribute food.

poopadoop Fri 28-Feb-14 09:16:59

I think offering to bring something is great, but agree it is slightly odd to be very specific about what you expect everyone to bring. We often host dinners and IF someone offers to bring something we might ask for salad or dessert. We always give that person back the leftovers of what they brought if they want it and we always do the main meal and other dishes.

A few years ago we were invited to a friends' housewarming and were instructed via email to bring a selection of cheeses, others were told to bring very specific things as well. All the guests thought it was pretty cheeky. Why host a party if you are so reliant on friends providing all the food and drink?

Oblomov Fri 28-Feb-14 09:18:00

Not a problem to me, because I normally offer a food item and bring a bottle anyway.

chandlerbing Fri 28-Feb-14 09:19:37

I am of the opinion that if you are hosting a party then you should fully expect to provide food/drink to everyone that you invite. I'd never turn up to a party empty handed and always take drinks and nibbles but if I choose to host a party then I would provide everything and anything that anyone else decided to bring would be a bonus. I think it's the height of rudeness inviting people to a party and then expecting guests to provide everything. If you can't afford a party then don't have one.

I was invited to a BBQ last summer and the (very stingy) host said on the invite that we all had to bring everything that we would want to eat. She even said 'don't forget ketchup and mustard!'. We were literally expected to bring every item of food and drink we wanted to eat. I'm surprised she didn't try to put on a surcharge for using her BBQ too. Hardly anyone went, and the host was then bitching on facebook that no one had turned up.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 09:20:00

"Why host a party if you are so reliant on friends providing all the food and drink?"

We are going round in circles with this.
1. Cost
2. Doing food for lots of people is a PITA
3. They may not have enough serving dishes
4. They want to celebrate with all their friends and this might be the only feasible way of doing it

What don't you understand about that?

poopadoop Fri 28-Feb-14 09:21:19

Ha! bring ketchup!
OP - 'still quite low on drinks' - that is ridiculous. Sorry but if you literally cannot afford to feed people and want to celebrate your birthday, then don't have a party.
Why do people not realise how totally rude it is to demand guests bring their own food and drink?

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 09:25:44

"Why do people not realise how totally rude it is to demand guests bring their own food and drink?"

But it isn't

Yes I am shouting. Does this mean that people who are skint aren't allowed to invite loads of friends round?

How about if the host had said to her friends. "I would love to have a party, but can't afford to do loads of food, can we agree that people make a food contribution?"

Is that rude?

Vickiyumyum Fri 28-Feb-14 09:29:26

I do understand the bring some food and drink, especially for bbq's. My objection though is that for a BBQ if you bring sausages you eat them don't then steal someone's steak or salmon or veggie skewers! This has happened on more than one occasion. I'm a veggie so usually take my own but make extra. Made veggie and halloumi skewers too salmon for dd and two bits of steak for my p (at the time) and my eldest. Went to get our food and no skewers salmon or steak all that was there was sausages and burgers. Next time I took twice as many skewers and still didn't get one!

scarletforya Fri 28-Feb-14 09:43:24

BooBooStoo Same thing in Ireland. This would not fly at all Host provides everything. Putting on a 'good spread' is a matter of pride. To ask guests to provide all the food and drink just would not happen.

It's so rude and socially unacceptable I'm cringing!

housebox Fri 28-Feb-14 09:43:45

I don't know the in's and out's of their finances but they appear fairly well off.

Personally though I think if you can't afford to host a party or your don't want to be bothered with all the effort then just don't do it! Surely you can't say oh I want a party for my birthday but can't afford it or be bothered with all the preparation so hey everyone can just do it for me and shell out their money!

I actually think asking for people to bring food and drink to your wedding is rude too!

scarletforya Fri 28-Feb-14 09:46:19

If you can't afford a party you don't have one. To expect others to fund it is the height of ignorance. And grabby.

dexter73 Fri 28-Feb-14 09:47:58

If the options are a) go to a party and have to take some food and a bottle of wine or b) stay at home then I would go for (a) every time as I love a party.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 09:57:16

"I actually think asking for people to bring food and drink to your wedding is rude too!"

I am shocked at the sense of entitlement about invitations that some people have on this thread.

No-one at the wedding thought it was rude to be asked to bring food BTW. Maybe it is just our family and friends who don't get uptight about helping each other out. It is perfectly normal to offer to help with food on any social occasion. Maybe I just have nicer friends and a nicer family who aren't too proud to ask for help.

Honestly it was a perfect wedding. It was in my auntie's beautiful garden on a perfect summer's day. The booze bill must have been thousands (my cousin paid for all the booze). They hired crockery/cutlery/glasses and a couple of people to serve/wash up, and the food was fantastic. It was part of the wedding present to bring food. And the invitation wasn't worded that people had to bring food, but to invite people to bring it if they could.

We couldn't because we travelled down the day before on a boiling hot day to stay in a hotel and a bag of crisps wouldn't have done. But it didn't matter. Oh, and it wasn't a child free wedding either grin

The atmosphere was lovely and relaxed and it was honestly the best wedding I have ever been to. All of the guests thought so too.

Oh, and when my sister got married we had the reception at our mum's house. I did most of the food, but other members of the family chipped in and brought dishes of food (they offered BTW)

housebox Fri 28-Feb-14 09:59:19

I am shocked at the sense of entitlement of people who want to have a party for themselves and expect others to pay for and provide for it!

I wouldn't have dreamed of asking people to bring anything to my wedding. We paid for all of it and if we couldn't we would have scaled it down to fit our budget.

Grennie Fri 28-Feb-14 10:01:28

The nicest wedding I ever went to, was where the reception was actually in the church and much of the church members had made the food. It felt like a real community affair, and much more loving than hired caterers.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 10:03:55

The main message I seem to be getting from this thread is that a lot of people seem to have "friends" that they either don't like very much or don't know very well.

I wouldn't think an invitation to go to a social function and take some food was grabby because I would have had a conversation with that person first along the lines of "we are thinking of having a party, but can't afford/haven't got time to do lots of food. Would you still come if I asked you to make a contribution?"

When my aunt and uncle had their golden wedding party they put on their invitation that they didn't want any presents but a contribution to the feast would be very welcome. They had already laid on marquees etc and were doing some food themselves, but couldn't afford to fund all the food as well. No-one batted an eyelid at this.

brighteyedbusytailed Fri 28-Feb-14 10:05:09

I have done bring your own booze parties , where I buy a few things then people bring more specific tastes, otherwise its just one person spending an obscene amount of money on alcohol which isn't fair, but I wouldn't expect people to bring food although if i'm invited to a party I would bring something or make something.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 10:08:41

housebox we are never going to agree are we. So what you are saying is that poor people can't have large social gatherings.

My family aren't well off, nor are most of my friends so helping out at social functions is a given because we like to get together and this is how it works for us.

So would it be ok to ask people to bring food to a Wedding then? Along with the 'gift list' a 'food list' too?

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 10:18:36

Preparing food for a party is a right old hassle... So don't bother your arse, then. Parties aren't obligatory; if you want one, sort it.
Thinking that you can have a party dedicated to celebrating your birthday and sub contract the work involved out to the guests, who are then expected to show up with a gift as well is unbelievably self absorbed.

lazyhound444 Fri 28-Feb-14 10:22:02

Bunbaker I think there's a time and a place for "everybody bring a dish" parties and completely understand that some people would never be able to have a house party unless their guests did this. I don't have a problem with that. But this specific thread is about someone purportedly "hosting" a birthday party and expecting guests to bring damn near everything and being very specific about it too. That to me is rude and entitled.

aufaniae Fri 28-Feb-14 10:23:39

Bunbaker your cousin's wedding sounds lovely. I'd much rather bring a dish and go to a warm, welcoming wedding with children invited, plenty of booze and a great atmosphere, than a wedding where the couple had decided they couldn't afford kids to attend as it was more important to them to have catering and matching table decorations or whatever.

torcat Fri 28-Feb-14 10:24:06

OP YANBU. I think it's a real cheek to expect people to bring both food and drink and to draw up a list of what to bring! I always take something when I go to a party, dinner at someone's house, normally wine, even though I don't drink and perhaps flowers. When someone is basically lending their house to host a joint gathering, then I would ask if people could bring food eg a course, but wouldn't specify what. I often host our NCT gatherings because we have a lot of room and people always ask what they can bring, it's no big deal, we all provide something. Similarly for Christmas Day, I think it is normal to ask what to bring, you know it's a big effort for the hosts. But for my birthday party, or a random party, absolutely no way! Holding your own birthday party is a choice, unlike something like Christmas Day when you have to take it in turns each year; if you can't cope with it, don't do it! Seriously don't go, unless it is someone you really like and then you might just choose to put up with it.

OwlCapone Fri 28-Feb-14 10:24:17

I am shocked at the sense of entitlement of people who want to have a party for themselves and expect others to pay for and provide for it!

Well, there is an argument that expecting to be catered for in every way is grabby and entitled. It's all a matter of perspective.

If you don't like it, stop bitching about your friend on a public forum and just don't go to the party. Simple. When she asks why, tell her it's because you thing she's grabby and entitled for asking you to bring some food. You probably won't have to worry about future invitations then.

stop bitching about your friend on a public forum

If people did this half of MN would disappear. grin

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 10:31:01

She's hardly likely to recognise herself; apparently there's a lot of them about..

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 28-Feb-14 10:32:46

For me this is one of the no right / wrong way things.

Throw a party and provide all the food and drink? Lovely.

Throw a party and ask guests to bring a plate / bottle / chair? No problem. (I would probably draw the line at individuals bringing their own ketchup, though, that's just odd and impractical!)

We often get together for a party at friends' houses, but as only a couple are big enough for everyone and their kids hosting duties (and tidying up before and after etc ) tend to fall on them. How would it be fair to expect them to feed the rest of us every time?

flowery Fri 28-Feb-14 10:38:55

"How about if the host had said to her friends. "I would love to have a party, but can't afford to do loads of food, can we agree that people make a food contribution?""

That's very different to demanding it though.

And no, still can't see why a generous offer to bring something would be seen as weird by people who wouldn't expect to be required to do so themselves.

scarletforya Fri 28-Feb-14 10:58:03

Letting your supposed 'friends' pay for your party is free loading. No matter how you dress it up.

Nerris Fri 28-Feb-14 11:02:21

YANBU. We had to do this a few years ago, at someone's birthday party. I thought it was a cheek, not everyone has a party to celebrate and expects others to foot the bill, why should they? If you are too poor to feed people you shouldn't have a full-on birthday party (other celebrations like summer BBQ's etc are exceptions I think).

I agree with you Nerris. If you can't afford to throw yourself a birthday party then don't have one. Easy.

CeliaFate Fri 28-Feb-14 11:07:20

We have a group of friends and family over for birthday parties, there's about 30 of us in total.

We buy all the food and drink and out of everyone who comes, only one person brings us a bottle of wine to say thank you.

I don't mind, I don't expect it, because I have invited people to come to celebrate with me, then I expect to cater.

encyclogirl Fri 28-Feb-14 11:18:42

I live in Ireland and I agree with Scarlet that a party in Ireland = Everything is provided by the hosts. Most people take flowers or chocs so as not to come empty handed, and usually take a bottle or two, to much protestations from the hosts.

However, my boss (who is an old friend of mine outside of work and is fecking loaded) had a similar party to the one OP describes for his 50th. We all had to submit our food items ahead of time.

He came back to a few and made them change from desserts to salads as he had far too many desserts. His wife then forwarded details of a trip he wanted to go on to everyone on the guest list, so that we could all buy him voucher for xxxx travel agent as a gift.

One of our friends refused to go and called him a cheeky fecker for being so grabby. Boss was stunned. “Some people are so tight” was his response hmm

He also tried to give various guests ‘jobs’ on the day. “X, you’re in charge of re-cycling, ensure everything goes in the correct bin please. Y, I thought I asked you to check the ice? Z, Any chance you could hand out my birthday cake”

That part of his plan failed massively I have to add.

shinny Fri 28-Feb-14 11:33:55

YANBU. If its your birthday and you want to do a party you provide everything and if people insist on bringing something then that's great. For other low key get togethers, you can ask people to bring various items but not for a birthday.

I was invited to a similar party once - I was told to bring whatever I wanted to drink, to eat beforehand and if I brought kids to ensure they were kept under control! Very strangely worded....

You can always go and bring a packet of pringles....

Contemplates Fri 28-Feb-14 11:40:24

I'd prefer to be asked to bring something off a list to be honest, there are only so many packets of nachos a person can eat!

And no, I wouldn't think its strange at all. I always take a bottle or two anyway, so quite happy to switch a bottle for a pizza. Or cake. Or fruit.

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 11:46:43

I have been to parties where everyone has been asked to bring a plate; but it's never been someone's birthday party! It's always been a get together after an event, sort of thing (like our post-concert parties) where one person gets lumped with hosting but we all bring something along. Even then the host/ess always provides basics!

I think your friend is trying it on massively and I would either take a plate OR a present but not both. And if there was a problem with that, then I wouldn't go at all.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 11:56:16

"We buy all the food and drink and out of everyone who comes, only one person brings us a bottle of wine to say thank you."

You provide all the drink shock. That doesn't happen with us. I think it is very presumptuous to assume the host will provide all the booze for a party or social gathering. Even if we go to dinner at a friend's house we will always take a bottle of wine and our friends always bring wine to ours.

What did surprise me was when I have had a couple of Virgin Vie/Pampered Chef parties and everyone brought booze to those. That I wasn't expecting at all. It just seems to be the culture within my circle.

flowery Fri 28-Feb-14 12:03:19

I agree that not taking a bottle is rude.

Twilight23 Fri 28-Feb-14 12:11:19

I am noticing that more and more of my friends people hold get togethers and request for food and drink. We have even been asked to provide dessert when invited for dinner!

I personally wouldn't. Whenever we have hosted we provided the food and drink. If someone offers to bring something fine but I am not asking.

I was invited to a get together and the hosts
requested crisps and drinks. We did not attend.

It is just the same with the baby shower list. Mum to be may not be the organiser but she put together a list of items that others can buy to save her from doing so.

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 12:13:43

Bunbaker - I've just done one of those stupid quiz things, this one from the Daily Mirror, to say how posh you are. Apparently taking wine to a dinner party isn't the done thing, because it suggests you think their wine is inferior grin. I did know that, but I still take wine to dinner parties, because it usually is needed!

It's different for parties, of course.

Pigsmummy Fri 28-Feb-14 12:14:13

I wouldn't mind and it stops you having 15 salads and cheesecakes but no mains, a few quid on top of the booze that you would take anyway?

Grennie Fri 28-Feb-14 12:19:56

That is true thumbwitch. But then you are supposed to take a present for the Host instead.

Mintyy Fri 28-Feb-14 12:20:12

Yanbu. I think its awful. I feel embarrassed for your friend, actually.

A single mum friend of mine with no money had a birthday party not long ago, organised for her by a mutual friend, and we were all asked to bring a dish, but not told what to bring. Had absolutely no problem with that of course.

But this well off couple in the op? Oooh, it's just making me cringe!

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 12:31:31

Absolutely, Grennie. A bottle of port is usually welcomed! Or chocolates...

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 12:32:33

(I do know that port is still a type of wine though - just my friend and I really got into our port drinking so again, an extra bottle was usually welcome smile )

YouAreTalkingRubbish Fri 28-Feb-14 12:46:19

Please don't go, she wouldn't want you there if she knew how judgemental you were being. sad

Judgemental with very good reason Rubbish no need to be sad. I would be [happy] to not go.

Or smile even. grin

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 13:02:24

OMG, does someone actually feel sorry for Mr and Mrs Grabby? shock

Or in fact, is Youaretalkingrubbish the host/ess? <narrows eyes>

HelloBoys Fri 28-Feb-14 13:02:54

There is a very big difference here from parties where:-

a) you do a list as OP's "friend" has done and expect all food/drink to be provided for.

b) You agree between you that Sally will bring quiche, Lisa Potato salad etc and it's a casual relaxed thing as well as bring booze if you want to.

c) Personally most parties I've hosted or been to we/they supply booze and everyone brings some too and we/they supply food and everyone brings some too.

Isn't the above what everyone does?! eg b) or c). Gosh that looks like a list now. grin

It's not really cultural either - got friends from Spain/France etc and they do above - casual and no hassle.

In fact everyone I know brings/takes a bottle to a party generally. and as flowery says people who don't do that are generally thought of as rude.

HelloBoys Fri 28-Feb-14 13:05:52

FGS Twilight - often a lot of people BRING and quite happily too, dessert/pudding or cheeses etc. asked or not asked to do so.

I've never had people throw their arms up in disbelief at being asked to do this, in fact a lot offer!

Friends of mine just do above and friends of parents - it's totally normal but you usually ask if you should bring or are asked to bring. no offense taken at all.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 13:12:07

"I was invited to a get together and the hosts
requested crisps and drinks. We did not attend."

Blimey, just for that reason! You are easily offended! You disappoint your friends over a packet of crisps and a bottle of plonk. That takes the biscuit for self entitlement.

I like my friends a lot, being asked to bring some crisps and a bottle wouldn't put me off seeing my friends.

Thumbwitch Our friends are interested in wine as well, so we usually tend to mask the bottles and try to guess what the wine is. We drink both bottles BTW.

It is common practice to take a bottle along for social get togethers, especially informal ones. The ones that don't must have very well off friends.

Grennie Fri 28-Feb-14 13:17:36

I have only been to two parties where guests were asked not to bring drinks. One of them was mine. I had lots of white wine - some looked decent and expensivish - left over from parties that people had brought. I also bought some red wine and we had a joky wine tasting party. But teh only reason I asked people not to bring wine, is I didn't want to be left with even more drinks at the end.

Taking alcohol is usual because providing alcohol for a large party of people would be very expensive. As friends we have lots of social gatherings. I don't want everyone to have to save up loads of money before they can invite friends round.

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 13:42:34

One party I went to here in Australia, it was older cousins of DH's hosting it. As per normal in the UK, we took along a bottle of wine. Well, we didn't know it but they don't drink red wine; so not only did we get given back our bottle but they gave us another 2 bottles of red wine from their cupboard that other guests had left before! Only party I've ever been to where we came away with more alcohol than we took...

expatinscotland Fri 28-Feb-14 14:49:27

There was a thread on here not too long ago where an OP had been invited to a party in a curry house where the guests were expected to pay for their meals and drink AND the invitation contained a demand for cash gifts. Now that is crass.

YouAreTalkingRubbish Fri 28-Feb-14 15:04:24

Lol, nope I am not the host, but I really don't think she has done anything wrong. The only thing I think the hostess should have done differently is that she should have said that she didn't want gifts.

The reason I feel sad for the hostess is this thread shows that this is a very divided issue and clearly a lot of posters had no idea that other people might be offended if they are asked to bring food.

It's all too complicated for me grin. I think I better go back to my hermits cave.

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 15:21:54

I know it's a bit of an MN byword, but I think that there IS something very grabby about wanting people to provide their own food AND a present.

Mind you, I got invited to the birthday party of an old school friend a few years ago - whom I hadn't seen nor heard from since her wedding (evening reception) some years previously - and she had the brass face to tell me and my other friend (we went together) that the reason she'd invited us both was because the previous year she felt she hadn't received enough presents, so she invited more people this year! shock Honest, yes - but so grabby! Oddly enough, we didn't stay in touch after that either.

Topaz25 Fri 28-Feb-14 17:01:31

I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with a pot luck but then I love making food for friends, I would enjoy being able to share my cooking and knowing that there would be something at the party that I could eat because I'm vegan. I would still give a present because I give a birthday present to show I thought of someone, not to reimburse them for feeding me, it's a celebration not a financial transaction. I've still bought a friend a birthday present when we were going to the pub to celebrate and paying for our own food and drinks so I don't see the difference.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 17:13:10

How about the idea that your friends are your friends and you like to spend time with them. It isn't about who provides what, keeping a tally of who 'owes' a meal, because one was provided to them. This is what they want to do and if you are their friend and you can make it, you'll just go and have a good time. Why not just be generous spirited about it.
When its your turn to host, you can do it how you like.
It might be that they are hard up or it might be that they are being a bit tight. I don't think it really matters. Make your most prized dish and take it over and have fun.

People who really would consider not going.....is that to make somekind of point (expect the host is telepathic and will realise) or what? Will you be continuing with this friendship or is this the end of it.

I'm sure I make social faux pax and my friends do too sometimes. Hey ho, life continues.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 17:16:55

"How about the idea that your friends are your friends and you like to spend time with them. It isn't about who provides what, keeping a tally of who 'owes' a meal, because one was provided to them. This is what they want to do and if you are their friend and you can make it, you'll just go and have a good time. Why not just be generous spirited about it."

Yes, yes, yes ChocolateWombat

You have put it extremely well. Seeing my friends is far more important to me than getting huffy over a bag of crisps.

Luckily I don't have any friends who would expect me to supply food for their Birthday party and produce a tick list. My friends aren't grabby like that. smile

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 19:55:40

Sparkling, I expect you would be offering to bring a dish though anyway. It's what friends do for each other isn't it. Parties are a bit stressful to organise and lot of work, so it's always lovely when a good friend says they will bring a dish to help out. Shows you what a good friend they are.

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 20:06:17

This isn't a case of a good friend saying they'll bring a dish to help out, chocolate. Op's friend has decided to delegate the entire thing to the guests; while she sits back and rakes in the presents.
Nice work if you can get it.

I would probably take a bottle of wine, but my friends are all of the 'just bring yourself' persuasion.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 20:14:40

Yes, but what if one of your friends did suddenly throw a party like the one the OP mentions. Surely, because they are your friend, you would go. Surely your friends aren't only your friends when they throw parties in the way you like them to be organised?

If it was one of my friends I would say 'X what are you thinking-a list of food for people to bring to your birthday party? Stop being such a tight-arse and get down to Tesco. I will help you by pushing the trolley'.

Mintyy Fri 28-Feb-14 20:18:28

Wine/drinks = yes, always, unless you move in extremely rarified circles where it is a given that the hosts are providing everything.

Snacks/nibbles/token box of chocolates = yes, if you must and it makes you feel happy.

Dish of proper food, including dessert, salad, olives etc = only if ok'd with host beforehand.

Host asking anyone to bring any food at all = only ok if this is a general get together, which people have mutually decided they want to do somewhere, and host has said its ok we can use my gaff.

If YOU have decided to throw YOUR OWN birthday party, then you cater for your guests and expect the vast majority of them to bring drinks (which they will).

Hogwash Fri 28-Feb-14 20:20:24

Some people are like that - I'd avoid.

nkf Fri 28-Feb-14 20:21:19

My guess is that it's a sign of the times. It's expensive to host parties but people still want to do it. And pot luck suppers are usual in church settings and neighbourhood parties and also family, but not so usual among friends. The list is not cool though. If you want to be casual, you can't send out a list. Followed by a follow up list.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 20:21:57

I just think we could be more forgiving to our friends. I expect we have all done annoying things and when we realised, were glad we had friends who would cut us some slack.

The kind of party the OP mentions is not that uncommon. Perhaps it depends on what you expect. Some people expect a party to be something they contribute towards big time and others expect to turn up and be wined and dined. Even if we are used to one or the other and have a preference for one or the other type, it is still okay to go to the other type. It's even nice to try to look forward to it and enjoy it, because its your FRIEND having it.

Sounds to me like the OP doesn't really like this person much. Mother wise can't believe it would have caused such offence.

nkf Fri 28-Feb-14 20:25:02

She hasn't said she won't go, just that she thinks it's odd not to provide anything.

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 20:30:51

Where do you get op doesn't like this person much? She probably imagined her friend had a bit of class, and is aghast at just how graceless she's turned out to be...

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 20:46:50

I think it's interesting that you see the party host as lacking grace and class. I guess you are right, that is how the OP sees it.
I don't think I would or have. I have been to those kind of parties.....we all had a great time. Actually, when you have to contribute and go to a bit of effort, to make a dish or bring decorations, or are asked to come early to move some furniture, or to man the bar for the night, or help cook the barbeque....you become more than just a guest, but a real part of what is going on. It's nice and it draws people together. But only if they join in graciously.

As I said, if your idea of a party is to turn up and be wined and dined and then walk away leaving a big mess behind, then I can see this is a different op roach to having a party and might take some getting used to. It would be a real shame if people went and then sat there Poe-faced all night to show their disapproval. If the party idea is so beyond what people can stretch their imagination to, it probably is better not to go. Pity.

firesidechat Fri 28-Feb-14 20:47:07

Why do people not realise how totally rude it is to demand guests bring their own food and drink?

They aren't bringing their own food, they are bringing food to share. It's a nice thing to do or so I thought until this thread came along.

Before we moved to a new area we had this sort of social event amongst our friends all the time. If the hosts had to provide all the food it would probably have happened far, far less frequently and that would have been a shame. It's seems like an obvious solution for people with not much money, but who do have the space to entertain their friends.

I appreciate that this may not be the case with the OPs friends, but the reaction of some on here has really surprised me. Community spirit seems to be dead and buried.

It's because in this case it's a BIRTHDAY PARTY.

I never leave a mess behind. I am usually the one doing the sweep with the bin liner at other people's parties. grin

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 20:54:58

It's not a community event, fireside, it's a birthday party, with a format which appears not to be the norm within their group or op wouldn't be so taken aback?

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 20:56:34

I don't think it matters what kind of party it is. I have been to birthday parties, weddings, anniversary parties, engagement parties.....where people have just been glad to gather with their friends. Some had made a big effort and cooked something lovely. Others had nipped into Sainsburys and bought a cheesecake or a salad or a rotisserie chicken to bring.

As fireside said, more parties are a good thing...and more happen when people are asked to contribute and expect to. All good.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Feb-14 20:57:52

Sparkling

Totally with you. It's just wrong, wrong, wrong.

It does matter, Birthdays are personal. For a big one someone might throw you a surprise party you know nothing about-fair enough they pay.

But to decide on your birthday that you want everyone else to pay for your celebratory food and to issue a tick list to ensure they do is horrible.
Then a follow up email declaring more stuff is required is rude.

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 21:12:09

Sparkling, I think you are being most unreasonable. I am very glad you are not one of my friends or that you've been invited to any of my parties ( be them bbqs or Xmas ones).

sad I am lovely Jane. smile

BBQs and Christmas I will be there anyway-with a dish of your choice, if that's what you want me to do Jane. Just don't do a tick list. grin

expatinscotland Fri 28-Feb-14 21:18:31

From the OP it may be this person has form for being tight.

In which case, don't be friends with them, decline, don't go.

YouAreTalkingRubbish Fri 28-Feb-14 21:19:53

This thread is tempting me to invite all my pals to my house for a party and ask them to bring food. It will sort my friends into the 'reasonable ones' and the 'unreasonable and easily offend-able ones' and will save me the trouble of speculating who is who. grin

Plus I would get a party and I wouldn't even have to cater grin

I think a Dominoes delivery would sort it all out nicely.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Feb-14 21:24:34

Sparkling - you are lovely.

No idea what Janethegirl is doing, being really mean about you. Horrible.

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 21:28:00

They'll probably bring Iceland prawn rings, YouareTalking ... wink unless you do a Very Specific list

Thanks Bowlers. smile

Don't anyone ever take an Iceland Bailey's Dessert to a party. do you remember the AIBU thread about it?

perplexedpirate Fri 28-Feb-14 21:31:45

I would assume it goes like this. Could be completely wrong mind you:
Party (birthday, housewarming etc): bring a bottle, expect food.
Night at a mates for films: bring a bottle, expect nibbles.
Barbecue: bring a bottle and something to be grilled (meat, fish, quorn etc). Expect accompaniments like bread and salad.
Wedding: bring nothing, expect food and a pay bar.
Restaurant: bring nothing, pay for your own.
Night in arranged down pub: bring several bottles and food. Expect a hangover and a bloody good night.
smile

goldopals Fri 28-Feb-14 21:33:09

I see no problem with pot luck suppers or being invited to a restaurant for a meal and paying your own way. I think it is strange not to contribute to a meal and usually have a lot of fun at pot lucks. We normally end up with a balanced meal but sometimes end up with very similar food- moussaka, lasagne, Bolognese (they forgot spaghetti) and chilli :D

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 21:35:10

Sparkling, I never do a list, and Bowler I am not mean and horrible. I just do not understand the ops problem. My friends always ask what to bring, and we never run out of food n drink. We just have fun, so much so, and I might be outing myself with this one, they want me to do Xmas again smile

moondog Fri 28-Feb-14 21:35:52

Perhaps key to this is that brining along specified items is fine S long as it is a general celebration of some sort? What sours it is that someone is demanding you do all of these things to honour one person?
I was once asked to a party five hours away and invite specified I bring my own food, booze and bedding .
Didn't go.
Obv.

nkf Fri 28-Feb-14 21:38:45

Pot luck does not involve a list. This is not a casual drop by, we all love each other, let's get together party. That is one thing and usually grows up over time as people get to know each other. A birthday, come and celebrate the wonderfulness of me being a year older party is different.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 21:47:11

At this stage of life, many of my friends are far flung. When there is a chance to get together for a birthday or other event, I'm just glad to be able to see them. It really doesn't matter much what we eat, who cooked it or if I had to takea sleeping bag and sleep on the floor. Perhaps I am down to earth and do t need to be made a fuss of, to feel special to my friends.
Of course it is nice to be made a fuss of occasionally. I do love it when someone has prepared a wonderful meal. But I must say that my enjoyment does not depend on them having out in all the work. There is definitely something good and bonding that comes from pulling together to put on a party...birthdays same as anyone's party in my book.

You were a bit mean Jane you said you were very glad I wasn't one of your friends.

Bowlersarm Fri 28-Feb-14 21:51:23

Jane, don't worry, you haven't outed yourself. My friends want me to do Christmas again smile. Yes, like a zillion other people. I hope you actually were being sarcastic.

Still wrong.

You don't host a birthday party, and then expect all your guests to host it for you.

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 21:52:29

Sparkling, I'm sorry you felt I was being mean, but I think you have very different views to me on this subject.

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 21:54:34

No Bowler, I wasn't being sarcastic, my friends still think I'm nuts doing an Xmas party, but I really enjoy it smile

And that's ok Jane that's what AIBU is all about. But differing views doesn't mean people can't still possibly be friends. grin

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 21:57:44

Ok Sparkling, are we now friends?? smile x

Floggingmolly Fri 28-Feb-14 22:00:39

Why do your friends think you're nuts doing a Christmas party, Jane? Do they and you realise it's a worldwide celebration and just about everyone else is doing the same thing?
Pmsl at you outing yourself on the Internet as "the one who hosted a Christmas party" grin

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:03:34

No I'm not that bothered about outing myself but I was asked today if I'd do it again for this Xmas as no one else wanted too. Molly I'm glad you had a laugh at me cos laughing is always good.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 22:07:09

I think I have worked out why there are very different views on this topic.
It is this word 'guests'.
Some people only feel like guests if there is a distinction between guests and hosts. They want to be traditional guests and the party holder to take a traditional hostess role. The event itself is a big thing for them and these people see themselves as the 'company' who have come to be entertained.

For other people, it is more about the people. They don't have a sense of 'in my house I cook and clear up....and in yours, you do it for us'. The venue is a bit irrelevant. It is just a space to meet together. In Reality, it is owned by someone, but to people who aren't bothered about being asked to bring and share for birthdays, or to come early to do hard labour, there is less of a sense of hosts and guests. Less distinction. It is just friends together. So anyone can provide the venue and anyone can provide the food. Usually though, there is an organiser, but that does not mean providi g everything.

Do you think Im right, that this difference in view of what being a host and guest means, is at the root of our differences?

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:13:03

Certainly with me it's just an excuse to have a party, and I live nearer to work than most people so it's essier on a Friday night to just arrange a BBQ or similar if the weather looks good.

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:13:51

Easier, I hate phone messaging.

For me it's probably the way i was brought up. Nobody ever brought food to Mum and Dad when they entertained and we didn't take food to anyone elses's. That was just the way it was.

But that said, I have never been asked to take any food to a party. I have never seen a tick list of requirements. I have never asked anyone to bring food to my house.

I actually prefer to eat out. Not a £££ restaurant meal. The cheapo pub up the road that does nice food. No preparing, no clearing up.

Janethegirl Fri 28-Feb-14 22:19:26

Sparkling, when I eat out I want the food to be very much better than I can do, unfortunately I am generally very disappointed. Had a meal out this week and it was very bad, do unless I want to pay shedloads it's easier and better to eat at home.

pixiegumboot Fri 28-Feb-14 22:20:20

In NZ we always take booze and nibbles. If its a bring a plate then we do that. If a dinner party/bithday then booze, nibbles, or cheese, or veges from garden. Never empty handed ever! You may as well go to a restaurant!
I wonder if those on this thread posturing about being guests are the same folk who won't take their shoes off in other peoples houses.....

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 22:22:07

Pixie grin

YY it does depend on the local availability of decent eating places Jane.

OMG pixie do not bring shoes on/off onto this thread. There will be deletions and banning and the internet will explode.

Grennie Fri 28-Feb-14 22:24:41

What about dogs sparkling? Maybe we should discuss if they can come to the party too? ;)

Only if they brought their own tins of Chappie Grennie. wink

Grennie Fri 28-Feb-14 22:33:30

Wombat - Yes I think you are right. I wonder if those who see the distinction between host and guests perhaps also go to parties less and so parties are big events?

pixiegumboot Fri 28-Feb-14 22:44:37

I know sorry grin

firesidechat Fri 28-Feb-14 22:58:12

It's not a community event, fireside, it's a birthday party, with a format which appears not to be the norm within their group or op wouldn't be so taken aback?

It might not be a "community" event as in street party or similar, but I do think it is about community in the widest sense. A community of friends who have a generous spirit towards each other and I think the sharing aspect is very important.

Fair enough if you can afford to host a party and provide all the food and drink, but not everyone has the cash to do this. It would be a real shame if people were excluded from social occasions because of their bank balance. I'm sure there would be equal offence taken about friends who are always the guests and never host a party. That may be the alternative to a bring and share do for people with less disposable income.

nkf Fri 28-Feb-14 23:08:52

It's the difference between "I am inviting you to my party" and "Let's get together." The first you cater and people bring goodies of their choosing if they choose. The second everyone chips in. The OP's friend is muddling things up AND being a bit bossy.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 23:11:24

Although I am in the camp of refusing to be offended about an invitation like this I would be interested to know if the OP's hosts intends to do anything at all for the party other than throw open her house.

Is everyone who thinks this is fine really truly ok with the tick list and follow up e-mail?

nkf Fri 28-Feb-14 23:11:42

If you can't afford a big party then you say it as such. Let's get together and have a barbecue. Come over and we'll order a takeaway and have a kitchen disco. Or wine and Pringles and a film. There are all sorts of ways to entertain on the cheap. Tons of ways to stay in touch with people without going broke. But, if you want a party party in which you are the birthday girl, then I think you have cater it.

Bunbaker Fri 28-Feb-14 23:14:33

It wouldn't bother me, but I can't think of anyone I know that would do that. I have been to plenty of social functions where bringing a plate of food was expected, but not organised as formally as the birthday party the OP has been invited to.

ChocolateWombat Fri 28-Feb-14 23:15:41

'Party party' means different things to different people. It's why there is disagreement. Some people see what the OP is being invited to, as a perfectly good approach to a party. They just want to be with their friend on her birthday. Company more important than venue, who cooked food, or if the visitors feel like traditional guests who are 'looked after' by the host.
Others want to feel 'looked after' which means having food provided and a more traditional relationship between host and guest.

Life's too short. We should go to all the parties we can.

NotCitrus Fri 28-Feb-14 23:34:06

Sounds fine to me, and since we started having kids more of my friends are doing parties like that - host tidies and cleans before and after and is spared babysitting costs, guests bring food/drink instead of presents because by the time you're in your mid-thirties you either own the stuff you want or have particular tastes and don't want generic presents, so getting food and drink is what you want.

I often end up hosting parties that are nominally for other people, because I have space and it saves me £70 for a babysitter (and is an incentive to tidy up... if I'm really lucky someone will make breakfast, entertain the kids a bit, and tidy up after, too!)

YouAreTalkingRubbish Fri 28-Feb-14 23:38:59

Sparkling. I would be ok with a list and a follow up. I would be totally fine with both. I wouldn't be fine with a pouncy list though. A list with things like pizza or salad would be perfectly acceptable but a list specifying blue cheese and walnut salad with a balsamic vinaigrette would be very unacceptable.

You have to have a list or you would end up with dozens of Iceland prawn rings. confused

I know that we will never find out because the OP couldn't possibly go to the party feeling the way she does but we have no way of knowing what the hostess is actually planning to do. She may be planning to provide food and drinks herself.

SaltySeaBird Fri 28-Feb-14 23:54:07

Hmm I went to a birthday party last year. The hosts gave people a list of what food and drink to bring (mainly salad / rolls / crisps / BBQ meat) everyone contributed something.

They had done amazing decoration, provided a hog roast and some great entertainment. It was a fab party with about 80 people and would have been hugely expensive if they had brought all the extra food too. We didn't mind being asked to contribute at all.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 07:46:12

Well, in all this, I think I know which group I would like to be my friends. I would like to have friends who if I decided to have a party and ask them to bring a dish (specified, no less....to avoid 10 lasagna s) would say. "That sounds great. Can't wait to see you and all our other friends. Can we bring 2 dishes to help out and is there anything else we can do"
I'd rather have them as friends, than the ones who either can't come and are suddenly busy, but won't say why, or who come and sit with a face like they are sucking a sour lemon, thinking "How very dare she, to call this a birthday party. How dare she tell me, the guest what to bring and have the nerve to have some kind of list to help her organisation. Not the sort I consider a friend. She is enjoying her birthday at my expense. Shocking....that pie cost me £4 to make."

nkf Sat 01-Mar-14 07:56:03

I don't buy this idea that if you are uncomfortable about the money side, you are somehow not a good friend. You see it all the time on the wedding threads. Pious little statements about, "We just wanted everyone to have a lovely time and celebrate our love with us." And if someone grumbles about the cost of attending a friend's wedding, they're called mean spirited. This is how people end up in debt. Trying to be flash, trying not to offend, being unable to talk about money without being embarrassed.

CeliaFate Sat 01-Mar-14 07:57:10

OP where are you?
We need to know if the birthday grabber girl is providing anything at all!

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 08:25:45

The other thing I don't like the idea of, is that 'friends' store up some kind of log of what the other offered when hosting in terms of food, drink etc. and don't like to feel 'owed'
Sometimes the times when you have the best, best time are when food, drink etc is very simple. You may be sitting on the floor eating pizza because you have helped a friend move into a new house.
Friendship surely is a bout much more than who bought the last main course??

nkf Sat 01-Mar-14 08:28:03

I don't think it is friendly to create a log of who owes what. Neither do I think it is particularly friendly to keep a list of what is needed for your birthday party and send out emails until it's all ticked of.

nkf Sat 01-Mar-14 08:28:12

off.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 08:35:29

I guess I hope for a lot from my friends and hope they will feel they can rely on me for a lot too.
I expect to be able to ask my friends for physical help (moving house, car breaking down etc) and for emotional help (turning up on their doorstep in tears) and that if I am hosting a big event, that I can ask them for very specific help......I asked one friend once to come and help do the garden, before a barbeque.
In return, I expect them to be able to ask me for all of the above and whatever else they feel they need.

It depends on the friendship doesn't it. If you are merely on the level of polite small talk and making sure everyone has paid for their cup of tea in the cafe, and aren't used to people leaning on you for bigger things, then I guess it does seem odd.

mewkins Sat 01-Mar-14 08:46:10

At least you know that there will be food! ! Wasn'tthere a thread a while back about a party with no buffet and a cash bar?
With my friends, the hosts would always provide food and then everyone else will ask what can they bring and the host will say 'a dessert, chips and dips or whatever.' There is no list and we are not fussy. If someone brought nothing because tjey ran out of time etc no one would care. I think if you have a party you provide the basic...anything else is a bonus.

nkf Sat 01-Mar-14 08:49:44

ChocolateWombat, I get the underlying message. Your idea of friendship is superior, deep and emotional. Anyone who disagrees has superficial small talk relationships and aren't real friends anyway. I hear what you are saying. I dont' agree, that's all.

TheRaniOfYawn Sat 01-Mar-14 08:57:32

I think there is also a difference of opinion as to why people have birthday parties. If I invite people round for my birthday it isn't because I want lots of people to make a fuss of me and fawn over me and give me presents on my special day. The birthday treat is having my friends around me and having fun at a party.

firesidechat Sat 01-Mar-14 09:10:37

ChocolateWombat I'm getting the idea that your experience of friendship is very similar to mine. Although we don't go to church any more I am wondering if I'm influenced by the fact that lots of my friends are Christians, who would consider a bring and share get together perfectly normal. On the whole birthday parties were also an excuse to have a social event and no one bought presents, just food and drink.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 09:11:46

TheRani, yes you are right. This explains the difference. For many people the birthday is simply the occasion for the gathering, but a not a big focus within it. That's why it isn't so important who provides what.

ChocolateWombat Sat 01-Mar-14 09:19:13

Fireside, we probably do see it in a similar way.
Sounds like in the OPs circle, this is a new thing. People often don't like new and have quite rigid ideas about the role of hosts etc. Who knows why the hostess has broken out of the usual pattern.....friends could try to be flexible, if its a first time.
If no one else uses this approach in the circle and the host continues to do it, then I guess she is a bit out of step with the group. It doesn't make what she is doing wrong, but does mean it doesn't sit easily in a round of social interactions, when people all invite each other to events.
I would say to those invited, go and see. You might really enjoy yourselves. Try to get beyond the 'bring a dish' or the host is a cheapskate mentality. If no one else ever dos somethig similar and the host continues to and it really upsets you, then voice your concerns in a kind way. Don't just brood on.

I don't know what else to say. This has never happened to me, and probably never will. I have a lovely circle of friends, and I think I am a good friend to them. I don't feel that agreeing with the OP makes me an awful person.

So I will leave you to your parties I think, whoever is paying for the food. smile

Floggingmolly Sat 01-Mar-14 09:49:26

Well I don't know about your Christian ethos, chocolate, but I'm Irish, and we have what are evidently very old fashioned ideas regarding hospitality.
Fundamental to this hospitality lark, is the notion that when you decide to host a celebration / party / event, you do not offload responsibility for the hosting to the very people you want to treat.
You are the host in every sense; not just the figurehead providing the space.

firesidechat Sat 01-Mar-14 09:59:13

I don't think *chocolate said that she was a Christian, although I may have missed it. It was me.

I've been to lots and lots of churches and the bring and share thing, both for organised events and private parties, was entirely normal. They were always family events with children and babies too. The more, the merrier.

This has been my children's experience from birth and I'm now getting worried that they will continue to think it is fine and offend people like the ones on this thread.

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.

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.

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.

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 13:51:44

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

Anything else?

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.

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.

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!

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.

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 17:21:08

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Sounds good to me. I will be there!

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.

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 17:59:11

Exactly whoknows

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.

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.

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.

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

throw not through

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

I never get invited anywhere sad

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?

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