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Uncle's birthday celebrations - AIBU to be put out?

(181 Posts)
IamtheDevilsAvocado Wed 08-Jul-15 14:59:01

Adult cousins - all in well-paid professional jobs - think head teacher, law partner etc decide nice idea to surprise party for Uncle's (their dads) 70th...

Originally, was going to be at one cousins house. A
month before venue changes to gastropub... As a 'bit more of an ocassion'. Menus circulated a couple of weeks before and choices made.

About 16 family are invited- all these invites a combination of email and snailmail.

We have had a tough time financially recently... OHhas been made redundant - cousins know this.

Venue was quite a way from us - four hours drive - so had to stay overnight - did B&B - cheapest we could find-just under 100£. So with fuel quite a lot.

All have great time inc surprised uncle. Cousins get bill... Then each couple
are presented with a bill for 120£! confusedconfused

There was a ripple of discomfort from everyone... Then people were scrabbling around for wallets etc... We paid,..
but this left us considerably short for the rest of the month. We never spend this sort of money on meals!!

At no point had this cost been mentioned..during the arrangements . There was no cost on the menus - and each menu was headed 'pete's
celebration dinner.'

So AIBU in feeling we were essentially charged by stealth for the celebration? Especially in light of cousins professions they are hardly living on their uppers...

What would you have done? Especially when presented with bill??

QuiteLikely5 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:00:46

I'd feel quite cross. You should have been notified in advance.

daisywellies Wed 08-Jul-15 15:03:45

That was incredibly rude. They should have footed the bill for everyone. Really crass behaviour.

Justmuddlingalong Wed 08-Jul-15 15:03:51

Who did you expect was going to pay?

Lateswim16 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:04:18

but you should have checked the arrangements before. Not sure why you expected your meal to he paid for by someone else though really.

Sorry it's been tough though.

AuntyMag10 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:04:28

Who did you expect to pay?

RaptorInaPorkPieHat Wed 08-Jul-15 15:06:15

Didn't you ask about cost beforehand?

KoalaDownUnder Wed 08-Jul-15 15:06:32

That is extremely rude.

I would have paid up, like you did. It's not worth making a scene over. But I'd be gobsmacked. Everything about the way they did this suggests it was their shout - no wonder the guests were shocked!!

My siblings and I did a very similar thing for my dad's 70th, but we split the bill between us! Our guests didn't pay a cent.

daisywellies Wed 08-Jul-15 15:06:50

We invited extended family to a hotel to celebrate my mother's significant birthday recently. Our immediate family paid for everything. There was no question of presenting invited guests with a bill at the end of the evening.

There's a big difference between being invited 'to celebrate' someone's birthday and it being suggested that 'we take 'someone' out for their birthday'.

Nromanoff Wed 08-Jul-15 15:07:31

How was the menu circulated with no prices on?

I think me, dh and my parents are the only people who assume when there is a birthday at a pub/restaurant that we will be paying for ourseleves. It's always a surprise when the host pays.

Don't know why I assume this as last week we paid for a meal for us all for dds birthday an would let anyone else pay. But when we aren't hosting we just assumw we are paying our own

LaurieFairyCake Wed 08-Jul-15 15:08:48

I'd have expected to pay for the meal as it was held in a pub.

I certainly wouldn't have expected my cousins to pay £120 for food for me and my family.

motherofmonster Wed 08-Jul-15 15:08:56

very rude.

I would be tempted to go onto gastro pubs website and see if they had a menu on there to compare the cost of what you paid and drank to see if it was this cost or not

KoalaDownUnder Wed 08-Jul-15 15:09:17

Eh? confused

She expected the hosts to pay.

Nromanoff Wed 08-Jul-15 15:09:58

wouldn't let anyone else pay

IamtheDevilsAvocado Wed 08-Jul-15 15:11:20

Well as they invited us-our cousins... There are four of them! If it had been mentioned we probably wouldn't have gone to be honest - or suggested a cheaper venue... This cost us best part of 400£, much more than i spent on our parents 70th presents... All together!

It just felt that they decided that they couldn't be arsed to do something at home - and then expected all the guests to pay for it... I think everyome paid to avoid embarrassment...

None of us, apart from the 'hosts', are well paid)... Struggling actor, student teacher etc you see the sort of jobs...

I was bloody annoyed...

TheFlis12345 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:11:38

I would have checked in advance who was paying if a family event like that was in a restaurant. Under the circumstances, not a lot you can say.

MagicMojito Wed 08-Jul-15 15:14:48

I'd have assumed that we would pay for ourselves tbh.
It was rude and inconsiderate of them not to make it clear on the invites though.

LilyMayViolet Wed 08-Jul-15 15:15:34

That's very rude of them. If you circulate a menu like that AND are going to be asking people to pay then you make it really clear. I don't blame you for feeling upset about it. The fact that you had to drive all that way and stay overnight as well is a real pita.

Stealthpolarbear Wed 08-Jul-15 15:16:11

Given that it started out at someone's house I don't think ywbu to assume it was a hosted event.
Or did you eat the gold plated crisps that are doing the rounds ;)

LilyMayViolet Wed 08-Jul-15 15:17:14

I agree it's particularly rude since the plan was to do something at home where obviously you'd have taken a bottle but otherwise it would have been paid for by them. Then they change it and don't mention that you have to pay for yourselves or ask if that's ok.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 08-Jul-15 15:18:19

I think when they changed the venue, I would have said thanks but it's more than we can afford so we won't come. If they intended to pay, then they could have said so in advance.

Jinglebells99 Wed 08-Jul-15 15:19:25

I would have asked how much it was when it changed to a gastro pub. But to be honest at a gastro pub, I would expect to pay for myself. A party hall, no, but a restaurant with a cost per head, yes, I would expect to pay. But you were quite happy to eat a £60 meal as long as someone else was paying for it? If you did a similar meal for your parent would you foot the bill or expect them to pay?! I think you should have clarified who was paying when you got the invite. But when I've been invited for meals to celebrate birthdays, every guest has paid for their own meal but the host has bought drinks.

kewtogetin Wed 08-Jul-15 15:21:04

I wouldn't go to a restaurant, eat, drink and then expect someone else to pick up the tab. I think you have been rather presumptuous. I don't think they've been rude but agree that they should have communicated to you in some way that you would be expected to contribute.

SanityClause Wed 08-Jul-15 15:22:49

If you were expected to pay, there would normally have been a price on the menu.

Once presented with the bill, I expect I would have paid, and seethed, similar to you.

SerenYWythnos Wed 08-Jul-15 15:23:16

You don't invite people to a birthday celebration meal and then expect you're guests to pay for themsleves! I can't believe some people think that's acceptable, in fact I've never heard of it happening before. Like the OP I'd also take it as given that the hosts would pay.

Your cousins sound like right tight bastards OP. YANBU.

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