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Should we pay for dinner?

(181 Posts)
TheMockTurtle Mon 13-Jun-16 16:53:53

So- I'm about to turn 30. And I'm pregnant. So we've decided to have a fancy Sunday pub lunch with friends. That way everyone else can drink as little or as much as they like. Obviously I can't, I'll be there for the slap up feed! My friends are all around the same age.

It's a nice bar/restaurant. I imagine we'll have starters and a main course and we will provide a nice birthday cake for dessert.

There could potentially be about 15 of us. My question is... Should we pay? I'm a bit concerned about it as it would cost us a lot to cover everyone's meals (and maybe drinks?) We have done the inviting, so my husband thinks we might be responsible for paying. I've been to 30th birthdays, and I go expecting to pay for my own meal and drinks and that's what has happened, but my husband thinks we will have to cover the cost.

What do you think? If you were invited to lunch, would you expect it to be paid for?

bitingcat Mon 13-Jun-16 16:56:03

I would expect to pay for myself. Maybe you could buy a round of drinks? Have a very happy birthday.

AbsolutelyIDo Mon 13-Jun-16 16:56:25

I definitely wouldn't expect you to pay! I would be expecting to pay for my own food and drink, no question.

TheNaze73 Mon 13-Jun-16 16:56:38

I would expect to pay

Dontyouopenthattrapdoor Mon 13-Jun-16 16:57:53

I would expect to pay for myself but if you got some fizz in that would be a nice gesture.

AHedgehogCanNeverBeBuggered Mon 13-Jun-16 16:58:23

I would certainly expect to pay, don't worry! Happy birthday, and congratulations on your pregnancy! flowers

Queenbean Mon 13-Jun-16 16:58:29

Don't pay for everyone, but I would buy a few bottles of prosecco for everyone as a "thank you for coming"

Queenbean Mon 13-Jun-16 16:59:18

Although, if there is any chance AT ALL that people think you'll be paying then you should tell them in advance in an elegantly worded way.

blueturtle6 Mon 13-Jun-16 16:59:38

Id expect to pay for myself and a share of birthday girls lunch too. Happy 30th birthday

FeckinCrutches Mon 13-Jun-16 16:59:50

I wouldn't expect to pay, but as host if chuck half a dozen bottles of wine on the table for people to drink.

Ameliablue Mon 13-Jun-16 17:00:44

It depends on how you've worded the invite as to what people expect.

mineallmine Mon 13-Jun-16 17:00:53

If I was invited out for lunch to celebrate a significant birthday, I would expect the host to pay.

Pinkheart5915 Mon 13-Jun-16 17:01:49

When me and dh have been invited for birthday meals we always expect to pay for ourselves and we always do pay for ourselves and we often buy a bottle or two of something sparkling for the table as its a birthday

GreaseIsNotTheWord Mon 13-Jun-16 17:01:57

I would definitely expect to pay for myself!

As long as you've not sent out an official invite with time/date etc (in which case, for an official invite, I wouldn't be expecting to pay).

BuntyBlue Mon 13-Jun-16 17:02:28

I wouldn't expect you to pay at all don't worry. The offer of a drink and slice of cake would be lovely though.

Iamliftzilla Mon 13-Jun-16 17:03:12

As a guest Id definitely expect to pay my own food and drink and I'd buy the birthday girl a drink.

HerRoyalNotness Mon 13-Jun-16 17:04:05

I would pay for meals for my guests but not drinks for that number. Unless i was ok financially, then i'd pay for it all.

ThinkPinkStink Mon 13-Jun-16 17:05:48


If I was going to a friend's birthday meal I'd expect to pay for myself and my share towards the birthday girl/boy (though often the birthday person's OH would pay for them).

Is there anyone amongst the guests you can ask to see how they perceived the invitation?

mylovegoesdown Mon 13-Jun-16 17:07:58

I'd expect to pay for myself and I'm not sure who wouldn't?.

Patterkiller Mon 13-Jun-16 17:08:30

I wouldn't expect the invitees to pay and I would pay for my own unless they specifically say it's their treat.

Melonrunner Mon 13-Jun-16 17:08:34

It totally depends on how you have worded the invite.

PotOfYoghurt Mon 13-Jun-16 17:11:33

It would never cross my mind to not pay for myself at a friend's birthday meal. I would expect to chip in for theirs as well.

TheMockTurtle Mon 13-Jun-16 17:14:27

Thanks guys. That's reassuring! My husband has done all the inviting via casual text messaging. No formal invites or anything. Just a "would you guys like to come for Sunday lunch at... Blah blah... At this time on this date"

I think the fizz/wine on the table is a good idea, and we will certainly do this as well as supplying birthday cake!

AyeAmarok Mon 13-Jun-16 17:15:41

Of I was going out for a friend's birthday dinner with other friends in a large group going to a restaurant, no way would I expect the birthday girl to pick up the tab for us all!

I'd absolutely pay for myself and expect others to too.

And we'd probably agree to cover the birthday girl's meal between us all too.

MatildaTheCat Mon 13-Jun-16 17:17:05

Lots of good suggestions above but agree that you should clarify the position beforehand. So if you've booked The Fat Duck it's possible that some of your guests are thinking how fantastic to get taken there by lovely Mockturtle and isn't she a top girl. It's far less awkward to ensure everyone knows in advance. And also be clear about how the bill will be split. If X only has a starter and doesn't drink and Y has every extra going then it all becomes a bit tense. It's often easier to go for a simple set menu and have one bill for food and another for drinks.

Have a lovely day.

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