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aibu or not? bbq etiquette

(28 Posts)
Arrowfanatic Wed 24-Aug-16 09:41:32

My mum invited us to a bbq, she lives fairly far away but in a nice area so it's a pleasure to visit.

We agreed to come, we actually had plans already but postponed them for this, to then be told we had to provide all our own food and drink. I found this crazy, contributions I get sure but whenever we invite guests to a bbq we provide everything. Bonus if they bring anything but I couldn't imagine essentially telling my guests they have to pay to attend. Plus it's a pretty long drive so will cost us a good £50 in fuel.

Anyway, we bring our food. I then find my sister is there with her kids and mum hasn't made them buy their own food as she's just visiting from where she lives (further away than us but she was staying at mums for the week).

We then get my mum asking my DH to nip to the local tesco and get a tonne of stuff she had forgotten, and she didn't offer to pay him back and god knows she knows we don't have money to spare.

But really, my aibu question is inviting people to a bbq and then telling them to provide all their own food and drink. I think it's bu, but am I? ??

ihatethecold Wed 24-Aug-16 09:57:07


Thats quite rude really, and bugger that if its already costing me £50 in petrol.

You must be driving miles if its costing that much.

Vixxfacee Wed 24-Aug-16 09:58:26

Yanbu but why not say something at the time.

Paddingtonthebear Wed 24-Aug-16 09:59:47

Why don't you ask her straight out? Why am I buying food for your BBQ when you haven't asked anyone else to buy anything?

Yanbu. I would take token items to a BBQ I was invited to, rolls, drink etc, but i wouldn't expect to go and buy food for almost everyone else there. That's called having a BBQ at your own house confused

MrsFarm Wed 24-Aug-16 10:00:08

very rude.

your husband should not have gone to tesco without getting money from her

Birdsgottafly Wed 24-Aug-16 10:00:14

In some cases, you are, but in this case, your Mum is taking the piss.

I've got friends who don't have the income to 'host', without us all bringing our own stuff (and stuff to share), the get-togethet wouldn't happen. The same with some picnics.

Your case is different, though. Your being taken advantage of.

eggyface Wed 24-Aug-16 10:04:10

Ooh we were invited to one of those recently! It was a big party (think wedding anniversary type thing) and the invite said they'd do booze but we had to bring all the food to be bbq'd. I get that people are on a tight budget but I think I would have had a smaller event and paid for my guests to eat rather than inviting loads and expecting them to bring their own. Something about it didn't sit right.

phillipp Wed 24-Aug-16 10:07:15

Yanbu. I always take something and usually ask what the host would like us to bring.

However she was taking the piss with the tesco thing. But You or you dh should have asked for the money.

Is it possible that your sister had already chipped in money for food etc, as she was already staying for the week?

PJBanana Wed 24-Aug-16 10:16:23

It depends on our relationship with the host but in this case I don't think YABU at all.

If I was hosting I'd maybe ask for people to bring along a dessert and their own alcohol, but I wouldn't expect it and would provide the majority of the food and mixers etc.

Your mum has been stingy though. Especially sending your DH to the shop. I would've returned with the shopping and presented her with the receipt!

Arrowfanatic Wed 24-Aug-16 10:18:11

She asks us to buy amore stuff as we're a family of 5, but my sister is a family of 4 so not much different.

My sister wouldn't have paid anything to stay, mum has this thing about as she only sees my sister infrequently (she's abroad) that when she's here mum pays for everything (and then gets annoyed that when she stays at my sisters she still pays for everything).

It's not like we eat extravagantly, the kids are young so a sausage each for a hot dog and a burger each for DH and I, some crisps, salad. It's not like we demand rib eye steaks and fresh salmon!

I dunno, we host lots of bbqs in the summer for our friends and family and never ask for contributions as just feels wrong.

The tesco thing she just said she'd sort it later but then when she came over next as we had a trip together to the cinema planned she said consider the fuel money she spent coming to te cinema in my town as payback for the shopping (I paid for the tickets btw) and the reason we did my cinema is because the film was at 6:40pm and my husband couldn't get home till 6pm to have the kids whereas it would have taken me a fair while to drive to hers at that time of day iyswim.

cherryplumbanana Wed 24-Aug-16 10:20:44

I never understood people who invite you, but don't provide food or drink.It's the same with open-bar (translate pay for your own drinks) at a wedding. I genuinely don't get it. I don't know if people are just tight, or have ideas of grandeur they can't afford. Honestly I don't know.

In you case, it's your mum, a bit different, so you should speak with her!

TimeIhadaNameChange Wed 24-Aug-16 10:21:16

Next time she tries that trick play her at her own game and tell her that you've spent your contribution on the fuel getting there, and, what a pity, you've left your wallets at home!

Cheeky so and so!

sentia Wed 24-Aug-16 10:21:18

It might be easier if you suggest to her that in future everyone pays their own way completely. You pay for your things, she for hers. And no favours or loans.

SemiNormal Wed 24-Aug-16 10:25:31

YANBU - your mum sounded a bit OTT about it. It's fairly normal for people to say everyone bring a bottle or everyone bring a box of burgers/sausges etc - works out better like that as you get a lot of variety and everyones tastes get catered to.

Just wondering if your sister is a single parent? Perhaps you're in a far better financial situation than your sister and therefore your mum felt more able to ask you than your sister (if she's struggling).

CafeCremeMerci Wed 24-Aug-16 10:28:42

Your Mum did this? Bloody hell - on all counts. You two are going to have to play her at her own game.

I spent quite a few years living overseas and have lived in various places in the UK & in quite different situations. I think that who provides what & what an invite 'means/includes' depends on a lot of different things, it's not right nor fair to say X is the only way it should be done.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 24-Aug-16 10:37:44

I don't do this, but logically thinking, this system would make perfect sense if everyone did it. My dhs friends (south African) do this, and they have a far far more active social life than any English friends I know.
For example, if I host my way (as in I provide everything) I need to send invites out maybe two weeks in advance. Then start thinking about food a few days in advance, big shop, loads of prep, big house tidy etc.
But, dhs friends might say to each other, fancy coming over for a barbie tonight, everyone contributes, and there's no massive effort for anyone, no drama about whose turn it is to host, no drama about cost etc etc.
It makes absolute sense.

diddl Wed 24-Aug-16 10:39:51

I don't think that asking you to take stuff was that much of a problem.

It was the getting you to buy their stuff once there!

How do you know that your sister hadn't paid for a shop?

HarryElephante Wed 24-Aug-16 10:41:27

Talk to your mum about it.

JudyCoolibar Wed 24-Aug-16 10:45:12

Next time she comes to your house, ask her to bring her own food and drink.

Ringadingdingdong Wed 24-Aug-16 10:45:26

YANBU if my parents have a bbq I'll usually contribute something like homemade coleslaw, sausages for the kids and some alcohol. They've never asked us to supply all our own food.

Likewise with friends we'll all usually turn up with something if it's a casual bbq.

I'd be feeling a bit pissed off too. If she's finding money tight then it would be much better if she told you that.

Memoires Wed 24-Aug-16 10:49:31

Every bbq I've ever been to you take enough to feed yourself/your family. That may not be the stuff you actually end up eating, mind, it all gets cooked and you might have a burger and a bit of chicken when you've brought sausages and fish.

I've seen people bring massive bags of specially marinaded chicken, enough for 50! I've seen people turn up with one kebab or a bag of buns.

springwaters Wed 24-Aug-16 10:50:25

£50 in petrol is over 450 miles in my massive car. How far away does she live? Why drive further than the equivalent of London to Leeds and back go to the cinema? This doesn't make sense.

MargaretCavendish Wed 24-Aug-16 10:52:15

I never understood people who invite you, but don't provide food or drink.It's same with open-bar (translate pay for your own drinks) at a wedding.

Firstly, open bar means drinks are free - you mean 'pay bar'. Secondly, in my experience almost every wedding includes a mixture of some free drink, but also an expectation that after a certain point guests will buy their own. I have been to two entirely open bar weddings in my life and both were paid for by extremely wealthy families. I don't think you can put a pay bar at a wedding on a level with expecting someone to entirely provide their own meal at a barbecue!

ZenMom Wed 24-Aug-16 10:56:45

YANBU. If we have a family bbq I'll assume I'm providing all the mains, meats, breads salads, soft drinks etc, maybe some beer but everyone asks if they can bring something and j just usually say bring something for desert or something. We all have our own booze as we all drink different things and some don't drink. No definitely not being unreasonable smile but next time say something there and then. What's the worst that can happen?

softboiledeggs Wed 24-Aug-16 11:02:23

YANBU if hosting we always tend to over provide, if ppl bring stuff it's much appreciated but not expected and often we send ppl home with either the food /drink they brought if it didn't get used etc If we attend a BBQ we always bring a bottle of something or flowers as a thanks for hosting and either make up some food pasta salad type thing with some good sausages thrown in just as the norm... If host requested food and drink to be brought though hmmm yea I'd find it rude and wonder why if they couldn't provide food and drink they'd invited us to a BBQ confused getting you to go to Tesco and buy extra on top as what you bought and not paying you back just no words.

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