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To invite people to a meal and ask them to pay for themselves?

(326 Posts)
lilyboleyn Sat 16-May-20 18:48:21

Gathering opinions before I commit a CF faux pas. Planning a surprise 70th birthday for my mum - nothing special, just getting her friends round to a pub for a Sunday lunch. She won’t have seen many of them for months or even years in some cases. For me to pay for everyone’s meal and drinks etc would be more than I could really afford, so I was thinking of sending an invite out that said something like, ‘would you like to join us for Mandy’s (not her real name) surprise 70th birthday meal... X pub offers main and dessert for £15 per person and we’ll be putting out some bottles of Prosecco on the table’.

I don’t know. That sounds really naff doesn’t it. My question is AIBU to ask people to come and pay for their own meals, or should it really only be the case that I should pay myself?

OP’s posts: |
zscaler Sat 16-May-20 18:49:59

I think that’s fine OP. I know some people get sniffy about things like that on MN, but for the most part people are happy to pay their own way, and it’s not like you’re asking them to fork out a fortune.

RoosterPie Sat 16-May-20 18:50:11

You’ll get a varied response on Mumsnet but I always expect to pay when going to a birthday lunch, and we usually all chip in for the birthday girl as well.

And you’re planning to make it extremely clear that payment is expected. The Prosecco is a nice touch. Go for it and I hope your mum has a lovely birthday!

Theukisgreatt Sat 16-May-20 18:50:26

It's fine. When are you planning this for?

BeetrootRocks Sat 16-May-20 18:50:51

I think that's aok

Oysterbabe Sat 16-May-20 18:51:37

Absolutely fine when it's made clear in advance. They can choose whether or not to attend.

(when is it? Will the pub be open?)

TildaTurnip Sat 16-May-20 18:51:48

I too think fine and would be happy being invited to join in with celebrations.

InfiniteSheldon Sat 16-May-20 18:51:56

That's perfect sets it up just right

mynameiscalypso Sat 16-May-20 18:52:39

I wouldn't expect for someone else to pay. I'd happily pay for myself plus share of the drinks/cake etc.

lilyboleyn Sat 16-May-20 18:53:18

Ha thanks guys. It’s not until this time next year so hopefully we’ll be back to normal by then!

OP’s posts: |
SeasonFinale Sat 16-May-20 18:53:26

Maybe make it clearer and say for those of you on a budget you will need to allow £x +y as a main and dessert costs £x and drinks £y.

That makes it very clear they are paying. They can then choose whether they can afford it or not

RandomMess Sat 16-May-20 18:54:27

Absolutely fine so long as you make it clear up front!

EgremontRusset Sat 16-May-20 18:54:41

That’s perfect. What doesn’t work is when it’s expressed as ‘we invite you’, no mention of price, then you don’t know whether or how much you’re expected to stump up.

PanamaPattie Sat 16-May-20 18:55:04

Sounds like a good idea to me. I’m assuming this birthday is next year, as pubs won’t be open for a party for months and months - and even then you’ll all need to sit 2m apart.

lilyboleyn Sat 16-May-20 18:56:44

Phew - relieved I’m not going to spot myself on the CF thread! 😂

OP’s posts: |
RubieRose Sat 16-May-20 18:56:55

I've only ever heard of people expecting others to pay for meals out on Mumsnet. In my world I'd be expecting to pay for myself and chip in for the birthday girl too.

BeetrootRocks Sat 16-May-20 18:59:25

Yes covering the birthday person between everyone is also aok

CanIHaveAPenguinPlease Sat 16-May-20 19:01:40

Hmm - in my circle the person inviting pays, so I’d make it clear that as people are paying for themselves that no gifts are expected.

People may still take a gift but it makes it clear that you aren’t being CFs by expecting a gift as well.

Also underline or put it in bold that it’s a surprise.

bitofafunnyquestion Sat 16-May-20 19:01:48

I think that's absolutely fine. Plus you're handling it gracefully, letting them know in advance and picking somewhere reasonable also the prosecco is nice. Have fun!

Ellmau Sat 16-May-20 19:01:52

As long as it's not a nasty surprise when the bill comes, that's fine.

CoronaIsComing Sat 16-May-20 19:02:55

I’d be fine with that. Don’t use the “for those on a budget...” comment above as it sounds horribly patronising and how can you possible know what people will want to drink. I’m sure most people know roughly how much their chosen drink costs in a standard pub anyway.

icansmellburningleaves Sat 16-May-20 19:06:41

I wouldn’t invite someone for a meal and expect them to pay for themselves but from the poster I’m in a minority. To be honest, your mum’s friends will be so delighted to see your mum they’ll be happy to pay. Have a lovely time 💐

bitofafunnyquestion Sat 16-May-20 19:08:02

yes, agreed about the 'on a budget' comment. not needed.

Holothane Sat 16-May-20 19:08:36

I’d be more than happy to pay,

SunflowerSeedsForever Sat 16-May-20 19:11:44

What would your Mum think?

Mine would be mortified and would then pick up the whole bill. It certainly isn't the done thing amongst her friends where if you invite to a birthday party- you pay.

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