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Is it rude to ask people to pay if I invite them to a 40th b'day lunch for DH

(26 Posts)
Lisa229 Mon 06-Oct-08 16:22:30

Thinking of having a birthday lunch for DH's 40 th next year at a local restaurant. Want to invite 30-40 family and friends including kids. They have a set lunch menu for about £15 pp. Would people expect us to pay for them if we invite them? If we were inviting them to a house party or an evening do in a hall, we wouldn't expect them to cough up for food and drink so should I be paying for them for lunch? It's just we can't afford to pay for everyone and our house isn't big enough to host everyone either and we want it to be a day thing. What's the etiquette on this.

many thanks

OrmIrian Mon 06-Oct-08 16:25:44

We invited friends to a pub for my 40th. DH bought evenryone one drink, but that was all. Everyone paid for their own meals. Later a lot of people came back to our house for wine/ beer and coffee. Ended up with some other bods turning up.

We simply couldn't have paid for everyone.

For DH's 40th we used the pub garden and did our own food.

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 06-Oct-08 16:25:59

I think it is all in the wording of the invitation tbh. No-one should feel obliged to attend if paying themselves. You could perhaps buy the first round of drinks as a small thankyou gesture, and possibly say 'no presents'!

hth

Anna8888 Mon 06-Oct-08 16:26:52

If you invite people, you must also pay for them.

If you organise a celebration, you can (at a pinch) ask people to pay for themselves.

Overmydeadbody Mon 06-Oct-08 16:28:04

You have to make it clear, before you invite them, that it is to a meal where they will be expected to pay.

I have been cought out a few times, where someone invites me somewhere, I accept, and then they tell me "ok it will be £££" making it hard for me to then back out without seeming stingy.

OrmIrian Mon 06-Oct-08 16:30:02

Yep, we worded the invitation along the lines of 'We'd love you to join us at the Frog and Tadpole to celebrate Orm's 40th'. No mention of food at all. But it was at lunch time. As it was mostly close friends it wasn't really an issue.

Overmydeadbody Mon 06-Oct-08 16:30:05

Or, could you all go out for drinks in the evening too, and people choose whether to fork out for a meal or just fork out for a few drinks in the evening?

forevercleaning Mon 06-Oct-08 16:31:56

you invite therefore you pay.

If we have invited people out to dinner, (as I don't cook very well!) We ALWAYS foot the bill.

mabanana Mon 06-Oct-08 16:32:29

A friend once invited a lot of people to a 40th where she calculated (guessed) how much it would cost to eat and drink and asked us to pay it to her in advance. I refused! I said I was happy to pay for my meal and one glass of wine (driving) but that was it. I htink everyone else caved in - though the ones who didn't drink an ocean of wine were pretty pissed off at paying for the others!

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 06-Oct-08 16:33:20

You know that many pubs will lay on a free buffet for a gathering, due to the increase in drink sales?

forevercleaning Mon 06-Oct-08 16:37:45

I went to a friends 40th. Was asked to meet at her house. She jumps in to a car with her dh and the rest of us follow in 2 taxis. When we arrive at restaurant, we have to pay for taxis, then at end of meal we are asked to pay £30 each for meal. Then 2 taxis arrive to drive us home to her house and we foot the bill again.

All in all £60 per head! Good job I was totaly shit faced and thought it hilarious!!

I would never expect anyone to pay in these circumstances.

We still laugh about it, as her DH is such a knob head, that he lorded it up at the meal, holding court over proceedings, then produced this calculator and split the bill. We howled grin

myermay Mon 06-Oct-08 16:41:02

i would not expect to be paid for tbh. Maybe put some wine on teh table if you can afford that?

fullmoonfiend Mon 06-Oct-08 16:43:24

my best friend told us she would like us all to jon her at x restaurant and in the invite made it clear it was going to cost £20 a head. She paid for wine on the tables. We had a lovely evening. If we had gone to her house, we'd have spent £20 on wine anyway. Everyone came, no-one was offended at being to asked to pay as we appreciated she couldn't afford it and her house is not big enough to entertsain us all in.
It is all in the wording.

hifi Mon 06-Oct-08 17:10:03

i personally wouldn't do it. could youstretch to a room at a pub and lay on a buffet?i think its a bit cheeky asking people to pay.

rookiemater Mon 06-Oct-08 17:16:09

I think it would be fine, provided as fullmoonfiend says its all made clear in advance. I wouldn't be insulted if asked to a restaurant I would expect to pay. I do think you need to sort out what you are doing for drinks though. As a guest I'd be really miffed if the champagne and fine wines were flowing freely and I was expected to cough up for that.

Tortington Mon 06-Oct-08 17:16:51

as a couple i could possibly be speding £50 on an avg meal

i wouldnt spend that on mi own granny for her 100th.

i thnk its cheek

countingto10 Mon 06-Oct-08 17:29:55

I personally wouldn't ask people to pay.  I had a 40th birthday party - laid on food and drink.  Husband threw a surprise birthday dinner for me and paid for everything.

However, SIL & BIL always invite people and then charge them.  Did it for her 40th birthday dinner (£20 per head) but worse of all they did for my MIL's 65th birthday.  They arranged a "do" at their house and then charged everyone for providing the food - I wouldn't mind but her husband is a partner in an accountancy practice so they are not short. 

Whenever we have family round we don't charge them for it.  Re the MIL birthday do, FIL had offered to pay for the food but they wouldn't let him and charged us instead (without telling him).

If we didn't have the money I would probably ask for a contribution or pay for the booze eg.

FioFio Mon 06-Oct-08 17:31:09

Message withdrawn

morningpaper Mon 06-Oct-08 17:32:16

Asking them to pay is bad I think

I think you either need a smaller 'do' with just close friends, or invite them all to yours for a buffet/drink at 2pm-ish instead

myermay Mon 06-Oct-08 21:51:04

i have only ever once been paid for - i would never expect my friends to buy me a meal on their birthday - i think it's alot to expect. i think you're friends will be happy to pay for their own food - just get a round of drinks instead

Lisa229 Tue 07-Oct-08 12:19:12

Thank you for all the replies....still don't know what to do!

When we have been out with our close friends for dinner to celebrate each others birthdays at a restaurant, we all pay our own way. We don't expect the birthday person to pay. I suppose this is a bit different with more people and a special b'day.

Anyway thanks again

janmoomoo Tue 07-Oct-08 13:50:27

countingto10 - I cant believe your SIL asked people to pay when coming to her house! That is outragous! I wouldnt dream of charging people when they come to our house! Everyone normally brings a bottle of wine anyway.

We often go out for meal with friends for their birthdays and I would never expect them to pay for everyone. Just make it clear beforehand and then people can decide or make a respectable excuse if they cant afford it.

witchandchips Tue 07-Oct-08 13:55:05

Could you pay for drinks and a few starters as your dh's main party but keep the tables on for lunch (where everyone pays for themselves but some poeple go on elsewhere). That way everyone feels "treated" but you don't end up forking out for a three course meal for everyone.

LadyPenelope Tue 07-Oct-08 14:02:59

I think it's OK if you make it clear when you invite them ... so something like "hope you can join us for lunch to celebrate DH's birthday. Lunch menu X per head." Also, as someone suggested above, if you say no presents then it's no so expensive for people. Some people may not be able to afford it and may not come but don't think anyone would be offended. Was recently invited to a friend's birthday dinner. Was not a significant birthday - he was 36 or something. Knew we would be paying for ourselves but hadn't been to restaurant before and was totally SHOCKED by the expense. Bill was divided between all the people there and was totally out of our league - much much more than we would spend on a even a special meal out. So, I think it's a good idea to give a feel for the amount too.

spudcounter Sat 11-Oct-08 07:52:55

this is an interesting thread...do you think it's the same moral dilemma as inviting people to a wedding where, because of travel distance, you're forced to fork out for hotel rooms to attend wedding? Both my brother and sister had their weddings in what could only be termed 'mock mansions' and the room charge was extortionate for a family of 4- which they of course expected us to pay, along with a present. At least we got fed though.

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