My feed

to access all these features


Inviting guests to DH birthday and asking them to pay

418 replies

KQuest · 03/05/2021 22:33

My DH is coming up to a special birthday. He has asked me to plan something as a surprise. I have some ideas for activities, but the cost is roughly £35 per person. Is it OK to invite people and tell them they have to pay for themselves or should I pay for everyone?
I want to invite 10 people.

OP posts:
BackforGood · 03/05/2021 23:38

£35 is my weekly food shopping budget. I’m a single teacher and not on the breadline or anything but £35 is a decent chunk to me. Then I’d feel obliged to give a gift of at least £20. Plus drinks (food also if not provided).

If I were paying to go to something for their birthday, or we were meeting for a meal and each paying for ourselves, I wouldn't expect to take along a present too. You take a present for a friend who is hosting an event, not if you are just all using your birthdays as a 'hook' to arrange to meet up with mates.

Pyewackect · 03/05/2021 23:42

Wouldn’t bother me. I’d happily pay £35 for a good friend.

HeddaGarbled · 03/05/2021 23:42

Not what you were asking but, as you are married, how come your husband can lay his hands on £350 but you can’t?

You should have equal access to the family pot.

eatsleepread · 03/05/2021 23:47

No way would I ask others to pay in this situation.
100% not.

KizzyMoo · 03/05/2021 23:56

If you invited me to a planned activity for your husbands bday I'd expect you to pay.

SleepingStandingUp · 04/05/2021 00:06


Oh god is this the next thing. Not content with massive hen and stag weekends that cost a fortune, we're now going to be asked to pay for activities that we don't want to go to for adult birthdays?

But then you just decline surely.

Hey Def, we're going paragliding for Geraldine's 70th, do you fancy it? £20 each.
Then you say thanks but it's not really my thing.

Not complicated
Famousinlove · 04/05/2021 00:11

If it's a gig or paintballing etc I would expect to pay for myself, and anyone that doesn't want to do the activity/pay can always turn the invite down

Honeybobbin · 04/05/2021 00:24

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Definately · 04/05/2021 00:33

'But then you just decline surely.

Hey Def, we're going paragliding for Geraldine's 70th, do you fancy it? £20 each.
Then you say thanks but it's not really my thing.

Not complicated'

It shouldn't be complicated but it always ends up that the costing depends on everyone saying yes, when someone says no then it goes up to £25 each, and then you're the stingy miserable git who doesn't want to go to their mates birthday just because you don't like/can't afford paragliding.
Then you have people who don't want to be known as the stingy miserable git so drop out at the last minute pretending their kids are sick or whatever and then the cost goes up to £40 and only 4 people are left, and one of those people objects to the new increased cost and the whole plan is abandoned and Geraldine's birthday is ruined, and I said no first so I'm the arsehole who brought the entire plan down through my dislike of activities.

CervixHaver · 04/05/2021 00:46


In our group of friends if we were going ro an event or for a meal out we would alwasy pay for ourselves, I'm 38 and our group of friends has been established for over 2 decades.

Other groups of friends do similar.

It's o ly if we were going to someone's home we would check whether it's host providing, bring a dish or host buys and splits the cost.

Do you have no frame of reference within your friendship group?

'Group of friends' Hmm Are you 12?!?!
mantlepiece · 04/05/2021 00:55

The thing I noticed in your posts was that on one of your DH’s past birthday’s he paid for everyone to do the activity he planned.

I would worry that a) his friends would expect that going forward or/and your DH would be furious that you had requested payment from them.

I think this might colour the enjoyment of anything you are planning to do.

BlackCatShadow · 04/05/2021 01:04

Yes, I was going to say the same as mantlepiece. With my friends, we are all on a fairly tight budget, so we always pay for ourselves, but in sounds like in your husband’s friendship group that the host pays.

I find it a bit weird that you’re on a tight income and your husband expects you to organize his birthday like this, especially a special birthday. He must know that you can’t really afford it. Why not talk to him about expectations and money?

theonlywayisup33 · 04/05/2021 01:11

I think its not on to invite people to a celebration event like a birthday/ anniversary/ wedding and expect them to contribute. It's pretty cheap and speaks of tightness to me. Yuk. Can't abide it.

user1471439310 · 04/05/2021 01:23

I'm probably old but why would an adult ask to have someone have a surprise birthday party for them? If you want a party, pay for it yourself.

CharityDingle · 04/05/2021 01:27


I always think things like this are a bit cheeky really, sorry.

Pay for an activity chosen by you and then a birthday present as well? Will they be getting any food and drink for £35 or is that yet more money? I just couldn’t see myself charging people I’d invited to a party. It’s too demanding/entitled. In my family we also pay for invited guests meals on birthdays. I understand that’s unusual in England but I feels it’s rude to say “please will you come to my meal at x restaurant? You’ll have to pay for yourself.”

I don't think they should expect a birthday present, on top of guests having to pay to attend, tbh.
Dunderblue · 04/05/2021 01:39

It's a tricky one but I would say it depends on a lot. Do you know they can all afford £35? Do they want to do the activity? I wouldn't wanna spend £35 on something I wouldn't enjoy. If one person can't afford it would you leave them out or cancel the whole thing?
Personally I'd say it's best to fit in YOUR budget. Right now we're in a pandemic where a lot of people are struggling so asking people to pay £35 for something they'll feel obligated for is a bit much. I think having a BYOB party (if the date permits after lockdown) or rent a cheap room out and just hire a cheap DJ. After a year of lockdowns I don't think anyone needs fancy, just to see his friends would be a lot.

DifficultBloodyWoman · 04/05/2021 01:42

I’m currently planning DH’s birthday party for later this month. We don’t normally do parties but this is a ‘big’ birthday.

I looked at who he wanted there, how many people that would be, and how much a dinner would cost. That got ruled out pretty quickly. So it is drinks and nibbles at home. Canapés, if I want to sound posh but I will be the caterer. Decorations are surprisingly cheap. All together, we can have a big party, with everyone we wanted, good food, enough to drink and I don’t have to stick anyone else with the bill. I am much, much more comfortable with that than saying ‘you’re invited to DH’s party and it’ll cost £35 plus booze at the restaurant I have chosen’.

BritInAus · 04/05/2021 01:42

I think it's totally fine, as long as it's clearly worded and that you also include some text along the lines of 'strictly no presents, please' so people aren't obliged to pay for a gift, too. In my circle of friends we always split the bill for meals out or concert tickets etc... but also don't do presents for adult birthdays, just a card (unless it's a 30th/40th etc, where the host would typically throw a big party, then I'd take something).

sandgrown · 04/05/2021 01:45

I invited my friends to an activity I wanted to do . I subsided the cost by £5 ( they paid £25 instead of £30 each and put I nice wine on all the tables . Nobody objected at all and we had a great evening.

Awwlookatmybabyspider · 04/05/2021 01:51

You can't host an event and expect guests to pay. You'll be getting bloody talked about. If you can't afford £35 per head think of something cheaper.

memberofthewedding · 04/05/2021 01:54

Several times in a work situation Ive invited people to a meal in a restaurant. I made it clear that everybody would have to pay for their food but i would buy the wine and/or drinks. This was considered quite acceptable. People can then budget on an individual basis as to how much they wish to spend on food.

Awwlookatmybabyspider · 04/05/2021 01:59

Its all very well it not bothering you, Pyewacket but. However, not everyone has that sort of money. To some £35 isn't a lot but to others its certainly not a little either.

NurseButtercup · 04/05/2021 02:04


I had five people over for my birthday last year - I paid for them but I minised the costs by having pizza and hosting it in my back garden and that cost me about £300 all in.

How on earth did 6 pizzas cost £300?

Alcohol, desserts, snacks, decorations.
caringcarer · 04/05/2021 02:09

I think it is a little off to ask guests to pay. Can't you do something you can afford?

caringcarer · 04/05/2021 02:10

Nothing would get me to paintball free it not.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.