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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:
mdh2020 · 04/05/2021 07:26

I had a special birthday lunch and made it clear to everyone invited that I wasn’t ‘hosting’ ie they would have to pay. On the other hand when we had a special anniversary party with 50 guests we did pay and told everyone not to bring gifts.

RubiesCube · 04/05/2021 07:29

I always think the people that say No in threads like these are probably quite well off and have no idea how the poorer half live.

In my world where we don't have lots of money, we do want to have a good time and would not find this rude at all. No one I know has that money flying around to pay for everyone.

As we understand that our friends don't have £350 to splash on paying for everyone, paying £35 (if we can afford it) each is a great way that everyone can go and have a good time.

It's all in the wording though as noted above.

ThatIsMyPotato · 04/05/2021 07:29

Yeah its fine but don't be upset if they don't come

Maggiesfarm · 04/05/2021 07:29

Where has the op said she expects the guests at the activity to buy husband a present too? I would think a nice card & paying for him and her would be a present and he would be very happy with that, same as if everyone paid for a meal out.

The op is not going to be planning an activity that the proposed guests do not like, it's presumably something they all enjoy.

FortunesFave · 04/05/2021 07:32


He's your husband but he has more money than you?

I don't get it.

Not all married couples share income. It's odd I agree. I have a friend like this and I can't work it out. If you have children together particularly, then it's odd. My DH earns more than me but I have total access to it.
Scarby9 · 04/05/2021 07:33

'We're thinking of doing (insert activity her) for DH' birthday. Do you fsncy joining us? It would be fun do do as a big group. Then we could have a barbie after at ours. What do you think? It's £35 a head'.

ChubbyMsSunshine · 04/05/2021 07:33

I did something very similar but paid a chunk - about a third - and asked guests to contribute towards the remainder. It was fine.

Chocoqueen · 04/05/2021 07:34

If I was invited out for someone's birthday I'd expect to pay for myself and split the birthday person's cost between us. No way would I expect my friend to subsidise me.... I don't have to be bribed to see them!

MiddleParking · 04/05/2021 07:40

You don’t need to completely share finances (we don’t and I much prefer it) but it is pretty odd to be in a position where your husband is asking you to celebrate him with an expensive activity that you can’t afford but he could. I wouldn’t be shy about saying he needs to pay for it or towards it if he wants it, OP. I’m assuming it’s his 30th/40th/50th and I do think it’s a bit odd to ask everyone to pay for their own ‘birthday activity’ at that age (unless the activity is just a meal, which is a bit more normal). Most adults would not choose to do a pay-per-head activity with their weekend and if someone invited me to do one I might say yes depending what it was but it would be for their sake not mine and I’d be put out to be asked to pay for the privilege.

HunterHearstHelmsley · 04/05/2021 07:45

What's the activity? I wouldn't mind paying for myself as long as it wasn't something I hate. My friend wanted us all go to a stand up comedy show a few years ago for her birthday. I cannot stand stand up! She had the hump for ages as I declined. If she was paying for the ticket then I probably would have gone but I didn't want to pay for something I wouldn't enjoy.

For me, I'd pay if I wanted to do the activity. I probably wouldn't prioritise it though. I'd pay for my own food and drinks if a restaurant was chosen.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream · 04/05/2021 07:49

He has more money than me

Here is the real crux of the problem. You need to sort that bit out OP.

redtshirt50 · 04/05/2021 07:52

This would be totally normal in my friendship group - everyone always pays for themselves. I think it's fine to ask.

It'd be a shame not to do an activity you think your husband would really enjoy just because you don't want to ask people for the money.

WeAllHaveWings · 04/05/2021 07:52

If your dh is under 16 and you are organising it you pay for his school mates to attend an activity birthday party.

As you are all adults, perfectly ok to say - We are thinking of going to xxx for dh's birthday, do you fancy joining us, it is £35 each for 2 hours then back to ours for some drinks?

AvonCallingBarksdale · 04/05/2021 07:57

A few years ago, he planned an activity for his birthday and paid for everyone's ticket, but he has more money than me

Eh?? We have a joint account and two separate accounts - but it’s all “our” money Confused

MusicMenu · 04/05/2021 08:02

Among every group I'm part of, if it was a party at home or in a hall, the hosts would cover most costs, but you'd take a bottle and maybe some food to share. If you're going "out" to a restaurant or activity, everyone would expect to pay for themselves. A party at a venue, we'd expect to buy our own drinks.

Its only on MN I've ever seen it done differently.

osbertthesyrianhamster · 04/05/2021 08:02

I think it's fine as long as you're very clear it's a pay for yourself event, what's involved (food, drink) and specify NO gifts.

PerveenMistry · 04/05/2021 08:04


I was once invited to a birthday party at a food festival and we got 2 drinks each paid for by the host and had to pay for any other drinks or a snack by ourselves. I thought that was pretty cheap and would never organize a birthday party like that, in my opinion if you invite people to celebrate your birthday, you pay for them. If the activity you want to do is too expensive for that, you organize a picknick or something else that is affordable.
But that’s how I was raised and what I’m used to.

Agree with this.

It's just crass to ask others to spend their hard earned money to celebrate you.
fluffythedragonslayer · 04/05/2021 08:05


A few years ago, he planned an activity for his birthday and paid for everyone's ticket, but he has more money than me.
I'd expect to pay for my own ticket for an activity day in the same way I'd pay for my own dinner.
Thank you for your comments

Hang on - you have separate finances and he has ASKED you to plan a surprise for his birthday and expects you to pay, knowing you don't have as much money as him? Sod that!
MusicMenu · 04/05/2021 08:05

We don't buy gifts for adults . The outing is the present.

Naunet · 04/05/2021 08:05

Why does he want you to organise it, and why does it have to be a surprise...?

By requesting that, he conveniently gets out of paying for it!

And / or you’re limited to doing something on your much smaller budget

Is he aware of this?? Sorry - that just feels really cheeky to me. My DH would never dream of doing something like that

I agree with all of this. If he wants this, he pays, I’m sure you’ll be getting him a gift as it is, along with organising this, so he pays to cover the cost. Has he ever arranged anything like this for you? If so, what was the arrangements then?

Bluntness100 · 04/05/2021 08:06

I think it’s ok if it’s an activity, which is very different to a meal or party

So something like do you all fancy going paint balling it’s Tom’s birthday, cost is 35 quid per person if you fancy it.

I’d happily pay for doing this for my friends birthday and would not expect them to pay for me.

ImInStealthMode · 04/05/2021 08:06


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.

Oh wind your neck in! 'You'll be getting talked about?' If that's the case in your world then it sounds like your friends are entitled judgemental pricks, and not the kind of people I'd be inviting to anything in the first place, paid or not.

In lots of people's social circles paying for yourself (and/or the birthday person) at a sit down meal or activity is the absolute norm. If you don't want to go, don't enjoy the activity or can't spare the money then you simply don't go. It's not a big deal and nobody makes it into one. Where genuine friends are involved people tend to care more about each other than what they can get from each other.

Also amazing the amount of people on this thread that can't spare or begrudge spending £35 to do something fun with a friend, but expect said friend to have £350 to hand to pay for them. How do you manage when your birthday comes round then, and you've been paid for all year? It's far ruder IMO to accept all these bankrolled invitations and then not reciprocate.
UCOinanOCG · 04/05/2021 08:08

Only you know your friends. I would happily pay to go and do a birthday event with a friend. I know some on here think it is a massive no to to ask this.

DelBocaVista · 04/05/2021 08:11

I always think the people that say No in threads like these are probably quite well off and have no idea how the poorer half live.

Me too. In our social circle we'd never expect to have things paid for. Most people don't have that kind of disposable income.
It's pretty standard to say I'm doing X for my birthday and it will cost £xx - let me know if you fancy it.

DotsandCo · 04/05/2021 08:15

I'm still getting over the OP's husband TELLING her to organise a 'surprise party' for him 😱🤦‍♀️ Who does that??

If anyone told me to organise a surprise party for them, they'd be sorely disappointed on the day with the 'surprise' they got!

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