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Is this rude or inappropriate? (Party question)

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
We have had almost no adult parties (just parties for ds)--the kind where we open up the house, invite 20-30 people, grill, provide drinks, let people stay as long as they want etc. We moved around every few years and just didn't know THAT many people, kwim?

Now we are back near old friends, and in a few weeks is dh's 40th birthday.

We are both in school right now and on a serious budget. I really want to have a party for him, and invite about 20 people (of course, knowing some won't be able to come, maybe 12-15 people total in reality).

The only way I can see affording this is to make it a side dish potluck, with us providing drinks and grilling free range hot dogs/burgers, but asking people to bring a side dish/snack/drink to fill out the table. Would it be rude to make a birthday party potluck? Is that a social no-no? We just can't afford to feed that many people. I don't know how else to afford it.
post #2 of 42
completely acceptable in my social circle. could you run the idea past a couple of the people you plan to invite, to see how they think the rest of the group would react?
post #3 of 42
I think that's totally acceptable. When inviting people I might say "instead of a gift, please bring a dish to share" or somthing like that, but I don't think that's even really necessary.
post #4 of 42
I think it is totally acceptable.

I really love potlucks.
post #5 of 42
Everyone I know, when asked to a party, asks "What should I bring?" Perfectly acceptable.
post #6 of 42
In my circle of friends it is expected! As soon as we get an invite we all ask what can we bring. It is a lot of fun for us all to share our favorite sides and we like to help take the pressure off our friends.
post #7 of 42
I think it's fine, especially if it's clear you aren't expecting gifts. It's not as clear cut with a kid's party, because generally people are already giving gifts. For an adult birthday party, it's totally fine.
post #8 of 42
I can't tell you how many different types of parties ive been to, birthday included, where I was told to bring a dish to pass. I never thought twice about it.
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 
Gifts...interesting point.

I don't want to say "NO gifts"...what if someone was going to give him a gift, and then thought "Oh, they don't want gifts, nevermind".

On the other hand, we aren't into 'stuff' so whether people bring a gift is totally up to them. We don't care either way.

Should I just not mention gifts at all on the invite, and leave up to people?
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancouver Mommy View Post
I think that's totally acceptable. When inviting people I might say "instead of a gift, please bring a dish to share" or somthing like that, but I don't think that's even really necessary.
Among close friends, I think it is totally acceptable and I like the above idea.

Like someone else said, the "what can I bring?" question is automatic in my circle though there are some host(ess) that will say straight out NOTHING and mean it. (I sometimes fall into this group)

Among casual or work acquaintences? I don't know, I think it depends on the group.

We had a debate about this one day at work and it was evenly divided. One camp thought it was totally normal to ask people to bring a dish.

The other camp thought it was very strange. In fact, some claimed to never have been asked to do such a thing. Don't know what type of parties they are going to.
post #11 of 42
Totally acceptable. Have fun!
post #12 of 42
Yup, totally acceptable. At my parties I like to cook all the "interesting" stuff, so I usually fob the boring stuff like drinks (for those who don't cook), salads or chips on guests. They always ask, I tell 'em, it works fine. Have fun!
post #13 of 42
Yeah I think it depends on your friends. That's almost the only way we do parties in our group.
post #14 of 42
I did my housewarming (45 people! eech!) that way--we made a few apps and had standard stuff for grilling.

I did not do my wedding (90 people and a rented tent in my backyard) that way--we had catered apps, a hired crepe cart, and homemade desserts. A few people still brought food.

Totally, perfectly acceptable in my circle.
post #15 of 42
Hmmm... for me, not so much. If it was just a get-together I think it would be fine, but to invite someone to a birthday party and ask them to bring a dish feels wrong to me. I guess I think throwing the party means that you provide the food, unless someone specifically asks if she can bring something.

Just MHO...
post #16 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Hmmm... for me, not so much. If it was just a get-together I think it would be fine, but to invite someone to a birthday party and ask them to bring a dish feels wrong to me. I guess I think throwing the party means that you provide the food, unless someone specifically asks if she can bring something.

Just MHO...
that's me, too. If people ask themselves, then fine, but I would have a problem with asking people.
post #17 of 42
I think its totally fine! Like PPs mentioned, in our circle the first question is always, "What should we bring?"
post #18 of 42
Yup, this is pretty much the expected and accepted norm in my circle of friends... and my parents' circle of friends.

I honestly like it better because everyone has their own cooking style... I get to sample a lot of different stuff.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Hmmm... for me, not so much. If it was just a get-together I think it would be fine, but to invite someone to a birthday party and ask them to bring a dish feels wrong to me. I guess I think throwing the party means that you provide the food, unless someone specifically asks if she can bring something.

Just MHO...
post #20 of 42
I am of the opinion that if you are throwing a party you don't ask the guests to supply the food. I've even backed out of an RSVP b/c I was later asked to bring something. If the host specifically says let's have a get together and have a potluck at my house, that's one thing. But if you are throwing a party for your DH, that's different.

Oh, and don't mention gifts if you really don't have a prefernce one way or the other.

BTW, my DH threw me a "surprise" party and made it a potluck. I was so embarrassed that he asked everyone to bring food.
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