Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Birthday Dinner Dilema

wow - I don't think Ive ever gotten so much advice and ideas from so many amazing women as today on twitter :) thank you all for your opinions!

Here's the situation - I recently moved away from my college town, where many of my friends are. I now live in a small town outside of ATL. I have a few friends from HS in ATL but not too many. My birthday is coming up (in early October) and its my first grown up birthday, so I wanted to have a grown up party. I was thinking of hosting a nice dinner at a restaurant in ATL, nothing too $$ as my friends are young and mostly in school. I would be inviting friends from my college town up to ATL (and hosting them at my parents house, so no one would have to get a hotel room) and inviting my local friends. The big question I have is, if we all go out to dinner somewhere for my birthday, am I expected to pay for everyone?

Knowing ATL can be a little pricey, I am considering having a party closer to my college town, like somewhere in SAV. but if I do that, I know the ATL girls will not make the drive (they would say its too far - even if I could find places for them to stay). Would it be better if I had 2 parties, one in ATL and one near my college town?

I have girls telling me if I am "hosting" the "party" it means paper invitations and me footing the bill, but others saying because we're young, and its my birthday, everyone would pay their own way.

Another issue is many of the guests were at my graduation lunch, which my parents graciously paid for, and I don't want anyone to come to this one expecting that, as my parents wont be there.

I am looking to send out an evite to the guests in the next few days so they can save the date (I want to make sure as many people can come as possible since most years my birthday is a flop). I also want to send some cute, hand written invites because I am now obsessed with stationary thanks to all my preppy friends.

Any and all advice will be welcomed! I am really at a loss as what to do here.

**ugh! more drama! I have decided to simply have 2 dinners, one in ATL and one in my old college town. Just easier and cuts down on the driving.

I asked my bff in ATL to host the party and she said no, giving some BS reason :( very upset about this. I told her she was simply going to be getting the RSVPs, helping me organize and maybe say something nice at dinner. But she hasn't replied. Im feeling really hurt by this. I wasn't asking her to pay for anything but her meal.

The I asked another girlfriend in the college town to host my dinner there, in SAV (about an hour drive). The plan was for me and JAB to get a hotel room in SAV and have everyone come down, have dinner then go out for a few drinks. But she thinks (and rightly so) no one will want to spend the $$ to drive to SAV to celebrate or pay for a hotel. So I either have to have the party in college town, or not have it at all. I am so annoyed! I just want to have a good birthday! I am at the point right now where Im just going to ask ppl to send gifts and JAB & I will go on a weekend trip.


Preppy Girl Meets World said...

I think a birthday is completely different from a graduation luncheon. No one should be expecting you to pay. I guess it is all in how you are trying to do things. Most of the birthdays I've been to in bars or restaurants, everyone pays their way and covers the birthday girl. If it is in a bar, it is not uncommon for the birthday girl to cover her own way. My parents who are from a different generation have been to many birthday parties where the birthday girl (or guy) hosts. They rent a room and get a DJ or a band. My cousin's first birthday was fancier and more over the top than some weddings I've been to. For parties like that, the person hosting pays but almost always, guests bring cash as the gift that usually covers the cost of their plates. If you are doing something fancy and are renting a room or the Chef's Table, then yes, you will be expected to pay. Otherwise, you are young, and I don't think anyone would be expecting you to put dinner for 7 on your credit card unless you had given them the indication beforehand that you were doing that.

Preppy 101 said...

If you want it understood that each person pays his/her own way, you can add something to the invitation like this:

The fare at ______________ (insert name of restaurant) is from _____ ($ amount) to _______ (amount). Or you can word it as "Let's get together for my birthday" - I've attached a menu below, etc. If you just send an invitation without some kind of explanation, people may assume that you are going to pay!

Suburban Princess said...

If you can't afford to take everyone out why dont you do it at your place? Have some nice foods, a few bottles of wine and dessert. People will bring presents and booze with them but there is no need to make it byob.

If it was just 'Hey I want to party for my birthday' then organizing everyone to go out together would be one thing...but suggesting everyone pay and putting money talk on the invite just isn't very cool.

*danielle said...

My opinion is this: Keep it casual. If you say, "hey we're going out to eat for my birthday at X place. Its not too expensive (about X per plate). I know it's in ATL, but you could crash at my house afterwards so you dont have to drive back south that night.

Makes it clear youre going for a casual thing, not hosting a "party" but still offering them a place to stay. That's how I'd handle it. Skip the invites & such because anything formal will hint that you're covering for everybody.

Sarah said...

I agree. In my social circle we all understand that a birthday dinner is just a gathering to celebrate. We all understand that we have to pay and we usually buy drinks for the birthday belle/gent.

But I think it is a good idea, if you are concerned, to put on the invite a menu price range. Or you can research a clever way to say "Hey, were going dutch" or "To each his own".

Good luck!! But hopefully your friends will know that they are responsible to pay.


Ruth said...

I would keep it casual. Just say hey let's meet for dinner for my birthday. I did that a couple years ago and it worked out fine. Everyone paid for thier own meals.
Hopefully your friends from college can come up to stay with you or your parents and everyone can have a great weekend.

Pearls, Curls, and A Southern Girl said...

Sorry you're havin such a hard time planning your birthday :( I say keep it casual, that way no one gets the wrong impression and they know they need to pay for themselves. And to reply to your comment, its mostly Sorority women who dress up the most for the games but I feel like it just adds to the experience to look nice as if it was a UGA or Tech game!

DSS said...

I'm a bit late in the game, but definitely agree with these girls. Every year I host a huge bash on the lawn at my home to celebrate my birthday (this year was the only exception). I provide all of the alcohol and food. HOWEVER, it says this on the invitation.

Any time I am invited to a birthday party out at a restaurant, I always expect to pay. Or, perhaps one of your friends could send the invite saying "please join us at such and such restaurant to celebrate AYB's birthday". That may help show them you aren't covering the expenses? Maybe JAB could send them out for you?

Popular Posts

She is sweet, yet strong
She sips her wine, yet gulps her beer
She's polite, yet saucy
She's refined, yet wild
She wears bows... fishing
She's a Southern Belle