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Aug 9, 2010 08:38 AM

Mom's 70th Birthday Dinner at restaurant w/ friends. Who pays the check?


We are celebrating my Mom's 70th Birthday next month at a nice restaurant and we will be inviting 4 other couples which are close friends of my Mom's. We will be sending out invitiations to join us for dinner to help celebrate. There are 4 of us (Mom, my husband, our son and myself) plus 8 other guests.
My question is are my husband and I expected to pick up the check for all 8 guests? We can't exactly afford that!


  1. Who would you think is paying if you got an invitation in the mail to any type of party, held at _____ (any location)?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Cathy

      Who would assume that someone else would pick up the bill just because they got invited out to dinner to celebrate a birthday? Wow how RUDE it that???

      1. re: KFARGY

        Invitation in the mail.

        ANY type of party (wedding shower, baby shower, wedding, graduation, retirement, birthday).

        ANY location (home, rented facility, restaurant, public park).

        Not rude. You invited me. You pay.

        Ask your mom who she thinks is paying if she gets an invitation in the mail for someone's party. Be hypothetical and say you got one. Tell her that you are expected to pay. Then ask her the definition of rude.

        1. re: KFARGY

          The only people who can invite are the hosts. They are HOSTING, and paying.

          Events that require the person attending to pay issues tickets, monies collected up front or at conclusions.

          Which is your Mother's dinner?

      2. You issue the invitation, you're paying. That's the name of the game.

        Otherwise, just buy and make some really good food and feed everyone at home yourself.

        You might see what a local Personal Chef would charge for dinner for 12 to be prepared and served at your home. As a Personal Chef, my fee for that service is $350 plus the actual cost of groceries. You're not going to get individual orders that way, but I would offer two entrees to chose from.

        1. When you invite people to dinner, it's on you.

          1. Usually he who invites pays. If you can't afford that, you can informally invite the couples and make it clear that it is dutch. They may not be able to afford it either, and shouldn't be put in a awkward situation at the restaurant. If it is a financial burden, your family can dine out, then invite the friends for cake and champagne at your or your mother's home afterward.

            1. Maybe you should live in Egypt! We were invited to birthday celebrations at restaurants two times while we were in Egypt -- invited by the celebrant -- and both time the event was Dutch! But that is not the custom in the US, and if you have mailed invitations without specifying that you were expecting the guests to chip in, the assumption would be that the guests are being invited and treated. Why don't you call the restaurant and work out a simple, more low cost menu that is something that you can afford. Once the invitations are issues, I don't see how you can go back and ask the invitees to pay.