Advice on how to word an invitation
I'm hestitant to even ask this question after reading threads like this one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/869326
but I really would like some advice. Here's the deal: I want to invite about a dozen people to celebrate my birthday in a few weeks with dinner at a popular local restaurant, and I want to make clear that they will be my guests, ie I intend to pick up the tab, without being crass about it. The reason I want to make this clear is I don't want anyone to be hesitant about attending because dinner at this place is out of his/her budget. Plus if everyone knows I'm paying for dinner I may get more presents. Yes, that's a joke, but I am seriously puzzling over how best to word the invitation. I should add that amongst my group of friends, the norm for birthday dinners at restaurants is everyone pays for themselves and maybe chips in for the birthday boy/girl, so if I don't make clear that I'm hosting that won't be people's expectation.
Part two of the question: because this is very popular restaurant and the dinner is on a weekend night, I need people to reply promptly so that I can confirm the headcount for the reservation. Suggestions on how to encourage this without resorting to "RSVP requested by [date]," which seems like overkill for a small group dinner?
Thanks in advance!
Happy December birthday!
Sure, since these are probably good friends/family, something light:
My birthday wish this year is to treat you to dinner at Chez Popular, Saturday, Dec___ at 8PM. As you know, Chez is packed on the weekends, so please call or email me by Dec 8 so that I can get an accurate headcount. Thanks--can't wait to see you!
Thanks everyone. I'm aware that I was probably overthinking this, but I was completely stuck when i sat down down yesterday to write the email invitation. Based upon your advice, I went with a bit of humor followed by the key phrase "please be my guest . . ." Should be a fun evening!
You could make it a little light -hearted and say 'For my birthday, I've decided to treat myself and my favorite friends to a delicious dinner at XYZ Restaurant. Please say you'll join me to make it a special day!'
As Quine suggested, follow up with a phone call to confirm. If you've asked very far in advance, a reminder phone call would be in order a day or two before the event. Several people missed a great party for my stepdaughter because they simply forgot, and my son -in-law hadn't thought of a reminder call. Everyone's so busy these days, the fun stuff sometimes gets forgotten!
Well, do your friends you plan to invite know it is your birthday? If not, perhaps just an invite that says, "I am inviting you to a celebration I am hosting at XYZ restaurant on Sat 12/8/12. Will you celebrate with me as my guest?" Since it is such a small group, I would follow up with a call or personal email to get the head count.
I think saying you are hosting and asking them to be your guest, gently states that you are footing the bill. And if you follow up with a call/personal email, if they have any specific inquiry, you can explain more as needed.
They are your friends, you probably have a good grasp on how to approach this.