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Jan 9, 2013 08:31 AM

Gender Reveal Party- At a restaurant-everyone pays for themselves- how to word evite


Hello All,

My best friend is organizing a gender reveal party for close friends and family members at a convenient location for all people invited to announce the sex of our first child. We have a small apartment that is not suitable for a group of people larger than 5, so we thought we could do it at a restaurant. I think that most of my twenty-something friends will understand that this is a pay for yourself meal, as we are not accepting gifts. We are sending an evite and are trying to decide the best wording, so that older family members and more traditional people, understand that in this case, they will be paying for themselves, without being offended. Please Help!!

  1. I think if you're having a party at a restaurant, you should pay for your guests. You could arrange a menu ahead of time to keep costs lower. Otherwise, I'd have it at somebody's house. Congrats, by the way!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hobbert

      I totally agree with the above, as your friends will likely be gifting you when the baby arrives, as will family members, as will attendees to any showers that are organized on the mom/baby's behalf.

      The older and traditional people will probably be offended by the premise of I'm-throwing-a-party-but-you-pay-your-own-way in the context you describe. I hope I'm not sounding too harsh.

      Wishing you joy with the coming baby!!!!

    2. Try this...
      "The staff of the restaurant is aware that there will be separate checks and will do their best to expedite payment. Your patience is appreciated."
      It addresses the subject in an oblique manner without saying outright. That being said, do make sure the restaurant can indeed handle separate checks.
      And, CONGRATS!

      1. OK, my post might get deleted or flagged for this question, but I'm not sure I understand the purpose behind a gender-reveal party. So you announce it's a boy. HURRAY!!!! Or you announce it's a girl. HURRAY!!!! Congrats either way. I don't get it.

        56 Replies
        1. re: houndgirl

          It is basically a way for friends and family to get together and share the news at once. We arent finding out the sex of the baby until the party. We are sending the sonogram to a baker to have the interior of the cake either dyed blue or pink. After the meal, we will cut the cake, serve it, thank everyone for coming, and everyone will go home. There are no gifts, so its not like a baby shower. This is the first great grandchild for everyone, first grandchid and first child for my husband and I, so everyone is so excited and its an easy way to get the news to everyone at the same time, without spending three days on the telephone telling the same stories.

          1. re: mrshenderson519

            I think it's a great and fun way to celebrate the baby and let everyone know. I love the cake idea too! Congratulations!

            1. re: mrshenderson519

              I'd never heard of this either, how novel. To share that moment with your family and friends is a fantastic idea! And, like you said, very practical.

              I'm the last person to ask for this type of advice so please just accept my congratulations.

            2. re: houndgirl

              lol, i really thought this had something do with a trans-gendering procedure! whoa, was i off-base.

              how many people are coming? is everybody going to sit down? 20-30 separate checks, plus processing all those credit cards at once? a server's worst nightmare. definitely call the restaurant in advance and be sure they can accommodate this aspect of your party.

              as for the invite, i'd be clear and not oblique.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                It won't be very large, maybe 25 people- most being couples/families. Maybe 10 seperate checks. The restaurant is already aware of the circumstances of the event and it is at 4:00PM, so it isnt during peak hours, which I think helps. Since they are all close enough friends and family, I could probably tell them individually, in person, before the party, that way, if they dont want to come and have to spend the money, they could chose not to attend.

                1. re: mrshenderson519

                  If this is acceptable to you, why isn't calling to announce the news itself okay? Honestly curious.

                  1. re: monfrancisco

                    I really just have to call my grandparents, as they dont have email and they would be the only ones that would not understand the pay-for-yourself kind of meal.

                      1. re: mrshenderson519

                        If everybody but your grandparents would understand that this is a "self-hosted 'party'", just pay for your grandparents and let everybody else pay for themselves.

                  2. re: hotoynoodle

                    I thought the exact same thing ... a party to show off after a sex change.

                    I don't really get the idea of throwing a party just to announce that your future baby is a boy or a girl. Do your friends care that much one way or the other?

                    1. re: taos

                      I know this post (as many of my recent posts have) will get deleted, but I just have to say I'd much rather go top a party " to show off after a sex change" than one at which prospective parents reveal the gender of their coming child. The former seems much more fun and exciting than the latter!

                  3. re: houndgirl

                    It's more and more common nowadays to make a HUGE deal out of the "gender reveal," with balloons, youtube videos, who knows what all else. I don't really get it myself but to each his own.

                    As to the OP's question, 8 million people on here will tell you that you can't throw a party unless you can pay for everyone, and that if you can't pay for everyone, you shouldn't have a party, or should only buy a pizza and split it 40 ways if that's all you can afford. Many in the younger generation, even myself at age 44 have found that in their social circles, this does not apply. People regularly organize gatherings, even for themselves, at party rooms at restaurants and invite friends to attend, knowing they will pay their own way and all have fun together. The older people will be offended but they can always choose not to come. It's not like they're skipping a baby shower or something.

                    The problem is, this is more like a formal party, not a few friends getting together for drinks and dinner. Can't you have it at a pizza place? Pizza goes a long way and is pretty cheap. It doesn't have to be special, it's not your wedding you know.

                    1. re: rockandroller1

                      Is this a New York thing or something? Gender revelation parties haven't penetrated my neck of the woods.

                      I'd make it cheap too. Do a pizza place and pay for everyone.

                      1. re: sal_acid

                        I read about them all the time on parenting blogs and pregnancy magazines, but I've never actually thrown one or been invited to one either.
                        It wouldn't be my cup of tea, but at the same time... any excuse for a party, right?

                        1. re: sal_acid

                          Yeah, I've heard of them but don't know anyone who's actually had one or attended one. And I'm 31, so most of my friends are having babies. I'd go, though. I like a good party. And cake.

                          1. re: sal_acid

                            Hey - it can't be any worse than being upbraided verbally because hubby and I chose not to find out the gender of the baby until birth...

                            ..yes, I actually had a woman (who was invited to a shower thrown for me by my colleagues) take me to task loudly and in the's apparently incredibly rude and inconsiderate to not find out and broadcast the gender of the baby so people don't know whether to buy pink or blue. (she was also a colleague, so there really was no graceful way to uninvite her...)

                            I dressed my boy in blue and still had people tell me what a beautiful little girl I had, so it's not like it made any impact...

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              A friend of mine got yelled at for letting everyone know she was having a girl, but that she's really really not a fan of pink, if they wouldn't mind using ANY other color. There's no way to win.

                              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                I also knew a woman who told everyone of the impending birth of a boy, hired an artist to come in and paint knights and castles on the wall (at enormous expense), got all the blue clothes monogrammed and embroidered with the lad's name.

                                ...except the lad didn't get the memo, and was most assuredly a girl.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Oh my gosh! What a surprise that must have been! thanks for sharing! :)

                              2. re: sunshine842

                                I dressed my boy in blue and still had people tell me what a beautiful little girl I had, so it's not like it made any impact...


                                Seriously! That happens all the time. My BFF had a girl and she dressed her as a girly-girl with all the ribbons and bows, cute pigtails, the whole nine yards and would get so upset when people commented on her "handsome boy"

                                (she is older now and learned the value of letting those comments slid with baby 2 and 3)

                                1. re: cleobeach

                                  It never bothered me, truly --It was all more "WTF, Really? He's dressed in a blue sailor suit and you think he's a girl?"

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    It never bothered me either and I never corrected anyone but I know plenty of moms that would get really bent out of shape.

                                  2. re: cleobeach

                                    You do wonder what people are thinking with they make such comments. Usually clothing color is a pretty reliable indicator and if you're not sure, something like "oh, what a little cutie" is always welcomed. Mine were both boys and there was never any issue, not that I would have much cared.

                                2. re: sal_acid

                                  I'm in the Midwest. I haven't heard of anyone having a party for one, but the celebrations for them seem to be increasing, with special gifts, videos posted on youtube, the dog getting a custom made shirt and coming into a room of family and friends, etc.

                                  1. re: rockandroller1

                                    I am in the South and have never attended one, nor have really heard of people doing them (other than celebrities). I think that baby showers are atrocious and wanted to do something that was a bit more fun! I can't wait to see how it turns out!

                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                        I have an 18 month old and though I begged for none, I got hit with 3. Uncomfortable party games, sitting in a circle like hungry yet somehow bored hawks eyeing my reaction as each present is opened, and I couldn't even have a glass of wine to make the costco tray deli rolls taste appealing. I'm on the side of they're atrocious.

                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                          our friends threw dinner parties with gifts later -- and my colleagues didn't want to play silly games either, so it was a potluck.

                                          I have nothing but warm and loving memories of my baby showers, and of the love and well wishes with which they were thrown -- I'm genuinely sorry that you didn't enjoy yours.

                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                            I'm jealous, although I did leave out that 1 of the 3 was hosted by friends, men and women, and that one was fun. The only games they played were eating way too much candy, getting a little drunk and watching old 80s cartoons (I had no memory of how racy He-Man was!)

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I had four showers of varying style and theme and enjoyed every one of them. We had tried for years to have a family to no avail after much heartbreak and expense. When we announced we were adopting, the joy of our family and friends was contagious and there was no way we would have been able to stop the celebrations, even if we had wanted to. Despite that, of course, there were the couple of people who said that perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to have a shower because the adoption may not go through successfully. (As if that was something we weren't aware of.) Yes, and tragic things happen at birth as well, but does that mean one shouldn't celebrate the joy of the expected child?

                                              It was a glorious time in our lives. I honestly cannot remember the food, but I do remember where each shower was held, who was there, and the joy and love that was shared.

                                            2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                              What hyacinth girl said. They're fun when your first friend has her first baby. OMG!!!! We are all grown up now! Ever since then, I have dreaded them, even my own. I have oohed and aaahed about enough teensy onesies and I does anyone really want to play the toilet paper squares game?

                                              Really, I am neither old nor crabby.

                                              1. re: Allieroseww

                                                OH the oohing and ahhing! That's the worst. Yes, I get it, it's small and cute, thank you so much, but PLEASE can't I just open these in private without a studio audience??

                                                (I'm 34, that may be old and yes, I'm probably crabby)

                                              2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                I had two; one at work and one thrown by a friend despite her knowledge that I really, strongly did NOT want a shower. I figured anyone who wanted to gift the baby and could would do so and that others shouldn't be called upon to do so out of obligation.

                                                I realize that's not how most folks think, though.

                                                Fortunately, neither involved any silly hats or games, etc.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  "Others shouldn't do so out of obligation"...I hear that! I once had a coworker who actually threw a baby shower at our office for our bosses sister/brother-in-law, whom I and my other coworkers had not previously met. So I'm a male who attended a baby shower, and contributed toward group gifts for people I didn't know, just to remain within the good graces of my easily irritable boss.

                                                2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                  I enjoyed my showers. The most touching though, was our first pregnancy. My husband's middle school students had wanted to to something for me, they worked on a quilt in home-ec, then, I miscarried. They still gathered and presented me with the quilt. Precious. and I was touched.

                                                  1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                    I generally avoid baby showers like the plague, always have so it doesn't have anything to do with age. I have the same opinion about wedding showers.

                                                    I hate those stupid party games, hate, hate, hate, them!

                                                    I wonder if it regional? Where I live (and was raised) 99% of the showers are held in church basements or social halls and everyone and their sister, cousins, neighors and first grade teachers are invited. It takes hours to open the gifts and don't get me started on the games. (did I mention I hate the games?)

                                                    The showers I attended for my college friends were very different affairs that ran along the lines of lunches hosted at restaurants or nice, relaxing gatherings of ladies at the host's home. Those I liked.

                                                    Needless to say, I gave very strict instructions about what type of shower I wanted. Everyone in my circle knew that I would turn and walk out the door of any surprise party. And, in the interest of the attendee's enjoyment, suggested wine be served at my baby shower.

                                                3. re: mrshenderson519

                                                  So instead of having an old fashioned traditional shower, have a modern shower, hosted by the people who were planning to host the gender reveal party. Hold it closer to the time of the birth. Invite men and women. Skip the silly games (which I agree are atrocious). Accept gifts. Spread the word informally now about the gender so people can bring gender appropriate gifts. Have your hosts spring for light snacks. If your place is too small, have the event at the home or a friend or relative.

                                                  1. re: taos

                                                    I don't want to speak for others, or be sexist but......skip the men. I hate baby showers, even for people I really like. Not because I don't like babies or don't wish them well. I just dread a baby shower. Root canals, waiting in line at the DMV, and baby shower games have similar ways of making time stand still.
                                                    I don't know how the couples concept came to fruition, but from my perspective it's more along the "misery loves company" lines (or at least to invite the men so their mates will be more likely to attend) than that we're so happy to be included. The only saving grace is the occasionally good food and less occasionally good booze. Oh and WTF, why are we giving both baby shower gifts, then baby arrival gifts? Can I have two birthdays?
                                                    Sorry for the slightly TIC rant. Have fun.

                                              3. re: sal_acid

                                                I live in metro NY and this is the first one I've ever heard of.

                                                I also thought it was a transgender announcement.

                                                1. re: mcf

                                                  I initially thought that as well. They need a better name for this event such as gender announcement party. Reveal has become too strongly associated with 'look at the new me'.

                                                  1. re: mcf

                                                    I, for one, would much rather attend the transgender reveal party. But perhaps not at a restaurant as I'd imagine we'd want to move around freely and view the goods, so to speak.

                                                    When my kids were born, not that long ago, gender reveal was done by the perinatologist, over the phone to me.

                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                      I hope you at least offered him cake in return!

                                                      1. re: Cachetes

                                                        On that round, my file had a big yellow post-it taped to the front of it, with "DO NOT REVEAL GENDER" written on it in big letters.

                                                        When my sister went to the office to collect my file, she asked them to put it in an envelope for her. They said "Do you want to know what she's having?" She said "Absolutely not, I have a big mouth and I'll blab it."

                                                        And out the door she went with the sealed envelope. (and handed it to the dr at the hospital...still sealed)

                                                      2. re: tcamp

                                                        Ha! View the goods!

                                                        I think a transgender reveal party sounds awesome.

                                                    2. re: sal_acid

                                                      I live near Seattle and this is a developing trend in our area. I will be attending a gender reveal party along the lines OP is planning (only smaller group) in about a month. And this is the fourth baby in the family...lots of kids, grandkids, etc. I think they are planning this to be their last baby (!!) so are making a big deal about the gender.

                                                    3. re: rockandroller1

                                                      I really wouldn't classify it as a formal party. It is at a mexican restaurant at 4:00 in the afternoon... In all honestly, I could afford to pay for it, but the expenses of the baby, buying our first house and working for a company with an unpaid maternity leave, definately make money a bit tighter. I dont think that any of my close friends or family members would expect me to pay, seeing as my husband and I are both just starting our careers and our income isnt really at the point to where we can afford it. But, I wanted to word the invitation so that it was understood that everyone would pay for themselves. I am not hosting the party, it is being thrown in our honor/the baby's honor, so I wouldnt think that it would be my financial responsibilty.

                                                      1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                        Not trying to be difficult, but just curious- if the party is being thrown by someone else in your honor, why are you doing the invitations?

                                                        1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                          Yes. I am also curious why you are writing the invitations and discussing your financial situation with us, if your best friend is throwing the party? If you are dealing with the venue and contacting your intended guests, and the guests are paying their way, what exactly is the person "hosting" the event in your honor doing?

                                                          Anyway, I agree with others. If you (or the host) isn't paying, it isn't a party. Maybe taking everyone out for pizza and cake - as someone previously mentioned - that you or your host can afford to cover for your "guests" is a good alternative. In general, my feeling is that if you have to work so hard to come up with the right way to invite your guests, maybe you are doing something wrong. Maybe re-think this is event as more of a meet-up than a party and frame it that way....somehow.

                                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                            I'm not, she is, but she sent me a sample and I wanted to make sure it was clear to recepients.

                                                          2. re: mrshenderson519

                                                            "In all honestly, I could afford to pay for it,"
                                                            "our income isnt really at the point to where we can afford it."
                                                            Which is it?
                                                            You want to be hosted, you want others to pay for it.
                                                            Babies cost money, as do the parties you choose to throw to celebrate the baby. If your friends (the hosts) are that serious about doing this party for you, then they should pay for the guests.
                                                            Be truthful and upfront in the e-vite.

                                                            1. re: wyogal

                                                              Congrats on the baby!
                                                              I have to say, I'm with wyogal on this one. I would really make your best effort to have a party that is within your budget. With the reason being that this type of party is something that a lot of people aren't familiar with. And when people are invited to something, they generally feel obligated to come.
                                                              I've been to some parties that were clearly pay for yourself affairs, but they are for occasions like someone moving away from the area or special birthdays. And the wording is generally "a bunch of people are getting together at casual place x because Susie and Bill will be moving to Timbuktu next week. Love to see you there!"
                                                              But personally, I feel that a party for this reason is something that people shouldn't have to dig out their wallets for.
                                                              Sorry, but it's just my humble opinion.

                                                            2. re: mrshenderson519

                                                              Thanks for clarifying. I believe that if you can't afford to treat your guests, then you should not do this event.

                                                              You are adults now -- buying a house, embarking on careers, having a child. When adults throw a party and invite guests, the guests do not expect to pick up their own tab.

                                                              Part of growing up is also understanding that you can't always do everything you want to do. You may just not be able to afford to do exactly what you want.

                                                              If the weather is nice, have a picnic in a park and order pizza. Or just video tape yourselves opening the ultrasound results and post the video on Facebook for your friends to see and respond if they want, without requiring a payment.

                                                              1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                I don't think invitation conveys self-pay. When someone invites another on a date, the expectation is the one doing the inviting pays, unless specifically stated that it would be dutch. It's the same for wedding invitations...I've yet to pay for my seat in a church pew, or for dinner at a reception.

                                                            3. re: houndgirl

                                                              you know, i knew someone who had a party for everything. not just a run of the mill stuff but catered and all. first it was the engagement. then it was bachelor/bachelorette party, separate. then it was a joint bachelor/bachelorette party. finally the wedding. then it was an announcement that she was preggers, (i think this one was casual but everyone at a restaurant) then it was an announcement party etc. etc. you get the picture.

                                                              hey, some people like to party. congrats!

                                                            4. I think I kind of agree with Hobbert that if your inviting them out it's assumed you are paying. You even said that it's not suitable for your apartment but hypothetically if it was would you require them to pay you for the food you prepared? (does that make sense???)

                                                              Also just to clarify you said your sending a picture of the sonogram to the baker.......I'm not sure they are qualified to read sonogram's and determine the gender.....perhaps you should have them call or your Dr. call them. etc. (just to be safe!!)

                                                              The only way I can fathom writing something on the invitation would be "In Lieu of gifts donations towards the cost of the evening would be appreciated".........although I do still think it is very awkward.

                                                              Either way best of luck!!!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: jrvedivici

                                                                Please don't write this. It sounds worse. When we had my grandmother's surprise brunch, each family understood they would pay for te family and share the cost of the guest of honor. As you are the guest of honor but not hosting would it be appropriate for another family member to pick up the cost of the older relatives?

                                                              2. Maybe you could call it a "Get together" rather than a "Party," usually when you are invited to a party it doesn't cost you anything, except for when we were 18 and you would have to pay $2 at the entrance and they would give you a red Solo cup and you could drink all the beer you wanted.

                                                                Really you are just getting together for a meal.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: redfish62

                                                                  EXACTLY!! You are right, it is more of a "Get Together"... Very casual. No gifts.

                                                                  1. re: redfish62

                                                                    "Get together" was my thought. You cannot call it a hosted party if folks have to show up and pay their way.

                                                                    But you can tell them you will be hanging out and meeting friends informally to announce the sex of your child and tell them what hours you'll be there in case they want to join in and get the news.

                                                                    I think this means no RSVP, just show or not, easy peasy.