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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 breakroom...it'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.

                                                                  2. I think kimmer1850 had a good suggestion, but I also think that if you are framing it as a party, then it should have a host, and the guests should be treated to hospitality. But I totally get that might not be feasable so perhaps look at a place/time where a meal wouldn't be expected. Maybe a coffeeshop at 3:00. Or what about seeing if the bakery has a small room that you could have everyone gather in and bring in coffee/beverages. Would a friend or relative be able to host at their house?

                                                                    It sounds like you want a very casual gathering of loved ones to share a special moment, so perhaps the invitations could even be made by phone (at least to the older generation) and the caller can say "we really want to celebrate mrshenderson as she finds out the gender of their child. We'll all be meeting up at xxxx on xxxx to join them as they cut their cake.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: mickeygee

                                                                      Those are all great ideas. I appreciate your feedback. The only people who had ample space to host the party, were either 2 hours away or my grandparents, who wouldnt want a bunch of people in their house. If we had a house, it would definately be held there, but that isnt the case. We are sending evites to most and phone calls to the older generations, which are both very informal.

                                                                      1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                        I agree evite is informal, as much so as a "casual" phone call. And I think the younger generation (or perhaps the casual generation - I'm not exactly young @ 38) appreciates having the evite to remind us of the time and date, because we don't write things down anymore and may not even have house phones. I'd rather get an evite that I can peruse at my leisure than a call on my cell while I am out and about. It's also a lot to ask your friend/"host" to call all these people.
                                                                        I wouldn't be expecting a meal at 4pm nor would I order one, so I do think it needs to be made clear you are not paying. Although honestly my preference would be that you provide at least some appetizers, and people can get their own drinks. But that's probably a function of the age difference as it's something I've grown into and probably wouldn't have done at 25.

                                                                    2. While I think it is tacky to expect guests tp pay for theior own meals, I am not of your generation.

                                                                      Since you are providing the dessert, why not invite your friends/family to join you for dessert at the food court of your local mall at 4PM, Word the evite that the invitees should feel free to come earlier and lunch on their own if they desire and join you at the reserved (you stake them out) tables at 4 for cake and coffee. All you have to spring for is the coiffe and the cake. If they want mall food first, fine, if not they'll join you for the cake.

                                                                      1. You could say something to the effect:

                                                                        You're invited to join us as we celebrate finding out if "so & so's" baby is a boy or a girl. Dinner will be at "such & such" restaurant at "whatever" time. Each couple/person is responsible for paying for their own dinner, but dessert & champagne are on us!

                                                                        1. I'm of your generation and completely used to being invited to parties at restaurants and expected to pay for myself.

                                                                          That said, this one's a bit more unusual because it's not a traditional party that I would already have a context for.

                                                                          I might state it as something like "Please join us for cake at X at 5pm to find out the gender of our new addition!

                                                                          All those who are interested are invited to join us in patronizing the restaurant for lunch prior to the reveal, at 4pm. Please RSVP so we can notify servers of seating and separate checks."

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                            And now that I think of it, 4pm is such an off time to eat, perhaps whoever is hosting could just pay for some chips, salsa and guacamole and you could say "Light snacks will be provided at 4pm, but all invitees are welcome to purchase additional food from the restaurant."

                                                                              1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                I like both of your ideas. Both would address the issue clearly to guests without being rude. Thanks!

                                                                                1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                  Whew! Have an awesome party, and let us know how it turns out!

                                                                                  1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                    And now you have to come back and let us know what color the cake was!

                                                                                2. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                  It sounds like the issue may already be settled but I wanted to second this...this is exactly what I was thinking as I read the thread. I am in my late 20s, and in professional school, so it's totally common for people to do pay-your-own-way for birthday get-togethers and the like, but I would have no idea to expect it for this type of party. As someone without children, whose friends have only just started to have children, I have no idea whether or not this is a traditional party or what expectations would be. I am always happy to celebrate with my friends but sometimes need to budget accordingly in order to be there (as in, attending the party means we do not go out to eat otherwise for that week or the week prior, or maybe a small purchase gets put off until next paycheck). This is especially important if anyone will be traveling to be there, and may be shelling out for flights or train tickets. Out of consideration for your guests who will want to celebrate with you but do not have unlimited funds, I would make sure expectations are crystal clear! Have fun and congratulations!

                                                                                3. I agree with others that having a party to find out the gender, to be invited, then to be told I pay my own way.... is tacky.
                                                                                  Go ahead and have a dessert party, pick up the tab. If this party is so important, then host it. Or have some close friends or relatives that want to, host, and split the cost.
                                                                                  If you insist on a meal that they pay for themselves, then be upfront in the e-vite and don't beat around the bush. Give a time for the dessert serving and give your guests a choice to either have dinner and pay their own way or just come for dessert. Then your 20-something friends that don't mind can come for dinner, and the others can come for dessert.

                                                                                  1. if it's at a mexican restaurant, at an odd time of day why not just have the restaurant do appetizers that are within your budget? seriously, i'd rather just have chips and guacamole and see that cake sitting there - that cake is going to be the focus of the event anyway! Given that it's a weird time, maybe people will want to hang around afterwards and have their own meals. Plus, it's a nice to pay for people who are elder to you - respect for your elders as it were - and makes a statement about being a fiscally responsible adult yourself.

                                                                                    LOVE the idea of dying the cake inside - that's fun, though not sure i could eat blue cake!

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                      Agree with this. Just do chips and a couple of apps and dessert. Everyone who wants to can stay to eat and will know they are buying their own dinner, or they can leave and go get their own dinner.

                                                                                      1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                        I could definately do appetizers! Didnt think about that. I will consider that an option! Thanks!

                                                                                      2. Instead of a restaurant, why not just have a gathering at some small venue that could accommodate you with a room, and you could just bring some snacks and soft drinks, and the cake could be delivered there as well. Something like a church, fire hall, VFW, etc., where they have community rooms. Then you would obviate the awkwardness of asking everyone to pay for themselves, and you would have the added benefit of having the room to yourselves, where everyone could wander around, talk to each other, etc. You could even make it a potluck dinner.

                                                                                        1. If you can't host in your own place your BF should have it at theirs or find another home/appt. Otherwise she/he (you?) should use the money they would have spent hosting to pay for what ever venue they (you?) can afford.

                                                                                          1. And for the love of God, please let the restaurant know ahead of time you will be bringing a cake because that might not be ok with them. They might disallow it or charge you a (nominal and justified) fee and you don't want any unexpected surprises. There are a bazillion posts about cake fees and restaurants on here; don't be someone who has to add to them! :)

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                              I didnt think about that! Thanks for the tip!

                                                                                              1. re: rockandroller1

                                                                                                Yes, obviously. Restaurants generally hate it when you show up and bring your own food. They make their money by selling you their food, not by providing you plates and forks on which to serve what you bring in.

                                                                                              2. I believe the term for such an event is "unhosted" for the purpose of invitation wording.

                                                                                                1. I am a mother of three young kids in a suburb of a large Midwestern city, and I have never heard of, and would be taken aback by, this. Like others below, I am happy for you, but think this is a breach of etiquette, and not just the use-the-right-fork Miss Manners kind.

                                                                                                  I think perhaps your perception is skewed by excitement over your first baby. That's fine, really, and I readily admit I suffered from it myself. But I am cringing now about how I acted then, and I fear you will someday, too.

                                                                                                  I am happy for you and think your excitement is very cute and very appropriate.

                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: Allieroseww

                                                                                                    I am elated about the birth of my first child and want to celebrate with friends and family. I hope that in the future, when I look back at this event, I won't think about the payment method situation, but that it was a great time for friends and family to bond over the birth of a child. If people do not want to attend, that is their choice and I wouldn't be upset if they made that choice.

                                                                                                    I appreciate your comment, and the reason that I posted, was to get feedback on how to best word an evite for this type of event. I have never been to one and I was unable to find much information on how to proceed. I really want to share the news in person and in a sort of unconventional way.

                                                                                                    1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                                      This is NOT celebration of the birth of your child. This is a celebration (I hesitate to even call it that) of an ultrasound or some other scientific means that which reveals the genitalia to determine the sex of the child.

                                                                                                      If your "host" cant afford a party she shouldn't have one. You can make some phone calls, make cards out of the ultrasounds, send some emails.

                                                                                                      Is any one planning a shower in addition to this?

                                                                                                      1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                                        You have every reason to be elated about the birth of your first child--it is a joyous occasion. Further, you have every right to celebrate it with people of your choosing in a manner that works for you and your group.

                                                                                                        I wish you the best no matter what you end up doing and cannot wait to learn what was inside the cake! Congrats!

                                                                                                        1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                                          With all due respect, this sounds very strange.

                                                                                                          You can't force your friends and family to bond over the birth of your child, even if the dinner party was at a five-star restaurant with you paying.

                                                                                                          Your f&f are most likely already happy for you just because you're happy. That's kind of how life works, in my humble opinion.

                                                                                                          1. re: mrshenderson519

                                                                                                            <I am elated about the birth of my first child>

                                                                                                            We all are/were. It's an exciting time...nothing even remotely comes close to the joy of finding out we're pregnant and having a baby in a few months. I'm of an 'older generation' that was excited to find out the gender at the time of birth. Most of us wouldn't have dreamed of wanting to find out beforehand. We wanted to be surprised. As long as our baby was healthy was the most important part and we prepared for baby showers and phone calls and shopping for the baby and anticipated whether it was a boy or girl while waiting for the big day. It consumed our lives. Oh the excitement ! To ask friends and family to pay their way for a get together for an announcement of your ultrasound?
                                                                                                            It's no different than being invited to my best friend's wedding 40 years ago (her big day) and all of us asked to pay for our own dinner at the reception to celebrate HER big day. None of us ever forgot it and still laugh at the tackiness of it to this day.

                                                                                                        2. I'm confused, and I rarely criticize anyone else's opinion in chowhound but . . . Is everyone here over 70 or are you just living in 1950?

                                                                                                          In case no one noticed we are in the middle of an economic crunch, and asking a couple who are expecting a baby to host a party for two dozen people is the height of rudeness. They are the ones who shouldn't have to pay a thing.

                                                                                                          Group hosting is now the NORM for the majority of informal celebrations. Adult Birthday parties, Anniverseries, Housewarmings (where they can't be held at the home), Baptisms, Confirmations, etc.

                                                                                                          I'm sorry if I've offended anyone, and I know there are going to be a lot of people who say "well certainly not in my social group". But really people, wake up and get a clue. This is 2013, not 1913 - Mr. Carson has left the building.

                                                                                                          23 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                            but it's the best friend who's (supposedly) throwing the party for the expectant couple.

                                                                                                            But no, it doesn't happen in my social group (and didn't when I was in the US, either).

                                                                                                            1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                              Right, the group of friends "hosting" should pay for the other guests' meals. Group hosting is different than expecting "guests" to pay their own way.
                                                                                                              If times are so tight, then why have a dinner, just to announce the gender of the baby? Why not just go for cake, coffee, and punch at someone's house, after all, if these are such great friends, someone ought to have a place to hold it.
                                                                                                              If I got one of these invites, I'd probably make up an excuse not to go. I mean, why would I, in these tough economic times, want to pay for a dinner just to find out that someone is having a boy or a girl?
                                                                                                              Manners never go out of style, expecting guests to pay their own way and then say that someone is actually "hosting" is bad form, IMO.

                                                                                                              1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                Nobody is asking a couple who are expecting a baby to host a party for two dozen people! Did I miss that, where someone issued a demand?

                                                                                                                If you can't afford to host the party - any party - then don't. Or scale it down to something you can swing. It seems so simple.

                                                                                                                1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                  37 here and living in the present :) We're all just voicing different opinions.
                                                                                                                  And not in my social group, either. Maybe I'm just lucky to be blessed with generous friends.

                                                                                                                  1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                    <asking a couple who are expecting a baby to host a party for two dozen people is the height of rudeness>

                                                                                                                    We all make choices, right? If we can't afford something then we don't do it and we don't expect what we want to be paid for by others. If we have friends or family who graciously offer to host a party for us then we graciously accept and be thankful we have friends and family who love us enough to offer.
                                                                                                                    I'm definately awake and have a clue and, frankly, the birth of a baby, albeit one of the most amazing things to ever happen, is a concept that's been around for thousands of years and not having a gender revealing party wouldn't be the end of the world. Taking the money, that would have been spent, and spending it on the baby for clothes and food and insurance and a pediatrician and everything else a baby needs would be paramount....in this 'middle of an economic crunch' time.

                                                                                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                      It may be normal within some social circles, but certainly not all. My younger friends 'host' self-paid informal get-togethers and I truly don't mind paying, but I'd be too embarrassed to expect others to pay when I host. I guess that's why get-togethers are so commonplace these days, people either can't afford to, or don't want to pay for everyone else.

                                                                                                                      When guests are invited, it's not about you, it's about them—your guests. That's why it's customary for someone else to host an event celebrating you.

                                                                                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                                                                                        I'd like to have a like button for posts like these!

                                                                                                                        I totally agree with you. The world and how we interact with each other is changing. We need to adapt & realize that not all change is bad.

                                                                                                                        Personally, I think people need to quit criticizing the OP and quit offering different solutions. The OP simply asked for wording on the e-vites, not a slew of criticism for celebrating a special moment in their lives.

                                                                                                                        1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                          What special moment? Let's wait until a healthy baby is born and then celebrate.

                                                                                                                          1. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                            I think finding out whether you're having a boy or girl is pretty special. Some people are really close to their friends & family and this would be an occasion to celebrate. Others, not so much.

                                                                                                                            I prefer to live my life not being offended by other's actions even if it's something I wouldn't do myself or even agree with.

                                                                                                                            If they want to celebrate this announcement and their friends & family want to be a part of it, who are we to judge? Put the invite out with the pertinent information and let each person decide whether to attend or not.

                                                                                                                            1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                              It's more about the concept of inviting people to a party, then expecting the guests to pay. Celebrate whatever, but be a gracious host.

                                                                                                                              1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                I think the OP would do better to use a different term. Apparently the term "party" gets people up all worked up.
                                                                                                                                Maybe they should go with "get-together" or something less formal.

                                                                                                                                Besides that, the OP wasn't asking whether she should pay for the "party", she was asking how to word the invite.

                                                                                                                                1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                  How to word the invite so the "guests" would know that they were paying for it...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                    Yet again, the OP is asking for wording advice, not about Miss Manner's party etiquette. You don't agree with her "party", that's fine. That's not what she was asking for anyway. She doesn't deserve to get flamed because she's throwing an unconventional "party".
                                                                                                                                    If you can't/won't answer her original post, then at least don't add fuel to the fire.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                      I've already answered it. It's about how does one word an invitation where the "guests" are expected to pay for it.
                                                                                                                                      There is no polite way, IMO.

                                                                                                                              2. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                There is a big difference between expressing a comment and being offended or being judgmental.

                                                                                                                                A lot of us here don't get the notion of a gender reveal party and find the concept kind of strange.

                                                                                                                                That does not necessarily mean we are offended or even judging the OP for her choice. We are simply expressing our view, exactly like you are when you proclaim it a great occasion to celebrate.

                                                                                                                                Also, the OP chose to specifically emphasize the gender reveal aspect of the party, both in the title and in the first post. So it's an important part of her question, otherwise she would have just asked, "I'm having a small party for close friends and family and want to know how to word the evite so it's clear people are paying for themselves."

                                                                                                                              3. re: scoopG

                                                                                                                                I think it's up to other people to decide what to celebrate in their own lives.

                                                                                                                                The OP asked about how to make it happen, not whether she should.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                  mcf, exactly! Why is it so hard to stay on topic and provide the advice requested, without lots of unnecessary ancillary opinions, not all of them politely expressed? (And I say this as someone who can go off-topic as easily as anyone else!)

                                                                                                                                  I don't know if anyone else bothered to check, but this was OP's first post on CH. She hasn't replied back in a while now. Wonder how welcome she feels as a first-time poster.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jlhinwa

                                                                                                                                    "Why is it so hard to stay on topic and provide the advice requested, without lots of unnecessary ancillary opinions,"

                                                                                                                                    Because we are human beings and as such we like to be social, chat and discuss. Yes, the impolite opinions are not necessary, I agree. But when I start a post and when I come here to read posts, I enjoy the off-topic discussions as well as the on-topic ones. Call me crazy. :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                      Ttoommyy, I totally understand the social aspect of this board and have had more than a few posts deleted because they strayed off-topic. I guess in this case, it really seems like more than a few folks are haranguing about the silliness of the party theme and the inappropriateness of how the party is being handled. Pointing out perceived proper etiquette about party hosting is one thing but going on and on and on about it is overkill. It is also unkind, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                      Now discussing how to throw a gender-change reveal party, well that sounds like a fun thing to take off-topic!

                                                                                                                              4. re: jcattles

                                                                                                                                The OP posted to solicit a solution.

                                                                                                                                1) Expecting folks not to respond with comments about how to word an invitation so guests know they have to pay to attend in this context seems unreasonable.

                                                                                                                                2) Posters who say they're decades under 70 and some with babies/toddlers are also dissenters.

                                                                                                                                1. re: mcf

                                                                                                                                  Yes, agree. And in addition, amongst the dissenting posts and random comments, there has been constructive, actionable advice given. So, win win, right?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                                                    Yes, absolutely. I'm decades removed from the process, but I well remember how exciting and special every single thing about it felt. I think the OP's joy and excitement are clearly in evidence and acknowledged here.

                                                                                                                                    I think a lot of us have responded constructively both to the OP's joy and issues about how to go about handling the invitations/event.

                                                                                                                            2. Ok, new idea:
                                                                                                                              Why not host a smaller dinner with the cake in your home (or restaurant, paid for by the host) for family only? They're really the ones who will be most excited about the news.
                                                                                                                              Then you can make a nice e-card with a nice photo of you and your husband sharing a piece of the cake to send to the friends.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: Allieroseww

                                                                                                                                  Why, thank you. Now again, my brain spits out something good :)

                                                                                                                                2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                  Yep. I was thinking the same thing. Invite your parents and grandparents over for cake and coffee, then send an picture announcement via email to everyone else. It would probably take less time to create the announcement email than its will to come up with the right words for an evite to this event, and you won't have to worry about those phone calls you don't want to make.

                                                                                                                                  I just called my parents and in-laws then posted it on Facebook.

                                                                                                                                3. I'll be perfectly honest: This is ridiculous. I understand telling friends you want to go out to celebrate your birthday and would love it if they would join you at a restaurant of your choice. Then it's kind of understood that everyone pays for themselves.

                                                                                                                                  But a "gender reveal" party? What is it celebrating? Is anyone all that emotionally invested in the child's gender? My friends wouldn't come, not because they wouldn't want to pay for themselves, but because they'd think that I'd momentarily been overcome by a transient bout of hopeless narcissism, even without the gift-grab element. (Although I will give you kudos on not turning the party itself into a big production.) This is only important to you - your friends are no doubt emotionally invested in the wellbeing of your child, but they really don't care which gender the child is. Babies are cute and lovable no matter what their equipment.

                                                                                                                                  Tell your friends your going to a restaurant and ask if they'd like to join you - in my group of friends no one assumes that "the inviter" is paying unless it's stated ahead of time. You can tell the ones that show up what the gender of your child is. But if you're having a party, well, the nature of that concept is that the host pays for everyone's entertainment and food.

                                                                                                                                  Maybe I'll take a lot of heat for this post and maybe I'm a horrible person, but this whole tendency to have a little party at every stage of a pregnancy or wedding lead-up is just horrifying to me.

                                                                                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                    Sharing a dinner is different than a party, exactly.
                                                                                                                                    A bit off-topic, but yes, I've known people that are sooooo into creating the perfect wedding with all the associated hoopla, that they forget about creating the perfect marriage.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                      Everyone celebrates different things in different ways. To the OP's friends and family, this might be a very exciting thing they're all clamoring to hear about.

                                                                                                                                      Some people love Valentines' Day (I hate it). Some people celebrate "birthday month" instead of birthDAY and some people have a standing "The Work-Week Is Almost Over Let's Celebrate With Nachos And Booze" Thursday night event. I don't see any reason to ever criticize anyone else's joy and happiness.

                                                                                                                                      Not to mention, if it's something that makes a curmudgeon like me roll my eyes, I can always say "so sorry I won't be able to attend" and stay home staring at my beige walls satisfied in my appropriate traditional celebrations.

                                                                                                                                      And the OP is certainly not the only one having a reveal party: http://www.babycenter.com/0_8-hot-ide...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: hyacinthgirl

                                                                                                                                        The point would be that if it is so exciting, then pay for it. Or have the friends that are hosting pay for it, not "guests."

                                                                                                                                        1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                          Exactly. As you said, what might be exciting for one person to celebrate, might not be so exciting to the next person. I wouldn't run the risk of assuming 25 other people want to excitedly celebrate finding out the sex of my child, with a planned dinner, as much as I would, without paying for it. If you wish to provide an opportunity for friends bond over the joy of your new child, have one. Before it is born, after it is born, gifts, no gifts, whatever. But, pay for it! And if you can't, then hold off. There will be plenty of more party-worthy events where this bonding can happen: baby shower, bris/christening/baby-naming/baptism, newborn meet-and-greet, etc.

                                                                                                                                          I am not exactly young, but my only child isn't three years old yet. I don't get this gender reveal party business (although I have seen items about it popping up more and more), and can't imagine anyone in my social circle doing it, but I guess it is harmless. That is, if you have the cash flow and want an excuse to take your friends and family out for a good time - not have them pay their own way. Like I said before, I posted it on Facebook - and I have read on many blogs that a lot of people can't even stand when pregnant women do *that*!

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                        If you're horrible, then I am too.

                                                                                                                                        I totally get the excitement and thrill of a first baby and wanting to share it, but...

                                                                                                                                        There's a reason there are no etiquette guidelines for such an event... I think it's way outside the margins...

                                                                                                                                        Family around the table, yeah. A crowd in a restaurant? Not so much.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                          And that is what I actually wanted to say.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Heatherb


                                                                                                                                            You are not a horrible person.

                                                                                                                                            I'm sure mrshenderson519 is genuinely excited, and I wish her all the best. But I thought this is precisely the kind of thing everyone uses Facebook for, no?

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                              I'll come over here and sit with you horrible people, too :p
                                                                                                                                              You can also add me to the list of people who thought this was for a recently transgendered person.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                I also thought it was a transgendered person celebration event, or some kind of novel drag party. Oh well...

                                                                                                                                                Not what the OP asked, but one of my sisters has six kids and never found out the sex in advance for any of them. She said that it was one of the only times in life when you got a surprise where the outcome was equally happy, no matter which way it went. I tend to agree with her. If I was invited to a party like this, I'd decline and then beg people not to tell me just so I could enjoy the fun of finding out when the baby was actually born.

                                                                                                                                              2. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                                No argument from me, Heatherb. I find the pregnancy industrial complex to be exhausting and unwelcome, to say the least. A genital reveal party (seriously, you are only finding out the sex, not the gender) seems a bit much to me, but a party one hosts and for which others pay? Hmmmm.

                                                                                                                                                I appreciate the desire to get together with family and friends, but this seems perhaps best reserved for a time when some solid hosting can happen. Maybe they should save up for a "Because we likely won't have time for a party in a long time" party a bit later in the pregnancy?

                                                                                                                                                Sorry, I know this is a request for proper wording for the party the OP wants, so in that regard, my suggestion isn't necessarily helpful. But I also wonder if the struggle to find a nice way to tell people they'll have to pay their own way is a struggle because there really isn't a nice way. (Although that said, I've definitely invited people to join me in a bar where I'd be drinking to celebrate.... But no, I don't think I've ever really used a restaurant in this way; nor would I feel comfortable doing it for a party where people might actually feel obligated to come.)

                                                                                                                                                (Oh, and as an aside, I've actually been to parties celebrating successful transition surgeries. Great use of "It's a Girl!/It's a Boy!" goods from the party shop.)

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lizard

                                                                                                                                                  Gender reveal, genital reveal...can the naming of this party get any worse?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Custardly

                                                                                                                                                    Challenge accepted (although likely frowned upon by the Mods)

                                                                                                                                                2. re: Heatherb

                                                                                                                                                  Bravo, Heatherb. That's what I've been trying to say in four previous posts, but not nearly as succinctly.

                                                                                                                                                3. I opened this thread because when I saw "Gender Reveal" I took it to mean a party where people were coming out to each other, something like that. Gotta say that anybody who is not reading the same baby mags as you is going to think something similar.Its a rather cringeworthy term. Also this application of the word gender is a pretty recent construct - "boy or girl??? might be more appropriate

                                                                                                                                                  I would make sure you offered something you can afford to pay for yourself. Just have something light with your cake and a cash bar.

                                                                                                                                                  I like the get together terminology someone else suggested-something like this:

                                                                                                                                                  "We've organized a get together to share some news about our coming baby with friends and family and have some fun, - there will be cake, snacks and a cash bar. No gifts, please."

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                                                                                    You make a good point; gender is how someone self identifies, sex is what biological physical traits s/he has.

                                                                                                                                                  2. I don't think there is anything wrong with not paying for some/all of the tab at a party. If the organizer is not of deep-pockets, would friends or attendees rather just not have an event than have the option ofpaying there own freight? I wouldn'tthink so.
                                                                                                                                                    However, it's essential that what people are expected to pay for is made clear up front, before they are deciding whether to attend. I can be worded diplomatically as in "no-host" or something similar.
                                                                                                                                                    That said I am SOOO glad I have never been invited to one of these. In fact despite living in LA, I've never heard of it. Iactually saw the thread title a couple of times. I thought it was something similar to dining in the dark. Where you did not know the identity of someone and then it was somehow revealed laterin the night. Of course that wouldn't lend itself to much conversation butthat was my fleeting bizarre thought.
                                                                                                                                                    I don't even think I'd care to go to this if it were one of my siblings who I am close to. Tell me over the phone and let's go out to dinner. Is there a drum-roll, then a flash-card held up to announce? Are attendees allowed to groan if isn't going to be the sex they hoped for. Great that people are close enough and caring enough to hold events, but the nature of it seems odd.

                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: john gonzales

                                                                                                                                                      I guess you could have a pool on what the sex is - like a post-birth shower I recently went to where there was a prize for coming closest to the birthweight.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: john gonzales

                                                                                                                                                        i live and work in boston. in the last year, 6 of my co-workers have had babies. not one of them had this kind of thing. baby showers, yes. ultra-sound pix and 3-d imaging pix, yes.

                                                                                                                                                        whether it's the op or her friends, i think somebody needs to provide something other than cake for the guests. even if just some chips and quesadillas. if there is any worry about causing offense, than it probably will, ya know?

                                                                                                                                                        "we'll be providing light refreshments and cake, with a cash bar."

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: john gonzales

                                                                                                                                                          I hate to admit this, but I thought it sounded like a you-show-me-yours-I'll-show-you-mine party.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I party for anything. Sunrise? That's a good enough reason for me. Sunset? Even better. But this sounds like the worst party of all time.

                                                                                                                                                          In any event, as a host you pay for those you are inviting to your party. If you can't pay or find a benefactor willing to pay, then forego the party.

                                                                                                                                                          This sounds like a perfect opportunity to order a keg, buy a few bottles, get some chips, cheese, dips and just roll. No reason to have a big to-do at a restaurant where everyone has to pay for themselves, especially if nobody is announcing their sex-change operation.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                            Sex-change operation announcement party? Now, that I would go to, if only to see Grandpa's face!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                                                                                                                                              "I party for anything. Sunrise? That's a good enough reason for me. Sunset? Even better. But this sounds like the worst party of all time."

                                                                                                                                                              And what if you clap and pretend to be all happy when they announce it is a girl when it turns out they really wanted a boy! It would be impossible to take back that clapping and "excitement".

                                                                                                                                                            2. My mother and I just had a chuckle about this post. Wth the most sincere apologies to OP, but for the love of God and all that is Holy, it is never, repeat never, acceptable to invite guests to a restaurant and word an invitation about picking up their own tab! I don't care how old you are or from which generation, just tailor the party to your budget and get on with it.

                                                                                                                                                              1. I'm 37, and I've read about these parties online, but have never been invited to one, nor have I heard of anyone I know having one.

                                                                                                                                                                I understand what you are trying to accomplish, but it's basically coming across as "come to this restaurant to find out if we're having a boy or a girl. We'll feed you cake, but you're on your own for food." I would be a bit miffed if someone invited me to a party where I had to pay my own way in order to find out if you're having a boy or a girl.

                                                                                                                                                                A gender-reveal party is a twist on the normal baby shower, and to me, is the same as a baby shower in the sense that the host (your best friend) pays for the event. That means food, favors, invites, etc. That's the role of a shower host. If she can't afford to pay for everything, then she should either rope in a couple of co-hosts (your other friends), or host a get together that she can pay for, like light snacks and soda.

                                                                                                                                                                Another option would be to do a more traditional shower for your family and then the pay your own way get together for your friends. Do the surprise cake for the family, and then another cake for the friends to surprise them, but obviously you would already know the sex of the baby by then.

                                                                                                                                                                1. I've heard of these parties (even have been to one) but only with immediate family members. Personally I think it's a little tacky to give a party like that & have people pay for themselves. I'm not even sure I understand why someone else would give you a party like that, are you not having a shower? I would keep it very small and order a couple pizzas and have it at your house. Btw congrats and best of luck!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I must be missing something. If your best friend is throwing the party, would this not be something for them to decide if they wish to pay for it or if each person attending should pay?

                                                                                                                                                                    When I throw a party I determine the terms.

                                                                                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                      Honestly, I don't even see how the friend is throwing the party. What did they do, just decide the restaurant? They are not paying for it and they're not even worrying about how to word the invite.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: GIOny

                                                                                                                                                                        "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. "

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Fowler

                                                                                                                                                                          ... and charging the "guests" for it. Choosing the restaurant is not organizing much, and there doesn't seem to be any more organization involved in this particular event, oh yeah, the cake.
                                                                                                                                                                          Doesn't sound like this friend is doing much if they can't figure out how to invite people without offending them.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: wyogal

                                                                                                                                                                            "Doesn't sound like this friend is doing much if they can't figure out how to invite people without offending them."

                                                                                                                                                                            Well said, wyogal and I agree.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. skip the party and make it a email or an online card. heck you can even send custom made cards revealing the gender. go get a nice photo shoot. save the party for the shower.

                                                                                                                                                                        hate to say it, people care about the gender but not so much. it's a big deal for you guys. it's not the big moment but the baby shower IS the big moment aside from the obvious which is the birth. then you won't sleep for a year or two ;)

                                                                                                                                                                        and if your friend or yourself can't host it properly then don't have a party. it's a bit demanding. plus, this announcement then a few months down the road a shower? its a bit much. hope you don't take it wrong way. have your friends save up for the big party instead for some much needed presents like stroller, crib, clothes etc.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I'm twenty-nine and my friends and family members (siblings, cousins, etc.) are having babies all around me. I've heard of gender reveal parties, but mostly from people who moaned about feeling like they had to attend that party AND the shower. I can't imagine how anyone I know would react if they were expected to pay to attend a gender reveal party, knowing that they would later be buying a baby shower gift AND helping out in other ways (making meals for the new family, house-sitting while they visit in-laws, babysitting, etc.). Actually, I can imagine how they would react, and it would be with pun-filled sarcasm and disinterest. The fact of the matter is that the kind of people who are accustomed to paying their own way at restaurant birthday parties and other social events are also the kind of people don't really care that much about the gender of your baby and they'd probably be happier seeing a Facebook status update than paying to join you at a Mexican restaurant at 4:00 in the afternoon. The people who actually care about the gender (parents, grandparents, etc.) are of a generation where being expected to pay for their own meal at such an event IS rude. It's lose-lose.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/gend...

                                                                                                                                                                              had NO idea it was such a trend. my how things change in just 4-5 yrs. i honestly didin't know anyone (gave birth in 2008) who did this.

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                I was very active on my "birth board", a Chowhound of sorts for women expecting babies. Mine was specific to women expecting in March 2010. Everything under the sun was debated/discussed on that board, throughout our pregnancies and as new mothers, yet I don't recall anyone talking about "Gender Reveal Parties". That was less than three years ago....

                                                                                                                                                                                I have recently seen a few mentions of this sort of event, so it is not unheard of now....apparently picked up steam fast. Bleh.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Justpaula

                                                                                                                                                                                  I read an article about this type of thing about a year ago. A bakery in New York was doing these cakes and they got written up in some magazine. Just did a google search and I see lots of articles about this trend, which seems to have started about a year or two ago. It's a fairly new trend.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                  My son is 7 yo and I don't remember any mention of a gender reveal parties.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: cleobeach

                                                                                                                                                                                    I had not heard of a gender reveal party either. Heck, I had to google what an evite even is. :-) If my friends have a baby shower or something along those lines they send hand-written invitations. Those 30-somethings are just so old-fashioned!

                                                                                                                                                                                3. Hey mrshenderson519. First, congratulations and best wishes on your impending parenthood.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I know you are getting more than you asked for (how to word the invite), but I hope you take the advice being offered. Scale the party to something the host can afford or cancel it all together. If I were invited to an event like this, I would put on a happy face and be a supportive friend. I would feign excitement about the idea of a gender-reveal party, cheer and offer best wishes at whatever sex is revealed, and keep it to myself that I think the whole thing is silly. Who knows. It could be really fun.

                                                                                                                                                                                  The idea to scale it down to appetizers, coffee, pizza, etc. is a really good one. Appetizers or coffee/tea and cake would be plenty for a party at 4pm.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Is the concern that a restaurant wouldn't accommodate such a party without people ordering more than a few appetizers?

                                                                                                                                                                                  As far as the invitation wording, I'm not sure. I hope you'll report back on how you word the invitation and how the party goes.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. What a hoot to read this ! Agree w/ the apps & cake idea. Nachos/chips/salsa/couple dips ?? Maybe 6 total be fine, and prob. cost less than your cake !! Talk w/ the mgr. ahead of time to doublecheck on the cake (also will you be cutting it OR expecting them to? ditto plates/silver/naps). Ask them to push a couple tables together, decorate it if you want (I'd use a tablecloth for sure and a riser under the cake). Have 1 or 2 apps there, and the others spread out somewhere else. If they have a sep. bar area, that might work well. 25 ppl is an awkward number to sit together anyway, def. not a good idea for this 'casual' get-together so just go w/ a 'buffet' theme and have fun.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Plan on doing that, and if want can send a 2nd email saying 'some ppl want to stay and have dinner AFTER, so we're going to make THEIR reservations for them. Are you interested in that, I know Mr/MrsHenderson have decided to...'

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. After reading others comments and thinking it over more, like others said, I'd try to emphasize the informality of the occasion by wording an e-vite something like this:

                                                                                                                                                                                      Gender Announcement Get-together
                                                                                                                                                                                      Restaurant XYZ 
                                                                                                                                                                                      January 12th at 4pm
                                                                                                                                                                                      Appetizers, cake, and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Adult beverages are available for purchase at bar.

                                                                                                                                                                                      You'll want to avoid spoiling the occasion and memories so I suggest you pay to avoid any awkwardness. Since you're not buying lunch/dinner, money won't be as tight as you had first thought. While I wouldn't expect it, if you're lucky, someone will chip-in when the bill arrives.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Custardly

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was quickly scanning your response and saw XYZ and thought you were giving a suggestion for a name for the party. And I thought, "Finally, a good name for the party!"

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Custardly

                                                                                                                                                                                          I like this wording as well as the previous suggestion just upthread about the bar area/buffet theme so that guests can mingle rather than being stuck at a table the entire time.

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Apologies if this has been answered/clarified with the OP already, I've skim read the 130+ replies so far...

                                                                                                                                                                                          Dear Mrs Henderson519, firstly my congratulations to you

                                                                                                                                                                                          Secondly, and the reason for my post - was the idea of the party your own idea or was it your best friend's suggestion to you that they host for you?

                                                                                                                                                                                          (my question is tentative, as I am from England and have never before been aware of this type of celebration occurring over here (yet!) so if I can understand who actually initiated the idea of this type of party (OP/best friend?/both?/other?!) can better help me in making an appropriate suggestion....

                                                                                                                                                                                          PS Initially I was intrigued and must admit my ignorance in that I didn't know this thread was all about a brand new (ie little) person!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. I would pay for your grandparents, instead of explaining to them that they must pay for themselves, even if everyone else is paying their own way. They are your grandparents, after all, and requiring them to pay, after all the care they have presumably provided to you throughout your life, seems to me somewhat not polite.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Actually, back to the OP, the wording of the evite ought to be the best friend's task, no? I'm sure someone has already said that. Must get more coffee.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. How about this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                You are invited to find out the gender of our baby currently in utero. We will provide dinner, cake. Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Sorry, that's what this particular invite sounds like.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                                                                                                    But, it's the truth. Her friends want to "host" but want the guests to pay for it. No judging there. It's being honest and upfront. Why tiptoe around this intent? If it sounds tacky, well, that's because it is.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: ricepad


                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. On the plus side, this thread did inspire me to make some Mexican food last night for dinner, which I rarely do, and it turned out great!
                                                                                                                                                                                                      While I was lurking online to find out where this all would go, I found some great recipes and had a lovely dinner of fish and rice with a wonderfully fresh tasting citrus-cilantro salsa :)

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                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                                                                                                          was it a boy-fish or a girl-fish?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pink grapefruit in salsa--so it's a.... girl :D
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crappy pic, smudged the lens when I picked up my phone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I think this was mentioned up thread by someone somewhere, but it bears repeating.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          If there is an issue of how to invite people to a party without offending the guests, then probably the entire concept needs to be rethought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Folks, this thread has devolved into people debating who is answering the question and who isn't. We're going to wish the original poster the best of luck with the rest of the pregnancy and birth, and lock the thread up now.