Need Yoyr Party Advice
Thinking of having another holiday open house this year. It's been about 8 years since our last one, but we have a new group of friends now. Here is our dilemma: in past years when finances were better, we provided all the food and drink. Now, funds are tighter. We would like to provide the wine, beer, etc and a big ham and then ask guests to bring apps, sides or desserts as a potluck. I'm not expecting gourmet offerings, a tray of brownies from the grocery store is fine. Is this rude? Would people not bother to come if they have to bring something?
I don't think its rude at all.
But then it depends on your new group of friends...
Whenever we have a get together, most invitees' first question is "whattyawant us to bring?"
Instead of having an "open house" call it something like a "pot luck party".
It can be tricky, though, as 5 people may bring chili...
Sometimes, I'll cook for a gang, but simply ask people to bring whatever they want to drink ("theres soda and juice, just bring your own beer, wine, or booze")
I agree with Porker: make all of the food, and ask your guests to bring beer or wine (but get a small amount of your own for starters). Everyone's so busy over the holidays that it would be easier for people to bring alcohol and not have to worry about cooking and preparing food. And that way you have more control over your menu.
I have had parties like this and nobody batted an eye. Many people really enjoyed making special foods to bring and some were the "bag of chips" type, but it was really enjoyable. I would have no problem going to one myself either. Parties are very expensive and none of my friends or family are rich. Does it mean you should never have a party? Definitely not. Potlucks are fun, I wish there were more of them amongst my social circle.
It seems as though you are providing most of the food and drink. I would accept people's offerings, making sure they specify what they would be bringing. Anything you don't get you pick up at the last minute, ie rolls, brownies from Costco etc.... I think you will be surprised how happy people are happy to bring something. This will be a good opportunity for you to get to know your friends a bit better(who is reliable and punctual). Never get your friend who is perpetually late to bring the app, always dessert. Sounds like fun!
Potlucks can be fun. Just don't call it an open house and you should be fine. To me, an open house, is more of a drop by and visit for a short time than a party where you have a meal.