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What is proper if Im paying for drinks and invites are paying for their own dinner?

I am having a surprise 40th dinner for my husbands birthday at his favorite dinner place. I got a back room to fit everyone and I am letting guests know that I am having an Open bar from 6pm-7:30pm (we won't arrive til 6:30pm) But I am not paying for their dinners, just paying for drinks/alcohol. Is there a proper way to convey this information to my guests?? Most are family with a few friends.

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  1. Your invitation needs to be very, very clear that you are not paying for dinner, just the open bar, from 6-7:30, and none after that time, so drinks after that, with dinner/dessert are on their own tab.
    Very. Clear.
    An invite to a party like this reads like you are paying for the whole dinner. The inviter pays, is the general rule.
    Please be absolutely clear about this so that people can rsvp accordingly.
    It might help to stress NO GIFTS, so it's not an additional financial burden you are placing on your not-a-guest.

    Have you discussed with the restaurant how many tabs they will have to generate for this party? Are they guests expected to pony up cash? Will the restaurant process all those different credit cards?

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      My thought exactly on payment...easy enough to separate the beverages into one check but the dinners? Be sure to not only be clear with your guests, but clear with management on how they will handle these transactions.

    2. This is tough to really get across, and because traditional etiquette doesn't really allow for asking guests to pick up their own tab, there's not an accepted short form like "RSVP" or "black-tie" that will get this information across.

      How are you inviting people? By email or phone or printed invite? Is it acceptable for someone to stop by for the drinks portion of the evening and not stay for dinner? I'm assuming there will be some appetizers served with the hosted bar portion of the evening? Is there a set menu / prix fixe for dinner or is everyone ordering off an a la carte menu?

      This assumes some answers to those questions. But I would probably go with saying or writing something like:

      "We're having a surprise party for John at (RestoName) on (DateTime). There'll be an open bar and some appetizers starting at 6:00 until 7:30. John will be arriving for the big reveal at 6:30.

      If you'd like to stay for dinner, we've also arranged for that starting at 7:30. Guests will be responsible for their own dinner bills.

      Please let us know if you plan to join us for drinks, dinner or both."

      It's a lot to say/write, but it's really, really important that these things be clear, so no one is caught by surprise. Depending on the answers to the questions, I'd probably change some of this wording.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Jacquilynne

        I thought about food with the open bar- 90 minutes. That's a long time to go without any nibbles, especially when alcohol is being consumed.

        1. re: monavano

          Yes and also add probably another 30 min for a large party to order and actually receive food.

        2. re: Jacquilynne

          It is a lot to write/say, but none of what you wrote would offend me if I was one of the invited guests. But then again, I'm in the camp of not expecting my meal for somebody else's Birthday to be paid for. I know that opinions on this subject vary greatly on this forum.

        3. Just a thought, because I think there are a lot of questions unanswered, but I wonder if you've considered how much it would cost for hosting the full dinner with limited bar and a set menu with limited selections?
          If you have a fully open bar with top shelf liquor, your bill will be a real eye opener. Controlling the liquor selections can limit the cost a great deal, as can limiting the menu selections.
          Again, just a thought.

          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            Absolutely ..I would rather pay for food than drinks! Of course I am old school...I invited, I pay.
            Random lets get together to celebrate soandso bday then people pay for themselves.

          2. "Please come for celebratory cocktails from 6 to 7:30. Feel free to join us for dinner as well. Entrees range from $ to $$$. Looking forward to seeing you."

            5 Replies
            1. re: letsindulge

              I think it needs to be clear as crystal that the "guests" will be buying their own dinner. And what of payment methods? So many tabs, will they need to bring cash?

              1. re: letsindulge

                I think the 'Entrees range from X to Y' is a good way to get across that people will be paying for their own dinner. And I think it's really good information to include, as well.

                But if I read this I'd assume I was also paying for my cocktails. And if I was a person on a budget, I might decline where I would otherwise be able to accept a less expensive invitation where I only had to cover my dinner.

                1. re: letsindulge

                  This is not just to list the price range of the entrees. It might also be assumed that you're still an invited dinner guest and you may pick from entrees in this price range; I'm still paying. Also, OP might want to have a private dinner with spouse...let's not assume she wants the extra company, so putting "feel free to join us for dinner" on the invite may be a no no.

                  It still needs to be clear that OP is not picking up the tab for dinner. Something like " Please join us for cocktails from whatever time to whatever time in celebration of blankey blank's birthday" should suffice. Then, once guests arrive, if she wants to have them at the table, she can verbally let them know she would love to include them in the meal, but due to finances she's unable to host that part of the celebration, however, they are welcome to join them at their expense.

                  1. re: Cherylptw

                    Wait, are you saying that she should tell them that it's a cocktail hour/open (at this point, presumed without any food at all) that she's paying for and oh, btw, we're staying for dinner do you want to join us at your expense?
                    That's uncomfortable on 2 points (at least). First, the "guest" is to perhaps accept to join an impromptu dinner with unexpected expense in food, drink and maybe baby sitter. Second, how is the restaurant supposed to adjust last minute to the guests dithering about changing plans last minute and maybe needing more or less tables?
                    This feels very clumsy to me.

                    1. re: monavano

                      What I'm suggesting is that the OP makes the occasion a cocktail hour, period. He/she can word that exactly on the invitation...if she can't afford dinner for everyone, it needs to be a cocktail hour. People who choose to attend will probably have arranged for a sitter if they require one.

                      Common sense would be to allot time for a meal when arranging for how much time you need the sitter to stay if they intend to eat out. If not, they can eat at home or wherever afterward. If the OP wants to include guests in her meal, she can verbally let people know they are welcome to join them by asking them to RSVP and then he/she can contact them and explain that dinner is not included but hey, you're welcomed to stay at your own expense or by including something like this on the invite, "Guests are welcomed to help us continue celebrating later by joining us in a unhosted dinner at the same restaurant".

                      They can then ask guests to RSVP, he/she can get the number of people who will be attending both for drinks and then for dinner and host can make the reservations at the restaurant. They already have a room, they will have the space to be served a meal if that's what they choose to do.

                2. Honestly, I think it verges on tacky. If you want to pay for everyone's meal, great. If not, also fine. But to partially pay for your guests- it's a bit awkward. Why not make it later in the evening and just meet for drinks?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Hobbert

                    It's more than a bit of a sticky wicket.

                  2. I would write something like the following:

                    Please come celebrate Joe's 40th birthday with drinks and hors d'oeuvres [you have to have hors d'oeuvres] at 6.30. And I hope you can stay on for a Dutch-treat dinner at 7.30.

                    I think you need to give the option of coming just for the drinks and making that sound like the party. You can ask for separate replies, Rsvp for drinks and again for dinner.

                    As others have suggested, it would be nicer if you could scale down the event to be able to offer dinner to everyone.

                    1. I apologize in advance if anything I say is taken the wrong way, I'm not meaning to be insulting at all, but I just can't figure out how to phrase this politely. It's a very awkward way to structure a get together.

                      A few suggestions I would have are as follows;

                      Reversing the scenario, I don't know the price point that the dinner place you are having this at is, however I do know a lot about open bars. Most places are going to charge you a 2 drink minimum per person per hour. So if the avg. drink price is $7.-$8 per drink the hour will cost you a minimum of $15.-$16. per person for the hour, or probably closer to $20. including the extra half hour. Does the restaurant offer anything for that price range that you can offer to pay for the food, and let them buy their own drinks? That is far more common approach.

                      Otherwise try something like this;

                      Guess who's turning 40!?!? It's "John's" birthday and we would like to get a group together to help him celebrate. I've booked the room, opened the bar, now all I ask is you come join us for the festivities. Drinks are on me from 6-7:30 those who want to stay and join us for dinner are more than welcome, but food is not included. If you have questions please let me know, hope to see you there!!

                      That's the best I can come up with. Good luck.

                      1. This restaurant is a neighborhood steakhouse that ranges $15-$25 per plate, menu is on a chalkboard! It's mostly family with a few friends = to 24ppl. Drinks are reasonable range from $3-$6 bottled beer to mixed drinks. My invite is via phone calls (Gmas are not techy) and evites. The restaurant is flexible with anything I need. They know us well due to frequent dining there.

                        23 Replies
                        1. re: alstands1175

                          I would try to capitalize on your patronage by explaining that it would be optimal to offer your guests dinner and can they work within your budget, if you haven't tried that already, that is.

                          1. re: alstands1175

                            If you don't mind me asking, how much are they charging you for the open bar?

                            1. re: jrvedivici

                              Open bar can just mean bar keeps a tally of drinks and host picks up the tab. That's how it was for my wedding - I *wish* they had charged pp as my guests definitely enjoyed themselves. No regrets of course :)

                              1. re: julesrules

                                I can say the exact same thing about my first wedding, except for the "no regrets" part.
                                After the meal at the reception was served (early afternoon, mind you), I saw servers delivering top shelf brandies and coffee drinks etc. to tables (gulp) and then watched people belly up to the bar for a "one for the road, or maybe two while we're totally buzzed and having a good time".
                                (pissed now).
                                The wedding was a short ceremony, a cocktail hour with apps and a sit down meal and that was it. Never thought that people would linger ordering booze after.
                                There's no dancing, no band! Go home!
                                Ugh. I could not believe what the liquor bill was and really wished the bar offerings were limited.
                                Oh well, live and learn. It was a looooong time ago, but I'll never forget it.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  Ohh shit, with my friends I would expect it. There is no way I could do anything other than pp with them. I also imagine that most people expect that it is a pp flat rate ( I know I do) so they aren't thinking that ordering one more drink is costing you anything extra.

                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                    Except is was really REALLY high end shit!
                                    And let me tell you... their weddings ranged from plonk and rubber chicken, to finger foods!
                                    Thanks all for listening to my rant!

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      Ohh no, don't get me wrong, I totally sympathize with you. I'm just saying, I'm not surprised. People are going to take advantage of anything if its free. I'm just noting that I doubt your friends knew that they were adding to your tab per drink. And it sucks that their weddings didn't come close with food or drinks to reciprocate what you had provided. I've been to some dud weddings, as well.

                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                        I get that it sucks to have people take advantage of your hospitality, but I'm confused why it matters that some people have weddings that don't have 'food or drink to reciprocate what you provided'. Isn't the spirit of hosting to provide something that is within your means? What if the guests don't have the funds to pay for an extravagant wedding with open bar and spectacular food? Perhaps they would rather spend their money on something else? I'm sure that I won't be able to have as nice of wedding as many of my friends. Or maybe I could, but I would have to have a smaller guest list and some of the people who's wedding I've attended wouldn't be on the list. Or perhaps I'll never gets married. Should I have declined their invitations with the reason that I would not have been able to reciprocate at the same level? Should I have only drank coffee and tea and declined the meal because I won't likely be able to afford such a dinner?

                                        I thought the point of hosting a party and having guests was to provide for them a comfortable and good time, not try to pay off some debt I owe them for those fantastic passed hors d'oeurves from three years ago.

                                        1. re: pollymerase

                                          I agree. I was just showing my support to Monavano in his/her particular case. You have the type of wedding that you want and can afford and hopefully with your guests comfort in mind. I'm not married and don't know what type of wedding I'll be able to afford, but I'll surely do the best I can with the resources I have available to me. It doesn't hurt that I'm an event planner for a living, so I'm pretty good at these things. I get that this isn't everyone else's thing and I don't expect it when I go to their weddings. Clearly I go to share in the experience of watching a friend get married and to show my support to them. If you e read one of my other responses on this thread, I'm from the viewpoint that I wouldn't expect my dinner to be paid for at this Birthday celebration or any of the other Birthday celebrations I attend for the friends in my life.

                                          1. re: pollymerase

                                            A good reception includes free booze for the attendees. If you cannot afford a good reception, it is your choice whether or not you want to have a bad reception.

                                            Personally, I can't think of a reason to throw a bad reception. Also, I'm not sure people that can't afford a good reception should be wedding, but kids are young and crazy and in love or something-something...

                                            1. re: MonMauler

                                              I have been to weddings and parties where there was no alcohol. They were still 'good' parties.

                                              There are plenty of reasons not to spend five figures plus on a wedding. In fact, I think one could argue that it is more responsible to invest that money in property or some other type of resource over throwing a party that will be over within a day. Don't get me wrong, I don't care if people spend their money on expensive weddings, that's their decision, but I don't think it is fair to judge people or make blanket statements about people who make other choices regarding how much money they have or how they choose to spend it.

                                              If I do a quick head count on the people I've known who have had small, punch and cake type receptions (because they had no money) vs people who have had open bars, multi-course meals, large dance, and a breakfast bar after the dance, more of my friends who had weddings on the smaller end are still together. Again, not saying there is anything wrong with extravagant weddings, but there is also nothing wrong with small receptions.

                                              1. re: pollymerase

                                                It's one thing if you've got loads of money, but for the most part I find expensive weddings to be a ridiculous waste of money that would be better off spent elsewhere.

                                                1. re: pollymerase

                                                  I completely agree. I've been to very expensive weddings with top of the line everything and I've been to potluck weddings at the local fire department's social hall. Alcohol (or lack thereof) isn't what made the event fun or not. It was the guests and the fact that the couple was enjoying celebrating with us. Have the reception you can afford. My best friend got married with just her immediate family and my husband and I there and it was fantastic. A reception is just a time to celebrate with family and friends, not overspend and suck down top shelf liquor!

                                2. re: alstands1175

                                  Is this kind of set-up typical for your family and close friends? I think it's lovely that you want to do this for your husband, but I would find the premise kind of rather rude if I were an invitee. (If I were planning the event, I'd also feel embarrassed to be calling grandparents and asking them to attend an evening where I'd pay for cocktails but not dinner - but that may just be my hang-up!)

                                  Have you considered going in the other direction and having people pay for their own pre-dinner drinks and you covering dinner (including wine, beer, soft drinks)?

                                  Or, going to a cheaper restaurant and covering everything yourself (again, with limited drink options)? I don't know where you live, but perhaps Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Thai could be great options.

                                  Whatever you decide, have a great evening, and I hope your husband is suitably appreciative!

                                  1. re: Chatsworth

                                    I also feel that it may put the invitees in an awkward or even embarrassing position.
                                    Should they accept and come for the free portion of the program, then scoot?
                                    It could put them in a position of looking, or feeling, cheap.

                                    1. re: monavano

                                      If I were invited but didn't have the ability or finances to stay for dinner it would go something like this.

                                      I would show up for the open bar @ 6pm, when asked if I were staying I would say; "Yes oh yes, I'm planning on staying and having dinner and celebrating the night away for John's birthday"

                                      Then at 7:25pm (a pre-arranged phone call to my cell phone from a friend would come in) {{ring}}

                                      "Hello, what? Little Jimmy fell in a well???? OMG I'll be right there" (addressing the room) "I'm very sorry there is an emergency I have to attend to" and leave! No cheap feeling there!

                                  2. re: alstands1175

                                    Honestly, if your budget can allow, I would work with the restaurant to just make it a cocktail party with heavy apps (or working on a limited choice menu at a fixed price within your budget for dinner - that may end up cheaper).

                                    I won't go so far as to say what you're proposing is rude (a lot depends on the norm for your social circle), but I generally think that hosting a surprise party means the host should HOST the party, and that means paying for it in its entirety. Granted, I'm also assuming that since your husband it turning 40, this means you are also of a similar age and you and your social group are reasonably well-established and not just out of college and unemployed, though I think my advice stands in that situation, too - throw the party that you can afford without shifting the burden to guests.

                                    I get that it's expensive. In fact, I just threw a surprise 60th birthday party for my mother and 40 friends and family on a riverboat. While I live a comfortable life I was very much paycheck to paycheck until very recently, so I am not giving this advice lightly - I saved for several months to be able to pay for it. But this where I think you need to employ strategies to be inclusive of everyone you want involved without putting the burden on them. For instance, for my party, I hosted it at an off time (from 1:30-4:00) so that it was between lunch and dinner an no one would be expecting a full meal (we had chips and salsa, meat/cheese/crackers, veggies and dip, and fruit salad. I let them talk me into bringing my own cupcakes instead of ordering their expensive cake (I have a vegan cupcake side...business is too strong a word, but my family and friends would have been disappointed if my cupcakes were not involved). I hosted free pop, lemonade, and coffee and had cash bar (which may have been rude of me and I ended up thinking better of it and springing for the alcohol tab, though that doesn't mean much in my group since outside of myself and a couple of others, no one else in our family/social group drinks and it was the middle of the afternoon).

                                    The point is, when your hosting a more formal party like this, I would hate to think that potentially someone would be excluded because they couldn't afford to stay for dinner afterwards. Maybe finances aren't an issue and your crowd is particularly used to this sort of arrangement, but I would sincerely consider finding a way to make it where you truly host - and if you can't afford it at this venue, then brainstorm ways to throw the party that you can afford. It's far better to be inclusive of everyone you want there with a less extravagant party than to risk excluding people because you're shifting the burden of the cost to them.

                                    Otherwise, if you are going to remain with the format you originally chose, I liked the advice and wording suggested by Jacquilynne best.

                                    1. re: amishangst

                                      < I would hate to think that potentially someone would be excluded because they couldn't afford to stay for dinner afterwards.>

                                      Good point.
                                      This reminds me of the "ladies' night out" before my sister's wedding years ago -- dinner at a *very* expensive steakhouse, with each attendee responsible for the price of her own meal.
                                      I had just graduated from university & was working but really struggling financially. I knew I couldn't afford it but wanted to be part of sis's celebration.
                                      I ordered the cheapest thing on the menu -- a small green salad. Sitting there nibbling lettuce leaves while everyone else was chowing down on juicy steaks made the evening feel a lot less celebratory to me.

                                      1. re: almond tree

                                        Wow.....were you not able to explain this to sis beforehand? If I were your sister and I knew this, I would either change the restaurant to somewhere more affordable, or pay for your meal myself. I can't imagine watching my sister eat just a salad while everyone else enjoyed a decadent steak dinner.

                                        1. re: SaraAshley

                                          I didn't realize how $$ the restaurant was until we got there & looked at the menu. And at that point I was the black sheep of the family ... by saying nothing, I thought I was behaving myself for once.

                                          1. re: almond tree

                                            Well I'm sorry to hear that, but good on you for sucking it up and trying to make the best of it for your sister's sake.

                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                              Yes, she was the princess that night :).

                                  3. Average drink $3.00 bottle beer $3.75 tall mixed drink (medium shelf) $4-5 wine

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: alstands1175

                                      Ok, I either misunderstood you or we got our terms mixed up. You are paying for the drinks, meaning they are going to keep a tab of what people drink then you pay that tab once the time period is over? Is that what you are doing?

                                      That is different than an "Open Bar", an open bar is where you pay a flat fee per person to the restaurant and the bar is open to them for as much or little as they can consume during that period.

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        My apologies....bar open all nite (there is a small one in the room we will be in) from 6pm-7:30pm any drink ordered goes on my tab after that ...drinks are their responsibility.

                                        1. re: alstands1175

                                          Gotcha.....no need to apologize!

                                          I would say since your doing the invites via phone just explain the details to everyone. I would phrase it YOU are throwing a cocktail party for the hubby, afterward anyone who want's to stay for dinner is welcome, but the food isn't gratis.

                                          "If you want to stay then you gotta pay! "

                                    2. Could you organise a price fixe menu for the guests? Then you can put it right in the invitation - dinner $x. a person and it will be plain to everyone that they have to pony up. It also makes it simpler for the restaurant if they know that people are going to have option a or option b instead of everyone having free run of the entire menu.

                                      1. Yes,sticky issue. There have been a few prior threads on it here as well. I would tell people on the phone that they are invited for an open bar cocktail hour to celebrate and that there is also a dinner after for which they are invited to stay, Dutch treat. (I would, however, pay for the grandparents. I don't feel it is polite to make elderly grandma and grandpa pay their own way at my spouse's B'day celebration.) I think it just feels awkward to invite people to restaurant birthday dinner and then tell them that they have to pay for it themselves, it is hard to find a polite way to say that.

                                        1. Yes, there are a lot of threads on this and differing opinions. I come from a pretty poor family and nobody would ever expect one person to pay for everything at someone's party. If it's a party at someone's house, everyone will chip in a dish so the host doesn't have to pay for everything, for example, that's how all the holidays, bridal and baby showers and birthdays go. So when we had my mom's retirement party, we just invited people to join us and explained we would be covering the cost of our mother's meal and appetizers for the tables but anything else was on them. We did have a good relationship with the restaurant and they gave us a small prix fixe menu that we could share with our guests ahead of time so they knew the prices. And yes, they did process all the CCs separately, and we were very patient while they did it. There were only about 15 of us so it wasn't a giant deal.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: rockandroller1

                                            Yes it really depends on the expectations of the group. When I was in grad schooI you can be sure every get together was "dutch treat". I get pretty irritated at those who haughtily exclaim "I would never ever invite people to a party at which I could not pick up the entire thing". These people are often ones who are relatively well-off. But given that there *are* such people, who feel strongly that way, it is important to look at your guest list to think about whether there might be anyone there *would* feel insulted, or would feel it was a breach of etiquette, to do otherwise. And make it very clear what the deal is. Is there any reason not to just make it a cocktails and appetizer thing, if you are able to pay for that? It would certainly simplify things.

                                          2. Welcome to CH alstands 1175. I hope you find this community to be a welcoming place with lots of good information. Yes, we are a varied lot and there is never a shortage of opinions here.

                                            You ask "What is proper ....." and I would like to suggest that instead of 'proper' we might substitute 'comfortable'? Right now, your invitation is open to misinterpretation with possible hurt feeling ensuing. Would it be possible for you to have some appetizers along with the drinks? That way, all invitees are free to make their own plans for supper afterwards, with those who would like to remain with the Bday boy at the resto doing so while others may dine elsewhere. It is clear from this invitation that all diners are on their own and you are not hosting anything other than the drinks and hors d'oeuvre party. Hope that you have a grand party.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sherri

                                              Yes, I agree.
                                              On a budget, I would offer drinks and appetizers and bump up the party time an hour or two.Make it clear on the invitation.
                                              Your guests can decide where they'd like to dine for dinner (which is a nice option for those who don't want to spend $15 or $20 per plate at your selected restaurant. Or for those who don't want to eat up an entire night at your festivities-- sorry, but true.)

                                              Keep in mind, you know your guests better than anybody on the internet! Good luck, and happy early birthday to your husband.

                                            2. If in doubt, ask one of your own guests and not the internet. With these threads you tend to get a lot of replies from people who are not used to this type of party and think it rude. If it is not rude in your circle, as long as you explain clearly I think you are fine. No one in my nearing-40 crowd would ever expect anyone to host dinner out for a group, like ever. Just does not happen. My mother in law would in fact be horrified to think we were spending that kind of money. No one expects gifts either. Apparently we are quite well understood amongst ourselves and all get along fine. I do agree that you need some apps with the drinks, by the time 24 people get their dinner they will be very hungry.

                                              1. Please join us for a cocktail party to celebrate ABC's birthday!
                                                We are not hosting dinner and guests are free to make reservations if desired. Hope to see you there for a few drinks to celebrate!

                                                PS no gifts!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: AdamD

                                                  "Please join us for a cocktail party to celebrate ABS's birthday. The party starts at seven when the 'open bar' will open from seven until nine.
                                                  ABC and I will be arriving at seven thirty.
                                                  Note. This is not a 'diner party'.
                                                  PS. no gifts.

                                                2. I would pay for drinks and apps. It would really odd to have people drinking and not providing any Food to soak up the alcohol. Personally, if I invited guests to a restaurant, I'd lay fr their dinner too, especially since I was the one throwing the party. It's not like you are a group of coworkers giving another coworker a going away party with everyone pitching in and/going Dutch.

                                                  Pay for drinks and apps, and then you can tell people they are invited for drinks and appetizers from 6:00-7:30. They will be no confusion about what's being offered.

                                                  1. While I agree that the terms of the get together should be made very clear ( especially if this is not the norm among you and your friends or if this is the first time you have hosted this type of party) but there has been much debate about the host paying for everything being the norm. Among our friends, it is never expected.

                                                    1. It should be a snap to say to family and close friends exactly what you are saying on a food forum: Open bar from 6pm-7:30pm (we won't arrive til 6:30pm) But I am not paying for their dinners, just paying for drinks/alcohol.

                                                      If you can't or don't say it you're going to end up paying the bill.

                                                      My SIL just sent out the most confusing e-vite I've ever read. She's usually so clear. All her miscommunication did was generate a host of questions posted directly inside the e-vite. So instead of guests writing : Yes, looking forward to it (3). I'm seeing a sea of questions, no rsvp's.

                                                      Just tell your guests what you are planning.