Thursday, August 4, 2011

IT’S MY PARTY AND YOU’LL PAY IF YOU WANT TO…

Even before the recent financial crunch, people have thrown birthday parties that require a fee. For some, it’s the only way they could have had a party. They’d rather their good friends join in on the fun at a reasonable cost than not to have anything at all. Sometimes the celebrant or friends and family execute this plan.

While that’s understandable, it may not be to guests who want to celebrate their friend’s birthday but can also be in the same boat financially. In fact, we were recently invited to a birthday party on a boat for a family member and not all of us will be on the same boat because of the cost.

We think the idea of charging for a birthday party should be floated beforehand – ask around and see how much the traffic can bear. You may find other options more comfortable for everyone. It’s one thing to agree on a place where there’s a cash bar. It’s another thing if there is literally an admission fee. You’re not having a party; you’re running a business. And if it’s a surprise pay party, it could be very embarrassing for the guest of honor when he/she finds out that their friends had to pay to party.

Yvonne remembers a pitiful birthday dinner for her when she lived in Italy. A friend, who didn’t know Yvonne well, tried to put a group together to have a surprise dinner for her at her favorite restaurant that wasn’t terribly cheap. What was supposed to be a group of six including Yvonne, turned out to be the big three. “When the check came, there was a bit of a scramble figuring out who had what pasta. I know that my friend meant well but she didn’t know my friends well enough to ask for that kind of financial commitment.”

Different from birthday parties, retirement parties and events honoring someone usually come at a cost and that’s fine. It’s an agreed upon group effort.

We don’t mean to be party poopers, quite the contrary. We’re just suggesting that the life of the party shouldn’t depend on the wallets of the guests.


We're taking the month of August off, we'll start posting after Labor Day.  Meanwhile, we're doing some recycling. We're trendy that way.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

when you invite people to parties.....they need to know up front if there is a cost...and what the cost
will be...otherwise it's in very very poor taste ! then they can decide if they can participate.....
and if they want too...that's what i think......

Claudia Lynch said...

I'm with you on this one. It's nice to want to treat a friend to lunch or dinner, but the party is too often planned at a special occasion restaurant. If I can only afford to go there once a year, this is probably not the event I'd choose to celebrate there, so I end up making an excuse and not going.

Anonymous said...

Some people are worth the money. Some aren't.
I would pay up for your party anytime.

Anonymous said...

Paying to Party made me sign up to follow Y&Y, it's a beautiful thing!
B!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm....this is a tough one.  I believe as was written in your blog that it depends on context; and the type of party.  And that there not be any gotcha moments where people are scrambling around for the necessary funds.  :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting this comes up a lot with folks lately. I've always been put off by people doing this I'd rather atten a small gathering and enjoy the company of friends without all the fanfare and bring a nice gift instead.

Anonymous said...

Let ’em eat cake.

Hillary said...

When it is one of my friends b-days, our group gets together and we all pay for dinner for the party girl. We always go to a place we all can afford. I really have never heard of a party where you had to pay to get it. I think that is riiculous and not really a party.

the cook in heels said...

My preference would be to give a modest party you can afford. If the goal is to get people together then it shouldn't matter how elaborate it is. If you do decide to have a "paying' party, I believe the gracious thing to do is specify "no gifts".

the cook in heels said...

My preference would be to give a modest party you can afford. If the goal is to get people together then it shouldn't matter how elaborate it is. If you do decide to have a "paying' party, I believe the gracious thing to do is specify "no gifts".

Anonymous said...

I have never, ever, been to a party where I was asked to pay for anything. I can usually sniff that off the invitation. That said, if it's a cause, event, or a person I support, I have no problem showing up, shelling out and offering my all I have. It really comes down to knowing what you're going to before you get there.