Want to do the right thing.....please help....regarding son's birthday party....

United States
May 11, 2007 10:34am CST
Yesterday was my youngest son's 5th birthday....And tomorrow is the big party. We reserved a room at a local pizza parlor....I ordered the Spiderman Cake....I made elaborate gift bags.....the restaurant will be decorating for me.....I have about 25 people coming......I am of the opinion that we would pay for all of the food and provide the kids with quarters for the games available....BUT a friend of mine said that each family invited should pay for their own meals.....I am not comfortable with that...I mean I invited them...they will be bringing presents for our son..... So, I feel like they should be able to come and just have a good time.....the parents are friends of ours with their children who are friends of our son....I am not sure now...so what do you think???? I really need to know what is the right thing??? Shouldn't we pay for all of this???? That is how I feel......Please help!!!!!!!!!
8 people like this
25 responses
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
11 May 07
I have family in various parts of the country here in the US. I can tell you that this varies based on regions. Where I live, the way you have it planned is what we do around here. Personally, I agree with you completely. You have asked them to come enjoy themselves and help make it a fun day for your son. As an appreciation for their friendship and willingness to celebrate your son's special day with him, I would pick up the tab without even a second thought. I hope it is a wonderful day for your little guy! I am sure it will be.
3 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
Thank you, my new friend.....I feel better....the thought of asking someone to pay for participating in the celebration of my son's birthday was so against everything I think and feel.....but my friends comment made me wonder if I was seeing it differently than others would.....I am glad to know that I was right in my way of thinking.. He is so very excited!!! Thanks for inviting me as a friend...I have happily agreed...I look forward to many conversations in the future...and thanks again.
2 people like this
@makingpots (11922)
• United States
14 May 07
thank you for the best response. I am glad to read from your other discussion that it turned out to be a great day.
• United States
11 May 07
Hi,Tina. WEll,if it's your son's party and you don't feel comfortable making the families pay for their meals,I would n't make them. It's your son's birthday and it should be done to what 's more comfortable for you.I hope the party comes out okay1 Let me know okay? Tell your son "Happy Birthday"
3 people like this
• United States
13 May 07
He is quite welcome.He loves manwiches ,Huh? A boy after my own heart,lol! I love manwiches(probably a big reason being they are so sloppy,lol)
1 person likes this
@haji1985 (94)
• India
12 May 07
man if i were u i would certainly pay for everyone i invited in the party including the games children play.man u have invited them and they too are bringing gifts so there should be no doubt about u asking cash from them for ur son's birthday.
3 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
Haji, I do not think that you read this discussion very well.....I would never ask my guests for cash!
1 person likes this
@RobinJ (2501)
• Canada
12 May 07
I believe that you are being a very generous person, If you have special food ordered and it is not to their liking then I think that they should pay for their own food, otherwise you would be paying for the food if you were at home or the park. You must have a very special little boy and I do wish him a happy birthday. and a big pat on the back to your self. You do what feels comfortable with you.
• United States
12 May 07
Thank you, RobinJ, my friend....He is indeed a very special little boy...oh, sounded like a proud mother didn't I??? LOL I just wanted him to have a party that he and his friends enjoyed very much.....like I said in an earlier comment...I think that this is a benchmark birthday...I mean, he is 5, and will be starting school this year....these children except for 2 of my grandchildren are HIS friends......so it really is important to him...I think he is more excited about this party than about Christmas...... I wanted to do this for him, his friends and my friends; he and I have had so much fun go shopping for the different items for his gift bags for his guests...we had to go to a town 50 miles away just to find what HE wanted them to have...we spend literally days planning it just the way HE wanted.....if my friend had not said anything...I would never have even had a second thought...I never intended to change my original plan...but she made me wonder what other people might think....so the obvious choice was to ask myLot....right??? *grin* Thanks for your kind words, my friend....I know he will have a blast!
2 people like this
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
11 May 07
You should pay for it. You invited them and they are probably expecting for it to be all paid for. Every birthday party I have ever went to like this with my kids were already paid for. And when I did something like this with my daughter, I paid for everything. I never made my guest pay a dime. They shouldn't have to. I mean they will probably bring a gift, I'm sure. But its your part to pay for everything. Usually pizza places will have the person throwing the party buy everything up front. How I see it is if you don't have the money for your guests to eat on then don't throw a party like the one you are having. I did something like this with my daughter, I baught a party kit and they gave me a good deal on everything.
3 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me...I appreciate it. I always planned to pay for everything....I would feel uncomfortable inviting someone to a party and asking them to share in the cost of it..... I would never even have questioned this if one of my friends had not commented on it.....I just wanted to know what others thought about this....thanks again.
2 people like this
@foxyfire33 (10009)
• United States
11 May 07
I know if I was having a party at a restaurant of any kind, I would pay the cost of meals for all of the guests. If I was invited to a party like that I would be assuming the meal was provided. Think of it like this, if you were having the party at your home you wouldn't ask your guests to chip in for having pizza delivered. I actually think you are being really generous by giving out the quarters as well but it's a good idea. My oldest daughter was invited to a birthday party at a skating rink once. All that the other parents provided was a cake and the admission fee (but not skate rental) for only the children they invited. So I had to pay for myself to get in since parents were expected to stay even though I was also 8 1/2 months pregnant and obviously had no intention of skating. They didn't provide drinks or quarters for games, just the cake itself which was about 1/2 the size it should have been for the number of guests. My point is everybody does things differently at children's birthday parties. I think what you are doing is good but it is more than some other people do. But it's your son and you have every right to do what you want for his birthday. It'd be nice if more parents were like you!
3 people like this
@loved1 (5336)
• United States
11 May 07
In my opinion, the person throwing the party makes the rules. If you did not make it clear that each family should pay for their own meals when you invited them then you should probably pick up the tab. There are probably some people who would have opted to not attend if they knew they would have to pay for their own meal. Don't sweat the small stuff. Do what you want to do and consider it a lesson learned. Your friend can make the rules when she throws a party. I hope you have a good time with your little guy!
3 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
Loved 1, I am such a Mickey fan....love your avatar!! Sorry, got side-tracked...thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about this....I would never have invited them if I did not plan to pay for the meals....I guess, pre-party gitters....LOL
2 people like this
@reachravi (453)
• India
11 May 07
i think you should only pay for them as you said because they are coming for your son and you have invited them...maybe they feel bad that you are asking them to pay and not enjoy the same way as they would have before...i think they are giving wishes to your son which should be the best thing on his b'day...so i guess you should only pay...i would have done this if i was in your situation..
3 people like this
• United States
11 May 07
Thank you, reachravi, I also think we should pay and I would never have questioned that fact, if my friend had not commented about it not being my responsibility to pay....but I feel that it is more important that everyone come and have a good time celebrating my son's birthday than to worry about the money part....although, if I were the one invited...I would probably pay for my family....
2 people like this
@mflower2053 (3227)
• United States
11 May 07
I've been to parties like this and they order so much stuff but most of the time its just for the kids. I think it should of been that the food is for everyone because like you said you invited them and they are bringing gifts. Why should it be different then anything else. Now if the person wants something then yes they should pay for it themselves.
3 people like this
• United States
11 May 07
Of course, enough food has been ordered for everybody....I would never have a party with adults and children and not feed everybody... However, mflower, I do think that if someone orders something special off of the menu...because I have already ordered 6 large pizzas...then yes, I would say that they would be responsible for paying for that.. Thanks for sharing your comments with me.
2 people like this
@Marie2473 (8519)
• Sweden
11 May 07
I think that if u can afford it you can sure take the bill, if not I think it would be nice to infor the people ahead that they will have to pay. I am sure that most parents will not eat anyways, they are usually there just for the kids and the kids will usually not eat alot either. I would definately invite them and pay for it all, just as I would if i had the party at home.
2 people like this
• Canada
11 May 07
I agree that you should probably pay for this yourself. I mean, these people are you guests and like you mentioned, they are brining presents for your child. In my opinion, that is payment enough. After all, you don't want the awkwardness of "oh by the way, could you chip in for this" when they arrive? You don't want to in any way make this party about money, it should be a fun experience for all the kids. However, if it is too expensive, I would mention it to some of the parents beforehand. Perhaps you could talk to the parents that you are friends with, the ones you know best? That would probably be the best method of avoiding confrontation and problems. Just my two cents.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
I do plan to pay for this party....that was never really a question...I guess the real question was more about making the adults feel uncomfortable about actively participating in the food part.....Since this was my friends concern.....I would not even have thought anything about it, if she had not said something about it. Thank you for sharing with me your thoughts, Marie.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 May 07
Derek, I would never be confrontational about financing this party...that is not like me at all....I always intended to pay for it....my friend just made me wonder how the other adults present would feel...that is why I asked my fellow myLotian's for their thoughts on the matter. I see that you are new to myLot, I would like to welcome you! I hope that you enjoy it here.....this is such a great community to be a part of....Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
1 person likes this
@crickethear (1420)
• United States
12 May 07
Boy that is a tough one. If I were invited to a party being held at a regular restaurant, I wouldn't dream of someone paying for it. However, when I would have parties at a pizza place, and go to one at a pizza place the people having the party paid for the pizza. If you feel more comfortable with buying it like you planned, you should. However, if someone wants something different then pizza, then they should pay for that on their own. It is hard to say. With that many people coming, I can't believe that everyone would expect you to pay for all of that. I know if I attended a party that big, I give money to them, to help them out. Good luck. You sound like you have a warm heart.
• United States
12 May 07
Crickethear, thanks for your kind words....We have planned for this party for some time..the expense was included in the planning, of course. I never even though about anyone but my husband and I paying for this....until my friend commented on it...she basically said what you did about a party of this size and I know her intentions were out of concern for me...she is my friend....but it made me wonder if others would think that it was extravagant and that they should feel obligated to assist with the cost, as this was my friend's concern..... Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me....I needed some other perspectives.....thanks again.
1 person likes this
@sunshine4 (8709)
• United States
11 May 07
If you invited the families without specifing that they will be paying for their own meals, I think that you should pay for everyone. If I were invited to a party, I would think that the person who invited me was paying for the meals. I have had my kids parties at our pizza parlor also and would never even consider having the other families for their meals. I think you are right and your friend is wrong on this topic. Have a fun time:)
• United States
12 May 07
Thanks for saying that...it makes me feel better...I planned to pay everything tomorrow anyway....it just feels right to me...but she made me question myself...so I turned to ya'll.....I knew others would feel like I do. I appreciate your thoughts on this matter very much!
1 person likes this
11 May 07
I feel that you are stuck between a rock and a hard place hun. For what it's worth I would say that it is probably best to pay for what has been ordered but if anyone wants something different then perhaps they should pay for their own.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
Oh, I do not feel stuck and I really would never have thought anything about paying for everything....since I invited them...I anticipated paying and am so glad to have a big party for him...it is a benchmark birthday...since he is now old enough to go to school this fall. I would not even had a question except on of my friends stated that she would be uncomfortable bringing her family of 5 without paying for her family...so then I wondered if I would end up making someone feel bad because I was picking up the check.... Fortunantly, I have access to all of the folks on myLot to help me see both sides of this. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I appreciate it.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 May 07
I think the only meals you are obligated to pay for are the children invited. If you can afford to pay for all their families as well, though, it's a VERY nice extra. One word of advice re the quarters: give each child a set number and make it clear from the outset that there are no more. Otherwise, they'll break you.
2 people like this
• United States
12 May 07
I began this idea with the intention of paying for everything.....I would, of course, not feel that way if an adult ordered something different.....I went to the bank and got $50 in quarters....that is my limit on that...there will be 10-12 children present so I feel that is fair.... He is so excited!! Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 May 07
My dearest friend, I feel if you have invited the families and the kids and have not yet mentioned that they have to pay something to participate, you should pay for everything- I am sure the families would be happy to pay if they knew in advance - it does not look really nice to INVITE someone and then ask them to pay for something; of course, this is just my opinion... The party sounds like so much fun - you are one great mom!!!! I am sure your son will love it!
• United States
12 May 07
Thank you so much, my friend....I had no thought about asking them to pay until one of my friends mentioned that she would not be comfortable coming if she could not pay for her family of 5....she feels that this is too much...I, of course, had not even thought about it from that aspect...that is why I started this discussion...I really wanted some others opinion..... I appreciate your viewpoint, my friend. Thanks for the kind words...I just know he will have so much fun....he is so excited!!
1 person likes this
@babyangie27 (5177)
• United States
11 May 07
If you can afford to do it than yes,but if someone wants extra stuff then you can tell them they will have to pay for it,and if anyone says they will pay you get the choice of taking it or not. I have been to parties that do both you pay for some (the kids) and the adults pay for the rest. It's always hard when deciding something like this. But you can call the people and ask them what they feel comfortable doing. I hope I was of some help and good luck,and tell your son I said Happy Belated Birthday!
• United States
11 May 07
When I began to plan for his party---I would not feel comfortable asking someone to pay for the food if I had the party at the house...to me I see no difference...I mean that I invited them to a party...I am the hostess for this party and my son is the peron of "honor"....to me it is important that all just have a good time... I wish my friend had not even mentioned this; I, also, do not want my friends to feel bad because they know the expense involved in having a party of this size.....I am so confused!!! When the older kids were little this would not have been an issue...because their parties were either at the house or park...and I cooked out! They also socialized with more of our families children and the majority of the guests were their family members in some way... Thank you for voicing your opinion, my friend...and my son said "thanks" for the Happy Birthday!
2 people like this
@Darkwing (21588)
12 May 07
I think that, in the light of your inviting them on the summise that you were going to pay for them, you should. If the parents make the offer of payment for their own kids, then perhaps take it, but if you were prepared to pay in the first place, I think perhaps you should. I'm sure, as you say, the other children will bring gifts for your son and your son will have a perfect birthday. I hope you manage to sort this out in your mind... Brightest Blessing on you and your Son for his Birthday! x
• United States
12 May 07
Darkwing, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I always intended to pay for everything and I would not accept money from my guests....the thought of even having someone pay for any part of this party was never a question.... My friend, I am sure was concerned about the expense...but we have been planning this for some time and are prepared...I just wondered what others thought after she commented on it. Thanks again....I know he will have a blast!
@Darkwing (21588)
12 May 07
Yes, I knew you intended to pay for everything and ok, your friend was concerned about the expense but it's your decision in the end, my friend. That's all I was trying to say. You just go do what you want to do for your own Son, and have a great time sharing him with others! Blessed Be.
1 person likes this
14 May 07
If you had planned to pay anyway, I would continue with that plan. If parents wish to make a contribution then you can either accept or decline! I personally am with you. If I invite people to a party I expect to the foot the bill. If I am expecting people to pay for themselves then I make this completely clear at the time of invite! Enjoy the party, and oh...... I just noticed this discussion is four days old! LOL! Now as I'm sure you didn't wait for my opinion, the party has allready gone ahead! I hope you sorted your dillema and your son had a lovely day!
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
Mummyof three.....you made me laugh with part of your response....we had the party on Saturday the 12th....It was a huge success and I followed my original idea and paid for everything...my son had so much fun and is still talking about it!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts....hope it is ok that I did not wait on your opinion...LOL *Grin*
• China
12 May 07
You are the good parents fou your son,i think your son will like the party.If all friends off yous and your son's come to the party,it will be a lively and significance party.You should do that.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
Morefashion, I see that you are new to myLot...WELCOME...I hope that you enjoy joining our community. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.
@ckt_724 (10)
• Philippines
12 May 07
Happy Birthday to your son! Don't fret too much about it, what's important is that you celebrate this wonderful event in your kid's life. Now that all the arrangement's have been made, it would just be about settling the bill after right? I strongly agree with you that you should be paying for the food and the venue of the party. It's a large expense, true, but since you only have invited a select few [I say select because in my family alone I'm expected to invite most of my other relatives too, more than 50 people! well anyway] and I understand that these are very close friends of yours and your kid. So again, I believe it's okay to pay for the food and the place. On the other hand, I don't think you should be giving quarters for the kids to play the games. Doesn't the pizza parlor offer some party games or kiddie games? Here in the Philippines, most venues for parties also offer a short program with some MCs taking care of the games. You don't need to give out quarters, if your guests want to play, then they should pay for their own, the food and invitation is more than generous of you. Have fun! I hope I was able to help.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 May 07
I see that you are new to myLot, ckt.....WELCOME, I hope that you enjoy spending time here...it really is a great community! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with me....I have decided to carry through with my original plans.