Help With Invitations and Wording...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2003
Help With Invitations and Wording...
Sun, 05-15-2011 - 8:27pm

I am hoping to get some help here...I am planning a party for a friend who was recently appointed head hockey coach at an Ivy league school. It is an invitation only party and we are charging $10/per person to cover the cost of food. It will be a cash bar. The night is an open house where people can drop in to share their best wishes with is being held at a local club that we have rented out. He is a very well liked and well known resident, but I feel funny about asking for money- can it be done tastefully within the invitaion or should I recruit his closest friends ( my husband and I among them) to cover the cost ( about 5-6 hundred dollars). I am feeling strange about saying you are invited and the cost is...but realize there must be a way to do this tastefully as there have been events in the past where we have been invited to a night of fun that had a cost to participate. But I want to do this right!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 11:29am

I know this may not be what you want to hear, but in my opinion, if you can't afford to pay for all that needs to be paid for, don't offer to host the party. I personally find it tacky when I am invited to a party that I am expected to help pay for. I say call a few of the friends and get them to help chip in rather than send out invitations with a cover charge.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-04-2010
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 11:33am

If I thought the money was going towards some fund he needed for being a coach (you just never know what schools expect the staff to pay for these days) I would probably give you money. But, even if he was a really good friend of mine too, I might just send him a congratulations card if I was suppose to chip in to a party I was invited to as a guest.

I hope you can find some way to celebrate his achievement!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 11:36am

Hi & Welcome to the board!

I would personally try to cover the costs of the food, then mention "cash bar" on the invitation so people know. If it was a benefit, or something for charity, it would be okay to charge per head. For a celebration though, I think it's more appropriate for the host to pay. Hopefully there are a few close friends who are willing to co-host and help cover the costs?

Congratulations to your friend. This sounds like quite an accomplishment. Please let us know how the party goes!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-11-2009
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 11:51am

Hi Dawn,

I tend to agree with Brenda -- I'm not sure that asking every guest for $10 a head for food in addition to a cash bar is appropriate.

FoodieWorking Mom

Avatar for melissamc
Community Leader
Registered: 03-22-2007
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 12:28pm
Hi Dawn! I'm sorry to say that I agree with the other posts and would be a bit taken aback to see a cost on the invitation. Although if it's something that is normally done in your area, it might be fine. I would be worried that some that would be just dropping in real quick might not if they are asked to pay a fee.

Is your friend currently a coach where you live? If so, you might be able to get some local sports stores or other businesses to chip in some money for the party? You could offer to put up a poster or a program with their name featured. You could also put the word out that donations for the party would be greatly appreciated, word of mouth might work just as well as putting it on the invitation.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-11-2010
Mon, 05-16-2011 - 12:33pm
I agree with the others... I don't think there's a way to ask guests to pay without sounding tacky. People are always ready to tip at a cash bar though, and if you had the bartender's buy-in on the idea, you could have bar tips go toward the food costs?
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2003
Fri, 05-20-2011 - 7:43am

Hi, I appreciate everyone's input. I was time crunched so I talked to a few friends and we all agreed it was okay to have a cover. It was a difficult decision but I worded the invitation as a 'banquet' as in the past these types of events that celebrate or honor someone always have a cost. He needs a send off and no one had taken the initiative to organize- I booked space at the venue, ordered food, etc and set a date. I am providing an opportunity for people to come and share their congratulations. So far I am getting a lot of positive responses and thanks for organizing. I hope no one is offended but I guess what they say behind my back is another story :) In my defense, I only said the evening would cost 10/per person and will pick up the rest of the costs (space rental, excess food I order to make sure we have lots, gift) I also have had numerous people say "what else can I do??"" Too late now I suppose. I guess had I not mentioned a cover, lots of people would have offered but I really could not have taken that chance. I do not have to room at home for a large party and I couldn't book a hall without ordering food....sigh....I know it will be fun!!