Wife’s plan to charge guests £35 to attend husband’s birthday party sparks online debate

Harriet Brewis
Thursday 06 May 2021 10:11
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The woman’s husband asked her to ‘plan something as a surprise’ for his birthday

(Getty Images)

Hosting a party isn’t always easy on the purse-strings, but would you ask your guests to chip in?

One wife might have to do just that, she revealed in a forum post, after her husband requested a surprise birthday do.

The Mumsnet user explained in an anonymous message that her other half is “coming up to a special birthday” and he had asked her to “plan something as a surprise.”

Explaining that she wanted to invite ten people, she continued: “I have some ideas for activities, but the cost is roughly £35 per person.

“Is it OK to invite people and tell them they have to pay for themselves or should I pay for everyone?”

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The query has opened up a debate on the site, with users divided over the etiquette behind such celebrations.

“As far as I’m concerned, if you are inviting people to a party you’re hosting, you pay,” commented one user. “It’s in very poor taste not to in my opinion.”

Another agreed, saying: “I think it’s very rude to invite people to celebrate an event and then expect the guests to pay.”

And a third suggested: “I think it’s better to do what you can afford than asking people to pay (aside from paying for the bar at a party or something).”

But, they conceded: “Only you know your friends.”

Others were more sympathetic to the woman’s predicament, with one writing: “I think it’s completely fine to ask people to pay if it’s an activity etc.

“I’d be happy with that for a friend’s birthday, I wouldn’t expect to have a ticket paid for me.”

Another said: “I think it’s fine. Just make sure you tell people so they can budget.”

And another commented: “In my circle of friends it would be absolutely normal for everyone to pay for themselves - just let people know how much beforehand.”

Some users suggested they’d be willing to contribute to the cost of a specific activity

(Getty Images)

Others suggested it depended on the circumstances: “If it’s a party and you want them to cover food and drink that’s a bit off,” wrote one.

“However if I received a text from a friend saying, ‘it’s (my husband’s) birthday I thought we could all go paintballing, it will be £35 each’, I wouldn’t think twice about paying.”

The wife then pointed out: “I should have been clearer in my title. It is an activity. I’m not thinking of charging entry into my house for a party.”

However, other implied that Mumsnet (MN) users are particularly harsh when it comes to such situations.

“You shouldn’t ever invite anyone to do anything for your birthday unless you’re covering the whole cost of everyone on MN,” they joked.

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