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Graduation party for one person where guests are asked to bring a dish to share


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count me in. Where I am from-it is kind of normal even for a party like that-not that the host won't cook enough for a million anyway. Where I live now (and for DH's family-conservative Mennonite) it would be considered tacky. I guess I'm tacky...

 

so-what should I bring...;) I make an awesome death by chocolate cake

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Personally I think it's tacky. The party is for one person. If the hosts want a meal they should provide it. If that's beyond their budget they could have a party with just snacks. Or a dessert party. I could see if the party was for several people and one of the honorees was your child, then yes, I'd expect you to bring a dish. Or if you were a close friend and the host asked you personally to bring a dish to help out. But RSVP and bring a dish to share? Tacky!

 

Cinder

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I boycott on principle. I think fleecing of the guests is rude and tacky. If one can't afford to purchase and prepare the food for one's party, one shouldn't have a party.

 

It is a totally different kettle of fish for a guest to ask if he/she can bring something and that offer be accepted.

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Personally I think it's tacky. The party is for one person. If the hosts want a meal they should provide it. If that's beyond their budget they could have a party with just snacks. Or a dessert party. I could see if the party was for several people and one of the honorees was your child, then yes, I'd expect you to bring a dish. Or if you were a close friend and the host asked you personally to bring a dish to help out. But RSVP and bring a dish to share? Tacky!

 

Cinder

 

:iagree: Beyond tacky. Rude. I don't know that I would attend. Most likely, not.

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Graduations are often family/extended family functions with friends invited also. If that is what this is and the invitation to bring a dish is just to family, then great. If it is all friends and acquaintances, then a little strange.

 

I find that most people who are good at cooking want to do all the cooking themselves. Some people that aren't good cooks go for pot-lucks. Some people who don't have the time or money go for pot lucks. Some families/culture also go for pot lucks. I wouldn't judge too much. It is easy to bring a dish.

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I agree that it is rude, and I would not do it. But if someone wants to be rude to me that way, I'm all for it! I love bringing food to parties.

 

Funny how it depends on which side of the invitation you find yourself, huh?

I am always happy to bring food to someone else's party, but I'd never ask anyone to bring a dish to my party.

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This is fairly normal for my area of the state. Not for a more formal dinner, but for baby showers, birthday parties for kids, graduation, - stuff like that. Weddings are usually done by family or a few friends, but some I've been to have been completely catered. Usually for our area, the hosting family will take care of two big main dishes, like beef sandwiches and pasta, and then will coordinate with others for the sides and salads.

 

I guess I'm used to it and don't see it as weird. Is it an income based thing or a cultural thing maybe? Because I think there'd be very few celebrations with food around this part of the country if the hosting family were expected to provide all the food for a gathering themselves. And people will end up exchanging recipes of things they brought all the time.

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Tacky and rude, but increasingly frequent.

 

Hubby comes from a church family where every gathering is a potluck: Tgiving, Christmas, birthdays, etc. If this was SOP (standard operating proceedure) for this social circle, I'd go and have fun. Personally, I like potlucks much more than the trend here: platters of stuff from Costco. Everything is fine, but it is always the same. A potluck will have some homecooking.

 

If you don't like potlucks, don't go. Or come late and miss the eating. I've been to one graduation party, and the food was Costco, but gifts were expected. I'd rather have a potluck than expensive gifts. But then...when I was poor and got married, we did a potluck wedding (I specified no presents but "a dish if you'd like"). It was a blast.

Edited by kalanamak
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I am kind of surprised that someone would decide not to attend because they were asked to bring a dish. I promise I'm not trying to be snarky. I'm just usually grateful for the invitation! Is it really that big of a deal? :confused:

To me it is. Now, mind you, I've only ever been invited to three parties (all within the last 6 months) where I was expected to bring something or pay something.

 

One was a baby shower. That was the bring something if you come party. I would have been happy to bring something if I had been asked by the hostess to help out. That was not the case. The invitation said bring a snack to share. There was a crucial step missing. I attended because it was a duty. I'll freely admit I did not put my best effort into my food offering.

 

The other two were retirement parties. Both privately held in a public venue. One was $10.00 per person to attend. The other $20.00. Nope, I did not go to either one.

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I think it depends on the situation. I have a friend who has a graduating senior and her dh has been out of work for over a year. I know that throwing a party is beyond what they can do. I wouldn't be offended in the least if I were asked to bring a dish for this young graduate. Graduation is a rare lifetime event. I wouldn't want a kid to miss out on the celebration because mom and dad are strapped at the moment.

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I am frankly shocked at how many of you find this practice rude and tacky! I could not tell you the last party of any kind that I attended which was NOT covered dish.

 

In fact several weeks ago I hosted a 'girl's night' and told every one what to bring. We love it that way. No big hardship on anyone and we all get to enjoy food and fun.

 

I do think the request for 'payment' to attend is crossing the line....but I guess it is all in what one is used to.

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Wow - I never thought of myself as rude or tacky - but after this I'm having to re-think:001_smile: For graduation parties, birthdays, things like that I wouldn't ask anyone to bring anything - unless it was a party we were hosting for an extended family member -like dmil's birthday or something-and I might ask a SIL to help w/ a few dishes. But, graduation or b-day parties for my kids - no.

 

But, we host a party about once a month - essentially it's a 'themed' reason to invite kids friends and their moms to our house to play, chat, eat and have a good time. We do everything from pool parties - video parties - Halloween, Christmas, etc. I do put out a number of things (last one we had ckn salad, yeast rolls, vegi and fruit platters w/ various dips, nacho dip w/ chip, brownies, and drinks). When we started the tradition a few years ago I never put anything on the invites about bringing a dish to share - but so many called and wanted to know what to bring. So now I generally just say something like, "We'll have xyz - bring your favorite snack to share if you'd like."

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When my oldest son was born we were living on a boat in Florida. As his first birthday approached, nearly every resident of the marina said to me, "I'll be invited to the birthday party, right?"

 

Feeling overwhelmed by the number of residents that all expected an invitation to the birthday, and not wanting to offend anyone, since the party was being thrown in their "back yard" I asked the Dockmaster's wife what I should do.

 

She was a very no-nonsense kind of woman. She told me to order a sheet cake large enough to feed everyone and tell everyone else to bring a dish to share.

 

The party went wonderfully, I didn't go broke, and everyone had a great time. I never could have afforded to feed all those people, and I would have had a hard time living in that marina for 4 more years with a bunch of insulted neighbors.

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I wouldn't not go because of this. We cannot attend because we will be out of town.

 

It just really struck me as odd. We have attended graduations for several of the families from the same group, and it was the first one that asked for the guests to bring food.

 

I see now that it is normal for many people, so that makes me think it less weird. Thanks!

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But, we host a party about once a month - essentially it's a 'themed' reason to invite kids friends and their moms to our house to play, chat, eat and have a good time. We do everything from pool parties - video parties - Halloween, Christmas, etc. I do put out a number of things (last one we had ckn salad, yeast rolls, vegi and fruit platters w/ various dips, nacho dip w/ chip, brownies, and drinks). When we started the tradition a few years ago I never put anything on the invites about bringing a dish to share - but so many called and wanted to know what to bring. So now I generally just say something like, "We'll have xyz - bring your favorite snack to share if you'd like."

Now see, in my mind, this is totally different. You've started something in your circle that is traditionally a group effort. And you do not make bringing something a prerequisite for attending. Your invitations make it optional.

 

 

General musing:

 

When did it become so difficult to host a party and provide the party food? Have people come to expect full meals at things like baby showers and Tupperware parties? What happened to cookies and punch and possibly a cake baked by the hostess for a shower? Personally I'd like to see things go back to cookies and punch. Then the pressure to provide so much food would be off.

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When my oldest son was born we were living on a boat in Florida. As his first birthday approached, nearly every resident of the marina said to me, "I'll be invited to the birthday party, right?"

 

Feeling overwhelmed by the number of residents that all expected an invitation to the birthday, and not wanting to offend anyone, since the party was being thrown in their "back yard" I asked the Dockmaster's wife what I should do.

 

She was a very no-nonsense kind of woman. She told me to order a sheet cake large enough to feed everyone and tell everyone else to bring a dish to share.

 

The party went wonderfully, I didn't go broke, and everyone had a great time. I never could have afforded to feed all those people, and I would have had a hard time living in that marina for 4 more years with a bunch of insulted neighbors.

This is the kind of thing I mean. Why should you feel like you needed to feed everyone a meal for a birthday part for a 1-year old? When did cake and a bucket of ice cream become not enough?

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When did it become so difficult to host a party and provide the party food?

 

it's not necessarily "difficult" ~ for some families/groups of friends/whatever, the potluck thing is normal.

 

i wouldn't have even blinked at it - because it's how things are 'done' for our...circle? or whatever word you want to use.

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We have informal parties/gatherings all the time, mostly around playing board/card games, but also for lesser holidays now and again. We invite tons of people, mainly kids/teens and their families. The event usually lasts for upwards of 7 hours, on an "open house" basis where people drop in for whatever part of it fits their schedule. I ask everyone to bring a healthy snack to share, if they're up to it. People bring anything from a baked treat, to a bottle of juice, to some fruit, to something they made for last night's dinner that was yummy, etc. etc. Because my invitation is wide and casual, I never have any idea how many people I will be serving. I always cook up a storm, to cover the basics, but these offerings help me to not stress, because if there are more guests, there will be more food brought by guests, so the food I provide will stretch to cover them. It also helps a lot for guests with dietary restrictions - there is usually a wide variety of food, most in simple form like cut-up fruit or homemade bread. Some people bring something every time, some now and again, some never. Some people bring home-cooked food, some buy something. Some people bring something they chose specifically for the party, some bring whatever they have on hand, even leftover bits of this and that. (When you're hosting a ton of teens, it's all gonna get eaten, KWIM?!) Other friends do the same at their parties. It's less about it being "my" party, and more about it being "our" party, that we create together, that happens to be at my house.

 

I can see that a graduation party is normally a different thing - a formal thing, with fancy $ gifts and so on. I've honestly always found these gift-based parties kind of strange; they are not part of my family's traditional culture. A more casual, pot-luck gathering would be fun too - just think of it as another kind of party entirely. I'm guessing also that it's one where there is less emphasis on the gift-giving part. If I were throwing this kind of party, I'd be assuming that the food was in lieu of the traditional gift.

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Around here that would be considered tacky. Nobody expects a full meal...cake and punch would be fine. I guess the difference is that you invite the amount of people you can handle...if you can't find a seat for them and you can't afford to feed them, why are you inviting them? Just so the grad gets more gifts? Sorry but that seems cheap and tacky.

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Personally I'd like to see things go back to cookies and punch. Then the pressure to provide so much food would be off.

 

I do think you've got a good point for traditional "ask a few kids from the neighborhood", cake-and-candles-and-ice-cream, play a few simple games types of parties.

 

In our case, the families we know are often driving at least an hour to get here. In some cases, teens are dropped off, and their parents may be driving an hour to get here, going home, then coming back for pick-up. It's got to be a long party to make it worth their while. Plus, my kids like to play board games, and the games they play can last several hours each. Maintaining these friendships is important to my kids, so we host 7-hour "open house" days on a regular basis. If it's more than a few hours, you've got to feed people, and if they're teens, you've got to feed them quite a bit.

 

Graduation and other family parties can be similar - when everyone is driving so far to see each other, it just doesn't make sense to have a two-hour event and be done with it. Might as well do something longer, so everyone can spend more time with each other. Which means there's got to be a meal or two involved.

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We have informal parties/gatherings all the time, mostly around playing board/card games, but also for lesser holidays now and again. We invite tons of people, mainly kids/teens and their families. The event usually lasts for upwards of 7 hours, on an "open house" basis where people drop in for whatever part of it fits their schedule. I ask everyone to bring a healthy snack to share, if they're up to it. People bring anything from a baked treat, to a bottle of juice, to some fruit, to something they made for last night's dinner that was yummy, etc. etc. Because my invitation is wide and casual, I never have any idea how many people I will be serving. I always cook up a storm, to cover the basics, but these offerings help me to not stress, because if there are more guests, there will be more food brought by guests, so the food I provide will stretch to cover them. It also helps a lot for guests with dietary restrictions - there is usually a wide variety of food, most in simple form like cut-up fruit or homemade bread. Some people bring something every time, some now and again, some never. Some people bring home-cooked food, some buy something. Some people bring something they chose specifically for the party, some bring whatever they have on hand, even leftover bits of this and that. (When you're hosting a ton of teens, it's all gonna get eaten, KWIM?!) Other friends do the same at their parties. It's less about it being "my" party, and more about it being "our" party, that we create together, that happens to be at my house.

 

I can see that a graduation party is normally a different thing - a formal thing, with fancy $ gifts and so on. I've honestly always found these gift-based parties kind of strange; they are not part of my family's traditional culture. A more casual, pot-luck gathering would be fun too - just think of it as another kind of party entirely. I'm guessing also that it's one where there is less emphasis on the gift-giving part. If I were throwing this kind of party, I'd be assuming that the food was in lieu of the traditional gift.

I think you've touched on it with the bolded. Guests invited to showers, graduations and weddings are expected to provide a gift. That is the prerequisite for attending the event.

 

If I'm sending or carrying in a gift that costs $XX.XX I do not want to have to provide food also. What has the host/ess done other than provide the venue? In the distant past I've been to weddings at the VFW or church hall where nothing was served than cake, punch and mints because that was all the couple (or their family) could afford.

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I do think you've got a good point for traditional "ask a few kids from the neighborhood", cake-and-candles-and-ice-cream, play a few simple games types of parties.

 

In our case, the families we know are often driving at least an hour to get here. In some cases, teens are dropped off, and their parents may be driving an hour to get here, going home, then coming back for pick-up. It's got to be a long party to make it worth their while. Plus, my kids like to play board games, and the games they play can last several hours each. Maintaining these friendships is important to my kids, so we host 7-hour "open house" days on a regular basis. If it's more than a few hours, you've got to feed people, and if they're teens, you've got to feed them quite a bit.

 

Graduation and other family parties can be similar - when everyone is driving so far to see each other, it just doesn't make sense to have a two-hour event and be done with it. Might as well do something longer, so everyone can spend more time with each other. Which means there's got to be a meal or two involved.

The kind of thing you described above is what I would liken to a super bowl party. Informal, lots of ins and outs, beer runs (if appropriate for the guests ages) A totally different type of event. For that type event it is almost expected that the guests would pick up the phone or drop an email asking what they could bring.

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I have never been to a grad party like that but this sort of thing is normal in my circle. I am going to a 2yr olds bday tomorrow where I was asked to bring a side dish. The only thing that threw me a little is that mom is going with an italian theme (lasagna) and she is making bread, someone else is bringing salad and I was asked to bring a side dish. I honestly could not think of an Italian side dish :001_huh:. I finally figured something out, but my point is that it could be worse. A pot luck is one thing a theme is more difficult! But, I enjoy a challenge and we all humor her. I'm sure others would consider her presumptuous and/or rude but I know it is important to her to have cohesion in the food and that is her way. Our friends always get together and everyone brings food. My sil is not going but is sending a pesto dish anyway! :lol:

 

If you like these people and would not have given a second thought to going had it not been for the dish issue, then I say go anyway. I doubt that this person was trying to be rude. If you would not have gone anyway then don't go and don't look back. If it is bothersome to the core principle of who you are, then don't go because you might have a chip on your shoulder, kwim? Otherwise have fun and may I recommend an Italian side dish!:001_smile:

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I agree that if you're expecting a gift, especially a substantial one, then asking for food as well is tacky. I am assuming that a pot-luck graduation party would not be one where gifts were expected.

 

But I would also try not to lose sight of the fact that the point of either kind of party is to give friends and family an opportunity to come together to congratulate/celebrate the graduate on their accomplishment and give them encouragement for their future plans/goals. (NOT, I hasten to add, by spending money on them one way or another, but to actually spend time with them and their family, talk to them about goals/plans, etc.) When invited to these parties, I put my emphasis on this, not on the gift.

 

BTW, I too have been to some very simple weddings, and they were just as beautiful and meaningful, if not more so, than the more lavish ones I've attended. (And the marriages have often lasted longer too!)

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If you like these people and would not have given a second thought to going had it not been for the dish issue, then I say go anyway. I doubt that this person was trying to be rude. If you would not have gone anyway then don't go and don't look back. If it is bothersome to the core principle of who you are, then don't go because you might have a chip on your shoulder, kwim? Otherwise have fun and may I recommend an Italian side dish!:001_smile:

:iagree:Yes! That's what I was trying to say!

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I am frankly shocked at how many of you find this practice rude and tacky! I could not tell you the last party of any kind that I attended which was NOT covered dish.

 

In fact several weeks ago I hosted a 'girl's night' and told every one what to bring. We love it that way. No big hardship on anyone and we all get to enjoy food and fun.

 

 

I 100% agree! This is the norm in my circles because we have large families and we all bring things to share at any event at anyone's house. It is exceedingly rare NOT to be asked to bring something and I am happy to do it. If I waited until we could all "afford to throw a party" then we would never get together.

 

In fact I hosted my own birthday party, asked for NO gifts please, and to bring a bottle of wine to share and an appetizer. We provided quite a few appetizers as well as many bottles of wine and other beverages. It is absolutely normal here and we all had a ball!

 

Obviously we would see no issue with being asked to bring a dish to a graduation party. We have even helped provide food for a wedding. It is called loving one another and working together to make an event special.

 

I am sad to see the offense that would be taken if some of you joined my circles! :confused:

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Completely not an issue at all where I've lived. In fact, I am trying to think of a graduation party I've been to that was *not* a potluck, and so far haven't remembered one.

 

I also remember that our church family threw us a wedding shower since we married far away near my folks home and they weren't able to attend the wedding. It was a potluck and yet many attendees still graciously showered us with gifts as well. Of course, we didn't arrange that party, friends from church did.

 

Maybe this is the difference? A parent scheduling a graduation party for their own child might be considered tacky for requesting a potluck? Where if friends of the family decide to throw the party and invite other friends and acquaintances it would be less so? Just musing here, but in any case we've lived in several different states where this was common practice.

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This must be a cultural sort of thing. I don't think it's rude or tacky. I would be blessed to bring food for someone else. I wouldn't think anything of it at all.

 

Someone said if a person couldn't afford a feed people at a party that no party should be done. I think friendship and fellowship are much more important than food.

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I am frankly shocked at how many of you find this practice rude and tacky! I could not tell you the last party of any kind that I attended which was NOT covered dish.

 

In fact several weeks ago I hosted a 'girl's night' and told every one what to bring. We love it that way. No big hardship on anyone and we all get to enjoy food and fun.

 

I do think the request for 'payment' to attend is crossing the line....but I guess it is all in what one is used to.

 

Pretty much this. I've been invited to things where I was asked to bring things and I've been invited to things where I wasn't, and I don't mind either way. Either I want to go or I don't, and if I want to go, then it's worth bringing something along. I would never call somebody "rude" or "tacky" just because they asked people to bring a dish along. So you bring one dish. There will be plenty of others there that you didn't have to bring, that you'll get to enjoy. You'll be sharing in the food, the fun, and maybe making it easier on somebody's wallet (who for all you know really can't afford it but still wants a nice time- or else expects that they have friends who don't mind sharing/helping a bit). I wouldn't be so quick to judge or to see it as a big deal.

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This is the kind of thing I mean. Why should you feel like you needed to feed everyone a meal for a birthday part for a 1-year old? When did cake and a bucket of ice cream become not enough?

 

Most every get-together includes real food-not just cake and ice cream. That is true of DH's family too. It may just be a difference in culture of the area. If you had just a cake and punch b-day, graduation, wedding....everyone would ask " why didn't you let me know you needed some help with the food" Potluck is normal for the whole area I grew up in. Heck we had 2 receptions for our wedding and one was pot luck. I guess I don't see the point in being offended. gee-I get half offended if someone doesn't want me to bring anything-don't they like my cooking? ;) If it is about your $$ gift contribution , give a $20 gift instead of $25 and bring some mac-n-cheese. I don't see dissing the honoree just because of this.

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Perfectly normal around here. In fact its rare I go to a party where that is not the case, although it is nice when it happens. I think the last time was my niece's 21st b'day and her dad put on a great gig at the local yacht club.

But..he has money. Most of my friends dont have the sort of money to put on a party for 20 or 50 people. Better than we have the get togethers and all bring food, than not have them at all.

I think it is an older generation thing too...the elders are more likely to pay for a spread...it is a way of sharing wealth and abundance and sharing it around. I guess in places where that sort of old fashioned mentality is still around it could be considered rude to ask people to bring food....but I think modern thinking is that it is normal. Around here, anyway.

Who has time nowadays to cook for 30 or 50 people? Times have changed and I dont think we shoudl be hard on those who just dont have the time or skills to do so, but still want to celebrate.

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I think it's a regional or cultural thing.

 

I think it is one thing to plan a party and then ask close friends and family to bring something, and another thing to just throw it out there on the invitation. It is also acceptable to respond to people who ask if they can bring anything. But if you don't want to feed people, have it at 2:30 and just get a cake.

 

My parents wedding was a potluck (dad was drafted, and they got married quickly before he went to training.) :D It was a special situation.

 

I've shared the story before on here about how we were invited to a combo "thank you"/birthday party for a friend's daughter. They had had some hard times, and many people had helped them out. But it was potluck. So we brought a gift for the daughter and a dish to pass to a party to thank us for helping them out. :lol:

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I think it depends on the situation. I have a friend who has a graduating senior and her dh has been out of work for over a year. I know that throwing a party is beyond what they can do. I wouldn't be offended in the least if I were asked to bring a dish for this young graduate. Graduation is a rare lifetime event. I wouldn't want a kid to miss out on the celebration because mom and dad are strapped at the moment.

 

:iagree::iagree:

 

My wedding was almost a potluck. I was 22, had a job at a convenience store, and was marrying a machinist.

 

We decided not to go into debt over our wedding or expect our parents to pay for it. I wore my mother's dress, dh rented a tux and shoes, and various family members prepared the food (My mom worked it all out in advance though--this was NOT put on the invitation.).

 

When I read these kind of posts here, I often think there must be some big book of manners out there I've never read. :confused:

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This must be a cultural sort of thing. I don't think it's rude or tacky. I would be blessed to bring food for someone else. I wouldn't think anything of it at all.

 

Someone said if a person couldn't afford a feed people at a party that no party should be done. I think friendship and fellowship are much more important than food.

:iagree:

I'm never offended when asked to bring a dish unless it's very, very specific. Sometimes it just doesn't fit into my budget to provide 6 bottles of name-brand soda, kwim? Other than that, I love being asked to bring food to share at a party! I really get to feel like I'm a part of the celebration that way, and not just a bystander. I guess I view it as another way to express my love or appreciation for the person throwing the party, or the group who will be attending. After all, food=love, right? :D

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