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Anniversary Party - is this a good compromise?

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jibby:
My parents' 40th anniversary is coming up in late August.  I have one sibling, Mike.  We have been trying to decide the best way to celebrate.  Mom is a social butterfly, loves to cook, loves large gatherings, etc.  Dad is more reserved, and is happiest with just immediate family around.

The majority of their friends are from the same area, same religious group, all very social and very into potlucks.  Mike and I would love to have a large gathering that all the friends could come to, but we don't have the money for a catered dinner (their 25th anniversary party was 200+ people, and we were both mortgage-less then), and we don't want to do potluck (though if we catered, they would all want to know why they couldn't "just bring a little something").

I thought about a picnic, but again, everyone would insist on bringing something.  Mike and I live 2 hours away from mom and dad and making/transporting the food ourselves would not be a good idea. 

So, we're thinking of renting the banquet room at our family's favorite restaurant and only inviting about 20 people.  Would this be a good compromise?  Our main reservation is that we would need to invite several family members who are drama queens, but if only a couple of them show, and we limit the alcohol to wine, we can most likely control them.   

Or would you cave to the potluck?  We're outnumbered by a couple hundred people on that one.  And mom would probably insist on making a few dishes, too. 

Mom's friend who taught mom to bake wedding cakes, has insisted that she wants to do the cake as a gift, and also share any expenses with a party.  Friend and hubby were friends with mom and dad long before Mike and I were born, but I really don't feel that anyone besides Mike and I should pay for our parents' party.   

What would you do?

cicero:
i'm not wild about pot lucks but I know that for some people it is a way of life and certainly it's not considered rude.

From what you are describing, i think that your mom would really appreciate the big party, pot luck or not. sounds like what matters is the socializing and friends, and not the food (well, of course the food is important ;D)

I would go with the big party, and do it pot luck. picnic sounds wonderful. you and your brother can be in charge of the organizing (who is bringing what), paper goods, and entertainment.

Lisbeth:
I agree with cicero-since these people would want to bring something, and your mother wants a big party, a large potluck sounds like a good idea (if your father wouldn't mind).

Enjoy!

Sabbyfrog2:
I would just ask my parents what they preferred and go from there.  It is for them after all.

I like the idea of pot luck only because it is less expensive, less formal, and everyone gets a little something that they like.

BTW- I think it is very sweet that you and bro are doing this for your parents and I am sure that they will appreciate any effort you make.

jibby:

--- Quote from: Sabbyfrog2 on July 06, 2007, 01:33:49 PM ---I would just ask my parents what they preferred and go from there.  It is for them after all.

I like the idea of pot luck only because it is less expensive, less formal, and everyone gets a little something that they like.

BTW- I think it is very sweet that you and bro are doing this for your parents and I am sure that they will appreciate any effort you make.

--- End quote ---

Thanks, Sabbyfrog2! 

I asked them and of course, they replied "oh, we don't want anything special; don't go through any trouble for us".  They constantly give and anniversaries are the only official occasion Mike and I have to give back (our family and most of their friends do not celebrate Christmas or birthdays).  They much prefer informal gatherings, which is good since we can't afford to host a formal dinner anyway, lol.

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