Location Dilemma!

It's a little over a week before my mommy-to-be friend flies in from across the country, and just today I found out that though her mother offered to throw her a shower, it isn't happening.

I offered to arrange a small get together for her to see some of her family and friends before she has the baby (this is the last time she'll be in town for almost a year). The problem is, she'd like to have it at a restaurant and though I am the rather unofficial host of this impromptu shower, neither I or my co-host can afford to buy a dozen people lunch at a nice restaurant. I know that it is extremely taboo, but is there some nice way to say "You're invited, but bring money" because it is being arranged at such short notice?

Our Answer:

Thank you for your etiquette question. This is a very tricky situation. Since the hostesses are responsible for the food, my opinion is to have it at another location than a restaurant. I understand that everything is last minute, but it is rude to ask your guests to bring a gift and also pay for their own food. Is it possible to let the mom-to-be know that the restaurant is more expensive than your budget will allow?

There are lots and lots of (not last minute) baby showers held at homes, and they turn out just fine. Is a restaurant absolutely necessary?

I know restaurants are really nice to go to, and you do not have to worry about the food, but if it is out of your budget it might not be the best solution for your situation.

My suggestion is to hold it at a house location and use your budget to control the type of decorations and food to be used.

If the mom-to-be is in love with the restaurant's food then maybe you can price out some party platters to make it more affordable at a home location.

You, of course, have the final choice on where to hold the baby shower. But there is no way to ask your guests to pay for their own food without breaking etiquette rules.

Best of luck with the baby shower!

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what I did
by: Anonymous

I know it may be rude and or inappropriate in many eyes but for our co-workers shower a restaurant shower was the best way. We all took a long lunch and had a great time on the invite we sent out we said something along the lines of, You're invited to a baby shower for Sue. Please join us for a Dutch style lunch at so and so restaurant at such and such date/time. No one seemed to mind and there were no surprises at the end of lunch. We got there before the guests and guest of honor to get last min. details worked out so the waitress knew in advance. We all had a great time and are planning another one in a few months for another coworker. I think that there is a time and place for this type of thing and in our situation it worked best.

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