How to word a party invitation without sounding tacky?
February 26, 2013 12:45 PM Subscribe
My husband mentioned to me some years ago that he'd never had an actual, cake-and-candles, friends from the neighborhood invited, hats and horns birthday party in his entire life. I'd like to give him a small surprise birthday party for his upcoming birthday in late March, but I have questions about how to actually word the invitations.
I'm planning only to invite about six people - different friends that he hangs out with and some couples that we both have known for years. (We both work from home and have for the past 10 years, so our social circle is a bit small.) Even with the relatively small number of people, I couldn't figure out a way to invite everyone to our house (Mr. Adams would obviously notice all the cars parked out front, etc) so I'm thinking of hosting it instead at a nearby Chinese restaurant that he and I have frequented for the past decade.
I've attended parties for folks at restaurants over the years and sometimes I had to pay for whatever I ordered and sometimes I didn't. In this case, I plan to pay for the food for the attendees. Is that something I should mention when I invite people? How to phrase it? "You're invited to (details of date and location and occasion) and the food is on me!" Is it crude/tacky to assure the invitees that they won't have to pay for dinner? I know that one of the potential guests has been out of work for a while and lives almost an hour away, so I'm thinking that reassurance that he won't have to pay for dinner on top of his gas might encourage him to attend.
As you can see, I'm rather clueless as to how to proceed. I read Miss Manners regularly, but I don't know that our invitees necessarily do and are clear on what a restaurant party invitation means. Would you be offended if you received an invitation that clearly spelled out that dinner and drinks were covered, and all that was requested was your attendance?