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Old 12-23-2008, 02:24 PM
1,097 posts, read 3,604,652 times
Reputation: 646


I think it's completely tacky to ask people to bring anything, UNLESS it's described as a potluck. For any other party, casual or formal, it's expected that the host will provide whatever food and/or drink are to be served.

Of course, not every gathering of friends for dinner at someone's house is, by definition, a "party." Like TexasHorseLady mentioned, some people like getting together to cook and eat, and that's a different situation. Same thing with family gatherings.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who finally (he's in his mid-thirties) stopped asking people to chip in for the keg at parties. It's as though it never occurred to him that what was acceptable at his frat house in college is now rude, and that just because he's having a "party" he doesn't necessarily need to supply enough alcohol to allow everyone there to get hammered.
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:27 PM
Location: Central Texas
20,437 posts, read 38,114,822 times
Reputation: 22676
On a related but not exactly identical note, I wouldn't be surprised if the current economy doesn't see a resurgence of the potluck dinner party like we used to have all the time as a matter of course, as people are no longer able to afford to feed 8 or 10 people and yet still would like to get together to enjoy each other's company over food.

That being, theoretically, what dinner parties are supposed to be all about, right?
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Old 12-23-2008, 04:13 PM
Location: Texas
1,149 posts, read 1,937,725 times
Reputation: 2471
This thread is very entertaining. I'll just be honest. My first thought was that it was pretty tacky for someone to tell their BIL that his way of hosting a party is tacky. If that's his way of doing it, then bite your tongue and let him do it his way. If someone called me up and said my party etiquette was tacky, I'd probably be miffed.

Please don't take what I've said as mean-spirited. It's not meant that way at all. I've seen plenty of family drama, and whether or not someone is asked to bring a dish is just up to each individual host/hostess.

I do hope for both of your sakes that you are squabbling good-naturedly. Nothing will wreck a holiday dinner quicker than family drama.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:39 PM
Location: Tucson Arizona
4,084 posts, read 1,754,670 times
Reputation: 10679
There are different customs in different areas. Party guests here expect to bring food, because that's the culture. You don't have to call it a potluck, it will just be one.
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Old 07-29-2017, 10:49 PM
Location: Charlotte county, Florida
4,196 posts, read 5,299,831 times
Reputation: 12218
I always offer to bring something..

You need me to bring snacks? Soda.?

If I invite, I don't expect a guest to bring anything..

I guess if you have an uncle Joe who can drink like 30 beers you could always say Hey Joe, Bring some beer...
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:25 AM
Location: Bloomington IN
6,638 posts, read 7,966,031 times
Reputation: 16323
To me there is a big difference between a holiday dinner and a formal dinner party. Holiday dinner guests in my house (and the houses of those I attend) are typically family members. We don't have to be asked to contribute to the meal. We ask what is needed/wanted. No big deal.

As for a formal dinner party, those are typically friends or maybe business peers. Yes, I think it would be a bit rude to "require" a contribution. I would generally not want those guests contributing as my menu would be planned. That said, if I had a friend that had a reputation for excellent desserts, and the friend offered to bring dessert, I would accept the generous offer.
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Old 07-30-2017, 06:26 AM
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,490 posts, read 46,248,218 times
Reputation: 62561
If we are invited to a family party, I always ask if I can bring something, and the hostess suggests a few things to pick from.

If we are invited to dinner at a friend's house, I would not expect to take anything other than some wine. If I'm having a few friends for dinner at my house, the menu will be decided by me, and prepared by me.

If I invited someone with special dietary requirements, that were too complicated for me to adapt to, then I would appreciate them bringing a dish they could eat.
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:35 AM
3,431 posts, read 3,117,951 times
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I don't think it's rude... but it automatically makes it a potluck, in my opinion...
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Old 07-30-2017, 09:46 AM
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
72,654 posts, read 84,576,516 times
Reputation: 42608
I always ask first as the menu may not blend with whatever dish one might want to bring. If the hostess says, no, I have it under control a bottle of wine is almost always welcome. There is nothing wrong with bringing a dish, but it can be awkward in my opinion. The exception might be a family gathering. But usually those are pot lucks.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:36 PM
7,120 posts, read 3,945,895 times
Reputation: 14714
Originally Posted by pennylove76 View Post
Or is it just tacky to send a list of demands before you guest have even had a chance to ask what they can bring?
No, it's not rude to ask them to bring a "traditional salad" or a "casserole without meat" or a "pie" or whatever.

However, I once got instructions with bringing an appetizer, and she gave me the instructions on what to make and how to make it. I was offended by that...although I understand where she was coming from. I wanted to help, but she had her traditional things she made. I don't know if I made it or what I did.

I prefer to buy food than make it. I hate cooking and such.
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