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Poll: Do you ask guests to bring something?

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Thread: Parties - Do you ask guests to bring anything?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    IL
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    12,505

    Parties - Do you ask guests to bring anything?

    I have realized that when we host a party, and if someone asks if they can bring something, I say "no, just yourselves". If they offer to bring something in particular, then I say "sure, if you like".

    I on the otherhand, offer, and usually am told to bring a dessert or an appetizer. If not asked to bring anything, then it is usually a bottle of wine or hostess gift.

    I was just wondering what most you do. Do you ask a guest to bring something?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
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    3,529
    Well ,we don't have people over very often. If its my parents sometimes I ask my mom to bring something. With friends, I never ask them to bring anything, but if they insist, I let them. I guess I like to be in control of the menu. Not like I'm a control freak or anything!

  3. #3
    DmOrtega Guest
    It depends. Mostly we cover the main menu and then if we need something else, then we will ask. However, knowing how people cook helps a lot. Some don't at all, others will wing it and others are very good at it.

    If someone asks, then we will suggest something to bring. If they don't it's ok.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    431
    I usually ask people to bring the wine or the dessert. Sometimes the salad if I don't feel like making one. Whenever I am invited to a party (including tonight!), I am asked to make bread. Thank goodness I love doing it- and eating it!

    Merry Christmas everyone

    Becca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Euclid, Ohio
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    5,952

    I answered sometimes yes/sometimes no

    Like BlueMoose said, it depends on how much I want to control what's on the menu. I have a large family so we do most holidays and get togethers potluck, but coordinated so we don't have any duplicates!
    Peggy
    ...Wag more
    Bark less

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    West of Boston, MA
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    3,927
    I used to always say "Nothing" when people asked what they could bring. Then a friend of mine said, "I hate it when people invite you over and say not to bring anything, because OF COURSE I'm going to bring something, and I want it to be something they could use. " Ever since then, if someone says, "What can I bring," I think of something and tell them to bring it. It works out great.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Houston, Texas
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    3,979
    I, like blue moose, like to be somewhat in control of the menu. I am a store-bought food snob, so I just prefer to make everything and if someone offers to bring something, I usually tell them nothing needed but yourself or if I know they're wine drinkers (we're not, really) I say bring your favorite wine - of course, if I was smart, I'd tell them to bring good vodka. We love that! I also think that flowers as a hostess gift is nice. I love getting them and they look pretty on the table...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Troy, MO
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    1,457
    I went with "no, never" because for a sit down dinner party, that is generally how I operate. Most often it is neighbors or family that I have over and in both cases, I prefer to prepare the entire meal but for different reasons.

    With family, I prefer it because it is my way of repaying all the kindnesses they have show me over the years. They can come over to my house, enjoy a wonderful meal and not have to worry about a single thing but having a nice time. With neighbors, in some ways the reasons are similar, but I have to add that I simply prefer my cooking to theirs.

    Now.... if I were having SC people over, I would definitely have them bring stuff, they are all such great cooks! Gina
    Change your mind, change your body

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Orange County, California
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    307
    My favorite answer to the question "What can we bring to dinner?"

    "Oh, please, just a big appetite!"

    (Wine is always welcomed, though)

  10. #10
    It really depends on what kind of party we are having. We have had parties where there are 5-6 couples or more and in those cases, I am more than happy to accept offers to bring food. If it's a small dinner party and we're not doing potluck, I generally tell them not to bring anything unless I'm stuck on something or short on time. When I want a specific menu, I definitely do all the cooking because I'd hate to accept their offer and then tell them what they should make just so it complements the menu!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Cincinnati, OH
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    713

    Control Freak Here

    Sometimes I will and sometimes I won't. I like to do all of the cooking myself, in most cases. For dinner guests I usually make everything myself, and if someone asks I say, "Wine!"

    Now, if I am hosting a wedding/baby shower (or the like), then I will orginize all of the food, and for the people that want to help I tell them what to bring.

    If it's a family thing, then my mom, sister, and I usually do it all between the three of us.

    But for the most part I prefer to do it all myself.

  12. #12
    I never ask friends to bring food because I like to be completely in control of the menu, however, if I know they enjoy wine and they offer to bring some, then I encourage that. It really depends on the guest.

  13. #13

    Cool

    Nevah!

    Bring the bods, bring an appetite. I will provide the rest.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Amsterdam
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    2,239

    If they offer...

    My friends are of the type who will call an hour before they're supposed to be there and ask if they can bring anything. They know me so well, that usually I've forgotten a key ingredient and if it's something I can use at the last minute, then I'll have them pick it up on their way. Otherwise, I have them provide the drinks because if I left any "real" food to them, it'd be day old cookies from Kroger

    em

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    In
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    5,781
    My friends usually offer to bring something like salad or the bread. If anyone offers dessert, I accept happily because I really don't care for dessert and I don't like to mess with it. Vicky

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA 94583
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    1,291

    Wine!

    Like several others here, I don't generally ask guests to bring anything... I prefer more control over the menu. I don't know a lot about wine though... and I'm trying to learn more. So if someone volunteers to bring something, I tell them the menu plans and suggest they bring a wine they think complements the meal. This works really well; I'm expanding my taste/knowledge of wine, and my guests feel they've contributed something.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    St. Charles, MO USA
    Posts
    94

    What to do, what to do

    Before SO, I used to say bring wine. However, my SO is as much of a wine/liquor snob as I am a food snob. He buys good quality alchol products and doesn't want to serve an inferior or inappropriate vintage to his guests any more than I want to serve margarine on white bread (well you know what I mean).

    What to do, what to do. What do the rest of you do when someone brings something that you really don't want to serve?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    278

    Sometimes Yes....Sometimes No

    I am lucky to have a great group of friends who get together about once a month at each other's homes. Sometimes the hosts have the menu all planned out and don't need any additions. However, most of the time, we have more of a modified pot luck, with the host making most of the dishes but guests offering to bring additions, such as bread, salad, drinks or an additional dessert.

    I have often told friends who offered not to worry about bringing anything. However, whenever I go to a party or dinner, I feel it's important to bring something, even if it's just flowers, a six pack of the host's favorite beer or a bottle of wine to be opened later. My own little rule, "Never go somewhere empty handed"

    Jacque O, you bring up another good question - Is the host obligated to serve a food item or beverage if it's brought to a party? I think if it's something obviously meant to be served at dinner (a warm bowl of dip or perishable food), there's probably no way to graciously say "wow, thanks, I can't wait to try this later".

  19. #19
    I never ask people to bring anything, but if they offer, I decline once. If they persist, I graciously accept.

    Lesson learned: One time someone brought this ghastly pineapple rice dish. How does one become gracious while at the same time, gagging???

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Sherman Oaks, CA
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    296
    I was just talking about this the other day...Like everyone else invite people because I want to have them as a guest. Now if it's a pot luck of couse I let people bring something. I rarely have a pot luck here though... I love cooking for my friends and family.

    If people insist, I suggest wine...this allows our friends and family to bring a wine that they like. Then we get to try new wines.

    Dena.
    "Live!! Live!! Live!! Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!!!"
    ~Auntie Mame

  21. #21
    For family- never as I like to try to knock the socks off them with my cooking For friends- only if we are having a pot luck. Otherwise, I tell them to just bring themselves. If they offer, I ask them to bring drinks, their choice.

  22. #22
    I also was just talking about this the other day, because I was feeling like such a food snob. If people offer, I tell them they could juts bring wine or beer, whichever goes with the meal. But I have a couple of friends who tend to bring things that just don't go with my meal. I always explain that I have enough food, and describe the menu so they know I have it under control and that the menu is complete...

    For example, one meal, I was starting with brushcetta pomodoro, and crostini with goat cheese and pesto, followed by shrimp scampi and grilled clams, then grilled filet mignon with a green bean salad, and finishing off with a homemade fruit tart and some sorbet.... and my girlfriend brings tortilla chips and jarred salsa! UUUGHHHH!

    I felt like she ruined my meal with the opening of a jar and a pop of a bag......

    I always asked people not to bring food unless they are a foodie... otherwise they just don't understand

    It's true, I am a food snob...............
    Susan

  23. #23

    free food is good food!

    When I host a party, I never ask anyone to bring anything. When I go to a party, I always bring something...even if the host(ess) told me specifically it wasn't necessary. I always feel like the host(ess) has already done enough work by inviting me!

  24. #24
    I usually ask people to bring beer or wine but not a dish.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Oxford CT
    Posts
    758
    Since I usually entertain the same group of friends all the time I will ask them to bring their own beverage. It's pretty much a given with our friends that you don't come to someone's house empty-handed. However I'm like most control freaks. I usually make everything ahead and have the entire kitchen cleaned before everyone comes over. What drives me nuts is when I've asked people to bring a dish and they only prepare something half-way, then they finish the job at my house, trashing the kitchen in the process. It's because of this that I've adopted the "no dish policy" at my house.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,213
    If someone offers, I usually ask them to bring something to drink (either beer or wine, depending on the menu). The only time I've actually asked someone to bring something without them offering was for my birthday dinner party--I wanted to host and cook a dinner party for my birthday but I felt weird baking my own cake so I asked my good friend (who I know is a great cook) to make the cake for me. That time was also the only time I put my guests to work cleaning their own dishes (since it was my birthday after all!) and one dear soul actually did all the dishes (not that there were a lot--I was pretty good at keeping up with the dirty dishes as I went along and I had made a lot of things ahead). Oops! I'm rambling. Must...stop...typing...now.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Houston
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    6,332
    If it's a full-fledged "party," I love for people to bring drinks because I am cheap and can't afford to serve alcohol to a dozen people!!!

    However, if it's just another couple or two for dinner, I will usually not ask anyone to bring anything; if they offer, I will have them bring an appetizer or something. I am a control freak, too, but I often get overwhelmed and can use help with either the appetizer or dessert since I usually extend all my energy on the main course.

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