Entertaining Ideas
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Entertaining, am I doing it wrong?

this is my first post on the entertaining board.  DH and I both love to entertain, however we seem to have made friends that are not that into gatherings, or we're doing something wrong.I've tried several times to get some of our couple friends together for a little dinner party.  Over the summer our cookouts flopped and I tried a dinner party in October and was dissappointed by my friend's responses and hurt by their rude behavior. 

Several times over the summer we tried to have some casual gatherings on our patio, burger, chips, and s'mores supplies by the fire. We always offered a small selection of beer and wine but told friends to feel free to BYOB if there was something specific they were in the mood for. invitations were generally sent via text or facebook as we usually tried to throw these together relatively last minute. I had no expectation that anyone would be free, usually several said maybe, a couple said sounds fun, and some I never heard from.  more often than not it ended up being DH and I alone with the grill.  In my mind, no big deal, invites were last minute, and I still got to sit on our patio with a fire going. 

This fall we dicided to have a dinner party, I invted friends 4 weeks ahead of time, we invited 20 people knowing that since several are residents there was a good chance that some wouldn't be able to make it. I got a grand total of 3 RSVPs, and I hate hounding people about things, but cooking for 20 and cooking for 5 are very different things. eventually I got verbal RSVPs from 12 people who said they were planning to come. the day of the dinner party, after I've already prepped most of the food, 3 couples backed out. one was for a legitimate medical emergency, however the other two just decided to stay in.  is it just me, or is that really rude?

DH and I ended up with so much extra food some of it went bad and I had to throw it out, not to mention that I was left feeling like I'm unimportant to my friends. Sholud I be approaching planning things differently? do I need to find a new social circle? 
Me: 28 H: 30
Married 07/14/2012
TTC #1 January 2015
BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015

Re: Entertaining, am I doing it wrong?

  • are your friends "dinner party" kinds of people?  Hubby and I tried this and it flopped with our friends once.  We've gotten better with our friends by inviting them over to watch hockey games, play cards, etc.  Turns out formal "dinner parties" weren't really their thing.
  • They're foodie kind of people. we have done lots of pot-luck get togethers with just the girls.  everyone likes to talk about what others have made and bring drinks to share. 

    They are not sports type people. we went to a sports bar to watch the superbowl and invited them to join us, the responses I got ranged from "I hate sports" to "watching football is like watching paint dry"

    I was more ticked at the day-of cancelations for our party than the lack of response. 
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • I'm no help because I feel like this would totally happen to me and my DH. Sucks.
    Do these friends/couples plan and host get togethers and they get good turn outs? Or, no matter who plans stuff, ppl back out every time?

    cloudymeatballs12Sugarplum97
  • yes, these other friends host get togethers (which we RSVP to and feel an obligation to attend). they plan weekends away together (which H and I don't have the budget to join for). I'm getting a little tired of attending their children's birthday parties, pampered chef parties, house warmings, back yard BBQs, etc. and not getting the same respect in return from them 


    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
    cloudymeatballs12
  • I would love to do dinner parties and have pinned ideas but I also don't think our friends would really go for it. It's frustrating. We used to host a holiday gathering in early December and a couple friends commented "all the serving dishes match - fancy, fancy." Ugh, yeah. We got these great things when we got married and actually prefer to use them vs have them go unused.

    We even have offered to host a small gathering for a few friends but one friend always refuses and insists that it's at their house because they have a fully stocked toy room...??? I might not have a 20x20 toy room but I can seat 8 at my dining table instead of sitting on couches, balancing plates, drinks, etc.
    Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers
    Sugarplum97
  • I have always wanted to do this, but haven't had the guts. Since we too have these kinds of "friends". It does get frustrating cooking and prepping food and such. It takes a lot of work to have guests over. If you figure it out, I'd love to know. :) Maybe don't prep much, stick to a simple out door fire pit drinking thing and see how it goes. You could stick to buying things that you would use anyways and open them as the night moves on. I would probably start with that if and when we decide to have people over. People can be very rude and don't get it, I guess.
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  • The thing that really got me about the dinner party was that everyone I managed to talk to seemed really enthusiastic...until they called to cancel. 

    since this happended in October, I've been feeling like, I love our house, I love my job, but besides those two things I don't really like living where we do. 
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
    cloudymeatballs12
  • I have this same problem, only our friends never host and never do anything unless we plan it!  The will literally say, "We need to get together soon" and them look at us.  I think it's because we're the only couple in the group without children.  After our friends started having kids it became incredibly hard to get anyone to do anything!
    TTC #1 since 10/2006 Lap shows stage 1 Endo
  • Oh I know. They always are. I have this problem with my just girl friends too. I was talking about planning this little night in, like a pampering thing, more for fun than anything. They all were so pumped about it, pushing me to have it, so I finally did. They were all for it until about a few days prior. Then I ended up with 3 girls showing up. 3! I had tons of appetizers and lots of drinks, the drinks, no prob, lol they get used. But the food, I prepped things, wanted everything nice and was looking forward to it. I had fun with the few girls who came, but realized, this is my life. Sad, but over time, people really don't seem to value others' times. I was upset about it for a bit, but then just figured this is just the way it has become. My friends have turned into flakes. I always show up when I say I am going to. I hate bailing last minute and being a flake. My H and I always go to a party if invited, or are free. We look forward to hanging out. They always say we need to get together more often, then when we try to plan something, every one is just so busy. I honestly have kind of given up. Lol. I am sick of being turned down. .
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  • Its so hard.  we sort of live out in the counrty, there aren't really places to go out to, so the only way to socialize is to plan things at eachother's homes.  It gets lonely when everyone bails. 

    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • Have you tried asking ya'lls friends what kind of parties they find interesting? I love to throw dinner parties and cook grand feasts but its not really what my husbands friends are into. After finding out that my husbands friends and family (who are spanish) prefer spanish food (Duh) I started learning how to make Puerto rican food and drinks. Not trying to stereotype!

  • I haven't directly asked them. others in the group have had successful BBQs, lake parties, etc. The girls are all Foodies, we do girls nights where we all make something (usually elaborate) and do a pot-luck girls night usually every couple months. the only thing different was that the guys were involved. and again, I wouldn't have been nearly as hurt if so many people hadn't backed out the day of. 
    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • I can understand being hurt over this, but don't let it ruin your friendships. Can you confide in another of your friends and see if she can offer any suggestions? In this digital age facebook and text messaging are great tool, but don't be afraid to call your friends to invite them over as well. Often text and facebooks get ignored. Some of my friends don't have texting or just don't check. If they sound wishy washy on the phone at least you can get a sense if they will actually show.

    In my group of friends, I am usually the one backing out. I love my friends but often weather, migraine or forgotten family obligations can be a thorn in my side. I know it sounds dumb, but I have had to bail on friends because I forgot which day a nephew's birthday party was on. In my defense I went from having 2 nieces and nephews and now have 9. #10 is arriving in September. That's a whole lot of kiddie birthdays, dinner, shows and sporting events to remember.

    You mentioned living in a rural area. Could hunting season or farming obligations keep people from attending? I only ask because I know people who have declined invites for such reasons.
  • edited March 2014
    It's possible that by some strange coincidence that half the group had legitimate things come up the day of our party with ligitimate excuses. 

    One couple legitimately had a family member on their way to the ER as our party was starting...I don't fault them at all, they're one of the few friends I can usually count on. 

    One Couple, who I know through the performing arts group I volunteer with, got asked to perform last minute.  maybe legit, though I feel like if it were me I would have graciously said "Oh, I'm so sorry, I wish you had asked me sooner, we have plans with friends tonight" again, they're not me, but this felt a bit rude. 

    the other couple that backed out called to say "So sorry H's mother has been asking him to fix X for months, we're not going to make it, sorry we were really looking forward to this" Ok, if you were really looking forward to it, can't MIL wait one more day (MIL lives 10 mins from their house...so making a trip there doesn't take long)

    we had one other couple that backed out a few days before (before I had gone grocery shopping) claiming it had been a long week and they wanted a night in. 

    I feel like it's been a social trend to 1. wait to see if something better comes along and 2. become OK to back-out on confirmed plans if something better comes along. 

    it makes it hard to feel like I can count on many of my "friends"

    Yes we do live in a rural area, however hunting happens as the sun rises, farm obligations generally get done before the sun sets, and if you have plans on the books usually you can find ways to work around them.  and in those cases most people would decline invites rather than accept them and then back out...at least I would hope they would. 

    *edited for additional content

    Me: 28 H: 30
    Married 07/14/2012
    TTC #1 January 2015
    BFP! 3/27/15 Baby Girl!! EDD:12/7/2015
  • I have found that people are more likely to show up if they are also friends with the other guests vs. if they wont know anyone there.  Also, if you are inviting acquaintances and not close friends, they might not feel as obligated to come.  Maybe make an effort to get together more often/make sure all of your friends are getting along.  Also, when they are over, do you plan activities so they are engaged and have things to do?
  • For us it's been a matter of picking which friends to do what.

    For example, we know which of the friends in our group are dinner party sorts of friends. So we invite them over for dinner parties.

    We have another group of friends that is the backyard bbq group.

    It took me several years with these groups of friends to even dare to mix and match. In almost four years we've done it twice now, and friends from different circles are now friends of each other. I'm calling that a success!

    We also do gender-specific stuff sometimes. The boys will come over and play video games or whatever, while the girls will do something we've talked about doing together. So if your girlfriends love this potluck stuff, and their hubbies love card games or whatever, you can split the party along those lines. Eventually everyone will mingle together.



    Achievement Unlocked: Survived Your Wedding! 
  •  This has happened to us and it can be extremely frustrating especially when you get calls 30 minutes before the dinner party. I sympathize with you! I have found in the past that some friends are just comfortable with it being a small party instead of inviting over several couples, limit it to 2-3. That has work for us in the past. When it gets too big, we notice that more people flake out.
  • Gdaisy09 said:
    I feel like it's been a social trend to 1. wait to see if something better comes along and 2. become OK to back-out on confirmed plans if something better comes along. 

    it makes it hard to feel like I can count on many of my "friends"

    I know how you feel.  We used to plan stuff all the time.  I feel like everybody would accept the invite, but that it was one of those "I don't have plans right now, so I will accept this until something better comes along" things.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
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