The parents are either tight arses or in financial strife.
It's not something I would do, mainly because my favourite part of hosting a party is putting on the food and drinks. I plan months ahead and even make myself a baking schedule (yes, I am a loser...). For DS's first birthday I ordered a cake months ahead and paid it off in instalments, because money was an issue and I wanted it to be special.
But, it wouldn't bother me if I were asked to bring something, provided that the people concerned would reciprocate if the scenario were reversed.
I haven't read all the comments but I think it would depend on how the invitation was worded.
If it was like, we are going to the park to celebrate ....'s birthday .. We would love for you to come along, bring a plate of food to share and celebrate. Then I wouldn't care at all.
If I couldn't afford to cater thankfully my family is tops and would assist with making food anyway (that's normally what happens)...but if that wasn't there, I just wouldn't have a party. I'd do one with my immediate family then...every second year even instead of every year. Makes it more affordable.
I think it's rude to invite someone to a " party" and not provide refreshments.
As others have said, there are other options if you can't afford a big party:
- have the party outside of meal times so you only have to provide something light, or just cake and drinks instead of a meal or more substantial food
- invite less people
- plan ahead - birthdays are not a surprise! They happen every year!
- be clear on the invitation that it's not a party but that you'll be celebrating child's birthday on x date at x time at x location and people are welcome to join you for cake or something.
In my family, the exception to this is that I think it's perfectly ok to ask close family to bring a salad, or fruit platter or something. But not the parents of friends you might never have met!
There is a difference to me between offering to bring something ( polite guest!) because you want to, and being asked to bring something.
But at the end of the day, an invite is not a summons. If someone invites you to something and you don't like the terms, you don't have to go!
*im referring to general you not anyone specific!
Id be less inclined to think financial & more inclined to think maybe there are a lot of different dietary needs, allergies and preferences that made a byo food party desirable.
I would have no issue with it. I don't see why so many would find it offensive? I don't find it unreasonable at all.
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