Destination Birthday Party Etiquette

Reply Fri 15 May, 2015 05:11 pm
I have a friend who like clock work has destination birthday parties about 4 hours out of town. She is really into her birthday and has been doing this of rthe last 5 or so years! This year she is turning 52 and not only having the annual destination bday party but she is also having a big dinner party when everybody returns from the long birthday party weekend. I'm out of breath already :-)

I am starting to feel a little uncomfortable about all the money she is asking us to fork out and starting feel guilty about it. Am I crazy to think she is asking a lot? Not to mention she is also expecting bday gifts!

So my question to you all is what is the etiquette on destination bday parties? Should she be offerrig to pay for hotel rooms?

Am I required to go to 2nd party and pay for dinner?

Do i need to buy a gift?

Reply Sat 16 May, 2015 04:27 am
I have never heard of a destination birthday party. Wedding, yes.

Be that as it may, I Googled the term and, unfortunately, you're not alone. And I say unfortunately because I find this to be nuts. I like vacations as much as anyone else, but to have them dictated by my friends - and more than once? Yeah, not so great.

So! Here's the deal.

She is turning 52 and not 55 or 50. So it's not a big deal oh my God I can't believe I made it to ____ sort of a birthday. I take it she has not been diagnosed with 6 months to live, either.

Hence pick one of the events, either the 4 hour away deal or the dinner, and tell her you can only attend one. You're watching your kids' soccer game. You're taking your mother to look at cemetery plots. You're studying for a big test. You have to work for part of that weekend. Whatever. But the truth is, you don't need any sort of an excuse. Just say you can only go to one. If pressed, just say, "I've got plans!"

She doesn't know you're going to binge-watch 8 seasons of Doctor Who, or whatever.

As for a gift, make it small. She's in her 50s. She can buy her own clothes, etc. So bring a small bouquet if that's appropriate or buy her a small nice piece of costume jewelry, or just give her an envelope and, inside it, put a certificate for a free dinner and time spent with you. And call it a day.
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Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 07:47 pm
That's just dumb. It even seems odd to me that someone aged 52 would want a birthday party much less destinaton party. My opinion...I would just say I can't make it.

Personally I find it rude to expect that friends would want to shell out money to go away for a birthday.
Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 07:51 pm
Someone wants you to go somewhere for their birthday? and you're supposed to pay? and give them a gift? and go to a dinner party as well?

I think I've got a cold, or plans, or plan old no thank you.

Seriously. No.
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Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 07:52 pm
I'm with you linkat.

I can't get past the idea of a 52 year old making a big deal about her birthday in any way.

It's your birthday, so what?
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Reply Sun 17 May, 2015 07:58 pm
I was just thinking that I dislike destination birthday parties so much that I bailed on my own.

The year I was 35, my best friend and I started saving money so we could take a cruise together the year we turned 50. By the time we were 45 or so, I realized I had no interest in the whole birthday cruise thing. I kept saving and used some of the money for something I did like. She went on a cruise with her husband.
Reply Mon 18 May, 2015 09:37 am
Makes me remember what my best friend as a child (and still to date) used to say about reaching a certain milestone....because we thought 30 was old, we said we would take a plane flight over the bermuda triangle when we turned 29 and simply disappear.

I guess we ended up being too busy and forgot.
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