My parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. My sisters and I are planning a surprise party with approximately 150 people. We are paying for everything ourselves but are hoping my parents will receive enough in gifts to go on a vacation.
We are not familiar with protocol for this type of party and are wondering if we should sell tickets to the event, giving my parents the money, or write "greenback" on the invitation. I personally feel they will end up with more if we put greenback on the invitation but my sister wants to sell tickets. What is proper for this type of party?
We've always done a "money tree" and you might want to put in your invitation that you'll be doing one so people will be aware of it and plan on bringing some cash. We would get a large manzanita branch, place on a post so it sits on a table, then get some ribbon and when you get cash, roll it up or better yet, fold it like an accordian back and forth and tie it onto the branches and it ends up looking like a tree with the money looking like leaves. It's cool. Good luck!
Just explain on the invitation that you would like to send your parents on vacation and instead of gifts please give cash.
We recently celebrated my sister's 30 wedding anniversary. My niece planned the party and wrote on the invitations, "in lieu of gifts, we are collecting money to send my parents on a vacation". She also sent the travel agents info so we were able to phone in our donation. (The travel agent then sent a receipt in the mail to us and a notice to my sister of the donation to their travel fund). It all turned out great, hope your party does too!
I would NOT sell tickets. If my children did that to my friends and family I would not like it one bit and would be terribly unhappy when those invited would have to buy a ticket to attend.
The "in lieu of gifts" or the Money tree would be the way I'd want my children to go.
Asking for any kind of gift is not proper etiquette. You should only be inviting people to the affair because they would like to celebrate your parents anniversary with them and because your parents will enjoy their company. For people who choose to give gifts, you may give them suggestions only if they ask, but please don't put it in the invitation and make it seem like an obligation.
Please do not ask for money in any manner! If you want them to have a trip, give them the money you would spend on their party and send them yourselves. Any party given should not cost more than you can afford, just make it the best your budget allows. A wedding, anniversary, birthday or any party you host is for your guests, not a "gimmee" for yourself or family. I am not sure when proper etiquette went out the window, but it makes me sad that what should be a celebration of an event now demands an "admission charge". A gift given should be just that.... a gift.
We are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year, too, so congratulations to your parents.
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