How to Choose a Venue for Your Party

I recently went to a birthday party with about 20 people attending at a bar that was supposed to be so quiet that the bartenders shushed the room when it started to get too loud. It was fine, but I started wondering if we were being rude by inflicting a party like that one a venue that was clearly not that into it (not so against it that they would kick us out, however). So that got my thinking about how to choose a venue for your birthday or get together or whatever that would suit the kind of party you want to have without creating an undue burden on the establishment or the other patrons.

So some thoughts:

  • Make sure the venue is adequately sized for your party, don’t try to squeeze 50 people into a 500 square foot bar. Likewise don’t try to get them into a restaurant with seating for 25.
  • Try to give a heads up- see if you can reserve a room or some tables at a bar, get a reservation at a restaurant. (Be kind to your gets and don’t take a huge group to a restaurant with no reservations and a 3 hour wait to accomodate your size!)
  • Don’t take a rowdy group to a sedate spot where you are going to significantly annoy the other patrons.
  • Try to choose a spot with a wide variety of drinks or food- an all beer bar or an all fish restaurant is going to be rough for some people (me, it will be rough for me).
  • Consider the cost. Maybe you can afford to down $20 cocktails all night (especially since your friends will likely try to buy them for you), but unless you know that’s your crowd’s level, maybe consider bringing it down a couple notches so everyone can participate with ease.
  • Possibly try to hold your event on a less popular night and or time when things are less crowded and your group is more able to fit into the place you want.

Obviously these are super loose guidelines- do what you want! But you are probably going to have a more successful event if you follow them somewhat.

Can I Have My Wedding On My Friend’s Birthday?

tumblr_inline_my33zkvEB91s4rar7Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

My fiance and I are in the early stages of planning our wedding, and the date we’re shooting for happens to be the 30th birthday of one of the girls I want to ask to be a bridesmaid. She said it’s fine, but I still sort of feel bad. Now, I’m debating on whether or not we should still aim for that day, and if we do, if we should do something special to celebrate for her. Any ideas?


Milestone Madness



The Emily Post Institute suggests acknowledging any birthdays at a rehearsal dinner, but that they shouldn’t stop you from celebrating your wedding. Apparently some people are really opinionated about this.


Victoria: It’s a slippery slope once you start taking things like that into account. Then you have to check with EVERYBODY before you do anything and it’ll drive you crazy.

Jaya: It’s not as intense as this because bridesmaids may be a bit different, but we had two cousins’ birthdays on our wedding day! They were both totally fine with it. I mean, there are only 365 days in a year, it’s always going to be someone’s birthday/anniversary/something.

Victoria: Exactly.

Jaya: I think you should make sure your immediate family is all good, but after that it might get too hectic. Though it’s good she asked. I feel like if a good friend got married on my birthday and asked me I’d be totally fine, but if they just planned it without getting my okay first, I’d be annoyed. I have no justification for why I feel like this though.

Victoria: That makes total sense. And especially for this, since it’s a big birthday, you want to make sure they don’t have anything planned!

Jaya: I think there may be some reading between the lines to be done here too. Like, is this the type of friend who is totally honest about this stuff? Or will say it’s fine when it’s not fine? And then, how much do you care?

Victoria: But wouldn’t you feel so terrible if someone planned their WEDDING around your birthday? You have a birthday every year! Plus you can tell all these strangers its your birthday and get a lot of well wishes.

Jaya: I mean, getting dressed up and having an open bar on my birthday? Score.

Victoria: And as an adult, you can celebrate your birthday that whole week too. Hurricane Sandy ruined our birthdays one year, and we just celebrated later. It was fine.

Jaya: And if she seems the type to be miffed that the attention is not on her on her birthday, put candles in her cake or something. I do wonder about the type of person who would get furious at this though.

Victoria: It shows a lack of maturity to me. That’s the type of person who thinks the world revolves around them, and I’m not interested in their opinions anyway.

Jaya: What dates do you think are off limits? Like, I would not get married on a close relative’s anniversary. Though a friend of a friend got married on her parents anniversary. Is that something that’s done?

Victoria: Maybe not your parents anniversary. Grandparents could work though. I actually figured out which years my grandparents’ anniversaries fell on Saturdays. For entertainment.