Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Splitting cost of party


My sister and I are planning to throw a 50th Wedding Anniversary for my parents.  We have decided to hold the event at a nice restaurant near their house and have invited 12 of their friends.  However, we have come to a disagreement on how the costs of the party should be split.  I'm single and my sister is married with 3 children.  She feels that we should split the cost of the entire party 50/50; however I feel this is unfair.  She added her husband to the invitation as a host so I think it is unfair that I should pay for half his meal, along with half of the kids' meals.  I'm willing to compromise on the kids because I love them and they are my nephew / nieces but that really isn't the issue at hand.  When events like this arise, I'm often asked to pay for half even though I'm single and her family includes 5 people.  It just doesn't seem like a fair balance.

Dear Martha:

Congratulations on your parents upcoming 50th wedding anniversary.  This is monumental and desires to be celebrated.  In response to your question on who pays, and how much the answer is divide by three since your brother-in-law is listed as a host.  If you and your sister alone were the hostess, then divide the total cost by two.  Married or unmarried, the adult hosts of events share the expense, period.

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Constance Hoffman


As a professional etiquette coach and trainer, I am able to assist with any and all of your questions pertaining to social and business skills, party manner, appearance, communication both verbal and written, tipping, email manners and social media, and of course entertaining and dining etiquette.


As owner of Social and Business Graces, I have been teaching children and adults for over 15 years.

Owner of Social and Business Graces

Owner, teacher, coach and author of "Tips on Tipping".

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