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How to Party Without Asking Your Guests for Too Much

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- How many times have you gotten a last minute call or text from a friend hosting a party: "Can you bring ice?" "Don't forget the booze!" or "I think we may need something for dessert." Those of us who enjoy having people over understand the pressure of being a good host, and if you've ever attended a house party, you know it's considered good manners to walk through the door holding a bottle of wine in one hand and a box of cookies in the other.

Unfortunately, party planning isn't always easy, and if hosting gets the best of you, it might be tempting to reach out to guests and ask them to supply what you need. But there's a fine line between a simple request for extra drinks and a demand for bottles of champagne your guests simply can't afford. Before you plan your next party, make sure you're not asking your guests for more than they feel comfortable with. Experts warn that greedy hosts may find themselves permanently removed from others' guest lists.

Is it rude to ask guests to bring food and drink to a party?

It depends on the type of party, says Heather Bell-Pellegrino, president of A Perfect Plan!, a Westchester, N.Y., event planning firm.

"If it's a backyard barbecue/get together, it is not rude to ask guests to bring a dish. Tell your guests you're so excited to be hosting the get together, and are going to supply the main meal but would appreciate everyone bringing a bottle of soda and a bag of chips," Bell-Pellegrino says.

You can also tell guests that you're going to provide wine and beer, for example, and if they would prefer another form of beverage, they can feel to bring their own, she suggests.

With that said, if you're throwing a birthday party or any type of party where gifts may be exchanged, it's not acceptable to ask for food or drink.

If there are presents being exchanged "I would certainly say to keep the party within your budget so you can genuinely host your guests; they should not be asked to bring something in addition to a gift. I'd say the rule of thumb would mainly be if your guests are bringing a gift, it is not appropriate to ask them to contribute further."
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