I know I've read about scenarios like this before on these forums, but I can't find or remember the details now, so I apologize for asking what has surely been asked before.
A friend of mine is organizing a bachelorette party for me. Much of it was secret to begin with, but she has let me in, that the first part will be at a nice local restaurant. Guests are expected to pay for themselves -- and also to cover my portion of dinner. Following this, we will be going to ... some unknown location, which is cited to include only modest debauchery, but enough that co-workers who were invited to the dinner, are not invited to the second part -- to protect my professional reputation, I guess. I really think she is being over-cautious here to play it safe; she has assured me it isn't a strip club or anything like that, and I believe her. Anyway, guests will also need to pay their way to whatever this second, surprise, part of the bachelorette party is.
Now. I understand the difference between a gathering of friends, where people meet to have fun together and pay their own way, and a hosted party, where one may expect to be provided for. Where does this fall? My friend is sending out paper invites, but I think (based on her excited chatter about facebook msgs and txts) that she did a lot of the initial invitations by word of mouth, and is just doing paper invites because it tickles her to be organizing this for me. And she works at Michael's so she gets a discount on invitations!
I guess my main concern is that people show up expecting to be hosted, and then told they need to pay. I have no idea what "the second half" is all about, and she insists that she simply can't deprive everyone of the look on my face when it is revealed.
But there are also a few other pieces I feel unsure about. Guests have to pay for their dinner, AND subsidize mine? I suppose I'm the guest of honor, but I'm so used to the hostess mindset it feels weird. I'm also worried about offending coworkers that are invited to dinner, but not the later activities, whatever they are.
How responsible should I feel about this party? Part of me feels like I should just be grateful and happy that she's put all this together, but the other half worries about people that might be offended.