Are You Too Old to Host a BYOB Party?

When a host should supply the booze, and simple guidelines to follow for any occasion
Are You Too Old to Host a BYOB Party?

When hosting a party, a 27-year old young professional might not even think twice about asking friends to BYOB. But should a 50-year-old with a solid job and a house (and perhaps a family)? This modern-day quandary had us thinking, when are you too old to ask guests to BYOB? And when is bringing your own beverage to a party appropriate?

"As a general rule of modern-day etiquette, it's never appropriate to ask guests to BYOB," says etiquette expert Mindy Lockard of The Gracious Girl. "A host should not make plans with expectations of the guest in mind." That means a host shouldn't rely on guests to supply the cocktails. But with a down economy and the popularity of casual, at-home gatherings today, sometimes BYOB is the preferred solution.

In general, "the nature of the party and the tone of the festivity, rather than the age demographics, should dictate whether a BYOB party is appropriate or not," says lifestyle expert Coryanne Ettiene. Older than 30? Forget about asking guests to BYOB for a formal dinner party. It's fine for recent college graduates to supply their own booze for a candlelit meal, but once you're settled and more established in your career, part of the obligation as a host is to supply wine or one signature cocktail to your guests for intimate gatherings.

But what if you're hosting a casual affair? Today, BYOB can be appropriate at nearly any age, especially if you're offering an ample spread of food to eat. Don't consider BYOB to be the a way to entertain… If you can't afford to offer at least some food and wine, perhaps you should think again about hosting that house party.