Order from menu or pre-select for small b-day luncheon??

by Marie
(Mountain View, CA)

I'm 100% hosting and paying for a luncheon for 12 for my mother's upcoming 70th birthday. I'm totally fine with guests ordering off the menu--in fact I prefer that as I'm having a hard time with the restaurant's suggested "special menu" limitations--but would this make it seem less special to the guests and event? It's a very close group of individuals, and I'm planning to include some nice quality gift/favor take-home items for each guest, but I'm just not sure if it's considered "proper" to pre-select a special luncheon menu, or just let guests be able to order whatever they want. I can afford them to order anything off the menu at the restaurant I chose, and I believe when one invites, one pays, I do not "charge" guests for their meal!

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Birthday Celebration
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Marie,

You mother has a lovely daughter!

I think your current plan is excellent. Let everyone order what they want. How can you go wrong? And the gift bags to take home make the occasion even more special.​ ​ Happy birthday to your mom!

This will be a lovely affair!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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