At our upcoming birthday party this year, we would like to ask our family and friends to bring a dish for everyone to enjoy together. Is this appropriate?
Do not feel bad in the least for asking your friends/family to contribute to your party menu. Most people will be more than happy to pitch in and bring something to share. On the invitation state, “In the spirit of enjoying this wonderful day together, please bring a dish to share with everyone.”
If you are worried that everyone will bring a bag of chips, you could divvy it up and ask if people’s last names begin with A-K to bring a side dish or salad and L-Z a dessert or drink. Most people are very familiar with this type of set-up for bringing food to gatherings.
It is the spirit in how you ask and the fact that you are requesting people to contribute and not telling them that will make all the difference.