My boyfriend made plans for us to have dinner with two of his friends, another couple. Since I have some dietary restrictions, they've decided to cook at home rather than go out (despite me saying I'm sure there were suitable restaurants around). If it's relevant, my boyfriend will be helping with some of the preparation, but I have work and will arrive just for the dinner. He insists I don't need to bring anything, but I feel like it would be rude to show up empty handed, especially since it seems they are cooking because of me!
This isn't the first time I've been told "just bring yourself!", but usually it's with people I know better and expect to see frequently enough to repay the favor. In this case I have only met the guy, once and over two years ago, although my boyfriend has known them for many years.
Things I thought about:
- Bottle of wine / six-pack - they don't drink
- Candles or flowers - cliche and out of place (they have a house full of board games and cats, this will be a casual get-together)
- Snacks / dessert - unfortunately not possible due to other circumstances, and besides they already have a full menu planned
Of course I'll verbally thank them, but they are spending time and money on this.. Is there another way to show my appreciation in a material way at a dinner party? Is it really ok to show up without bringing anything?