How to Politely Ask Friends to Pay You Back?

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
Some of my friends got together to go in on a party around the holidays at a local restaurant. We had a room to ourselves and had a set menu and drink allowance to make it easy. The restaurant requested most of the money up front, so I gave them my credit card and figured everyone could pay me back. It is an honest and nice group of people, so I was not concerned. As people were leaving and asked for the bill, I told them I paid for it and what their share would be. Most did not have checkbooks with them, and said they would send me a check. It was the holidays and people are so busy, so I know that those who have not paid me have innocently forgotten. Here we are already in the spring, so I feel uncomfortable asking those people for the money. How should I handle it?

Dear Anonymous,
You have every right to get back all of the money. Find a friend who did pay you, and tell him that you would love to have the party again, and you appreciate him paying you back. That will then prompt him to ask you if everyone else paid. Ask him if he would mind sending out an email about it, but not copy you on the email, or mention that you brought it up. He can act as your spokesperson reminding them how large the bill was, what their portion is, and give everyone your address. He should suggest that they personally deliver a check to you or drop it in the mail ASAP. This way you do not have to confront anyone, and feel uncomfortable.