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A little feedback....

merbear1215

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
70
HI All,

My friends, we will say, Bill and Sue, recently got married.

My husband and I received the invitation to their wedding in the mail, like a standard wedding invitation, stating something like "join us for a casual ceremony followed immediately by dinner." The wedding was to take place at a restaurant on a Tuesday night. I thought that was a little strange but I also understand, times are tough, and you can often get better deals on random days of the week. We did bring some cash anticipating it might not be an open bar, though the invite did not state either way.

We arrived to a nice restaurant (not 5 star, but not McDonald's) with our present. We placed it, with everyone else's gifts on the gift table, clearly meant for gifts.

The menu presented to us was a few specific selections off the full menu, no prices. We ordered drinks and the waitress mentioned how she should split the bill. I didn't think that was too odd considering we expected to pay for drinks. But as people ordered meals, the waitress would ask something like "do you want me to check if it costs more to change the side." Something like that. Now we are getting suspicious. And sure enough, at the end of the night, we are given our bill, and paid for our own dinner.

I was so surprised. I have never experienced anything like this. I know it was a Tuesday, and I know it was casual, but still. It was a ceremony followed by dinner. I mean, this weekend I am attending an open house reception at a country club for a couple who got married in a destination wedding a few months ago. I intend to bring a present, and I hadn't expected to pay.....should I be??

Again, I understand times are tough, but I guess what bothers me is the couple clearly expected gifts (as evidenced by the gift table) and gave NO indication that anything (even alcoholic drinks) would be paid for by the guests, let alone the whole meal. I think I would be a lot less bothered if they had said don't bring a gift OR prices will vary. Anything that gave an indication of what was to come. Honestly, I felt a little duped and confused.

Thoughts?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Not okay.

Just WRONG.

:nono:
 

sillyberry

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Messages
1,792
I don't think you'll get anyone saying this is acceptable! How horribly, unabashedly rude.

Times like this I just shake my head and feel gratified that I don't consider this to be acceptable.

I suppose I could see if I was BROKE and getting married, I might just go to City Hall to get hitched. Then, since I know I have friends who would rather pay their own way to go to dinner with us to celebrate than not celebrate with us, ask if they would like to come out to a celebratory dinner following. Not a reception. Just dinner with friends. And I would buy a bottle of bubbly for the table so everyone could toast. And of course no gifts! It's not ideal, but I could see it working.

But clearly this is NOT what happened here! Ugh.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
I don't even know if rude is a strong enough word. I have a friend who had this happen to her. And even worse, the wedding was out of town, so guests actually had to travel. It's really amazing to me why anyone would think this is okay. If you can't afford to foot the bill (and don't have anyone offering to do so), don't have a reception.

And to have a gift table? I would have been REALLY tempted to grab my gift on my way out...in order to return it and pay for the meal.
 

blacksand

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
889
Um, wow. I'm not even a fan of cash bars, but like you said, I know times are tough and some people are struggling. If I couldn't afford to buy people dinner, I think I would at least bake a lasagna or something and invite a few people over. I wouldn't throw a party if I couldn't afford to feed people. Seriously.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
amc80|1312480195|2984156 said:
I don't even know if rude is a strong enough word. I have a friend who had this happen to her. And even worse, the wedding was out of town, so guests actually had to travel. It's really amazing to me why anyone would think this is okay. If you can't afford to foot the bill (and don't have anyone offering to do so), don't have a reception.

And to have a gift table? I would have been REALLY tempted to grab my gift on my way out...in order to return it and pay for the meal.
Ditto all of this, especially the bolded. Unbelievable! :o
 

centralsquare

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
2,201
How horrifically rude!! If they couldn't afford to host the dinner, then they should have made it known. Were the other guests just as confused?
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Wow, a gift table and then you are ambushed with a bill for your meals and drinks! it's rude!
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
centralsquare|1312509262|2984501 said:
How horrifically rude!! If they couldn't afford to host the dinner, then they should have made it known. Were the other guests just as confused?

I am also curious about how other people reacted...
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 17, 2008
Messages
22,480
I think I would have been in shock! :errrr:
 

Amzizzle

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jul 17, 2008
Messages
476
This is just insane. Drinks I could accept not being paid for, but to expect a gift and then basically charge me to attend the wedding. I wouldn't even talk to them again.

They could have made dinner at home for everyone. I would have respected that so much more.
 

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
They should not have invited you to a dinner reception if they were not actually hosting it. They should have hosted a reception with cake and punch and nothing else if that's what they could afford. I really don't understand how our society has morphed into this expectation of an expensive dinner reception for middle class families who clearly cannot afford such an affair. It's rude to invite someone to something and not pay for it, and it's rude to attend weddings and complain about less lavish receptions or the absence of alcohol, etc. when the family does host something within their budget. People should host something within in their means, and guests should gladly share in the joy of the occasion without expectation of a free meal. (This last sentence was not directed at the original poster, as she was clearly led to believe she would be receiving a free meal by being invited to a dinner reception!)


That being said, the gift was hopefully given in celebration of their marriage, not as a ticket to a wedding reception. I do not believe that the two have anything to do with one another.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
I would have been surprised too, and pretty miffed.

Just out of curiosity, how was the food?

ETA: I'm also wondering if the couple has mentioned why they did this. I think we're all assuming it was a financial burden for them to pay for everyone, but have they said anything about it?

If I had had to travel for this wedding, I'd be p*ssed.
 

amc80

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 18, 2010
Messages
5,765
Guilty Pleasure|1312582816|2985056 said:
That being said, the gift was hopefully given in celebration of their marriage, not as a ticket to a wedding reception. I do not believe that the two have anything to do with one another.
True. But if you are basically being asked to pay for your own dinner at a wedding reception, without any sort of warning or notion, isn't that gift enough? While there's no way I'm condoning making guests pay for themselves, a note on the invitation saying "No gifts, please" would have made the whole thing a little less rude. I would be completely okay with being invited to a wedding only, and not the reception...and I'd happily bring a gift. But asking guests to pay their own way AND having an obvious gift table? That just sounds like a gift grab.
 

zoebartlett

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2006
Messages
12,450
amc80|1312588133|2985117 said:
Guilty Pleasure|1312582816|2985056 said:
That being said, the gift was hopefully given in celebration of their marriage, not as a ticket to a wedding reception. I do not believe that the two have anything to do with one another.
True. But if you are basically being asked to pay for your own dinner at a wedding reception, without any sort of warning or notion, isn't that gift enough? While there's no way I'm condoning making guests pay for themselves, a note on the invitation saying "No gifts, please" would have made the whole thing a little less rude. I would be completely okay with being invited to a wedding only, and not the reception...and I'd happily bring a gift. But asking guests to pay their own way AND having an obvious gift table? That just sounds like a gift grab.
I'm wondering how you'd word this on the invitation? I mean, not on the actual invitation but on the reply card. "Please join us to celebrate our special day and oh by the way, you'll need to buy your own dinner at the reception." :nono:
 

beadchick

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
202
Guilty Pleasure|1312582816|2985056 said:
They should not have invited you to a dinner reception if they were not actually hosting it. They should have hosted a reception with cake and punch and nothing else if that's what they could afford. I really don't understand how our society has morphed into this expectation of an expensive dinner reception for middle class families who clearly cannot afford such an affair. It's rude to invite someone to something and not pay for it, and it's rude to attend weddings and complain about less lavish receptions or the absence of alcohol, etc. when the family does host something within their budget. People should host something within in their means, and guests should gladly share in the joy of the occasion without expectation of a free meal. (This last sentence was not directed at the original poster, as she was clearly led to believe she would be receiving a free meal by being invited to a dinner reception!)


That being said, the gift was hopefully given in celebration of their marriage, not as a ticket to a wedding reception. I do not believe that the two have anything to do with one another.

I agree with the above, and I would have been upset as well, just as everyone else seems to agree. But at the same time, how do you put on an invitation "We'd love you to come, we just can't afford your dinner."? I feel like everyone on here is saying that if you can't afford to shell out $20-50 per person, then you don't deserve to have loved ones celebrate with you at your wedding. And I do understand that THAT isn't the point, but at the same time, having dinner at a moderately priced restaurant isn't that bad.

I am wondering what their circumstances are? If the e-ring was 10 grand and the dress was 2K, then of course, this is terribly tacky, and completely horrible. However, if one of them had lost their job, or something like that, I guess I could deal with it. And, I'd still be okay with giving the gift. Trust me, if you have to ask your guests to pay for their own dinners at your "post wedding meal," you ALREADY feel awful. I am sure that your company AND your gift were probably appreciated more than you thought!
 

Guilty Pleasure

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2008
Messages
1,114
amc80, I don't think having a gift table is a gift grab, but a practical solution. People clearly brought gifts and would have needed a place to put them. The presence of the table is not what led people to bring gifts. If there had been no table, would people have returned the gifts to their car? The gift table was there if needed, not a call for people to run out and buy a gift to place on the table.

beadchick, I agree that it would be weird to write on an invitation "We can't afford your dinner" :twirl: I think the appropriate thing would have been to invite everyone to a dessert or cocktail reception (whatever their budget could allow) and clearly state that on the reception invitation. The invitation can be as formal or informal as the couple wants and still convey to the guests what will be served. Also, don't have the reception at a meal time like noon or 6 pm. Either have it at 2 pm if you're serving cake and punch/champagne or have it later in the evening if you're having a cocktail party. A meal is not required to celebrate the marriage, and I think guests should be fine with that as long as they are not caught off guard.

"Please join us for a cocktail reception immediately following the ceremony"

"Light hors d'oeuvres will be served"


For those who think that "no gifts, please" should been on the invitation, I disagree. Mention of gifts should not be included on an invitation of any kind, and saying "no gifts" implies that a gift is expected in the first place.



If I were getting married and could not afford a meal reception, I would host a reception with what food I could provide, cake and punch. Then afterwards, if anyone wanted to join my husband and I for dinner at another location, they would be welcome.
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
880
sillyberry|1312479509|2984143 said:
I suppose I could see if I was BROKE and getting married, I might just go to City Hall to get hitched. Then, since I know I have friends who would rather pay their own way to go to dinner with us to celebrate than not celebrate with us, ask if they would like to come out to a celebratory dinner following. Not a reception. Just dinner with friends. And I would buy a bottle of bubbly for the table so everyone could toast. And of course no gifts! It's not ideal, but I could see it working.
Yeah, I've been to a courthouse wedding like this for one of my co-workers and it was a lot of fun but expectations were set in advance. For one, the invitations were VERY informal, either in person or over the phone - kinda like, we're getting married on Saturday at the courthouse and some of us are getting together at ____________ afterwards. Its not going to be a regular reception - its just a bunch of friends going out to dinner together. We'd love to have you but understand if you'd rather not come.

Of course, we came and we all had a great time - the novelty of attending a courthouse wedding was enough for me. And we brought gifts. I actually preferred that to them scrounging around to pay for a substandard cake and punch reception for everybody and scheduling it during a meal time. (I've had that. Its no fun - you feel rude walking out of a reception early but at a certain point after your normal meal time, hunger has to take precedence.)
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,660
If you can't afford to treat your guests then you shouldn't invite them to a restaurant. Invite them to your house for a pot luck. That makes it clear who is providing the food and drink.

This was a gift grab and nothing else. Did they go on a honeymoon?
 

merbear1215

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 14, 2010
Messages
70
Hello!

Thanks for all the feedback.

A few responses: We only knew one other couple at our table. To be honest, because of a few things leading up to the bill (the waitress seeing if a certain thing would cost more, etc.) we weren't that shocked when the actual bill came. More shocked at the circumstances, but we thought it would be a bit rude to start discussing it at the table, while still at the wedding.

As for them not being able to afford a reception, I can understand that. And I have to admit, I have thought about what they could have said on the invite to basically indicate "you are paying for this meal." But like some posters said, perhaps just a casual telephone invite, or evite, or something less than a wedding invite in the mail. Or even phrasing such as "please help us celebrate..." instead of "you are invited."

As far as the gifts.....I believe in them. I have heard you are supposed to cover the cost of your meal, but I believe that can sometimes be so hard to figure out and I simply can not afford to cover my plate at 100/plate meals. However, I give a gift for the purpose of gifting, not to try to let the couple break even. I know couples who spent very little on our wedding gift, and we spent more on theirs, but I also understood we were in a better position to afford it, etc. And, even if bill and sue had people at their house for punch and cupcakes, I probably still would have brought a gift.

I totally agree with the people who say you just don't have a reception if you can't afford one. Certainly you can still celebrate, but like someone suggested, a backyard bbq, or just appetizers.

Honestly, I am not even sure how this happened. When we were planning our wedding, if this suggestion had come up, I think a million people would have nixed it. AND, had it gone through, and at the end of the night people got a bill, my family is pretty honest, I think they would have come up to me and said "sweetie, guests don't pay for their meals at a wedding."

I understand this couple doesn't have a ton of money for black tie gala, but yes, they are currently honeymooning in Mexico.....
 

AmeliaG

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jan 8, 2011
Messages
880
merbear1215|1312815275|2986429 said:
Hello!
I understand this couple doesn't have a ton of money for black tie gala, but yes, they are currently honeymooning in Mexico.....
OK, that's really tacky!
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
12,505
I can't believe that at some point, at some time, a family member or friend didn't say to this couple "What you're planning on doing is rude. You don't invite people to a wedding celebration and then have them pay for it". I guess they were surrounded by people who thought this was OK? Very strange. Obviously they thought it was ok to do this, and nobody told them otherwise!

I can sympathize with people trying to pay for a wedding these days - being the old fart that I am, the cost of weddings makes me go :o sometimes..but this couple definitely made the wrong choice here. Not to sound hard-hearted, but if they couldn't afford a reception or party (even a simple one held at home) they should have just skipped it altogether. But, as I said, I guess they thought this was a good alternative :sick:

ETA: Unless they knew it was rude and just didn't care? I'm just curious as to what this couple was thinking.
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
Honeymooning in Mexico but you had to pay for your own meal at their reception? WOW.... :sick:
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
tammy77|1312933716|2987536 said:
Honeymooning in Mexico but you had to pay for your own meal at their reception? WOW.... :sick:
No kidding. I didn't have a honeymoon. And I paid for my guest dinner, and their drinks. Unbelievable!
 

tammy77

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,442
Same here, Gypsy!
 

mrswahs

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Messages
499
Are you kidding me?! I side-eye cash bars, but to pay your own way entirely at the dinner with no warning? No no no.
 
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