Post # 1
So I had never heard of the idea of “covering your plate” until I joined the Bee. I get where the idea comes from, but I have to admit that I don’t quite understand it.
Bride and groom (and their families) decide on how lavish of an affair they want to have. Guests are not expected to pay for the wedding. We all know that.
So why should gifts be connected to how much the couple spent on the big day? Is a couple who is established or comes from money worth more a young couple paying for everything on their own? I always give based on my relationship to the couple, but if anything, I feel like that young couple needs an expensive gift more.
It reminds me of tipping. A server at a fancy restaurant is going to make more money simply because of higher checks, as opposed to a server at a diner. Both are doing the same work. Why should one make more simply because the food is more expensive?
Maybe someone can give me an explanation to help me understand the concept of covering your plate.
Post # 3
I can understand the idea behind it – the bride and groom are paying money for you to attend, and ifs theory you’re really going to give them a gift it would require spending more on them than they do on you. But the whole thing gets so dodgy – weddings have gotten so out of control that the costs on guests have gotten really extreme, and there seems to be an entitlement that should never be attached to the word gift. I say give what you reasonably can afford.
Post # 4
As far as I am concerned weddings are a money sink and the couple and their family should not expect to come out of it breaking anywhere close to even. It’s supposed to be a big party to celebrate your marriage. Guests should have a great time and not feel a huge obligation and fiancial burden. Gifts should be seen as a bonus, not expected. I would, however be sad if a guest didn’t even bring a card, because its more about the thought than the gift and its nice to be able to save them to read in the future.
Post # 5
I gift on the basis of a combination of my relationship with the couple and what I can afford at the time. I really don’t believe that you should have to cover your plate, it’s a ridiculous concept. Weddings are as expensive or as frugal as you choose them to be, and no one should expect their guests to cover the cost.
Post # 6
Aren’t Bridezillas and other ignorant brides the only ones who are concerned about “covering your plate”?
If so, I wouldn’t be too concerned about understanding why the concept makes sense. Because it doesn’t to me. You made really good points about how the bride & groom choose how lavish their wedding is.
I think I speak for the majority of guets/gift givers that the size/amount of your gift is based on the closeness of your relationship with the bride & groom. Depends on the state of your finances, too 😛
Post # 7
I feel like the whole “covering your plate” thing started because of that popular belief that “you practically pay off the wedding from the monetary gifts you get”. I’ve heard that sentiment quite often before getting engaged, so when FI and I began planning, that was my assumption. Oh, well, the gifts will practically pay for the wedding.
We’re at a moderately priced venue for our area charging $86 a plate and $28 for open beer and wine bar per person. That’s a whopping $114 per person and at 60 guests…
And this is moderately priced. Weddings are getting to be $200-$300 per person and that’s just so much money being spent on one day.
The guests never asked you to order the surf and turf. It’s not fair to hold them accountable for your decisions.
Post # 8
Funny, I’ve gone to weddings my whole life and everyone understands the cover your plate etiquette. Even my parents and grand parents generation ” got” this. People give the same amount of presentation despite how fancy a wedding is usually. We broke even basically for our wedding, as did anyone else I know. I don’t get how it’s confusing. You give about $75 to $150 per person. The same you would spend on a gift. The couple doesn’t start off in debt and don’t end up with an assload of toasters. What’s the problem?
Post # 10
It’s a regional thing. There’s nothing to be gained from people outside the region complaining about it, or from people in the region insisting it’s a worldwide rule. So long as it doesn’t spread to Australia, I’m happy 🙂
Post # 11
I don’t think it makes sense either. As a guest, I had no input in deciding what your cost per plate is going to be, so why should it affect what kind of gift I should get you?
Post # 12
Yea I had never heard of it til the Bee. To me… like you said, the couple decides how fancy their wedding is, and should have a wedding within their budget. If guests give monetary gifts, great. But if you divide my wedding budget by the amount of people, it would be $375. Which I would NEVER expect most of our guests to pay. Maybe covering your plate is just the catering/alcohol, so much lower than that, so for ours, maybe $100, but still! Wtf! My wedding is what it is because my parents are happy to pay that, not because I am waiting to get it back from our friends!!! We set our budget, and that has nothing to do with our friends/family – they will give whatever gifts they give, regardles of how much I spend on the wedding. “Covering your plate’ aka paying the couple for their wedding makes no sense to me. I guess its a cultural thing?
Post # 13
I think it’s insane and completely rude for people to have those expectations of their guests. Umm, the guest didn’t force you to get married, or select that overly lavish venue, or twist your arm into choosing the extravagent feast, pricey champage and imported wine and cheese? If you’re in the hole after your wedding, then it’s your own damn fault! It’s not a charity event where people are expected to donate huge amounts to your *cause*, seriously! If you get a gift, that’s great! If it turns out to be cash, wonderful! If it just so happens to be the same amount as the plate, then oh boy, today is yor lucky day! Don’t expect people to pay for your wedding then get bent out of shape when they don’t.
Post # 14
No one ” expects” it. People just do it. :/ you would never comment on how much someone gives any more than you would if someone gave you a birthday gift. It’s rude to comment in what you are given be it a gift or cash. The concept of covering your plate does not change that
Post # 15
I won’t lie, I sorta kinda hope some people do… that would be awesome… but I don’t *expect* it and I would never judge someone’s gift negatively… I don’t get it at all.
Post # 16
Nobody expects to “break even” after a wedding surely? Weddings can be very expensive but this is why you have the sort of wedding you can afford, not the sort of wedding that depends on your guests paying for it.
But then this whole covering your plate concept is a regional thing. Fortunately it hasn’t spread to the UK.