Post # 1
So this weekend my step daughter and her husband are having a get together at a bar. They went to Las Vegas this week and got married, rented a car and visited lots of places like the Grand Canyon, ate out, etc. etc.
This is her second wedding. The first time she got married her father and I went to the bank and borrowed money and gave it to her and her husband as a gift. There was no way we were going to do this again considering this is her second marriage and they are ok financially. They bought a brand new house about a year ago.
Anyways, I found out yesterday that they will have live music at this get together saturday night. I was wondering if food would be served. Well, I did find out there won’t be any food nor will there even be a glass of wine for the guests. They indicated on a website that there will be a cash bar and food available for those who wish to purchase it. I could not believe it! I’ve decided to only contribute 50 $ in a card her father and I will give them. He will add 50 $ also. I think its totally wrong to invite guests to celebrate your wedding and not even have some fried zucchinis for them to eat lol!
Am I wrong in thinking that they are cheap and wrong not to offer their guests a little bit of something to eat? I just can’t get over it and I’m almost tempted not to even contribute a penny in that card. Of course, I will but ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
Post # 3
I don’t have an issue with cash bar, but there should be something……..
Post # 4
@Lauraine: I think it is customary and polite to give your guests food and drink, but I guess to each his own.
Post # 5
Is it more of a casual get together and they’ve just thrown out a general come have a drink with us to celebrate if you are around or has there been invitations etc. to it?
I personally would put some nibbles on and a small tab on the bar as that is being a good host to me.
Post # 6
They sent out a notice via their website saying there will be this get together and asked people to indicate if they were going to be at this party or not so they could have an idea of how many people might be there.
I totally agree. There should at least be some nibbles on the tables for goodness sake. And yes, to each his own but honestly, to me it just doesn’t seem right to receive presents from guests and not offer them anything in return. I just don’t get it. I don’t have an issue either with the cash bar because it can be very expensive to have an open bar and plus they aren’t drinkers at all. But no food! Anyways, i keep telling myself its their business and I should just let it go!
I could not even believe that they weren’t doing this get together in their brand new house. The reaons they aren’t is because they don’t want anybody wearing shoes in their house cuz they are afraid it might damage their wooden floor in the living room. Oh well!
Post # 7
@Lauraine: Of course, etiquette does not in any way oblige you to give the couple a gift: gifts are always at the discretion of the giver. And in your position as an intimate relative of a senior generation even the highest stickler for proper etiquette would have to acknowledge that you have the privilege of giving cash if you wish although the usual expectation for a parent exercising that privilege is that such a cash gift would be generous rather than begrudging. If you are not in a position to be materially generous, a more propitious choice would be to give generously of your time and insight by finding a meaningful gift that the younger couple would be able to treasure. Any gift that is obviously ungenerous, neither in money nor in effort, may well send a snubbing message to the couple and further damage your relationship with them. But as I say, you have every right with good manners to choose whether to give anything, and what you want to give.
What etiquette does not allow, is any indication that you associate the size of the gift you are giving, with any offer of hospitality from your hosts. Gifts are only gifts if they are freely given. As soon as there is any suggestion that they are being used as a form of barter, to compensate for your welcome and your food and drink, you are implying that hospitality is a commodity to be bought and sold — and that is in rather bad taste.
Post # 8
@Lauraine: If I were you, I would simply give them a card without cash. Sounds to me like this is a very casual affair.
Post # 9
@Lauraine: embarassing I’m sure. No refreshments for the guests seems rather rude.
Post # 10
I think you have to separate any gift from your approval or disapproval of how they plan to host this get-together. So if you don’t want to give them a gift, then don’t. But don’t base your decision on the lack of any free refreshments or the quality of their hospitality. It also sounds as if you arent entirely happy about this marriage and I wonder if this is colouring your attitude.
If this is a very informal get-together then it isn’t entirely unusual to have a cash bar – it certainly wouldn’t be here in the UK anyway – although it is somewhat odd to provide absolutely nothing in the way of food or drink. Our evening do was informal and we didn’t provide food beyond lots of delicious cakes. However we did have an open bar for several hours. So I’d have thought a few plates of nibbles weren’t unreasonable at your stepdaughter’s wedding.
Post # 11
I would never invite guests over for anything without offering refreshments of some sort. Even if we had a random person stop by unannounced at our house, DH and I would still offer wine, juice, water, soda, etc. (whatever we have in our house) and scramble up something to eat, even if it’s just crackers and dip/cheese. As such, I would never ever have a reception-type occasion without offering at least a soft bar and light refreshments/desserts. Maybe this is harsh but unless I knew they were truly broke (like digging change out of the couch broke), I would think this is rude and I would politely decline to come but send a nice card.
Post # 12
To me, if someone went to Vegas and got married and then said “hey, we’re going to Bar X on Saturday night to party!” I wouldn’t expect anything (but, at the same time, I probably wouldn’t give them my “normal” wedding gift). ESPECIALLY if it’s a public bar (versus a private room at a bar).
Now, if they sent out invitations, then it would be different. But if it’s a word of mouth or email thing, then no, I wouldn’t expect anything and I don’t think it’s cheap or whatever.
Of course, if your stepdaughter gets bent out of shape that no one gives them gifts at their BYOB party, then…well, then that wouldn’t be good.
Post # 13
@StL.Ashley: +1 I would assume if it’s a completely “unhosted” party that gifts would not be expected. Essentially, it’s like if I invited friends to a restaurant to hang with me & my new hubby. You pay for your own food, we hang out, done. No one gets presents!
Post # 14
Maybe I’m not understanding correctly, but it SOUNDS like they just want to hang out with everyone. While it would be *nice* if they provide food, it sounds like what I do when I invite my friends out to a restaurant to have dinner with me for my birthday. I’m not paying for them, and I let them know how much food usually runs and link them to the menu. I realize that a marriage is different, but considering they already got married, this just sounds like a hang out/celebration.
Post # 15
At first, her father and I were seriously debatting whether or not we should give them money as a gift considering they are way better off financially than we are and that this is her second wedding.
Yes, it does sound like its a hey lets hang out together but the reason its a lets hang out together is to celebrate their wedding. So, I’m sure the guests will bring presents. If it was just a hang out together amongst friends and family, I don’t think they would have organized this event the day after they’ve returned from their marriage-honeymoon in Vegas. I’ve made up my mind that its none of my business what they do and we will give them a small monetary present because whether or not I like it, they did get married. I’m just not going out of my way to buy a new dress and shoes etc. etc etc like I did for her first wedding. I don’t expect to be at this event either for a long time because I don’t feel comfortable with the whole thing and I personnally don’t want to participate in something that I don’t agee with how its done and when its done. That’s it, that’s all! I just know I would never do such a thing.
Post # 16
@Lauraine: I’m glad you’ve worked out something that works for you. Personally, I would happily attend this event and not think a bad thing about the couple. I think the disconnect is that you’re thinking of this as a “wedding” and they’re thinking about it as a fun night out with their family and friends. Don’t get caught up in the labels. I doubt she want you to go out and buy a new dress and shoes and bring a wrapped blender. So it seems like your views are actually in line at this point. So just go with it and don’t begrudge her that she isn’t doing a big formall wedding and reception. Just enjoy the night and congratulate your daughter and her new hubby.