Rant: Being a good host or coddling the needy?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
42510 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Mademoiselle-G:  I don’t think you HAVE to do any of those things. Too many couples do not have enough self esteem to just say no. They think they have to have and do everything that someone with an unlimited budget has.

1.Welcome Bags- nice but in  no way necessary.

2.Transportation- they are adults, let them make their own arrangements. Who is going to get them home when they go out for dinner next weekend?

3.Obviously life-threatening allergies will be accomodated, also people who have real sensitivities like those with celiac. The rest can make do with what they choose to eat from what’s on the menu.

4.You said it.

Post # 4
Member
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Bathroom baskets! Bring your own gd tampons!

although I think transportation is great under the right circumstances. I sure was great to have a shuttle to the hotel most guests were staying at after a long day of being in a wedding in another state where I didn’t have a car. 

Post # 5
Member
2018 posts
Buzzing bee

@Mademoiselle-G:  

@julies1949:  

I agree that items 1, 2, and 4 are in no way your responsibility to arrange unless you are having some particularly remote or far-flung wedding (like, you’re doing your vows on a mountain precipice and most vehicles can’t manage the trek…LOL), destination or otherwise.  I think it might not be a bad idea to have someone help you compile a list of respectable sources for transportation or child care to put on your wedding website, especially if you will have a lot of out-of-town guests. 

I am That Family Member who has to travel to everything, and, while I would be peeved if someone local couldn’t at least point me in the direction of which airport car service was better or whatever, I would never, ever expect them to make my arrangements for me.

As for #3, I think that providing really quality vegetarian or vegan dishes can help you address a number of dietary concerns.  I have to admit, I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to people’s dietary preferences; I’m just afraid to get people sick!

Post # 6
Member
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m doing all of the above, and I totally don’t mind.  Well, actually, I’m vegan and the entire wedding will be vegan food, so I guess I’m not completely accommodating everyone’s food preferences, but I will provide gluten free and nut-free food to those who need it.  We have a lot of young kids in our family, so the babysitting is because I want my family members to be able to come and enjoy themselves. Most people will be traveling several hours to my wedding, so I feel that I should do everything possible (within budget) to ensure all of my guests have a great time.

Post # 7
Member
4395 posts
Honey bee

The only I think might be considered “necessary” of those four is transportation. Since OOT guests may not be knowledgeable of the transportation system of the town, and won’t have their own cars, or know the roads, it’s a common courtesy to arrange transporation from the hotel to your event, if they are not close.

Post # 8
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Mademoiselle-G:  We had an entirely gluten free wedding because I have celiac. For me it isn’t trendy or a fad, but 72 hours of gastrointestinal hell for an accidental crumb. We also made sure everyone’s allergies were taken care of.

For the same reason (becaus it made my day more enjoyable), we provided a babysitter. With 40 kids under 13 invited and an open bar, I felt it was the safer option. Kids were welcome upstairs at any point after dinner, but I wanted an enjoyable dinner for the grownups.

We didn’t do hotel bags because I refused to do a hotel block. It was way too much effort and I didn’t want to be responsible if my idiotic drunken friends kept my cranky relatives up. Our wedding at 20 hotels within 2 miles, people could book themselves.

I also vetoed transportation– we paid for parking at the reception and ceremony for people and there were several buses and taxis people could take. There was a subway and bus that took people to any hotel they wanted. 

Post # 9
Member
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I feel this rant. I’ve never gotten a welcome bag because we always find a cheaper option than the hotel block, and I don’t really want to provide them. We may get guilted into it. My mother wants to provide transportation, which I think is over the top, but she’s paying so whatever. We’re inviting kids and not providing childcare. Our caterer will accommodate allergies and other dietary restrictions. We’re not providing bathroom baskets, guests can bring what they need. We’re also not providing flip flops for dancing- it’s a BYO shoes wedding.

Post # 10
Member
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I kind of feel the need to point out to people that providing transportation can be a safety issue.  People aren’t going to drink and drive when there’s a free shuttle to their hotels.  Plus, no one has to be DD!

Post # 11
Member
1500 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m providing transportation from downtown city to my venue which requires most of our OOT guests to rent a car as it is not near public transportation, and OOT guests comprise over half of our invites. I myself have declined wedding invites in the past because the plane ride + hotel + car + gift + everything else just added up to be too much, and I thought at the very least, I could take away the driving burden AND make the wedding more fun, safe for everyone.

Post # 12
Member
10748 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

None of that is required, with the exception of food allergies but that’s obvious. 

Post # 13
Member
5199 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Mademoiselle-G:  I agree that this stuff gets way out of control.  I think it makes sense to think carefully about the balance between what you are asking of your guests, what will truly be appreciated, and what’s just coddling.   

I throw a lot of parties for work and a few (not all) employees act so entitled it makes me angry.  We shell out $20-30k to throw them a party with drinks, dinner, dancing, taxis, and lots of other lovely (and expensive) things and I get complaints that we weren’t providingtop shelf liquor, or they didn’t like the way the food was served, or whatever.  Jesus Christ, it was a free party!  Be grateful or decline the invite.

Post # 14
Member
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Mademoiselle-G:  I didn’t do any of the above except catering for food allergies. Coeliac disease runs in my family so there were a LOT of coeliacs at my wedding! I also had a couple of vegetarian options but the majority weren’t vegetarian.

Almost every guest at my wedding was local, so I didn’t book accommodation or arrange transport. It’s not really the done thing here in Australia unless you’re having a destination wedding. I’ve never seen transport or hotel blocks at any of the weddings I’ve been to.

As for babysitters – we made it very clear early on that ours was a no kids wedding. People can make their own arrangements. If they decided not to come because they couldn’t bring their kids, well, that’s their call and we would have understood. Nobody did that, though!

Post # 15
Member
5207 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

I was a bad hostess. I chose 1 vegetarian dish out of 5 for our buffet and didn’t take gluten-free, vegans, kosher, halal, raw foodies or otherwise into consideration. I didn’t provide welcome baskets. I didn’t provide bathroom baskets (isn’t choosing a venue with clean, spacious bathrooms adequate enough?). I didn’t provide transportation. Children were there but I didn’t provide a separate room with games and coloring books to keep them occupied. No complaints from my guests, at least not to my face. 

The way I see it is if you’re invited to attend as a guest and you know you require special accommodations, then it is your own responsibility to see that those needs are met, not the host’s. 

Post # 16
Member
128 posts
Blushing bee

Totally agree!  I feel like brides are going way too overboard for guests.  Guests should go because they want to see someone important to them get married, not because it’s a big freebie.  I’ve heard many horror stories about guests “generosity” for gifts at weddings nowadays, and I don’t think brides should go overboard with their giving if attendants don’t view it in the same way.  Be curteous and give guests enough time to plan, block rooms, give a nice meal, some alcohol, and good music, but more than that should not be expected.  Its nice if couples have the money to do this, but as a guest I would never think someone could afford a wedding and also expect to pay for my transportation or babysitters. If they expected this, than I rather them not go, as I would realize they don’t truly want to be there to see us get married and start our lives off togehter but rather attend because its something free to do on a saturday.

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