(Closed) How to make guests anticipate an expensive affair

posted 6 years ago in Money
Post # 121
4529 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think you should have a cover charge for each attendee, and also demand pictures of attire for veto purposes prior to the wedding itself.

Or you could just let your guests choose to gift/ not gift as they see appropriate, and dress how they want, like any other normal human being would.

Post # 122
718 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

Letterpress invites don’t mean it’s a formal affair. I’ve been to a rustic wedding that used letterpress. 

What is your budget that you’ll be spending on the wedding? 

Post # 123
758 posts
Busy bee

I’ve got to agree with the masses here. If you’d like to make sure your guests who subscribe to the whole “pay for your plate” mentality are properly informed, use nicer invitations and write “black tie.” You can even include a menu card.

BUT if there’s a line in your budget for “money made back in gifts,” or you’re trying to use the gifts as a second income for the year, you’re doing it wrong. You’re deciding how formal your wedding is going to be, and if you’re expecting your family and friends to pay more in gifts because you wanted an extravagant party, you’re probably going to end up pretty dissapointed.

You should budget what you can reasonably afford for your wedding, and make your decisions based on that, without thinking of how much you’ll “Make back” at the end of the night.

Expecting guests to pay extra because you had to have a big, unaffordable wedding is completely unreasonable. If you are uncomfortable with how much you’re spending, you need to rein it in, not trick your guests into subsidizing your wedding.

Post # 124
788 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

PositiveThinking:  LOL I had no choice but to watch the show unfolding before me. This type of topic tends to get pretty heated on the boards. 

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 6 months ago by  leeshabee.
Post # 125
6040 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2019 - City, State


starcatcher:  You CHOSE to do those things for your friends. That doesn’t mean that now they owe you. Yes it would be nice for people to remember the efforts you made to help make their day special or that you made it a priority to be there but that does not in anyway mean they are now required to somehow pay you back for that. In most cases, people will not base their gift (if they choose to give one) on the fact that you are someone who likes bargain shopping. They will give you a gift they think is appropriate for the occasion.

I think you are far too focused on the gift giving part of your wedding. Your wedding isn’t an opportunity to make a profit, be it in money or gifts. It’s a day to have those you love around you while you commit to your partner. Even if every single one of them came empty handed, you should expect nothing more than their love and support on your day. Any gifts are just a bonus, no matter what the gift is.

As for dress code, you can specify that it’s a black tie event and that should make people up their efforts with their outfit choices. Beyond that, you cannot control what your guests choose to wear. I think most people with common sense would dress appropriately based on the venue as well. If I’m going to a day time wedding at a park I’m not going to wear a formal floor length gown, but if I’m going to an evening reception at a higher end restaurant or hotel I’m definitely going to make sure I don’t wear a knee length sun dress. give your guests some credit. And if one or two decide to come in something that’s a bit off, I guarantee you no one is going to care. And if you pay attention to that on you rwedding day, I feel bad for your SO that on the day you two are getting married, all you could focus on was your cousin cathy’s inappropriate dress.

Also, I find it amusing that you have a reputation for being a “bargain Queen” (aka cheap ass) and you are going to judge people based on how much they spend on you.

Post # 126
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

starcatcher:  I was totally giving you the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe you just poorly worded your post. But after reading your reply that you are “avoiding people downgrading their gift because it is me” I think you’re being inconsiderate.

I was going to come to your defense. I (obviously, given my name) am a frugal person, we are DIYing a lot, but like you, we are aiming for a “classy” affair, because that’s what I’ve always wanted, not because I want expensive gifts. I am by no means expecting “classy” gifts. I will be THRILLED that people come to celebrate me and my FH getting married after 4.5 years. 

You need a serious attitude adjustment, or you’re going to be seriously disappointed. 

Post # 127
75 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Drury Lane

You gave yourself the title “bargain queen,” yet you just put someone down for wearing a “$13 Gap dress.”  Wow.

It also sounds like wanting people to spend more on gifts for you is revenge for being a Bridesmaid 8 times.  Agreeing to be a bridemaid is voluntary and saying yes also means you agree to any expenses you incur.  If you can’t afford the dress or international plane ticket, say so at the time.  Don’t begrudgingly do it and expect to get back at the person when your wedding comes around. 

Honestly, I hope your friends get to see your true colors long before they spend any amount at your wedding.  And as for the ones who don’t, it will be a very lonely life surrounded by fine china and crystal when you have no one to entertain them with.

Post # 128
19 posts
  • Wedding: July 2014

Frugal does not mean cheap.

No matter what you do to let your guest know you are spending a lot on your wedding, your guest will spend what they can afford. So if a guest can only afford a 25 dollar gift, you are getting a 25 dollar gift. You are setting yourself up for major disappointment if you are expecting expensive gifts because it is your wedding and your spending a lot of money.


Post # 129
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Here’s an idea, OP:  Invite only those that you know will give you lavish gifts. 

And seriously, if you’re concerned that someone is going to come in a $13 Gap dress, then don’t invite them, either.  At least she’s wearing a dress and not a pair of cut off shorts and a tank top.  Gap does have some very cute dresses that are wedding appropriate. 

Nobody forced you to spend thousands of dollars on your guests and wedding party.  You chose to do that. 

Post # 130
140 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

starcatcher: When I was getting married, Fiance and I created a registry with items that we needed. We were quite aware that not everyone would be able to afford to give us a gift or would chose to give us a gift. So we made sure that we planned a wedding within our budget with the thinking that we would use some of our remaining financial resources to buy the stuff we needed for our new place.

Luckily for us, we received all but one of the things we registered for. This meant that we didn’t have to use our own funds to buy household things…BUT…we were very much in a position to do so had we not received the gifts.

My suggestion is this…instead of dwelling on how to make your wedding seem expensive in order to get expensive gifts, scale back…have a wedding you can afford WHILE ensuring that you have extra cash on hand to buy all of the household stuff, etc you would want on your registry.

Post # 131
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

A lot of people judge because they think that there way is the normal way…when you come from somewhere different than the norm, and your traditions are different, you do not have to be all bitchy about it! Thus saying, I still do not agree with the OP (so do not start attacking me as well!) especially the post of the downgrading thing lol. But you all have to learn that not everyone’s way is the same! Also, I do not agree with none of you, stating the venue being formal and all….I have attended numerous weddings and sometimes the more formal it is, the less I eat, so less money is being spent (well at least on food that is)! I went to a wedding at the most expensive hotel on the island once and had to go to McDonalds after.  Another time I went to a wedding of a couple who are so rich, and had a registry at a jewellery shop (yes..they wanted china from a jewellery shop….the china was a luxury brand like Valentino) that I ended up getting them 2 forks worth 150dollars – 6 years ago (I still remember!!)!!! And what happened at their wedding at a luxury hotel – I ended up probably losing weight! We have this saying, its not where it is, but what you actually order and pay on food items. I could go to a fancy hotel and just offer a plate of pasta and another couple go to the same hotel and go all out – pasta/meat/gateaux which could make me full for a year.  Also saying, my gifts are like most bees here – it depends how close we are!  But I know couples who are married who keep a list of what they got as gifts and give back what they received…so yes this exists in the real world especially with my parents generation (my aunt once called my mom to tell her what her daughter/SIL received from a specific person, so that they give the same to that specific person).  But personally Im planning a wedding as if I do not receive anything back….what I receive will be great and it is actually rude to not give a gift here but whatever I get will be fine – for me its more important that they actually attend not just the reception but also the ceremony at church and have fun at the wedding and not just sit down and get their bellies full 🙂 I would be happier if I do not get a gift and the guest attend both church services and reception, then someone giving me a a lot of cash and just come to eat.  But obviously, that is my opinion, from some of my posts, I see that Im not part of the norm here 🙂 

Post # 132
3277 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010


Are you marrying in Niagara On The Lake? If so, how beautiful! I love it there. 

Post # 134
2765 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I truly wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt and was waiting for 7 pages for you to reply to everybody’s posts to see if you were for example too young to understand, were in fact from a “cover your plate” culture/region or what. 

Then I read your update.

So I believe j_jaye: said it best- the best way to convey that you’re looking for expensive gifts is: Bitches my normally cheap ass dropped a heap of cash on this fancy ass wedding so you had better give me an expensive gift or I will cut you out of my life and bitch about you to everyone.  

Inside the envelopes for your friends whom you acted as a bridesmaid for I’d also add: Especially YOU bitches owe me big time!

To answer your question honestly though the invitations are not enough. You have to register for things like (true story) a top of the line king size TempurPedic mattress and stuff. Will it be tasteless, classless and alienating? Yes. But we don’t live in an idealistic world, do we OP? So you’ll get your point across. My only advice is that you think not only of the message that you’re trying to send, but the one that will actually be received and interpreted by your guests. As in, if you think registering only for ultra high end things will scream class and money the real message that you’ll be sending will be very, very different. It will say “nouveau riche, gauche, gaudy and wasn’t born into it” as opposed to “of course high end, tasteful and classy.”

The venue does more to convey money than the invitations (Private venues such as country clubs > Public venues such as hotels). The time of day says more than the invitations. The day you choose says more than the invitations (Friday evening vs Saturday evening for instance, or a Jewish Orthodox/Born again Christian wedding on a Sunday morning for example).  The listed family names and addresses say more than the invitations, dates chosen and time of day.


Post # 135
275 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

interchangeable:  I’m voting for you as best comment here! 🙂


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