Post # 1
My fiance and I are doing a budget wedding. With a very, very tiny budget. Basically we’re having the ceremony in a city park, then going to our favorite French restaurant for supper – and expecting everyone to pick up their own tab.
For larger groups, this resto will not separate bills, so we are going to have 20-30 people with one bill. We’re struggling over how to polielty put in the invites that, basically, our guests have to give us (or some designated person) money for their meal at some point.
Post # 3
Welcome to weddingbee.
Please reconsider asking your guests to pay for their own meals at your wedding reception (a post-ceremony gathering is by definition a reception, and must be hosted as a thank-you to guests for coming out to witness your ceremony).
If you can’t afford to pay for everyone’s dinner at the French restaurant, scale back your plans to something you can afford. It’s possible to host a nice reception on a tight budget. Lots of bees here have done so. If you avoid mealtimes and schedule the wedding between lunch and dinner, you can serve cake and punch. Or finger sandwiches, tea, and pastries. Or you can do an after-dinner wedding with homemade desserts and coffee. Or if you want a meal, maybe you can enlist some family members to put together a few pans of lasagna, a big green salad, and garlic bread.
It’s just really inhospitable to invite your family and friends to take themselves out to dinner to celebrate your wedding.
… That said, if you choose to ignore my advice and go ahead with your plan, at least see if the restaurant will put together a special menu for your group, with a set price per person. That way your guests will know what to expect going in. If the whole menu is available, you can’t expect the group to just split the bill evenly regardless of who orders what, and trying to keep track of who orders what (and making sure people pay accordingly) will be a nightmare.
Post # 4
@sailor: I completely concur. Nightmare will only begin to cover it when Uncle X only wants to tip 5% and everyone else is giving 20%. Eek. Best of Luck.
Post # 5
You cannot ask people to wedding and expect them to foot the bill for their meal.
Instead of a dinner, try a cocktail type of party, desserts & champagne, or just scale it down to the number of people you can afford to pay for.
Post # 6
Yes, I’m sorry, but I agree with PP.
You can ask people to witness your nuptials, but you cannot invite them to a reception they are expected to pay for.
I think the only way to go about it is to thrust the planning on someone else, like your Maid/Matron of Honor, who sends out a SEPARATE invite (or email or phone call) and says, “Hey, let’s do something nice for Mr/Mrs and take them out to dinner after the ceremony” a la a birthday dinner or something and have HER make the cost crystal clear, along with collecting the funds etc. etc.
OR, you can just wait, save up, and have a kickass 1st anniversary party.