(Closed) Is this cheap or what?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1541 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I don’t have an issue with cash bar, but there should be something……..

Post # 4
3101 posts
Sugar bee

@Lauraine:  I think it is customary and polite to give your guests food and drink, but I guess to each his own.

Post # 5
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

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 # 7
1699 posts
Bumble bee

@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
634 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@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
1770 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1997

@Lauraine:  embarassing I’m sure. No refreshments for the guests seems rather rude. 


Post # 10
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

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
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

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, Darling Husband 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
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

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
7219 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2015

@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
2457 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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 # 16
9550 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@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.

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