(Closed) last minute bridal shower invite + they expect me to pay??

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
Member
1740 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Yea, I’ve hosted a shower at a restaurant (there were 3 of us hosting all together) and we did not ask any of the guests to pay.  We just split the bill between us (roughly $200 a piece I think?). Granted, it was a lunch, and we didn’t cover the alcohol – anyone who wanted wine paid for it themselves – but nonetheless we covered food and (non-alcoholic) drinks and I worked with the owner of the restaurant to coordinate the space and logistics.  

We (the same group of friends) have hosted quite a few other showers (baby and wedding) for each other at various times over the past 20 years (there are 4 us in the group who have been BFFs since middle school) and we’ve never charged any guests for attending, no matter where the location.  Maybe it’s cultural, but I’ve definitely never heard of it.

Having said that, I will not be having a bridal shower, because I hate them.  I don’t mind hosting them for my BFFs who may not hate them, but I don’t want one, and I don’t need one.  (But I will say that I probably wouldn’t hate going to one that I host because we usually do drink wine, and we don’t ever play stupid games when I’m the host.  lol)

Post # 62
Member
3307 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I will never understand charging guests (who are already bringing presents) to attend a shower or wedding. It’s in poor taste and I don’t think it’s at all common for people who live within their means, whether they’re from Canada, Europe, or Outer Slobovia. Sadly, living within one’s means is a skill that a lot of people lack. 

OP, send the gift, be unable to attend the shower. (My version of “Leave the gun, take the cannolis”).

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Profile Photo doberman. Reason: Godfather reference
Post # 63
Member
202 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

This is so rude! It would be one thing if they told you upfront, which I don’t personally agree with and have never heard of asking people to pay to attend wedding events (I live in Toronto), but to ask you after is super tacky and awkward. YIKES! I would send the gift you thoughfully purchased and could afford and respectfully decline. 

Post # 64
Member
993 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

Ignoring all the confusing BS in the middle of this thread..

Regretfully decline, send the gift directly to the bride with a nice note apologizing for your absence, and that you look forward to seeing her at the wedding.

It is beyond rude that you weren’t told about the cost up front at the time you were asked, and completely acceptable that you would need to decline. Thank the Friend for offering to cover for you but just be honest and say that it would make you uncomfortable, but you hope they have a wonderful time.

Post # 65
Member
51 posts
Worker bee

This is certainly an interesting discussion!

I agree with jkm13 – maybe it is a European thing. Not a Montreal thing- Im in NY and that is for sure the custom in my culutral community.

Granted that the way morsa got invited WAS NOT proper – they should have told you about it like “hey we are having this event for the bride, we are all pitching in $65 a person, are you in?” something like that would have been appropriate.

True beebee1983- you cant stick em witht eh bill after they have accepted. Your right, but to not have people bring money at all for their spot? Really? I just always assume that every invitation I get to an event, Ill have to cover approximately what the seat is. True Weddings arent a way to make money and as I am sure you know it is RARE when bride and groom or whoever is paying for wedding “breaks even”. So that point is moot anyway.

HOWEVER, in general, it is ridiculous to me to go to a birthday/engagement/bridal shower/ wedding etc.. and not bring a gift in an envelope that covers at least your meal, plus extra as the “gift portion”. I have never seen such a thing growing up. Whenever you go to an event, esp. when it is catered and you can sort of figure out the price per head, you bring that much. Some birthdays are like a sit down dinner, so you approximate and then you bring a gift too. For weddings, regardless where it is, we never give less than $150-200 per person. Close family tends to give more.

It is so weird for me to think that just becuase the Maid of honor for example is “hosting” an event she is expected to cover the cost. Unless your maid of honor is a Hilton or a Kardashian, thats a huge burden on her. Why in the world would a guest come to someones event and expect to eat and drink for free unless its like a house party or a bbq. But even so, when I had my housewarming, I cooked and we ordered some food as well but people still brought envelopes as “housewarming” gifts. You never come empty handed to someones house – for events esp Weddings I feel like it is even more so.

Post # 66
Member
8945 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

morsa:  “Honestly, it’s really embarrassing for me!” — This is the shittiest part. You’ve done nothing wrong, yet you’re the one who’s embarrassed by this fiasco. Please try not to be. This is completely on the party hosts. They are the ones who should be embarrassed. I recommend going with the first option you listed in the OP — thank them for the offer, but reiterate that you won’t be attending. If it feels this weird and icky just thinking about it, imagine how awkward it’s going to be to be there in person. No. You absolutely should not pay (or let your parents pay) and I’m like you, I wouldn’t feel better letting the other person pay because they’ve turned it from accepting hospitality into taking their hand-out.

Email them back and say thanks but I can’t make it. In fact, if the shower isn’t a surprise, I’d ship the gift today and then email back saying “Thanks for your offer but I can’t take you up on it. I’ve already sent my gift and will be thinking of her next week. Have fun!” If they harass you any more after that, just ignore it. And if the bride asks why you weren’t there, I’d be honest with her: “I couldn’t afford it and didn’t feel right letting someone else pay. Did you like the toaster?”

Post # 67
Member
2733 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

bridalruss87:  I’m from Jersey so I get you on the cover your plate rule for weddings. And you mention that you basically guestimate how much was spent on the event and gift the bride and groom that amount. Gotchya there too. But, have you ever had a host actually tell you a specified amount of what you owe for the event? I personally don’t give money to the hosts of showers and have never seen this done. The gift is only given to the guest of honor. I also wouldn’t give my $200/person to the mother of the bride at a wedding even if I knew the bride’s parents were paying for it.

I think that’s what’s strange about this whole thread. Cover-your-plate: ok. Hosts handing an invoice to guests for what they “owe”: not okay.

My Maid/Matron of Honor paid for my bridal shower out of her pocket and not one of my guests gave her money (nor did she ever expect it). If you can’t afford a Hilton/Kardashian style event, you host a party within your means.

Post # 68
Member
1973 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

What the hell does a ‘European thing’ mean? I know that’s not the topic of this thread and it’s been derailed. I’m in the UK, I know f*ck all about Romanian weddings. Both in Europe btw…

Post # 69
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

jkm13:  You don’t throw a $5200 party if you can’t afford it.  If someone pulled that around here I would be surprised if a single guest showed up.  Whether or not a wedding or shower is expensive should be of no concern to a guest.  If the hosts can’t foot the bill without expectation of reimbursement, they’re throwing a party they can’t afford and should probably take their business to the courthouse with a small dinner to follow.  

Post # 70
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

jkm13:  You mention overfeeding guests.  They’re no longer your guests when you ask them to pay.  My husband is Italian and I can’t imagine my Mother-In-Law putting a cost pp on my baby shower invitations.  I’m sure the shower isn’t inexpensive, but Mother-In-Law is doing it because she wants to see her friends and show off the mother of her grandchild.  I’m sure her friends are attending because she’s been there for the showers of her grandchildren.  It’s generous of these women to attend and bring gifts.  It would be horrifying to expect them to pay for the meal in addition to giving up their Sunday and bringing expensive gifts.  

Post # 71
Member
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

morsa:  I think you’re right to decline and mail the gift.  Even if money wasn’t an object, I’d be very likely to decline on principle.  I can’t imagine the shower is $65 pp for food unless it’s dinner.  My guess is that you’d be paying for your crappy favor, the decor, etc.  On principle I’d decline that “invite”

Post # 72
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

bridalruss87:  THANK YOU!! I guess its all in the way people are raised. I also would never show up at someones event, birthday dinner, shower, wedding, house warming, whatever it may be, empty handed. It is common courtesy to bring something. If i get invited to someones house for dinner like you mentioned, i bring dessert, or a bottle of wine. whatever. Its just proper manners. But if the event is costing the host a per plate price, who the hell am i to expect the host pays for my share?? Is the event about me or the bride?? and the bridal party has enough expenses, they dont need the extra burden of paying for everyone to eat and drink.  We are completely on the same page, maybe its a “big city” thing that has many immigrants, cause up in Quebec city, which is in the same province as Montreal, they dont follow that custom, but theyre also raised on farms.

EllyAnne:  can you accept that by writing “european” thing it is just a general combination of mixed countries and cultures as a whole average, and that i did not list each country one by one saying they ALL do this. I can only speak confidently of my experience, and my multi cultured circle of friends and family. I do not have the knowledge to say ALL european countries do this, but just saying that many of them do. If the UK doesnt, thats fine. I never said they did. Lets try not to nit pick and manipulate how phrases are writtem just to make a new point that sounds “right”. This wasnt supposed to turn into a debate or argument, its just people sharing their different experiences from different corners of the world. 

lisianthus:  quote from your post: “if someone pulled that around HERE”…. exactly my point, i was only speaking on behalf of where i am from originally, and where i live now. So, people HERE would definitely show up. Again, i was only giving a different point of view from a different angle. , mine, not yours. bt thank you for sharing yours also. i wont say its wrong. 

Let me ask you this…. heres a hypothetical scenario…. my best friend in the whole world is getting married, and i am the poorest kid ever. I lost my job and am collecting welfare, i can only afford a new dress but i cant afford not even a $100 simple shower…. Should my friend not get a bridal shower? or should she ask another friend who has money to be her Maid/Matron of Honor instead of me? Should her shower reflect my own personal financial status, or should it reflect her own cultural traditions since she is the bride?

Post # 73
Member
369 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

lisianthus:  maybe thats where the difference lies…. maybe you guys give expensive gifts, where we dont. we rather contribute to the event and help people stay out of debt. And we also dont see it as “giving up their sunday” if one of my guest feel as though they are giving up a day for me, then i dont want them there, and i certainly wouldnt expect them to pay for anything OR give a gift if they treat celebrating the bride as a chore. I know that when i go to showers, and ive been to atlast 30-40, im more than happy to see the bride, eat good, and celebrate. And of course the cost has to make sense. I would question a $65 charge if the meal was sandwiches. But the showers i have gone to usually have several courses and include unlimited wine. So it warrants the fee.

Post # 74
Member
1973 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016 - Sussex, UK

jkm13:  yeah, I’m the one nitpicking. JFC. That wasn’t even in response to you. ‘European thing’ has no meaning, especially when talking about customs. 

Post # 75
Member
6640 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

I agree that this may be a cultural thing. However, I think it is basic courtesy to inform a potential guest of the PP fee on the invitation. Where I live, showers are commonly held in someone’s home or in a public gathering spot (town hall or some such) and not in restaurants, and there has never been a charge for any of them. I wouldn’t have any issue attending one with a fee, but I would want to know up-front whether that was the case or not. While it might not be an issue for me (or for those hosting), many people are not in a position to laugh off $65 and should be allowed to consider the cost when deciding whether to attend or not. 

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