Post # 1
It’s been a long while since I’ve been on here, but I loved how helpful these boards were when I got married years ago. Such a great community!
I have a question about my brother’s engagement party coming up and am curious to get opinions. My brother is about ten years younger than me, and most of my close friends were married five to ten years ago, so maybe trends have changed since I was last more involved in a wedding?
My husband and I are both in their wedding party. The maid of honor and best man are “hosting” an engagement party for my brother and his fiancee coming up. The only information we’ve received about it is a text from my brother about a month ago that we should hold the date/evening for it. I’ve asked for a few more details (like where the party is, what time it is, etc.)…but my brother and soon-to-be sister in law have only said that “more details will come soon.” The party is about two weeks away at this point. I hadn’t pushed for more info, because I figured it would come eventually – and aside from more specific timing for a babysitter for my kids, I wasn’t overly concerned about the details.
Evidently though, my brother told my mom recently that the maid of honor has reserved a large room at one of their favorite restaurants for the party and is planning on charging about $200 a head to cover the costs of meeting the food and drink minimums/event space rental. The party is in about two weeks, and this is the first news of it we’ve heard – and again, I didn’t even hear this directly. He just mentioned it in passing to my mom over the weekend. She and my dad aren’t going to the party, so she said she assumed that it’d been included as part of the invitation when people were invited. My mom said she was shocked that’s how they were handling it, but my brother said that he’s sure everyone will be fine with it and it’s not a big deal.
<div>I feel like there are SO many things off with this, but I also don’t want to be a stick in the mud about it if this is a new normal. I plan on asking my brother for more details about the party again, but I’m also honestly not sure that we’ll be able to attend if it’s going to be $400 for us to show up. Our babysitter costs will already add up for the evening (but again, I knew that when I said we could attend the party, and it was an anticipated/reasonable expense). I’m just not sure that we can drop over $500 by the time everything is said and done to go to this party. Obviously, we’re anticipating costs associated with being in the wedding in general – but this feels like a bit much to get the ball rolling. </div>
<div>Does this seem reasonable? Is this kind of setup for a party something that happens in weddings you’ve been in? My gut reaction was that it’s extreme, but maybe I need a wider perspective. Thoughts?</div>
Post # 2
Eeeek. $200/person mandatory to attend an engagement party. You’re right, that’s not normal and I would bet this will impact the amount of people who actually attend the party. That’s a bit crazy
Post # 3
Sorry, I barely got past the title.
If it was an informal “everyone, let’s meet up for happy hour to celebrate” then I’d give a pass for paying my own way. But whatever this is? Nope. Or paying my own way for your exorbitantly expensive party is now my wedding present to you along with your birthday and maybe Christmas, too. Hope you didn’t really want whatever you will be registering for.
Post # 4
Hahaha…no, I would not be attending and I’d probably laugh and wish him the best with it if my brother tried to tell me that directly on the phone.
Post # 5
Horrid. You don’t “invite” people to lay out big bucks for a nonessential social event in which they’ve had zero input.
Hope you are able to come up with a reasonable excuse, and be sure to lard it with murmurs of “……..If we’d ONLY KNOWN SOONER…..”
Stay alert for more cheesy nonsense following this, up to and including the wedding, and keep your excuses folio up to date. I’m betting you’ll need it again soon.
Post # 6
Yeah, you’ve got yourself a cheeky beggar with the MoH there OP. I did the conversion to sterling – no way would I pay a £152 entry fee (each!!) for an engagement party. I can’t imagine many others will either.
Put your foot down now, or the ridiculous costs will keep rising and the shower, stag and hen etc. will cost a fortune too, so will outfits etc.
Post # 7
This isn’t a thing. If guests know ahead of time it will greatly impact attendance. Worse, it gets dropped on guests at the party. The best case scenario is awkwardness. Worst case, people straight up walk out and the “host” pays the whole bill. (As they should have to begin with)
Post # 8
trends have changed in 10 years but this is straight up rude and inconsiderate.
the only way i would pay to attend is if it was a causual, let’s celebrate with drinks and apps. then i could spend as much or as little as i wanted.
but being required to pay $200/person, what kind of party is this? a surprise wedding, then that would be my gift and say good riddance.
your parents are smart to decline the ridiculous summons.
Post # 9
Thank you all so much! This makes me feel so much better! With how nonchalant my brother was about the party and “charging” people, I was seriously worried this was a new thing. My husband is fully planning on having us back out once I confirm that the details really are the case…I’m just trying to work up as graceful a way as possible. That said, I’m not that worried about it being too graceful because the whole setup feels so awkward in the first place.
Post # 10
Oh no, my babysitter fell through, what a shame, I guess I won’t be paying $200 a head for dinner after all.
To clarify, the above answer is cheeky.
Post # 11
I’d be really careful what you tell them. I think you HAVE to mention the cost being prohibitive because that with (a) warn them that your budget will play a role for future wedding-related expenses and hopefully clue them in to not selection $600 bm dress or the like and (b) keep them from saying that since you RSVPed yes originally, you’re on the hook for the $200 anyway, even if your “babysitter fell through” or whatever.
You can be kind, but I think referring to the cost is key…
Post # 12
Thank you! I agree that I need to be careful how I respond…from both the cost perspective, and that I don’t want to strain the relationship with my brother/his fiancee over this. There was never an official invitation with any details – beyond a text from my brother that said: “Our best man and Maid/Matron of Honor are hosting a party for us this evening. Love it if you could make it!” I’d texted back that I was pretty sure we’re around, but I needed to look for a sitter for sure. Since then, I’ve asked for more details to pin down a sitter for a specific time, but that’s when they’ve just said “more details will come soon.” I haven’t heard anything from the Maid/Matron of Honor or best man who are supposedly hosting it… I’m going to chat with my brother today to get more details and think carefully about how to respond and back out. I was blindsided when my mom told me what he told her, so I’m glad I at least have a little time to process before talking to him!
Post # 13
- Wedding: April 2017 - City, State
That’s hilarious! No, no that is not a thing reasonable people do and I wouldn’t hesitate to state that the cost was far too much. Honestly, people shouldn’t be required to pay anything to attend an engagement party. Payment is the responsibility of the host. Hopefully this kind of thinking won’t spill over into the wedding planning itself.
Post # 14
Honestly the Maid/Matron of Honor is going to get completely screwed over when NO ONE shows up to this party. I would ask your brother to reconsider for their own sake! What a disaster. I don’t know anyone who would pay 200$ pp to attend an engagement party.
Post # 15
Yes, I am worried about it for her sake too. It just doesn’t feel like a good idea, and I’m worried she’ll end up in a huge bind when they do finally get the details out to people.