Pay for attending engagement party?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
806 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2019

This is the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard.  I always assumed when you hosted something it was the hosts responsibility to cover everything.  I’ve never heard of a party where you have to pay admission.

I once went to a birthday party where there was a cost per head, but that was more like a group of friends going out to dinner and it was no more than we would have normally spent per person before drinks.

I’m not sure why the hosts wouldn’t choose something they can afford.  I never got the sense that this was a mandatory bridal party obligation so why host it if you can’t afford it?

Post # 32
8634 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

thankfulbride :  This is your brother and you’re close enough that you and your husband are both in the wedding party. Can’t you call and ask him, “Mom said people are going to have to pay $200 per person to attend this. Did she mishear or something, because I can’t believe this is true. If it is, it’s going to be really embarassing for you and [bride] because it’s not acceptable. And it would mean I won’t be able to come. What’s the story?”

If what your mom said is true, I’d encourage him to decline the party because people will hold it against him and his fiance just as much as the hosts. And if they go ahead with it anyway, I would not even consider attending and I wouldn’t feel the least bit bad about it. That is an absurd and completely unreasonable ask.

Post # 33
522 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

Hell no. It’s really rude to charge people “admission” to any type of wedding event or wedding. And $200 a head?? Seriously?? That’s more than the cost of some wedding packages!

Post # 34
1316 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Nope, nope, nope. Even if the entrance fee was only $10, this still wouldn’t be acceptable. Host the event you can afford. My engagement party was a backyard BBQ.

Post # 36
2233 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

No. Effing. Way.

If the Maid/Matron of Honor offered to “host” a party, that means she is offering to cover the cost of “hosting” people. That is not what this is. This is her making a reservation for a large group of people without actually doing anything to “host”

I had a situation like this come up with a friend’s birthday party. Hubs wanted to surprise his wife with a birthday dinner. I was all about it. Until, about a week before the event, he sent us a sample of the pre fixe menu. Not only was it not a dinner I would choose myself, it was $150 a head. I love this girl, but I am not dropping $300 on a friend’s birthday party. I told him under the circumstances we were unable to attend, but hoped they had a nice evening.

Asking guests to pay for a berth at a party isn’t a party; it’s fundraising event, and not an appropriate pre-wedding activity. Not a thing. 

Post # 37
4372 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

No way is that a thing… Even if their friends would want to attend and pay their way many people don’t have  that kind of change to spend on other peoples party. .

The Maid/Matron of Honor and Best man are going to find themselves in a bind when nobody shows and they will have to cover the minimum spend to book the venue. I predict that they will chase your brother and Future Sister-In-Law for the cash and the friendship will end in the lead  up to the wedding.

Be honest with your brother and tell him this 200 buck fundraiser will backfire royally. They as the couple will look like tools for allowing this idiocy to occur. 😕 

Post # 38
6073 posts
Bee Keeper

Daisy_Mae :  +1 

Exactly. If this was a family member of mine, I wouldn’t tread so lightly, I’d be asking ‘have you lost your freaking mind?! No, this is not a thing. What on earth are you thinking???’ 

It would be a kindness in the long run because as Daisy Mae says, people will be holding this against the bride and groom as well as the hosts. And I can see A LOT of declines for this. 

Post # 39
809 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

My wonderful SIL hosted a dinner party for her husband and she paid for everything! She threw a surprise birthday bash and paid for all the drinks and food ordered. Everyone invited had no problem paying for their own orders but because she invited everyone she paid. It was not a cheap night…I think the total bill was close to 5k but that is what people do when they host parties. Having to pay $200 a head for an engagement party is not appropriate 

Post # 41
1846 posts
Buzzing bee

Wow, I’d thought I’d heard abotu every way to make your guests pay for your wants until I saw this. I can’t believe they honestly think this a reasonable ask. For $200 my FH and I can have a fancy dinner out, with wine, appies, dessert and a cab and a sitter.

The only way I can see this going is your brother engagement party either being empty or attended by angry resentful people and the Maid/Matron of Honor ending up with a big bill she can’t afford. Please keep us updated on what ends up happening. I’d love to hear how this one turns out.

Post # 42
4550 posts
Honey bee

thankfulbride :  No your brother and the Maid/Matron of Honor or whoever is “hosting” need a reality check. I got married last year, it’s not a trend, it’s tacky as hell. I’d say “sorry brother but $400 for both of us to attend is ridiculous and I can’t afford it.”

Post # 44
83 posts
Worker bee

I’m sorry, that’s just awful! How/when is she going to break the news of the cost to her guests? 

Post # 45
6073 posts
Bee Keeper

Why is the Maid/Matron of Honor so fixated on having this cost-per-head at an expensive restaurant? This isn’t a thing, it’s never been ‘a thing’ and it’s not the hot nouveau trend she’s trying to market it as. So wtf is up with her? Sounds shady AF, I’d be suspicious of her agenda here. 

FWIW I can imagine only someone with $$$$ can afford to throw an expensive engagement bash at a posh restaurant- but they’d also be willing to host the evening and pay for it. Those without the $$$$ &/ or the inclination to pay for such extravagance would have more consideration for other people’s budgets than to try and foist the price tag for this ill-thought out party onto the guests. And it’s just crass and horrible etiquette. So either Maid/Matron of Honor is completely clueless and inconsiderate or she’s a con.

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