Pay when you rsvp?!

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 61
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Combermere Abbey

Sadly this is not news for me. My friend told me of her fiance’s cousin’s wedding where they charged people £35 per head to eat at their wedding. Suffice to say their acceptance rate was abysmal. 

Post # 62
12237 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

dannad :  “I think the problem here is that the idea of what a wedding should be haven’t changed, but people don’t have that kind of money to throw away anymore. I know no other person my age who owns a home (I’m 28), so if you can’t afford a downpayment, you can’t afford a 15k party.”

Tbe problem isn’t the price of weddings or that the expectations  haven’t changed. To the contrary, there were always couples or their families who couldn’t afford a big wedding and planned accordingly. 

The real problem is the entitlement factor. Rather than keeping it simple, doing a courthouse wedding or a delayed reception or anniversary party, people think that a $$$$$ wedding is somehow coming to them. It’s not. 

The truth is most young couples are really in no position to host an expensive wedding on their own. Passing the cost onto guests is rude and crass whether it’s $25 or $250.


Post # 63
555 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I saw an invite there other day that said “in lieu of gifts please e-transfer To emailaddress”. I didn’t think it got worse, but apparantely it does!

Post # 64
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Like I said, it’s getting very common here, wait some years and maybe you guys will have to start declining those tacky invites too! 🙂 Personally I don’t get offended, if I care about a couple I’ll go to their wedding no matter what; pay to attend, cash bar, vegan or alcohol free sunday brunch. 


Edit: just for emphasis, this is getting so common that we got multiple calls asking us if we forgot to write the price down on our invites haha.

Post # 65
527 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

This is horrid. I didn’t want to pay for lots of people to attend my wedding so I just didn’t invite them, haha!

Post # 66
531 posts
Busy bee

How embarassing… Why would a couple humiliate themselves like that? Better to have no food at all.

Post # 67
680 posts
Busy bee

This is unbelievably tacky. I can’t. 


Post # 68
263 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’d be like, “Here’s a photo of the $150 in cash that I’m going to spend on doing something I’m actually interested in…”

Post # 69
94 posts
Worker bee

Well that’s disgusting. Sounds to me like they’re essentially asking people to help pay for their wedding in a very subtle way. A lot of venues are priced by meal per person, aren’t they? I would not go if I were your friend. I personally don’t trust people who do this kind of stuff. There is usually an ulterior motive. Depending on the place, the prices per person can be quite expensive. I feel bad for the other guests who will be attending.

This is a(n) party/event the couple is hosting, they cannot expect their guests to pay for it! I can’t believe people actually do this kind of stuff. It makes me so angry.

Post # 70
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

MrsCoffeeSnob :  WOW I actually cannot believe this exists!! Unlike some on here, I have NEVER seen this before and I think it is so tacky! This may sound mean especially since I do not know these people, but really hope that no one RSVP’s. Then their wedding will cost $0 to feed 0 people. I was originally thinking of it on the scale of my wedding (130 pp + 32 bar all x 22% fee = 200 pp) and was appalled but even after knowing it was only $22 per person I would still decline just due to principles. If you cannot afford $22 per person then do not have a wedding!! Not to mention like PP’s have said, they likely would have received more than that in gifts but now they won’t. RUDE!!!

dannad :  First of all, I can’t believe you have received so many invitations like that! Second, I agree with you regarding people our age being financially stable enough for a big wedding. The idea of what a wedding should be needs to change, and the idea of planning the wedding you can afford needs to get out there. I do own my own home (bought at 25, Darling Husband moved in at 27, married at 29) but not many people my age do. We were able to splurge a bit and choose an expensive venue (~200 per person) but I honestly cannot even comprehend asking people to buy tickets. Some of these girls need a reality check, a 45K wedding is not for everyone.

Post # 71
26 posts
  • Wedding: June 2018

Wow just wow … I almost hope more people post about this happening cause its hysterical Sad but still hysterical

Post # 72
13 posts
  • Wedding: July 2018

Maybe its because I’m from the UK and culturally things are a bit different here, but I don’t really see a problem with this. I think the cries of outrage and indignation are a little over the top. What does it matter, after all, if you pay for a meal, give cash, or buy a gift?  You are still spending money on the couple…  I know someone who asked certain guests to pay for their meal and not others which I thought was unfair and insulting to those asked, but I would be more than happy to pay for a cheapish meal instead of buying a gift. I would also far rather give cash so the couple could go and have a good time with it rather than buy a blender that’ll sit in the back of a cupboard forever more. Why are people so offended by this?  Because you expect a free meal? What’s the motivation?….

Post # 73
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

julia1983 :  Maybe it’s cultural, but where I’m from (U.S. urban coastal city), if you’re having a formal party, you don’t expect your invited guests to help you pay for it. It’s not just impolite, it undercuts the very notions of hospitality built into the idea of a formal event. For this same reason, a cash bar would be shocking: if you’re inviting me to a party, you’re implicitly offering me food, drink, and entertainment; to expect me to provide my own, even by paying at a bar you’ve provided, seems counterintuitive and contradictory to the very notion of a “party.”

Now, there are gatherings in which it’s okay to ask guests to bring something, but these events are usually collaboratively organized. So, think a super casual house party, the kind usually thrown in your early to mid twenties; or dinner parties, where it’s good manners as a guest to bring a bottle of wine (but not usually a dish. And if a guest offered to help pay for the ingredients used in the meal, I’d be mortified), and, closest of all, the potluck, where you ask everyone to bring a dish so you can all eat together — but that is a very very casual event, often associated with warm-season holidays, outdoor barbeques, gatherings in backyards and public parks, and so on.

Edit: The longer I think about it, the more I feel that the “collaborative” element is key to deciding when it’s okay to ask guests to contribute vs. when it’s not. There is nothing collaborative about a wedding reception; it is an event you throw to mark a huge occasion in your own life. Your wedding would happen, presumably, even if the guests weren’t present, so it’s the opposite of collaborative. Hence, no, you can’t ask guests to contribute.

A dinner party — well, you’d have dinner if the guests didn’t come, but their presence is important for making it a dinner party, so of course they can chip in by bringing a hostess gift of a bottle of wine, or maybe their famous cheesecake, the one everyone loves but can’t manage to replicate.

A potluck – wouldn’t happen without everyone bringing something. Wouldn’t even BE a potluck if people brought nothing. Completely collaborative.

Post # 74
13 posts
  • Wedding: July 2018

calendula :  

Thank you for explaining the viewpoint…  I must say that certainly here, if I were invited to a wedding with a free bar, I’d think the hosts were either incredibly well off, had rich parents or had just won the lottery and not told anyone!!  Free bars are very unusual in the UK I would say (not got any stats to back this up but I’ve only heard of one). Unfortunately most couples here are likely struggling to pay for a house deposit/mortgage and general living costs, so I would not begrudge them a few quid to have the day of their dreams. Maybe the hosts of this particular wedding are simply struggling financially in the background and thought this was better than selling their gifts on eBay afterwards. So whilst I find the cultural differences very interesting, I still think people should cut them some slack!  It’s a bit mean to hope that nobody will turn up (not aimed at you personally but that seems to be the wish of others) …. 

Post # 75
6788 posts
Busy Beekeeper

montrealbride2017 :  I would have handed them my gift and left. First, it doesn’t have to cost $75pp to host a shower. Second, rude. Just rude. 

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