(Closed) Should guests decline if they can't "cover their plate"?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Should a guest decline if they can't afford to cover their plate?

    Yes! Not covering your plate is rude!

    No! If I invited them I want them to be there with me, gift or not!

    No, as long as it seems like they put some effort in.


  • Post # 3
    625 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Um… definitely not. Invited guests should come regardless of whether or not they can give anything. I didn’t invite guests so they could pay for my wedding! I invited them because I want them there to celebrate.

    P.S. Don’t feel bad if you can’t cover your plate when invited to a wedding… do what you can. If they are your true friends they will understand that your budget has limitations. If any of my out of town guests give me gifts I will feel guilty because I know how much it costs to get here – so I am doing as many nice things as I can for them to show that I value their trip.

    Post # 4
    6386 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I invited several people to our wedding that couldn’t afford to give gifts.  I understood this and invited them anyways, and I’m glad that I did.  While I think it is alright to hold yourself to a certain expectation when it comes to gift giving, assigning that same expectation to your guests only leads to disappointment.  Invite them because you want the person to be there, not because of their wallet.

    Post # 5
    4231 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    I would want guests to attend regardless of if they brought a gift or not. That being said, I personally would feel too embarassed to show up empty handed. 

    Post # 6
    198 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @laughs:  I personally think the “cover your plate” rule is rediculous! If you expect your guests to pay for the wedding then go ahead an be tacky and tell them “hey, we are going to spend $100/person because Im selfish and you will be forced to either pay it or not show up.” I think the whole thing is rude. A gift is a gift. If you cant afford a lavish wedding then dont have one!! I always have and will continue to give the most thoughtful gift I can give within my budget. I dont think you should worry about covering your plate but I guess it depends on where you are from. In Ohio we care more about the fact that someone is getting married rather than the whoopla of the wedding. 🙂

    Post # 8
    5636 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @housebee:  +1 perfectly stated….I feel exactly this way

    Invite them because you want the person to be there, not because of their wallet


    OP I think you should go to the wedding….I am sure your friend wants you to be there!


    Post # 9
    1218 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    No, if someone is invited to be a guest, that is exactly how their host should treat them- as a guest. Not a guest required to bring a gift.

    Post # 11
    2265 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    @laughs:  I absolutely would NOT want someone to decline because they were worried about the damn gift!  I didn’t invite people to my wedding to get gifts – I invited them because I wanted them to share our day with us. 

    Any bridal couple that gets angry about any gift is wrong and rude.  You should not worry about “only” being able to afford $50.00.  As a guest, you only need to select the gift of your choosing that fits in with YOUR budget – not anyone else’s.

    If you’ve been invited and want to go, then go!  Don’t worry about your gift. 

    Post # 12
    1302 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    An invitation should be freely given, as a gift should be.  

    Thus, a gift or “covering your plate” is a lovely and appreciated gesture, but I would never want someone to not attend just because they couldn’t afford to give an expensive gift.

    Post # 13
    3900 posts
    Honey bee

    @laughs:  I totally do not expect like 90% of my guests to cover their plate. That would mean us getting close to $400 per couple, and I feel like it would be rude of me to expect that when it was my choice to make my wedding expensive (well not really, but you know what I mean). I’ve told many of my friends, I am just happy to have them there and bring the party, so not to worry about gifts. Sure I’d love to recoup some costs or get some cool registry stuff, but that is totally not why I invited people, and I’d hate to think anybody worried about going over that!


    Post # 14
    398 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2013

    @laughs:  I’m fine if a guest cant cover especially if they are traveling in to celebrate. If we couldnt cover our expenses ourselves we would have a smaller wedding, but I always try to give back the cost to a couple if I attend their wedding. Im fine with a card or little gift but coming empty handed really bothers me, I feel like I would be taken advantage of for the food.

    Post # 15
    496 posts
    Helper bee

    I also don’t understand this “cover your plate idea” which is common in the northeast. This is a wedding, a celebration.  Not a charity dinner.  If someone gives you $100 and your cost $200, that is non of your guest’s concern!  And one should not feel like the guest didn’t give enough.  Any monetary gift given is a bonus.

    Post # 16
    518 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @laughs:  Our per plate cost is stupid expensive. We do not expect our guests to cover their plates. It’s our choice to throw a fancy party for our nearest and dearest. They shouldn’t be expected to help foot the bill.

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