Post # 1
So, I know that the “cover your plate” argument runs rampant on this board… some people say they expect it, some people don’t… this topic isn’t about whether or not “cover your plate” is proper…
I’ve read many threads where brides complained that someone gave them a small gift, and they were offended, because they were expecting more. Those threads make me scared to RSVP “yes” to weddings! I really want to celebrate with my friends, but I’m on a tight budget, and generally can’t afford to give more than a $50 gift, which to me is a lot of money, but I understand it’s not to everybody. Especially if I have to travel to a wedding, or take off work, or something, I really can’t afford more than that. Sometimes I’ll try to buy a “meaningful” gift instead, but still it’d be around the same budget.
So the question is… and be honest… do you think guests should decline if they can’t afford to give a larger gift that can “cover their plate”? How would you want it at your wedding? If you liked someone enough to invite them, would you rather they come and give a small gift, or decline since they can’t afford to give more?
Post # 3
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
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
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
@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 # 7
@housebee: I think that’s a good way to put it… I think you can be generous without having a certain amount of money to give… people’s intentions should mean more than what they have in their bank account.
Post # 8
@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
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 # 10
@HappySky7: yes, I’d for SURE be too embarrassed to show up empty handed, but a card and a modest check isn’t empty handed, right? As long as the sentiment is right I guess…
Post # 11
@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
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
@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
@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
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
@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.