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

posted 8 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.

    Other.

  • Post # 47
    Member
    4097 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    @laughs:  for all the bees who haven’t gotten married yet, once the big day comes you’ll realize the most important thing is that your guests show up to celebrate with you. Monetary gifts are SO on the back burner. I feel sorry for brides whose guests won’t come because they can’t afford to “cover their plates”. 

     

    Post # 48
    Member
    1502 posts
    Bumble bee

    @laughs:  I want my guests for their company and not for gifts! People who love you want you to RSVP yes!   I would rather get nothing and have my loved ones attend, so I have went out of my way to spread that news by word of mouth.  It is also subtly stated on my wedding website. We did not register for gifts at all, and to make it clear we do not want money, we followed the lead of Will and Kate who had a charity registry on the Royal Wedding website.

    Post # 49
    Member
    547 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I guess I haven’t spent enough time on the bee because I didn’t know this was a thing. It kind of disgusts me that it is. I felt bad doing a Destination Wedding and now seeing the gifts keep deleting off the registry is making me overwhelmed. My plate cost is like $55 or something so the fact that people are even getting us gifts on top of coming to the wedding is crazy to me. 

    Post # 50
    Member
    817 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Oh man, most of my friends are in grad school and I’d be horrified if they came even close to “covering their plates.”  I’m hoping groups of friends will go in on things together and spend $20 or so each.

    Post # 51
    Member
    729 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Definitely rather they be there!  A good friend, her daughter was flower girl, is a struggling single mom.  She was estatic we found a whole outfit at a thrift store for her daughter (dress, belt, shoes) for under $10 so she could pay for it (even though I repeated offered to buy something brand new at a reasonable price).  She did take the day off work to attend.  All she gave us was a card, and of course her and her daughter to be there!  Didn’t bother me a bit, I would have been disappointed if they hadn’t come!

    Reminds me of a birthday party I had in 1st or 2nd grade.  A new girl moved in across the street with her mom.  Looking back she was obviously on hard times, matresses on the floor, few clothes and toys.  We’d become friends and my mom invited her but her mom said she couldn’t come.  Because they couldn’t afford a gift, unless I wanted a hamster (daughter’s pet… my mom is terrified of rodents lol).  My mom told them that she could only come if she DIDN’T bring a gift. 🙂

    Post # 52
    Member
    1797 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Guest over gift all the way.  I don’t really understand the cover your plate anyway…how is the guest supposed to know the cost?  A $50 gift would just about cover a plate at our wedding so even if we went by the cover your plate, an extravagant gift wouldn’t be appropriate.

    I said it in another post, but really the cost of a wedding just isn’t going to get cocered by gifts…it’s a waste of energy to worry about IMO.

    Post # 53
    Member
    564 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    No! Gifts are nice, but they should NEVER be expected! 

    Brides who get upset over not getting an expensive gift really need to get their priorities straight. Did they invite those guests just for a gift? Or to spend their special day with the people who love them?  

     

    Post # 54
    Member
    768 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014 - Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

    I have never heard of this “cover your plate” rule. Anyways if you are invited to a wedding as a guest obviously the person wants you there…I would not decline the invitation just b/c I couldn’t “cover the plate.” I would still bring some type of gift or a gift card. Plus $50 to me is a lot of money for a wedding gift…especially if you are just a friend. But that’s my opinion and I’m sure others would disagree. I am not inviting people to my wedding in hopes for gifts. Plus I kind of already know the ones who will come without…so I’m prepared.

    Post # 55
    Member
    229 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    I, for one, think it would be rude if a couple insisted on it.  If you can’t afford that kind of wedding, don’t have one.  The important thing is you are marrying the person you want to spend your life with and inviting those you want to witness it.   Weddings have gotten so out of control.

    That being said, a wedding reception is not a restaurant where if you don’t have the money you don’t eat or drink.  You are hosting it, and having your guests “cover their plate” is just plain rude.  I can see it now on someone’s wedding website:  “Dear guests, our cost per person is $150, so would you please be so kind as to give us a gift in that amount so we can cover the cost of hosting you?”  Ridiculous!

    Etiquette says guests don’t have to bring you a gift, it’s just what a lot of people do.  They are traveling, staying in hotels, sometimes buying an outfit to wear all to witness this important moment in a couple’s life.  Why the added pressure?   If they can afford it, then ok.  But if not, then let it go.

    Post # 56
    Member
    1580 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2015

    No way! I love people I love for who they are, not for what they can give me. 

    Post # 57
    Member
    4913 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    I’m on the “cover your plate” camp.  However, a few of my friends definitely had weddings that exceeded my “cover your plate” budget.  Weddings have gotten more expensive and while I think cover your plate is a good rule, I generally stick to $100/pp and since I’ve never gone to a wedding solo, my date and I usually give $200 together.  I know that my friends have probably paid more than that for their weddings.  I did give my friend who I was a Bridesmaid or Best Man $300 because – well, I was in her bridal party!  And, I’m spending about $450-500 on my friend because I’m her Maid/Matron of Honor. I, personally, would be embarrassed to give less than $100 for myself and not budgeting for that wouldn’t be an option.  When I haven’t wanted to give a gift (either the person wasn’t close enough for me to give $100 or I just couldn’t afford it bc money was tight), I didn’t go to the wedding – and most of the time, I could tell I was a B-list invitee anyway so I figured I wasn’t that important to invite and so it wasn’t that important for me to give a generous gift like that. 

    However, I’m planning on having a super small and intimate wedding so the few friends I invite will be very important to me.  If they couldn’t afford a generous gift, I would still want them to come and I wouldn’t really care about them “covering” their plate and whatnot.  So, while I care about ME doing it, my answer is different when I’m the bride.  😉

    Post # 58
    Member
    234 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    While I think that in theory everyone does not expect guests to cover their plate (as seen above!) this does change when you go into specifics.

    Brides often complain that a wealthy guest did not give them enough. Personally, I don’t think guests financial standing is the host’s business so if you’re happy to recieve 50$ from your college student sibling then you should be just as happy with that same ammount from a wealthy uncle, even if it does not cover his plate. As someone previously stated, you are the host of a reception, not a fundraiser!

    Post # 59
    Member
    933 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC

    This is so stupid, like seriously, how did etiquette decide this rule wasnt tacky. 

     

    Post # 60
    Member
    8374 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    Absolutely not.

    I would be terribly upset if a family member or friend declined an invitation to my wedding because he or she was unable to give us a gift or a gift that he or she felt was commensurate with the cost-per-plate of our reception.

    Post # 61
    Member
    8374 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2009

    @leecy87:  Don’t worry.  This is not a rule but, rather, an incorrect, oft-perpetuated myth that has no basis whatsoever in etiquette.

    The topic ‘Should guests decline if they can't "cover their plate"?’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors