(Closed) Where did this 'cover your plate' stuff come from?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I’m also in the UK and am equally baffled! We have never, ever, had a “cover your plate” obligation here. You invite your friends and family because you want them there to share your day. Whatever they might choose to give as a gift is a bonus but for sure, it isn’t supposed to cover the expenses you’ve incurred in feeding them because you are the host and that’s what hosts do. In fact, the very idea is the worst possible taste!


Post # 4
5034 posts
Bee Keeper

@ZebraPrintMe:  + 1000000000 I am so with you on this. I have never heard of this too, but then again, I am a UK bee as well. Like you said, you are invited to a wedding as the Bride and Groom want you to be there to help them celebrate.

It is good manners to give a gift but it is optional. I have never once given money (which seems way more acceptable here than in the US and actually the norm of all the weddings I have been too) thinking, well, that will cover my head! WTF? People don’t get married in order to get gifts/ money that covers to cost and to make profit. Ugh. Some people need their brains checked.

Post # 7
11890 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

I grew up in Newfoundland – my moms from Ontario, all I know is that’s what I always heard growing up.  Not totally sure from who but that’s just always what I knew. Not that I expect anyone to cover their plate would every never think of a wedding as a fundraiser.

Post # 8
71 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I very much agree. In Aus we must follow English customs, because at no point are guests made to feel obligated to cover their plate. I invite my guests because of what they mean to me personally, and because of the love and memories they have contributed to my life – not because I think I can turn a profit from them.

Post # 9
5034 posts
Bee Keeper

@ZebraPrintMe:  If all getting married means making a profit and getting loads of gifts, well… have fun getting divorced, that’s all I can say! lol

Post # 10
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@ZebraPrintMe:  I would love to know where this “started” too because wishing wells have become pretty much the norm here now, and apparently the cover your plate is a general rule of thumb? But whyyy???

Post # 11
1592 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Yeah it’s just been the traditional gift in my area forever. It’s regional.

Post # 12
7495 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2013

It’s common in the Northeast of America. I personally think it’s stupid and that the bride and groom should just be thankful for any gift received as the gifts are just a bonus. Nobody should expect to break even or make money at a wedding.

Post # 14
647 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Canadian bee popping in. I hadn’t heard of this rule before (the bee) either. I think it’s ridiculous, but it also makes me feel bad, because my FI and I have been to a few weddings the past couple years and usually give about $50 from the both of us… Apparently this is a faux pas. Granted, two of those weddings were very low budget, so that might have actually covered our plates. Still, it is ridiculous to see the gifts as a way of getting your money back! All of our guests will be coming a long way to come to our wedding, so we are not expecting much in the way of gifts; we will just be happy to see our family…

Post # 15
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2017 - Bristol zoo

Just another confused UK bee stopping by XD


It seems likAmericans just do more in general I think, like giving presents to non immediate relatives for graduating high school, it’s just unheard of with everyone I know XD

Post # 16
8704 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

It is done in my area of the US…NY/NJ. I dont think anyone actually gets mad if someone didnt “cover” their plate though. I think people take things a bit too literally. I personally dony care if my guests even bring a gift. I just want people to celebrate with me.

I think every area has it’s own ideas/customs/traditions that may not make sense to others. For instance, I dont understand cash bars but I dont put others down for it. It just is not done in my area. 

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