(Closed) Why do guests expect certain things at weddings?

posted 10 years ago in Beehive
Post # 17
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I’m with most of the PPs…if it’s stated up front, I’m not offended & totally looking forward to the event.  I will admit, I don’t expect to bring money to a wedding.  I come with a gift, my ID, & my cell phone (in case I need to call a taxi, whom I pay when I get to my home).  That’s it.  If I need something else as a guest (like cash for the cash bar; dinner plans because no dinner will be served) I’d like to be informed.  Other than the need for information, I think whatever the hosts provide is GREAT.  I also think it’s nice to know if NO alcohol will be served so I can plan ahead (ie. drive myself & not have to arrange for a designated driver). 

At our wedding, we provided no dancing or DJ or band…we provided tickets to Disneyland instead; that was made clear on the website & on the invites.  Rather than have dancing (of which neither Mr. nor I are fans) we thought our guests (many of whom are parents of small children invited to the wedding) would prefer a day of fun in the sun at Disney…with periodic visits with us.  Nobody complained that we didn’t give them what was expected…I think it it helped that they were prepared with clothes for the park & didn’t hire expensive babysitters in expectation of a long night of dancing.

Post # 18
Member
463 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Well said!  I think a lot of people think a bride commits a major faux pas because she decides to digress from what is expected.  A lot of people nowadays can’t seem to distinguish between celebration and just plain expectation.

Although I had alcohol at my wedding, I would never frown upon a wedding which wouldn’t serve them.  One of my really good friends will opt not to serve them in her upcoming wedding.  There will be no dancing either.  But there will be a ten course meal and probably some teary speeches.  I’m sure her wedding will be great sans alcohol and dancing (due to religious reasons).

Although I don’t discount the fact that some people do really rude things on their wedding and think that they can get away with it just because “it’s their day and they can do whatever they want”.  No my dear, it might be too much to expect me to be all excited for your wedding when you invite me and expect me to pay for my own meal.  If you can’t afford to THROW/HOST a reception, don’t do it. 

Post # 19
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

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@ashleykaye15: I hope that doesn’t mean I have to look forward to my parents getting a divorce any time soon…they had 1,000 guests at their wedding.  Married for 35 years now…maybe they’re the exception that proves your FMIL’s rule…I hope so.

Post # 20
Member
3162 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

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@ms.pascua: LOL who even knows 1,000 people? That’s crazy. I’d shoot myself. My 120ish is already killing me.

I’ll admit that I have certain expectations from weddings but that is because that’s just what is done in my circle of friends and family. I form expectations based on the people involved. Are they quirky? Are they old-fashioned? Are they traditional? Are they religious? Are their parents loaded or are they paying themselves? My expectations haven’t been that far from reality yet so I think it’s a good system.

Post # 21
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

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@ms.pascua:well there are exceptions if you love someone what she means by that is if you spend money you don’t have then you;’re setting yourself up for a long road down the line…not if they had 1000 and could afford it

my bff had a blow out $10k wedding in october next week the divorce will be final it’s all about why you’re marrying that person

Post # 22
Member
2343 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I agree that if you are invited to a wedding ceremony, all you should expect is to witness a wedding ceremony. If you are also invited a reception, all you should expect is refreshments and celebration. If the reception takes place during a meal time, lunch or dinner, then you can expect enough food to serve as a meal, whether that is BBQ, heavy hor’s d’eourves, or a dinner. A reception is for celebrating your marriage with your guests and showing them your appreciation for coming to your wedding. Other than that, what kind of party you decide to have – alcohol or not, full meal or just cake and punch, dancing or not, etc. – is entirely up to the bride and groom. It bothers me when people act as if there are things that are “required” other than celebrating with the newlywed couple!

Post # 23
Member
3871 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I just had to respond because a majority of the reason my Mother-In-Law and I fought before the wedding was this phase she threw around about “What guests expect”! 

I HATE that term and can’t stand it.  Now, my own mother was bad but my Mother-In-Law made all of my decisions feel like they weren’t good enough. Almost every other discussion about the wedding involved that statement.  To her it was all about the guests.  Now my wedding, I was very considerate of trying to make me and my guests happy… within reason.  But her “expectations” were not reasonable with my budget. 

It makes me angry thinking about that stupid phrase. 

Post # 24
Member
950 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

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@ashleykaye15: Ah, yes, intention is everything.  I agree with THAT, definitely.

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@Kittyachi: Who said they KNEW all of them?!? Wink  Let’s just say my grandmother is a VERY well known member of a small-ish community & everyone SHE knew was invited.  Just another example of an Future Mother-In-Law going NUTS with invite list.  My grams (love her to pieces), was definitely trying to expand our 75 member guest list…she did NOT get her way. Laughing

Post # 25
Member
332 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

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@ms.pascua:lol i understand that if we invited the ppl from our communities both fathers are pretty well known businessmen and his job working in restaurants meeting everyone well we’d have about 1000 too it’s really easy to get a lot on that list that had to be an awesome wedding jealous of you and the Disneyland thing…too cool!

Post # 26
Member
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I agree that there’s a set up- but I feel at the same time we are kind of bucking it. Yes, we are having dinner and dancing and in that sense are being “traditional” however, my budget is roughly a fifth of what my cousin’s wedding was and I think will reflect us very well. The dancing will not be the typical wedding fare and that’s what we want. I do not want my prom all over again, I want a wedding!

We (right now) have decided not to “warn” our guests that we will not have alcohol. After discussing it with my parents, we have settled on the logical argument that those attending should know us, and should therefore know we do not drink. A handful will be surprised by the lack, an even smaller number will be bothered. The small number are mostly people I don’t care if they attend or not but are inviting because they are family. Sounds mean but I’m picking my emotional well being over their drinking habit.

Post # 27
Member
2775 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

Sometimes guest expectations are unjustified entitlement, but then there are some things that are fair to expect. 

If I’m invited to a 6 PM wedding with reception to follow, I think it’s fair to expect that dinner will be served (plated, buffet, heavy apps… I don’t care which it is as long as there is substantial food).  Serving a meal at an event you scheduled to take place over a standard meal time is basic hospitality.  If the only food available was tea sandwiches and cheese straws, and there was no prior warning, I’d probably complain (to weddingbee and my husband) about it.

As for alcohol, I expect it at an evening wedding only because it’s SOP where I live; I have never been to an evening wedding with no booze whatsoever.  If I went to one, I’d be slightly disappointed, but I wouldn’t think the hosts were rude, cheap, or tacky.

 

Post # 28
Member
121 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

The only angle I have to add to all of the above is distance—many of our friends and relatives had to travel a long distance to attend our wedding, and for that reason, we thought we needed to calibrate our effort (what we offered, in terms of food and entertainment) with their effort to get here!  Our wedding wasn’t fancy, but we did make sure to offer a full meal.  That said, we would have been fine to have a dessert reception or something of the sort, but we knew that we should then expect less people to feel it was ‘worth it’ to travel 10 hours or more for a 10 minute ceremony, and eclairs!  Just my opinion, I know some may disagree!

Post # 29
Member
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I don’t have money for a reception, but I keep hearing from people they want to come and celebrate and don’t care what I don’t have, and would even bring stuff.  I love my friends!  So that being said, we are going to Las Vegas to get married.  I don’t expect anyone to come, so if they feel they don’t want to travel just to get a cup cake and do a toast, than they do not have to come.  Our 15 minute ceremony is at 6, and than we are having dessert later at 8:30-9 ish back in our 1050 sqft suite.  I have told most people about the situation verbally, and will make it clear in the invitations that this is a casual event. 

Anyone who can’t “hang” or thinks it is tacky, is probably someone we had to invite due to family pressure.  They can go “bleep” themselves.  We thought about not inviting everyone, but our friends and close family really just want to be with us.  I am really happy to be so loved!

Post # 30
Member
296 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I agree! I had a friend who got married this past May, and the wedding was awesome, everything a guest could want! The next week she emailed me and said one of her close friends who did a reading at the wedding, called her a couple days after to basically tell her what was wrong with her wedding!!! like..how rude can you get? She kept her cool, but if it were me I probably would have gone off on the friend…and we probably wouldn’t be friends anymore….

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