Would you pay to go to a wedding?

FunWithFlags Posts: 123 Forumite
edited 8 September 2012 at 3:06PM in Marriage, relationships & families
Recently we were invited to a family member's wedding. The evening do is at the local rugby club and there's going to be either a buffet or a set meal, bride hasn't decided yet. One of her deciding factors is cost. The budget for the wedding is a couple of thousand and the venue cost has eaten the rest of the money up. As a result, the bride has told us she is considering asking each guest to pay for their meal which (if I remember correctly lol) is about £15 a head if she chooses a set menu meal or £8 a head for a buffet setting. I was quite surprised and admit I feel a little disgruntled that to go to the wedding we would be expected to fork out £30 on top of the wedding gift. Part of me feels like £30 is not much in the grand scheme of things to be part of someones special day but the other part of me feels like it's a bit cheeky! [ETA: £30 covers nearly two weeks food for us on a good fortnight lol!] I don't expect to be fed at the wedding so would not have been bothered if there wasn't any food but I feel a little annoyed that we are expected to contribute (in a manner) to their wedding budget when they have already begged money off family for the initial budget and then still overspent.

In comparison, another family member has just sent out her invites to us all and is having a much lower key venue for the reception and has said meals are provided and gifts are nice but not a must (still getting one though). I'm rambling now (always do that!) but I think I'm trying to say I feel a bit annoyed that the first bride is expecting us to subsidise her dream wedding iyswim.

It has got me wondering though if this is a normal request with weddings now that I didn't know about and also got me wanting to ask, would you pay to go to a wedding?

EDIT/UPDATE: This isn't officially confirmed yet from the horse's mouth but the latest news from bride's dad is that the bride has decided to select the set menu but rather than the cheaper £15 a head option, has plumped for the £18 a head option which is kind of her(!). No clue yet as to how she is going to ask everybody for the money since invitations have already gone out. OH is convinced she will ask everyone on the day and act like it was left off the invitation but I really don't think anyone can be that stupid so don't really know how she's going to manage to get the money off the guests. OH also mentioned to bride's dad that it's unlikely that we would be able to afford it and was bluntly told "well, you'll just have to". My brain just can't compute it anymore haha!

As an aside, I really hope she doesn't go on MSE and work out this is about her! :rotfl:


  • tea_lover
    tea_lover Posts: 8,261 Forumite
    In those circumstances I'd be a bit miffed too. Weddings certainly don't need to cost the earth and if they can't afford a big do then they shouldn't plan one, imho. It's possible to have beautiful, elegant, memorable, weddings on a small budget.

    Some friends of mine had a registry office wedding then a few of us went to a local pub for a meal, all very low key. We paid for our own meals there but it was arranged in advance, we had the choice of what to eat, etc. I was more than happy with that, but would feel a bit taken advantage of if I had to pay for a posh sit-down affair at a rugby club.
  • Idiophreak
    Idiophreak Posts: 12,024
    Combo Breaker First Post
    It's not normal and I, personally, don't think it's very cool. But I'd probably pay and go anyway.
  • I think it's a bit cheeky to expect your guests to pay for the catering and to expect gifts!

    Whether I would pay/go or not would really depend on my relationship with the couple. If we weren't close then I'd probably rsvp saying I couldn't make it. If it was a good friend or close family member then we'd probably go but may not be as generous with a gift as we otherwise would have been.
    Common sense?...There's nothing common about sense!
  • Haxo
    Haxo Posts: 39
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I don't think it's normal either.
    I'd probably still go, but I'd be tempted to offset the £16 or £30 by buying them a cheaper present than planned.
    I generally lurk :0)
  • Faith177
    Faith177 Posts: 2,927
    First Anniversary First Post
    I would only go if I really cared about the couple.

    As someone else said if you can't afford it don't have it. Delay the wedding a few months until you can afford it.

    Some "friends" did this to us a few years back a month before the wedding they realised they could afford the reception hall deposit so everyone had to do a whip round to bail them out.
    First Date 08/11/2008, Moved In Together 01/06/2009, Engaged 01/01/10, Wedding Day 27/04/2013, Baby Moshie due 29/06/2019 :T
  • lovinituk
    lovinituk Posts: 5,711
    Combo Breaker First Post
    I would pay for the meal and then tell them that's their wedding gift!!

    To be honest, if they can't afford the wedding they want, they should postpone it and re-organise when they have saved up enough. Its blooming cheeky, in my opinion, to get the guests to cover the shortfall in their finances!
  • Some friends of friends of ours did this! and I thought it was very cheeky!
    I personally wouldn't go, as you paying for there wedding! And what if you don't like the food they supply or you do not think it is worth the amount you have paid. I would also be paranoid that they could over charge per head to recoup some other cash spent on other wedding bits and pieces - but thats just me!
  • I would probably go if I was close to them, but I'd give them cash as a gift to cover the meal and gift and I wouldn't spend more than I normally would on a gift.

    Tbh I'd also think much less of them as a result. If you can't afford a meal then (imo) you either invite less guests, have no meal or save for longer. If you want to marry sooner then you have the wedding that your funds allow. I think asking guests to pay for their own meal (other than a 'we're getting hitched on X and heading to Y for a meal after if anyone wants to join us' casual pub meal type thing) is rude.

    If you want a specific wedding then you pay for that wedding. If you can't afford it then you don't have it imo.

    I've only ever paid towards a wedding twice. Once was a very casual invitation to the wedding of friends who were marrying in a low-key ceremony and going for a pub meal after (and they specifically asked for no gifts) and the second was a couple who were both made redundant unexpectedly (they worked for the same company and turned up to find it locked up one Monday morning) 12 weeks before their big day. They were so immensely grateful to people for chipping in, but again were insistent that there was no gifts given on top.
  • There really is no need to spend thousands on getting married, it's quite ridiculous.
  • LEJC
    LEJC Posts: 9,618 Forumite
    edited 5 September 2012 at 3:20PM
    Whilst I wouldn't go as far to admit its "normal" to ask for a contribution to the meal...its not as far fetched a senario as some would imagine...

    personally I wouldnt do it but it is an idea that has been mooted by some of the brides on occaision on the weddings thread here...and usually with fairly positive responses,many being along the lines of "we dont want a gift but would like you to help us celebrate...." type thing

    I f you feel you dont want to attend then you are quite at liberty to decline the invite, just because you've received the invitation does not mean you must attend.

    I think perhaps its a tradition thing that there are certain things that people expect when they go to a wedding...you say you wouldnt have minded not having any meal,and thats your view, however the next guest may think that a meal is an important part and should be included....it also rasies the debate if your paying for rhe meal,should you buy a gift....personally I probably wouldnt,i'd just give a card....

    There are many couples now who rather than gifts ask for a cash contribution to their home or their honeymoon...in some ways whats the difference in asking you to pay for your meal?....im not playing devils advocate here...probably more trying to highlight that the "traditional wedding" is not always the way things are approached nowadays and sometimes us oldies need to move with the times and either embrace the invite in the spirt it was sent or politely decline so as to not cause offence.
    frugal October...£41.82 of £40 food shopping spend for the 2 of us!

    2017 toiletries challenge 179 out 145 in ...£18.64 spend
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