Wedding Invitations & Paper

Guests Pay For Dinner At Restaurant?

KaseyCokerKaseyCoker member
Seventh Anniversary First Comment
We are eloping with close friends and family (only about 20 of us or less). After the ceremony at 11 am we want to go to a restaurant for lunch or a dinner afterwards with our friends and family to eat and celebrate. We don't plan on it being a reception (we won't have a cake or wear our clothing we got married in), just everyone getting together to celebrate. It will be something low key and I don't see it being more than $20-$25 per person. With that being said, it is not in our budget and my fiance does not believe we should pick up the check. I feel like I'm ethically torn. 
Is it right to make your guest pay for there meals in this situation?
And how do you word that we are going to a restaurant to celebrate later that day and the guests are expected to pay for themselves on a invitation?
Please help me! We are getting hitched in NEXT MONTH!

Update: I posted this below, but just so it is read I will post it here, as well.
Sorry! Elope is not the correct word. We invited very close friends and family to a beach town a few hours away from where we live. Obviously, this is very informal, because our first initial invite was through word of mouth. I have order invitations and can always order reception card and have them rush  We are planning on having a casual reception with everyone, invited and not, a few weekends after we get home. If that makes any difference. 
My fiance does not like the though of paying $400 - $500 at a restaurant. I understand that, but I feel like it would be quite rude to invite someone somewhere and then turn around and have them pay. I would like to celebrate that evening or afternoon (very low-key and informal, a restaurant or a bar). What is the best way of going about that? OR is that even acceptable?

Re: Guests Pay For Dinner At Restaurant?

  • We are eloping with close friends and family (only about 20 of us or less). After the ceremony at 11 am we want to go to a restaurant for lunch or a dinner afterwards with our friends and family to eat and celebrate. We don't plan on it being a reception (we won't have a cake or wear our clothing we got married in), just everyone getting together to celebrate. It will be something low key and I don't see it being more than $20-$25 per person. With that being said, it is not in our budget and my fiance does not believe we should pick up the check. I feel like I'm ethically torn. 
    Is it right to make your guest pay for there meals in this situation?
    And how do you word that we are going to a restaurant to celebrate later that day and the guests are expected to pay for themselves on a invitation?
    Please help me! We are getting hitched in NEXT MONTH!

    Anyone invite to your ceremony is a guest at your wedding.  The reception is a thank you to your guests for coming to your ceremony.  Therefore, you must pay for their meals if you are goig to a lunch or dinner after the ceremony with everyone. 

    If that is out of your budget, maybe consider hosting drinks (alcohol need not be served) and snacks in your hotel room or a different location immediately after the ceremony.  This would be most akin to the elopement version of a cake and punch reception.

    The only way I can see dinner being paid for by the guests is if you have some sort of reception right after the ceremony, then people choose to go out to dinner later on, after the reception.

    PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    We are eloping with close friends and family (only about 20 of us or less). After the ceremony at 11 am we want to go to a restaurant for lunch or a dinner afterwards with our friends and family to eat and celebrate. We don't plan on it being a reception (we won't have a cake or wear our clothing we got married in), just everyone getting together to celebrate. It will be something low key and I don't see it being more than $20-$25 per person. With that being said, it is not in our budget and my fiance does not believe we should pick up the check. I feel like I'm ethically torn. 
    Is it right to make your guest pay for there meals in this situation?
    And how do you word that we are going to a restaurant to celebrate later that day and the guests are expected to pay for themselves on a invitation?
    Please help me! We are getting hitched in NEXT MONTH!
    First, you are not eloping if you are inviting people to your wedding. 

    Second, you are inviting people to your wedding and not hosting anything for them?  That is rude.  You should host something for your friends and family who took the time to witness your ceremony.  It can be something as simple as cake and punch after the ceremony but you need to host something.  If you include any mention of lunch or dinner after your wedding in your invite then you and your FI should be the one's to pick up the tab, not your guests.

    Now you could just do a nice cake and punch reception after your ceremony for like an hour or two.  Then you can say to your friends and family that you and your now, new H, will be heading to X restaurant for dinner and anyone who wants to join can.  This isn't a formal invitation, but rather just letting people know what you and your groom will be doing that night and if they are free then they are more then welcome to join in.  This way you and your FI won't have to cover their meals because it isn't a formally planned thing.  Many couples do the same for after their reception.  H and I said to people "we will be at X bar for a few hours if anyone still feels like partying."  A handful of people came while everyone else went back to their homes/hotel rooms.  We weren't hosting anything, just a few friends who wanted to keep hanging out.

    doeydoPrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • We are eloping with close friends and family (only about 20 of us or less). After the ceremony at 11 am we want to go to a restaurant for lunch or a dinner afterwards with our friends and family to eat and celebrate. We don't plan on it being a reception (we won't have a cake or wear our clothing we got married in), just everyone getting together to celebrate. It will be something low key and I don't see it being more than $20-$25 per person. With that being said, it is not in our budget and my fiance does not believe we should pick up the check. I feel like I'm ethically torn. 
    Is it right to make your guest pay for there meals in this situation?
    And how do you word that we are going to a restaurant to celebrate later that day and the guests are expected to pay for themselves on a invitation?
    Please help me! We are getting hitched in NEXT MONTH!
    First, you are not eloping if you are inviting people to your wedding. 

    Second, you are inviting people to your wedding and not hosting anything for them?  That is rude.  You should host something for your friends and family who took the time to witness your ceremony.  It can be something as simple as cake and punch after the ceremony but you need to host something.  If you include any mention of lunch or dinner after your wedding in your invite then you and your FI should be the one's to pick up the tab, not your guests.

    Now you could just do a nice cake and punch reception after your ceremony for like an hour or two.  Then you can say to your friends and family that you and your now, new H, will be heading to X restaurant for dinner and anyone who wants to join can.  This isn't a formal invitation, but rather just letting people know what you and your groom will be doing that night and if they are free then they are more then welcome to join in.  This way you and your FI won't have to cover their meals because it isn't a formally planned thing.  Many couples do the same for after their reception.  H and I said to people "we will be at X bar for a few hours if anyone still feels like partying."  A handful of people came while everyone else went back to their homes/hotel rooms.  We weren't hosting anything, just a few friends who wanted to keep hanging out.

    STUCK IN THE BOX.

    All of this. The definition of "eloping" is to run away in secret to get married without anyone's knowledge or consent. This isn't it.
    And you have to host something (i.e. provide at no cost to your guests), even if it's not a meal, and you make the meal a separate event not mentioned on the invitations.

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    doeydoMarzipan13
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited March 2014
    edited - double post

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  • edited March 2014
    so i see you haven't sent invites yet?  if your wedding is in a month you are really late on invites.

    if you would like to elope, actually elope.  if you would like to have a guests and a reception, save up.  since no invites have gone out and no venue has been booked it seems like postponing is a reasonable option for you.  if you truly think it would be $20 pp and 20 people, you are looking at $400 for dinner, $480 with tip.  save save save!
    doeydo
  • Sorry! Elope is not the correct word. We invited very close friends and family to a beach town a few hours away from where we live. We are planning on having a casual reception with everyone, invited and not, a few weekends after we get home. If that makes any difference. 
    My fiance does not like the though of paying $400 - $500 at a restaurant. I understand that, but I feel like it would be quite rude to invite someone somewhere and then turn around and have them pay. I would like to celebrate that evening or afternoon (very low-key and informal, a restaurant or a bar). What is the best way of going about that? or is that even acceptable?

  • sarawifenowsarawifenow Denver, baby! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer

     

    We are eloping with close friends and family (only about 20 of us or less). After the ceremony at 11 am we want to go to a restaurant for lunch or a dinner afterwards with our friends and family to eat and celebrate. We don't plan on it being a reception (we won't have a cake or wear our clothing we got married in), just everyone getting together to celebrate. It will be something low key and I don't see it being more than $20-$25 per person. With that being said, it is not in our budget and my fiance does not believe we should pick up the check. I feel like I'm ethically torn. 
    Is it right to make your guest pay for there meals in this situation?
    And how do you word that we are going to a restaurant to celebrate later that day and the guests are expected to pay for themselves on a invitation?
    Please help me! We are getting hitched in NEXT MONTH!
    First, you are not eloping if you are inviting people to your wedding

    Second, you are inviting people to your wedding and not hosting anything for them?  That is rude.  You should host something for your friends and family who took the time to witness your ceremony.  It can be something as simple as cake and punch after the ceremony but you need to host something.  If you include any mention of lunch or dinner after your wedding in your invite then you and your FI should be the one's to pick up the tab, not your guests.

    Now you could just do a nice cake and punch reception after your ceremony for like an hour or two.  Then you can say to your friends and family that you and your now, new H, will be heading to X restaurant for dinner and anyone who wants to join can.  This isn't a formal invitation, but rather just letting people know what you and your groom will be doing that night and if they are free then they are more then welcome to join in.  This way you and your FI won't have to cover their meals because it isn't a formally planned thing.  Many couples do the same for after their reception.  H and I said to people "we will be at X bar for a few hours if anyone still feels like partying."  A handful of people came while everyone else went back to their homes/hotel rooms.  We weren't hosting anything, just a few friends who wanted to keep hanging out.

    I couldn't agree with the bolded statements more!
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • wandajune6wandajune6 Chicago-ish member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    If I was invited to a DW, I would expect to be fed. If the reception is during a meal time, I would expect it to be a meal, not just cake and beverages.

    In addition, if I were invited to a restaurant after a wedding, it wouldn't even occur to me that I might be expected to pay my own way. I've got visions of awkward conversations with waitstaff about splitting checks and people coming without sufficient funds to pay for their meals.  When you invite someone, it suggests that you're offering to pay.

    I would strongly encourage you to host whatever festivities you plan.
    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    pinkshorts27PrettyGirlLost
  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    Your fi is wrong. If you are inviting people to your wedding (destination or otherwise) you need to host then properly and immediately following the ceremony.

    If you dont want to buy dinner for your guests, then dont invite them. Simple.

    BabyFruit Ticker
    PrettyGirlLost
  • What is your FI's rationale here?
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 2014
    You cannot invite guests without hosting a reception.  This can be pizza or lobster.  It doesn't matter how expensive the food is. The host pays.  You are hosting your own wedding.
    If you cannot afford to do this, you cannot afford to have guests  at your wedding.  You must cancel your plans and elope, with no guests.  After you are married, you send out wedding announcements.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    pinkshorts27classyduck
  • Sorry! Elope is not the correct word. We invited very close friends and family to a beach town a few hours away from where we live. We are planning on having a casual reception with everyone, invited and not, a few weekends after we get home. If that makes any difference. 
    My fiance does not like the though of paying $400 - $500 at a restaurant. I understand that, but I feel like it would be quite rude to invite someone somewhere and then turn around and have them pay. I would like to celebrate that evening or afternoon (very low-key and informal, a restaurant or a bar). What is the best way of going about that? or is that even acceptable?


    It is quite rude to invite people without hosting them.  If you are inviting them to witness your wedding, you should pay for their lunch.  And you should do a lunch if you are getting married at 11am.  Don't make people wait around hours until dinner time.  Get married at 11am, take some photos and go to lunch and pay for it. 

    If you don't want to pay, then it should be just your fiance and you.  No guests, no witnesses, nothing.
    PrettyGirlLost
  • Your FI's plan is rude. There's no way round it. Your "
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited March 2014
    There is absolutely no way you can invite people to your wedding and not host them afterwards. I'm shocked that your Fiance thinks it is ok to ask people to drive 4-5 hours and you won't even pick up the tab for a meal. 

    Here are your options:
    1.) Take everyone out for a meal after your wedding. Chose a more affordable restaurant. You must host everything, including alcohol (OK if it is a dry wedding or just beer and wine but nothing else should be available to purchase by them!)- Cash bars are rude!
    2.) If you don't want to spend so much, get married locally, and host people in a park or your home for cake and punch. This must not happen during a meal time- ie the ceremony cannot start between 12-2 or after 5.

    It is rude to expect people to drive for 5 hours and not host a meal for them (I even think cake and punch is not enough for a DW like yours). As soon as you invite guests, even if they are just your parents, it stops being about you and you MUST host them properly. What you have planned is friendship ending.


    Edits- spelling
    pinkshorts27PrettyGirlLost[Deleted User]
  • I will offer my standpoint as someone who has been in this situation.

    My best friend for 11 years got married this January at a courthouse ceremony. The only people invited were myself, my Fi, her mother and her sister. The ceremony was at 11:30 AM and she really wanted to go out to her favorite restaurant afterward. This restaurant is a bit of a tourist attraction and way more expensive than it's worth, but she couldn't stand the thought of just going home afterwards, like it were any other day and not her wedding day. Problem was, she couldn't afford to pay for us. She wouldn't have even been able to pay for herself and her husband if his coworker hadn't given them money. She let us know ahead of time that if we went to lunch to celebrate, we would need to pay our own way. I didn't like it then, but I love her and I did it anyway. I think we paid close to $80 for lunch for my fiance and I. Obviously, it still is a big enough deal to me to share with you. I would never tell her how rude it was, but it will probably always rub me the wrong way when I think about their wedding.

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    "They say there's no such place... as Paradise. Even if you search to the ends of the Earth, there's nothing there. No matter how far you walk, it's always the same road. It just goes on and on. But, in spite of that... Why am I so driven to find it? A voice calls to me... It says, 'Search for Paradise.' " - Kiba, Wolf's Rain

    pinkshorts27QueerFemme
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I agree with the other posters on how rude it is to invite people to a DW and not even provide a meal.

    That said, the hospitality person in me is thinking "who brings 20 people to a restaurant with no notice?".  Some places do not handle big parties like that without notice.   A lot of restaurants will not allow checks to be split up by that many.

    Ultimately you should pay, but you need to contact the restaurant to see how they handle big parties like that anyway.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
    kmmssg
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Sorry! Elope is not the correct word. We invited very close friends and family to a beach town a few hours away from where we live. We are planning on having a casual reception with everyone, invited and not, a few weekends after we get home. If that makes any difference. 
    My fiance does not like the though of paying $400 - $500 at a restaurant. I understand that, but I feel like it would be quite rude to invite someone somewhere and then turn around and have them pay. I would like to celebrate that evening or afternoon (very low-key and informal, a restaurant or a bar). What is the best way of going about that? or is that even acceptable?

    The best way of going about that is not at all, because it comes nowhere near being acceptable.

    If you want to invite someone to come to your wedding, you owe them refreshments afterward, and it is rude to expect them to pay for themselves, especially if they have to travel 4 or 5 hours to get there and back.  If your FI doesn't want to pay for refreshments for them, then you two should never have invited anyone to attend.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I am appalled that you are asking your nearest and dearest to travel several hours to see you two get married and then are considering making them pay for their own meal.  Your FI is being cheap and rude.  I hope you knock some sense into him.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Of course you have to pay for their meal.  How is this even a question?

    Your FI's plan is very selfish and rude.  Is he like this with other things?
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