Wedding Etiquette Forum

Who Pays Guests/Parents?

We have been invited to my niece's engagement party.  She is marrying a Russian/Jew.  She is asking us to pay for our dinners at the engagement party.  She claims it's customary for Russian Jews to ask their guests to pay for their own meals.  It's not cheap.  She is asking for $134 per person.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Who Pays Guests/Parents?

  • SP29SP29 member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I am not familiar with this custom.... but as I am sure you are feeling, this is not customary for most of North America, and dare I say most of Europe, where the hosts pay for any hospitality offered.

    This also sounds very extravagant for an engagement party- I don't know many people who have even had e- parties, and when they do, it's usually something more casual with a cocktail style party.

    There really is not much you can do here in this situation except for decline the invitation.

    Myself, I would decline. $134 per person (so double for my family- husband and I) is not a price I would feel comfortable paying for an e-party, even if it were my niece.
    Pinksatin91016
  • Too rich for my blood. I'd decline.
    MesmrEweBostonLilly12
  • Decline. I shudder at the idea of having to fork out that much for a dinner, let alone one that I'm not choosing.
    OurWildKingdom
  • Thanks ladies, I forgot to mention, my niece didn't send out invitations.  She sent a text message inviting us.

  • Yeah . . . Nope. Not attending. Sorry.
                        


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
    spockforprez
  • Let's see - for $268 for the two of us..  Oh the things I can do - like attend her wedding as a guest, pay for a potential OOT basic hotel, and bring a gift.  Sorry, not going to attend an engagement party and spend that kind of money.  Just not! 
    OurWildKingdomPinksatin91016
  • PPs have it covered. I hope she doesn't plan on charging for the reception too. This is the craziest think I have ever heard! DECLINE!
  • Nope.    
  • I have never, ever heard of this in Jewish, Russian, or any other culture. I think they're looking for an excuse to have an engagement party and not have to pay for any of it. Decline. There are far better ways to spend $134!
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    Pinksatin91016charlotte989875
  • @acmers, you have piqued my curiosity.  Did this text "invitation" give you any details?  Did it inform you of the insanely expensive restaurant where this dinner will be held?  Was there any justification for this precise dollar amount? 
  • I would decline someone who is hosting their own inexcusably expensive engagement party and expecting the guests to pay.  No matter what their reasoning is, that's just an unnecessary, rude burden to place on one's guests.  
    Pinksatin91016short+sassy
  • Ugh. I can't get over this one. Once you get through the original indignation over the Russian/Jewish traditions part, there are so many questions!

    $105 PER PERSON + tax and tip? Or is it closer to $170 pp once you factor that in? Is it prix fixe? Does it include drinks? Will the prices be on the menu, or will the "guests" see the bill before handing over their cash?

    Sounds like a wedding fund raiser to me. 
    I'm even curious as to whether a specific restaurant was even mentioned.  It would not surprise me if this vague dollar amount is for a home party and this is the guests portion of paying for the food and drinks.  For all we know, she could be ordering pizza's and bottles of Cristal!
  • I'm Jewish, of Polish, Russian, Austrian, and Romanian ancestry.  This isn't a thing.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    TrixieJessOliveOilsMomRoamingnomeRedSolo34
  • Can't wait to hear about the wedding plans as they come along.
    madamerwin100yroldblinddogRoamingnome
  • Yeah that's like almost what I spend per pay period on groceries for 2 people. DH and I wouldn't be able to afford a dinner like that.

    I'd decline.

    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • Thanks ladies.  We finally convinced her mother to pick up the cost of her relatives.  It is a buffet dinner with some sort of entertainment, and drinks are being provided by the groom, who also doesn't have a clue.  Chalk this up to two very ignorant people, who don't realize the ramifications of asking the guests to pay.  We are hoping by the time of the wedding she will learn.
    MobKazOliveOilsMom
  • By definition a "guest" cannot pay. You are a cohost.
  • acmers said:
    Thanks ladies.  We finally convinced her mother to pick up the cost of her relatives.  It is a buffet dinner with some sort of entertainment, and drinks are being provided by the groom, who also doesn't have a clue.  Chalk this up to two very ignorant people, who don't realize the ramifications of asking the guests to pay.  We are hoping by the time of the wedding she will learn.
    I hope that means only family invited and not that friends still have to pay their own way. And what about the groom's relatives?
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    JediElizabeth
  • acmers said:
    Thanks ladies.  We finally convinced her mother to pick up the cost of her relatives.  It is a buffet dinner with some sort of entertainment, and drinks are being provided by the groom, who also doesn't have a clue.  Chalk this up to two very ignorant people, who don't realize the ramifications of asking the guests to pay.  We are hoping by the time of the wedding she will learn.
    When talking with the bride to be, tell her about this great place call "The Knot" and the community boards offer so much help with wedding planning!  We will straighten her out!
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