Wedding Etiquette Forum

Getting the Side Eye from Friends on Reception

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Re: Getting the Side Eye from Friends on Reception

  • Your wedding sounds lovely. I've posted several times that I'm actually a little sick of the standard 5-6 hour marathon wedding. It's what I had, but I feel like they eat up my weekends, especially in the summer. Your reception sounds fabulous! Your friends suck. 
    [Deleted User]ejpentecost
  • RebeccaB88RebeccaB88 Figment of Your Imagination member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    You need new friends.
    [Deleted User]ejpentecost

  • Only because you mentioned to us wanting to add more food, one suggestion I have is to have pasta salad.  It's inexpensive, easy to make ahead of time (if you want to) and doesn't require the extra equipment and set up that hot foods do (chafing racks, dishes, sterno cans).  Or perhaps a meat and cheese tray?  
    That's a great idea!  Thank you!

    zitiqueen said:
    olviabean said:
    Hi all.

    My FI and myself are paying for our wedding entirely. We're inviting around 75 or so people to attend our cake/punch reception.  The ceremony is starting at 2:00, should be over by 2:30 and guests walk a block to our reception venue.  Our menu is finger sandwiches, a fruit and vegetable tray, cake, punch and other sweet treats.  We might add something like meatballs or another kind of meat.  We are also not providing any alcohol as to not upset our families who oppose to any kind of drinking.

    Members of our bridal party have been giving FI and myself crap for not providing a meal or alcohol and want to sneak in their own drinks.  To the few friends we've mentioned that we're going down the dry wedding cake/punch reception, they have expressed to us how they may not have as much fun since we aren't providing full meal and alcohol.

    FI and I think we're being good hosts.  We're not mentioning any other details to friends except for including the cake/punch line on invitations so everyone knows to not expect a full meal.  Are cake/punch receptions unheard of?  Is having a dry wedding that big of a deal?
    Can you expand on that bolded sentence? You specify that 75 are invited to the reception; how many are invited to the ceremony?
    I meant to include that 75 people are invited to the ceremony and reception.

    Thank you everyone for your support!  We're going to move forward with our current plans.  I explained to my BMs last night that if they wanted some mimosas while we have breakfast and get ready then that was cool me, but asked to not sneak in the alcohol to the reception. FI is asking his GMs the same.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    [Deleted User]southernbelle0915
  • KatieinBklnKatieinBkln (NO SLEEP TIL) Brooklyn! member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer First Anniversary
    lyndausvi said:
    lyndausvi said:
    Blame the wedding-industrial complex. It has brides and guests alike thinking that ALL weddings have to cost tens of thousands of dollars and include fancy full dinners and open bars. They don't.

    Your friends need a reality check and an etiquette check. Complaining about the nature of a party you're invited to is mad tacky.
    Okay, that is not always the case. My family has ALWAYS had large full meals and alcohol flowing at weddings regardless of the time of day. I've never attended a wedding that didn't have those things and I'm old and have been going to weddings since I was 6 or 7. Even my grandparents did back in 1930. My extended family is not even rich, but that is how they host ALL events. 

     So, I will admit in my family they would be a little... IDK?... miffed if there was not a full meal and alcohol. It would be like not have turkey at Thanksgiving. It's all that has ever been done, so it's all they know. 

    That all said, we were brought up with manners. No one would ever be as rude as the friends of the OP. We would be gracious guests and would still have a good time. More than likely they would hit up a bar afterwards.
    Your family sounds fancy and fun! But I still think that expectation is far from what was once "the norm," at least countrywide in the US. I'm sure lots of families did the blowout (especially wealthy ones, but of course some like yours who just like to do things up), but from what I've read about traditions of yore, there were a hell of a lot more "punch in the church basement" receptions not so long ago, and no one thought they were odd.

    I get irrationally annoyed when people blame the wedding industry on something my economically poor family has been doing forever.     Our family weddings were mostly held in church basements or VFW halls.  They had kegs, random cheap booze and were catered by a small family type-businesses.  Money was not put into big CPs or fancy dresses or all the other stuff people seem to needs these days.   They were not "fancy" at all. 

    Having moved around the world my family's way of celebrating hardly unusual. We all come from different cultures and traditions. I don't like it when others say their way is tradition countrywide either.  



    OP - back to you.  Your friends are jerks.  As I said before my family might be surprised at a C&P receptions simply because it would be so unusual for our circle, but we were brought up with  manners, Your friends are being mean and hurtful.  Rest assure you seemed to be hosting your guests prfectly for the time of day.   
    To be fair, I don't think the wedding industry would be on board with a VFW or any kind of basement. Maybe a wine cellar. Like, in Italy.

     I definitely don't mean to say that big blowouts with booze and dinner are wrong! (I am having one myself).
    image
    This baby knows exactly how I feel
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Everyone else has given appropriate feedback. I feel like throwing this out there--- it seems you said everyone else complaining to you already had the blow-out affair. Do you think they view this as reciprocal? Like, they hosted you with a big party so they feel like they're not getting enough in return? The only reason I bring this up is that I have an obnoxious coworker who firmly believes in the cover-your-plate concept. She and now-hubby routinely give $350 as wedding gifts (well over the regional norm), and she justified it by saying her guests would give that back at her wedding. (A game of pass the cash? Stupid if you ask me.) So.... maybe they feel like they spared no expense in hosting you and are miffed you're not returning the favor. Just a thought. Sorry they suck :(
    ________________________________


    [Deleted User]
  • Everyone else has given appropriate feedback. I feel like throwing this out there--- it seems you said everyone else complaining to you already had the blow-out affair. Do you think they view this as reciprocal? Like, they hosted you with a big party so they feel like they're not getting enough in return? The only reason I bring this up is that I have an obnoxious coworker who firmly believes in the cover-your-plate concept. She and now-hubby routinely give $350 as wedding gifts (well over the regional norm), and she justified it by saying her guests would give that back at her wedding. (A game of pass the cash? Stupid if you ask me.) So.... maybe they feel like they spared no expense in hosting you and are miffed you're not returning the favor. Just a thought. Sorry they suck :(
    That would be so gross if that were the case, for the same reason I think the "cover your plate" rule is stupid. If it were "required", essentially it's akin to expecting your guests to pay for a party without any say in the planning.
    "I chose to have a $200 a plate wedding, and even though they had no say in it, if each couple doesn't give me their $400 'contribution' to cover their plate, I'll be annoyed." No.

    This would be even worse "I chose to have a $50k wedding... so now you need to too." Wha...

    Yucko. I hope this isn't the reason. Then her friends aren't just entitled, but sheep as well.
  • danamwdanamw member
    Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper

    Your friends are being rude, what you are hosting is perfectly appropriate. The reception will end before the dinner hour, and they have the rest of the weekend to eat and get drunk.



  • sophhabobophasophhabobopha The Midwestern tundra member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Ugh, your friends are ruude.
    image
  • aurianna said:
    Everyone else has given appropriate feedback. I feel like throwing this out there--- it seems you said everyone else complaining to you already had the blow-out affair. Do you think they view this as reciprocal? Like, they hosted you with a big party so they feel like they're not getting enough in return? The only reason I bring this up is that I have an obnoxious coworker who firmly believes in the cover-your-plate concept. She and now-hubby routinely give $350 as wedding gifts (well over the regional norm), and she justified it by saying her guests would give that back at her wedding. (A game of pass the cash? Stupid if you ask me.) So.... maybe they feel like they spared no expense in hosting you and are miffed you're not returning the favor. Just a thought. Sorry they suck :(
    That would be so gross if that were the case, for the same reason I think the "cover your plate" rule is stupid. If it were "required", essentially it's akin to expecting your guests to pay for a party without any say in the planning.
    "I chose to have a $200 a plate wedding, and even though they had no say in it, if each couple doesn't give me their $400 'contribution' to cover their plate, I'll be annoyed." No.

    This would be even worse "I chose to have a $50k wedding... so now you need to too." Wha...

    Yucko. I hope this isn't the reason. Then her friends aren't just entitled, but sheep as well.
    I knew a bride once who was very tit-for-tat on her wedding.  She spent a large amount of money on gifts and when she felt she didn't get the same amount spent on gifts for her wedding, she threw a huge hissy fit about it.
  • OnceUponSnowOnceUponSnow member
    100 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited July 2014
    You friends are being disrespectful. I hope they come to their senses before your wedding. What is important is the commitment you're about to make, and the reception is only a gathering to allow the people you love, who witnessed you getting married, to celebrate and offer their best wishes to you. If all your friends are concerned about is wether or not they can get trashed, then they basically don't understand what a wedding is for.

    About the cover your plate thing ... there is a common misconception that this is a ''rule'' that the couple asks the guests to provide a set amount of money as a gift. This isn't what covering your plate is, at all. Cover your plate is a guideline guests have set for themselves because over time, couples stopped using registries and money gifts became the norm. Guests were wondering how much would be an appropriate gift. It has more to do with saving face (they don't want to feel cheap) as a guest than it has to do with couples expecting their guests to pay the exact same amount they've spent over dinner. If you're not sure how much to give, then you can look at the menu and that's your guideline. I've personally never heard of weddings that cost over $100 a plate. The average is anywhere between $50 to $100, and I believe this is what most people tend to give at weddings (if not more) anyway. So there really isn't such a thing as a ''oooh, the couple spent $400 on us, that means we have to give $400''. Anybody who tells you that is the cover your plate ''rule'', or who ''believes'' that this is how it works, is very wrong. 
    ashleyep
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Ninth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    You friends are being disrespectful. I hope they come to their senses before your wedding. What is important is the commitment you're about to make, and the reception is only a gathering to allow the people you love, who witnessed you getting married, to celebrate and offer their best wishes to you. If all your friends are concerned about is wether or not they can get trashed, then they basically don't understand what a wedding is for.

    About the cover your plate thing ... there is a common misconception that this is a ''rule'' that the couple asks the guests to provide a set amount of money as a gift. This isn't what covering your plate is, at all. Cover your plate is a guideline guests have set for themselves because over time, couples stopped using registries and money gifts became the norm. Guests were wondering how much would be an appropriate gift. It has more to do with saving face (they don't want to feel cheap) as a guest than it has to do with couples expecting their guests to pay the exact same amount they've spent over dinner. If you're not sure how much to give, then you can look at the menu and that's your guideline. I've personally never heard of weddings that cost over $100 a plate. The average is anywhere between $50 to $100, and I believe this is what most people tend to give at weddings (if not more) anyway. So there really isn't such a thing as a ''oooh, the couple spent $400 on us, that means we have to give $400''. Anybody who tells you that is the cover your plate ''rule'', or who ''believes'' that this is how it works, is very wrong.

    "Cover your plate" is a misguided guideline.  Are guests on tight incomes supposed to cough up between $50 to $100 to attend weddings if they can't afford even that?  Not only that, many couples do not provide menu information in advance, and there is no way for the guest to know how much the menu costs, because who's paying for it and how much is none of their business.

    Basically, "cover your plate" is bullshit.  Guests should give what they can afford to give without being expected to give gifts worth any particular amount or range and without putting themselves in a financial hole to do so, regardless of how much their plates cost.
    RebeccaB88
  • auriannaaurianna member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited July 2014
    You friends are being disrespectful. I hope they come to their senses before your wedding. What is important is the commitment you're about to make, and the reception is only a gathering to allow the people you love, who witnessed you getting married, to celebrate and offer their best wishes to you. If all your friends are concerned about is wether or not they can get trashed, then they basically don't understand what a wedding is for.

    About the cover your plate thing ... there is a common misconception that this is a ''rule'' that the couple asks the guests to provide a set amount of money as a gift. This isn't what covering your plate is, at all. Cover your plate is a guideline guests have set for themselves because over time, couples stopped using registries and money gifts became the norm. Guests were wondering how much would be an appropriate gift. It has more to do with saving face (they don't want to feel cheap) as a guest than it has to do with couples expecting their guests to pay the exact same amount they've spent over dinner. If you're not sure how much to give, then you can look at the menu and that's your guideline. I've personally never heard of weddings that cost over $100 a plate. The average is anywhere between $50 to $100, and I believe this is what most people tend to give at weddings (if not more) anyway. So there really isn't such a thing as a ''oooh, the couple spent $400 on us, that means we have to give $400''. Anybody who tells you that is the cover your plate ''rule'', or who ''believes'' that this is how it works, is very wrong. 

    Heh. Our wedding was nearly $150 per plate and while I clearly don't remember what everyone gave, I know I can only recall half a dozen presents that were even $100, amongst my 100+ guests. I don't remember who gave or didn't give what though, because it never, ever occurred to me that my guests would spend more on my present just because I was having a fancier wedding.

    And in turn... when I went to a friend's wedding that was dry and served deli-sandwiches for dinner, I didn't just give her a $10 present because I knew that would "cover" it.

    When I had friends that honestly could not afford to buy a gift at all, I was just happy they came.

    When I went to a dear friend's wedding and just honestly could not afford any gift at all, I knew she'd prefer I come with nothing that not come at all. Being at her wedding and sending a present six months later was more important to me than "saving face" and hopefully to her too.

    You give what you can afford and want to give. A guest should never feel obligated to stalk the couple's reception to try to figure out what it's "worth" to "save face."

    A host should accept any (or no) gift graciously, and should never want a friend to spend more than they could afford.

    That is the rule. Give what you want to and can afford. Accept anything/nothing graciously.... not this cover your plate nonsense.


    ETA:
    And there are DEFINITELY people out there who feel entitled to gifts and expect the plates to be covered regardless of the cost. Just look up the story about the couple and the marshmallow whip present...
    scrunchythief
  • Your reception is exactly what was traditional for a couple hundred years or more. It wasn't until the 80s that the wedding industry went haywire, and people became convinced they needed full dinner evening receptions with partying into the small hours. That's fun, but so is what you're doing. Good for you for not getting sucked in! I'd love to see a return to the simpler cake/punch/coffee weddings. 
    And yep, your friends are being really rude. If someone offers you cake, there's only one correct response. Hell, yes, cake! 
    (No, not really. Of course, the answer is, Thank you very much. Cake is wonderful.)
    aurianna
  • There is nothing at all wrong with the reception you are planning. Your friends are being incredibly rude and were obviously looking forward to your wedding for all the wrong reasons. If they want alcohol, they can go out for drinks afterward. There are plenty of hours in the day. 
    image
  • aurianna said:
    You friends are being disrespectful. I hope they come to their senses before your wedding. What is important is the commitment you're about to make, and the reception is only a gathering to allow the people you love, who witnessed you getting married, to celebrate and offer their best wishes to you. If all your friends are concerned about is wether or not they can get trashed, then they basically don't understand what a wedding is for.

    About the cover your plate thing ... there is a common misconception that this is a ''rule'' that the couple asks the guests to provide a set amount of money as a gift. This isn't what covering your plate is, at all. Cover your plate is a guideline guests have set for themselves because over time, couples stopped using registries and money gifts became the norm. Guests were wondering how much would be an appropriate gift. It has more to do with saving face (they don't want to feel cheap) as a guest than it has to do with couples expecting their guests to pay the exact same amount they've spent over dinner. If you're not sure how much to give, then you can look at the menu and that's your guideline. I've personally never heard of weddings that cost over $100 a plate. The average is anywhere between $50 to $100, and I believe this is what most people tend to give at weddings (if not more) anyway. So there really isn't such a thing as a ''oooh, the couple spent $400 on us, that means we have to give $400''. Anybody who tells you that is the cover your plate ''rule'', or who ''believes'' that this is how it works, is very wrong. 

    Heh. Our wedding was nearly $150 per plate and while I clearly don't remember what everyone gave, I know I can only recall half a dozen presents that were even $100, amongst my 100+ guests. I don't remember who gave or didn't give what though, because it never, ever occurred to me that my guests would spend more on my present just because I was having a fancier wedding.

    And in turn... when I went to a friend's wedding that was dry and served deli-sandwiches for dinner, I didn't just give her a $10 present because I knew that would "cover" it.

    When I had friends that honestly could not afford to buy a gift at all, I was just happy they came.

    When I went to a dear friend's wedding and just honestly could not afford any gift at all, I knew she'd prefer I come with nothing that not come at all. Being at her wedding and sending a present six months later was more important to me than "saving face" and hopefully to her too.

    You give what you can afford and want to give. A guest should never feel obligated to stalk the couple's reception to try to figure out what it's "worth" to "save face."

    A host should accept any (or no) gift graciously, and should never want a friend to spend more than they could afford.

    That is the rule. Give what you want to and can afford. Accept anything/nothing graciously.... not this cover your plate nonsense.


    ETA:
    And there are DEFINITELY people out there who feel entitled to gifts and expect the plates to be covered regardless of the cost. Just look up the story about the couple and the marshmallow whip present...
    I think @OnceUponSnow meant that it's fine if you use cover-your-plate as your own personal guideline for giving gifts. I do it to a point. Obviously I wouldn't give a friend $10 if she had a cake and punch reception.

    But as you said, cover your plate should never be expected. Just because you use it as a guideline for what you give doesn't mean that others do and you should never expect anything in return.
    Anniversary
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