One of the biggest complaints that I get from friends and family of the bridal couple is that everything is so expensive. Attending a wedding used to be simple thing: You looked at the registry and picked a gift. If there was a shower, a small gift was expected. Today, expenses for the non-bridal couple can run into hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. Here’s one friend’s predicament:
A friend of the bride asks: “It’s my pleasure to host an engagement party for a close friend. I don’t mind doing all the work, but my budget just won’t allow me to foot the whole restaurant bill. How can I let the guests know that they’ll have to cover their own dinners?”
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The Wedding Guru says: The simple answer is that if you want to make sure that everyone understands the payment set-up, make it clear on your invitations, E-vites, or phone calls.
You should know that, as a general rule, it’s assumed that the person who does the inviting pays the bill. This is especially true for a “formal” party. If you’re simply gathering together a group of friends to mark the occasion, it’s easier for your guests to understand. If this is the case, include the cost of the dinner in the invitations, so there won’t be any surprises for them when they show up at the party. (You should also explain that you’ll pick up the tab for the newly engaged couple.)