Broke-Ass Etiquette: Wedding Receptions on a Budget

Updated: May 01, 2013 12:17
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Q: Dear Half-Price Headliner,
My best friend is getting married and I’m helping plan the wedding.  They’re just doing a very small courthouse ceremony with a dinner afterward, where they’ll be paying for only wedding party.  They’d like to have other guests join in the dinner, but can’t cover the cost of food for 20.  Any ideas on how to invite people to come and let them know they have to foot their own bill without making it too awkward?

A: Weddings are crazy expensive, no matter how you swing it, so props to them for sticking to their budget.  That said, it’s always going to be a little awkward when telling guests that they have to foot the bill.

To soften the blow, mention in the invitation something to the affect of 'œIn lieu of gifts, we’ll be going dutch!  Please bring $___ to cover the deliciousness.'  Most guests will be relieved to not have to deal with the gift purchasing, and will probably end up spending less than they would have on presents.

Choosing a menu beforehand will help control costs, and keep in mind that some of the guests may be just as broke, so be reasonable with the restaurant selection.  They could also frame it as a 'œsuggested donation' so that people don’t feel excluded if they can’t afford the total bill (only if the newlyweds have a little extra dough to cover the possible difference).

If the details are  flexible, and they’re still feeling awkward about asking their guests to pay, they could consider switching things up and doing a potluck, or cake and dancing for the group celebration instead of a full dinner.  Either way, the most important thing is that they don’t get too stressed on the details, and enjoy the hell out of their special day.  Mazel tov!

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Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Alison Lambert - Half Price Headliner

Ali was born and raised in the Wholesome/Creepy capital of the world, Salt Lake City, UT. Once she was old enough to blow that pop stand she escaped to the place that was the anti-SLC: The Peoples Gay-public of Drugifornia aka San Francisco (holla 30 Rock!). You can now find her throughout this glorious city slurping Pho and scheming with her best friend Pinky doing what they do every night; try and take over the world.

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  1. […] dinner, but can’t cover the cost of food for 20. Any ideas on how … … Link: Broke-Ass Etiquette: Wedding Receptions on a Budget « Broke-Ass … ← Wedding Reception Bands – Know What To Look For | Great […]