Jessica
Savvy October 2019

Not really a reception....

Jessica, on August 9, 2019 at 6:41 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 1 73
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So I am getting married soon but we are doing a courthouse wedding that is just for our immediate family. We want to have a family get together afterwards for dinner at a restaurant. It's not out of the ordinary that people pay for their own meals right? I don't think so since, essentially, it's just a dinner. Thanks!

73 Comments

Latest activity by Saki, on August 14, 2019 at 5:51 PM
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    You would need to pay for your family’s dinner after the courthouse ceremony. It’s customary to host people in some way for taking time to come witness the ceremony.
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  • Jasmine
    Dedicated August 2020
    Jasmine ·
    • Flag
    I’m all for small weddings, it saves you a lot of money, that you can use towards your future! I just think for a restaurant celebration someone would have to pick up the bill. Either a parent, sibling, or the couple. You could also do a get together at someone’s home and have it be pot luck style if you want everyone to cooperate, I think that could be an idea. Depending on the amount of people that will be attending, if it is a really short guest list and you want them to pay for themselves then as long as you’re upfront with them from the beginning, so there is not an awkward moment when the check comes.
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  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
    • Flag
    I agree with Kelly that you and your FS pay for your guests meals and drinks as a thank-you for celebrating your wedding day.
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  • Mcskipper
    Master July 2018
    Mcskipper ·
    • Flag
    That would be out of the ordinary, yes.
    If you invite someone to your wedding and a dinner following, it would be expected you would host them. It is essentially a thank you to your guests for witnessing your ceremony.
    • Reply
  • Karla
    Just Said Yes August 2018
    Karla ·
    • Flag
    My hubs and I also had a courthouse wedding then we did our church wedding months later. After our courthouse wedding we also went to dinner with our immediate family and everyone paid for their own meal.. we didn’t think it was a big deal and honestly we didn’t even put much thought into it either
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
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    My parents and his won't let us pay for them (essentially that's who is going to be at the actual wedding besides my sister and his), so I'm not worried about them. This is more of a "hey, we got married. Come hang out with us" kinda deal. Again, not exactly a reception.
    • Reply
  • Caytlyn
    Legend November 2019
    Caytlyn ·
    • Flag
    You’re inviting people to dinner after attending your wedding, you’re responsible for the cost.
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  • I_Do_Too
    Devoted September 2020
    I_Do_Too ·
    • Flag
    I agree with previous posts. It is out or the ordinary to not pick up the bill.
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  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
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    Thank you! We didn't think it's a big deal either. I was just curious as to what everyone else thought. We're doing the courthouse because we don't have enough to pay for the wedding we want right now; so why would I pay for everyone to eat? I guess I see it more as if you can come great! If not that's ok.
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  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
    • Flag
    It’s not a reception but I think as a courtesy to your guests you need to let them know everyone pays for their own dinner because the wedding couple still typically hosts by paying for the meal and it would be expected no matter what kind of wedding it is.
    Could you do a luncheon instead so you could pay for their meals? Lunch is an affordable option and there’s a lot of nice lunch spots.

    I completely understand money can be tight! I struggled with it too. Food can be so expensive.
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  • Mrsbdg
    Champion August 2017
    Mrsbdg ·
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    To me, it’s a common courtesy to pay for someone’s meal if they are coming to celebrate a life event you chose to do. If you don’t feel that way, not sure what to say. I would be really really shocked if I went to a celebration of marriage and the hosting couple wanted me to pay. Maybe give your crew a heads up?
    • Reply
  • Future Mrs. Danger
    Expert November 2019
    Future Mrs. Danger ·
    • Flag
    I think it would a little unconventional to have your guests pay for their dinner. Perhaps you can somehow split it with parents or siblings afterwards.
    • Reply
  • Chandra
    Master May 2019
    Chandra ·
    • Flag
    My brother had everybody go to golden corral after their small wedding ceremony and made everybody pay for their own meal. My parents were NOT happy about the fact that he did that.
    • Reply
  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
    • Flag
    There is no formal invitation. This is literally a "hey, we'll be here celebrating. If you want to come we would love to see you". I'll just figure out a way to include they'll, of course, pay for themselves which I don't think will be a problem for my family at all. Our parents and sibs wouldn't want us to pay for them anyway and they would be the only ones I would be concerned about. If other do have issues, then they can always opt out. I thank everyone for their opinion though!
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  • MOB So Cal
    January 2019
    MOB So Cal ·
    • Flag

    Since you've already decided what you want to do, then do it. Your post asked, "is this out of the ordinary?" and pps told you it is.

    • Reply
  • Colleen
    Master September 2019
    Colleen ·
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    How about taking people out for pizza it would be a nice thank you to everyone if you could afford it. But if not I am sure it is ok.
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  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
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    Some did some didn't and some offered other alternative. It was just a question. I can ask a question and still decide to do something else. And like I said I am going to do it but I suppose you didn't see my comment before. I'm allow to be curious about others' opinions and thoughts. If you didn't like the question, why comment? Your comment was unnecessary but there's nothing I can do about that. I genuinely value everyone's opinion and see and understand where they are coming from, I just don't think it will work for me and my family; and I'm sure that's ok. If there are other ideas or alternatives they can name that I can't think of, it's definitely welcomed! We don't have a lot of money right now (as I stated before) so even if there other ways to say "thank you" to the very few people that will be at the actual wedding without shelling out a few hundred dollars to pay for people, please tell me. If not, why are you here, MOB So Cal?
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  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
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    I like the pizza idea. Maybe that's something I can do the night before maybe? Or the day after... not sure
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  • Jessica
    Savvy October 2019
    Jessica ·
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    Food is SUPER expensive! We just got engaged like 2 weeks ago and getting married in less than 2 months. Now way we can afford that right now. There's so much to do, dress, hair, make up all of that. I kinda feel like that takes precedent over everyone's food. Does that make sense? At the end of the day I want to feel good about myself on my wedding day. I don't want to lack in something because of feeding someone. I know it sounds selfish but I give to and take care of everyone, it's the one day I can have what I want right? So I'm kinda stuck in the middle here
    • Reply
  • Yam
    VIP September 2019
    Yam ·
    • Flag
    How many guests do you anticipate coming? Maybe we can offer suggestions based on the number of people to feed. Off the top of my head, anything other than a steak dinner or seafood is always more affordable(lol duh) but italian food, mexican food, spanish food(tapas!) and lunchy food are usually cheap.
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