Growing up in the Haitian culture a fond memory the majority of us have at a young age is attending a big wedding with our parents, tagging along and enjoying the moment. It seemed like so much fun then. Now, as we are becoming adults and the traditions once established are changing. The reception dinner is not necessarily being prepared by family members, formal invitations are almost necessary, no more word of mouth invites, and the dance, expect simple and sometimes no rhythmic walk down the aisle by the wedding party.
Newly engaged couples, we grasp it, weddings are expensive. From the eye-opening costs of the venue to the live band, photography and videography and oh yea those floral arrangements you must have, that wedding bill and budget can rack up really quick. And with more brides and grooms taking on the financial burden themselves than their parents traditionally it is getting harder for couples to pay for that “dream wedding,” they’ve always wished-for. But why must one couple dumb down their “dream wedding” due to the cost, why not seek an alternative style.
The directions and traditions of wedding etiquette are continuously transforming and evolving, making it challenging for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up to date and correct information.
Never heard of an engaged couple asking for you as a guest to “cover your plate”? This style of a “guest paid” wedding is resurfacing the wedding era. What exactly does a “guest paid” wedding mean? Basically, the guests invited are asked to cover their plate with no request for a wedding gift. Yes, you read it correctly this trend has alleviated the stress of the guest list while diminishing the bill. Now not every couple can achieve this but it’s been done and these couples have had over 220 to 275 guests in attendance and they’re raving about it.
Here’s the low down: in some regions such as Canada, it is considered good etiquette to cover the cost of your plate instead of a wedding gift as a guest. Many will say it is rude, absurd or tacky to ask your guests to cover their plate or have comments such as “if they can’t afford it then don’t have one.” But, seriously, if there’s anybody that should understand your family and friends should. Why put a large burden on the couple when they’re simply asking for a small percentage.
Oh, and most of the time the people who are against is will be the same ones asking “Where did you honeymoon?” “Did you purchase a home yet?” “When are you having kids?” Meanwhile, the newlywed’s priorities have shifted to focus on paying off the debt from the wedding day.
The average cost per plate is $100 depending on the region and how decadent your reception is, let’s be realistic many millennials do not gift equally to the plate value or better yet not at all. If the bride and groom are paying for your plate, it’s not required but a gift is welcomed. With the guest paid wedding the couple desires most of your presence than the presents.
Here are a few Pros and Cons of this style:
- Guests will decide to accept/decline
- Debt free
- Some family and friends will not understand
- People will talk, but it’s temporary
- Guests not respecting deadlines
As a last note, in choosing to abide this style you will be able to filter people out, but always remember people will spend money on who and what they care about. The guests are not really simply paying for a plate, it’s truly the experience of this monumental moment in your loved one’s life. This wedding style is not foreign, there are a lot of people doing it, but it’s not always advertised.
There is an extremely low support rate, but it has been done successfully in other cultures and regions of Canada, Georgia, and Florida.
Is this really any different from a destination wedding?
Marjorie is a travel and lifestyle blogger from South Florida. She started blogging to share her personal experiences with others and influence those to step out of the box to just live a little. Follow her blog