Should “No Show” Wedding Guest Pay Up for Bailing on Day of the Big Day?

wedding-invitation-1500445With the average cost for a wedding exceeding $30,000, no wonder couples opt for the courthouse ($35 in NYC) or the Little White Chapel (as low as $75) to say “I Do”. But soon-to-be-spouses take their big day very seriously (as they should). In fact, another study shows that many couples are willing to have a ‘red wedding’, meaning, they’re willing to go into debt for it. The Debt Advisory Center surveyed thousands of adults and found that nearly 25% of couples are prepared to go into debt to pay for their wedding and nearly half of those say they immediately regretted borrowing for the big day. Almost 30% of those were still paying off the costs of their wedding SIX YEARS after the ceremony. (Hopefully they’re still together).

So, knowing the costs, when a guest doesn’t show up to one’s wedding as planned, without any notification, a couple may see that as rude and also a huge waste of their money.

That’s the situation in Minnesota. It’s the wedding bill making all the headlines. Wedding guest, Jessica Baker, had intended on attending her friend’s wedding, but at the last minute had to bail because her mother couldn’t watch the kids anymore. And, since kids weren’t allowed at the wedding, she just didn’t go. Fast forward a couple weeks. The ‘no show’ wedding guest got a bill from the newlyweds for $75, asking her to cover the cost of her and her husband’s meals and saying an explanation for the no show, no call, no text, no card would be appreciated.

Baker posted a photo of the ‘bill’ on Facebook, igniting an instant response. Reaction was generally split. It’s easy to see both sides of the case. One wedding planner saying: “Under no circumstances should you choose to follow up after the fact…questioning why they couldn’t attend or much less sending a bill.” wedding-glasses-1425674

Things come up at that last minute, that’s life. Do 100% of the guests who RSVP ‘yes’ to a wedding always come? Probably not. That’s why wedding planners say you should prepare for about 10% of overage or underage when you’re planning a big event.

To the couple’s defense, one could see why they’d be so upset after spending a lot of money on the wedding and then having some guests ditch. Proper etiquette would’ve been to alert the bride, groom or their parents. Baker may simple not have wanted to bother the bride about it on her big day. I’d do the same.

However, forget about being ‘the bride’. If her first concern was that her friend bailed, costing her $75 dollars for a dinner not eaten, instead of “gosh, I hope my friend is okay,” it says a lot about the type of “friend” this bride is. She pretty much put a $75 price tag on their friendship. So, as the guest, I’d be insulted, too.

Baker says she refuses to pay the bill…and forget about a gift or card.

Who’s side do you take?

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