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Couple charges wedding guests $22 to attend, 'nobody else has complained;' AITA?

Couple charges wedding guests $22 to attend, 'nobody else has complained;' AITA?

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We've heard of bridezilla and groom gremlins demanding expensive gifts or bachelorette parties, but what about an invitation fee?

So, when a conflicted soon-to-be-newlywed decided to consult the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the AS%hole' about whether or not they're wrong to charge a fee to attend their wedding reception, people everywhere were eager to weigh in.

AITA (Am I the As&hole) for charging $ to attend my wedding reception?

For context: we have been planning this wedding since we were engaged 7 months ago and the whole thing is going to be pretty simple for a wedding with 26 people coming to the reception.

We’re having the ceremony in a local park where any of the 50 people we invited can come, and then the reception is at a camp site outside of the city about a 2 hour drive away.

Instead of gifts, we just asked people to contribute to renting the campsite and bus and paying for their food IF they wanted to come to the reception (so we’re only charging 26 people).

We sent out save the dates in December and official invitations back in March, asking for people to RSVP with their decisions about the reception or not by the end of April so we could begin putting down deposits and whatnot.

The total for space at the campsite, bus to and from the venue, and 3 meals. We’re providing dessert and entertainment ourselves while there.

The total we’re asking for comes out to about $22 per person. We felt really good about that, especially since the dress code is “come as you are” and we don’t have a registry and aren’t asking for gifts.

My partner and I are getting married in about a month so we put down the deposit and we just notified everyone who RSVP’d to both the ceremony and reception today. Soon after, one of my partner's best friends from college (we’ll call them V) texted us.

V complained that we should have let everyone know about the price before putting the money down, that we weren’t being very communicative, they were “surprised” by the final cost and didn’t realize it included 3 meals, that makes things complicated etc etc etc.

My partner responded back with all the receipts about the notices we’d given in screenshots and stuff. V insisted we still weren’t clear.

After going back and forth about this I had had enough and just said “okay if you don’t want to go to the reception anymore, I’d rather you just tell us that instead of being condescending and telling us we were disrespectful of your time.”

We left it at that and nobody else has complained about the price or anything else so far, but the whole thing has left me wondering if maybe we’re being weird or something. AITA?

Later, the post was edited to include:

EDIT: Just in case there was some confusion, we aren’t trying to make money off the wedding 😅 not a chance. We were thinking that it would be a way for guests to help us through a party for ALL of us, if they wanted to go. The ceremony doesn’t cost anything.

EDIT 2: We don’t live in the US. I’m from the US but my partner and all of the guests are local and we have a livestream for everyone who can’t fly here.

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this one:

banjo_fandango said:

YTA. Don't charge people to go to your wedding. Tacky. You decided to get married, you invited people, you pay.

(In reply to your edit: my answer would be exactly the same even if you're not making a profit on it. It's your wedding, you invited people, you pay for the party you throw to celebrate it. Your GUESTS do not pay to attend a wedding/reception.)

Affectionate_Life644 said:

YTA and tacky. If you can't afford to throw a party in your own honor then don't throw the party. Wow.

nottodayoilyjosh said:

YTA. Are you sure you’re mature enough to get married if neither of you figured this out before just now? Big yikes.

itchybottombees said:

YTA. If you can’t afford a wedding, time to go to the courthouse. How you pay for it is absolutely not their problem.

strawberry-pesto said:

YTA. As the host it is your responsibility to cover the venue and refreshments. Potluck weddings are common in some circles, but even then people aren’t charged an entry fee. Have the reception you can afford.

No-Cost-2668 said:

YTA. This is an event you are hosting, not a pay to play cell phone game. Your justification is 'it's for all of us' isn't really a good one. It's more so you don't need to pay. Weddings are paid for by the people hosting it, not the guests. You would be using their money, btw.

These_Strategy_1929 said:

I'll go with NTA opposite to most people here. If I understood correctly, you don't expect any gifts and that 22 dollars (which is a very small amount for a gift) is replacing gifts. I would be ok with that.

Note to couples planning to crowd-fund their wedding day...you might have to rethink your plan if you want to avoid getting roasted.

Sources: Reddit
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