Guestzillas
The Budget Savvy Bride

image found here http://yankeerev.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/complaining.jpg

Because we’re only really close to a handful of people, we opted for a venue that had a limited capacity of 102, and mind you that’s without a dance floor and with some folks not sitting at tables (more here). We thought that with such a small venue, our friends and family would understand if we wouldn’t be able to invite everyone; and despite what many wedding websites and magazines have told us to brace ourselves for, we didn’t have anyone we didn’t intend on inviting ask about whether or not they would be able to come.

What we didn’t anticipate was how some of the folks on our guest list would be making demands- (aka they are being Guestzillas.) Our friends are generally pretty laid back, so we were really surprised when some of them were asking if we’d cater to their newest fad diet.

“I don’t eat carbs or dairy anymore. Will your menu accommodate that?”

Or if we’d have enough liquor…

“There will be an open bar, right? I’d like to get my drink on!”

And some of our friends who go through relationships the way I go through socks have been asking if they could bring a date aka their flavor of the week.

I couldn’t believe it; a party that we were hosting to celebrate the fact that we’d just made a lifelong commitment to each other, an event that was really supposed to be about US, and our guests were worried about whether or not they would have THEIR needs catered to.

So what did we do when we were asked a question about menu, open bar, and plus ones? We decided to keep our answer consistent:

“If we can’t, would it prevent you from coming?”

This was all anyone needed for an answer, and every single time the response was the same:

“Of course not! I can’t wait to come to your wedding no matter what!”

With a limited budget, we knew that we wouldn’t be able to cater to everyone’s dietary, liquor and social needs. Our friends and family know that, so as of now we’re not faced with unwelcome plus ones and folks potentially complaining about our menu. So for all of you who are faced with guests who are not exactly acting graciously about their invite, how did you go about it?

I'm Denise, and in May of 2013 I'll be marrying my best friend of over a decade. By the time we get married, we'll have had a 2 year engagement. I also post on my own blog http://theurbancheapskate.blogspot.com

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From Our Partners
  1. Oooh, I have had SO many complaints, about a destination wedding, the cost of travel, the time of year, the at home reception… so so so many complaints. To our dearest friends and family who have voiced this, we have taken the stance, “Well, this is what we are going to do. We would love for you to be there, but understand if you cannot come, for whatever reason. We know you will be thinking about us from home, and that is wonderful too.” I think you just have to be gracious, and stick to your guns!

    • Jacqueline
    • March 23rd, 2013

    I think there are two sides to this story. I agree that it is waaay out of line to be asking about alcohol, and I wouldn’t be real impressed about having “the flavor of the week” tag along either. Or with complaints about an at-home reception as mentionedd in the comment above.
    On the other hand, there’s also the aspect of hospitality. I want my guests to feel welcome. With a buffet style dinner, it’s really not hard to accomodate various diets. That’s how we plan holiday dinners in our family too. I know how hard my SIL is struggling to get down to a healthy weight pound by pound, so I WANT there to be an all veggie option for her. I know how dairy affects my friends’ son’s behavior, so I WANT there to be a non-dairy dessert available for him.
    Similarly, I feel it’s courteous to take into consideration timing and location. Given the business my parents own, that means not getting married during their busy season. And getting married in a location that the majority of the close friends and family can get too without too much money or trouble.
    Just some thoughts on the other side of this coin :-)

      • Denise
      • March 23rd, 2013

      In regards to the dietary concerns and hospitality; we do have

      1) a vegetarian option
      2) an entirely nut free menu
      3) reduced carb options (meats, vegetables etc.)

      but we can’t cater to EVERYONE’s needs. It’s just not practical or affordable to have gluten free, vegan & raw food available to cater to some individuals.

      We are putting a menu on our wedding website to allow people to decide if they want to either eat beforehand or if they’d rather not attend due to dietary restrictions.

    • Floofy
    • April 9th, 2013

    I think the dietary needs one is a valid point, especially if there’s an allergy involved. You bet we’re having dairy free; I can’t eat dairy! My grandmother is ridiculously allergic to wheat, so we need to work around that. I realize it’s difficult to accommodate everyone, but their concerns aren’t just complaining.
    Now open bar…I’m dealing with this one, and the answer is a big fat NO. We stopped drinking years ago and it’s brunch for goodness sake, yet some people are still “concerned” they won’t be able to get smashed at 2pm for free.
    Dates…that’s an easy one. Falling back on the old “Married or living together” rule is just set in stone.

    • The dietary needs was for those crazy people who start a completely unnecessary reduced carb diet the week before a wedding & insist on having those needs catered to.

      My fiance has a very severe nut allergy (nearly died in 2008 because he accidentally ate walnuts) , so I agree that allergies are different. Our wedding website does have information about what allergens are in what foods so people can opt to eat before hand, or bring a sandwich, but we did try to take into consideration some of the more common allergens.

  1. April 5th, 2013