couples

"Don't judge me, but... I want to charge my no-show wedding guests."

I’m left with the final bill and I don’t think it’s fair.

Earlier this month, my partner of seven years and I finally got married. It was everything I’d hoped for and more. We had been engaged for nearly four years because my husband and I weren’t in the right financial situation to be able to afford a wedding right away.

We’d both just finished university, weren’t in stable jobs and didn’t want to do our wedding on the cheap.

So despite being madly in love and wanting to marry within the year, we had to hold off the plans until we could save enough to afford exactly what we wanted. We had no help paying for the big day, my husband and I saved every single cent ourselves and didn’t expect any handouts from our families.

Both of our sides are fairly large and neither of us wanted to cut our list back, so our total guest count came to nearly 400 people. We paid over $100 per head for each of them. So you do the math. That’s a lot of money.

"We had to hold off the plans until we could save enough to afford exactly what we wanted."

We were, however, happy to pay it, because we wanted to share our special day with the people in our lives who are important to us. But there was one huge thing that ticked me off that I wasn’t expecting at all.

The huge number of no-shows. People who said they were coming, but didn't. They were a mixture of family, as well as, friends and it really hurt that they wouldn’t turn up to the most important day of my life.

Despite all of our saving my husband and I are still massively out of pocket. We thought that we would receive more money as we had a wishing well. But a large portion of our guests still chose to buy us as an actual present.

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I just don’t understand why people would RSVP to a wedding if they aren’t planning on turning up. We paid a huge amount of money for empty chairs, food that has gone to waste and bonbonniere that will never be received.

"We paid a huge amount of money for empty chairs and bonbonniere that will never be received."

While I don’t want to sound greedy, I definitely don’t think we should be the ones to wear the cost. When you pull out of a holiday. You lose your deposit. If you book a flight and don’t go, you don’t get your money back. So why should I be lumped with the cost of no-show wedding guests?

My husband and I have been discussing charging our wedding guests who said they would be coming but didn’t show. We’re planning on sending them an invoice in the mail and instructions on how to pay directly to our bank account.

We don’t think this is unreasonable because if these guests had come to our wedding, they technically would have given us a gift anyway. My husband and I feel that we’re only trying to get what is rightfully ours.

Our close family has tried to talk us out of it. They said it would be embarrassing and look as though we’re groveling or struggling. But we think we’re only asking for what is rightfully ours.

Do you think it's fair to charge guests who don't turn up to your wedding? Would you do it?

If, like this reader, you have a dilemma that you would like advice about, please email [email protected] with Don’t Judge Me in the subject field. You will be contacted before publication, and your identity will be protected.

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