Bride divides opinion after charging guests a no-show fee for last minute cancellations

Dec 17, 2023
Opinions were split, with some supporting the bride's practical stance on charging no-shows, while others agued that weddings should be free of financial formalities. Source: Getty Images.

In a bold move that has ignited a social media storm, a bride has divided opinions by charging guests a no-show fee for last-minute cancellations to her big day.

The controversial decision has sparked a heated debate on the expectations and etiquette surrounding weddings.

Discussing with the She’s on The Money podcast, the bride sought clarification on the appropriateness of requesting the guest to bear the expenses for their seat, particularly considering their last-minute withdrawal from her interstate wedding with minimal notice.

“It’s now one week out from the wedding and I have already given the confirmed numbers to the venue and paid the outstanding amount, which was $18,600,” the bride explained.

“Within the last week ten guests, who had previously RSVP’d that they were coming have now cancelled citing that its too expensive for them to travel interstate.

“I am scrambling to cover their seats, otherwise I’m effectively wasting $2000.

“Is it reasonable to request that they cover these costs themselves?”

The bride shared that she had distributed Save the Date cards a year and a half ago and sent out formal invitations in January. By July, the majority of guests had already RSVP’d.

However, one guest has now expressed regret via a text message, apologising and explaining that they were “so sorry” for being unable to attend, citing that they “just can’t afford to travel interstate at the moment”.

“Hope you understand, would love to have been there,” the guest added.

Opinions were split, with some supporting the bride’s practical stance on charging no-shows, while others agued that weddings should be free of financial formalities.

“No one books flights for an interstate wedding the week prior. The guest is 100% at fault here and is not a nice friend for doing this. It’d be different if she/partner/family fell ill and couldn’t make it. But no one plans their travel a week prior and suddenly finds out they can’t afford it,” one person commented.

“No way. You would have paid the seat even if they came or not; so it doesn’t make a difference from a budget point of view if they don’t come since if they came there wouldn’t have been an expectation for them to pay on arrival. Not fair to penalise a guest if they can’t make it IMO, life is expensive and hard and having a wedding is a choice in my thoughts (we had a few last minute drop outs and I never would have dreamed of asking them to cover their seat!),” countered another.

“I would cover it, but I’d also feel pretty salty about it,” revealed one member of the public.

“Organising a wedding just before Christmas is their first mistake. Expecting anyone to spend money because you decided to get married is pretty selfish anyway. Especially given the divorce rate and how many of them are having another wedding a few years later with someone else,” another suggested.

“Cancelling a week out is BS. I am sure there was an RSVP date there for a reason. So rude!” one person strongly argued.

“No, personally I think that’s rude and gauche. I had a couple of guests cancel the week of our wedding because they caught covid. No way would I even think to ask them to pay. I would have said no if they offered to. It’s the quickest way to cause awkwardness & potentially ruin the friendship/relationship with that person,” advised another.

As the controversy continues to unfold, it remains to be seen whether this divisive wedding move will set a precedent or remain an isolated incident.

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