Who Pays?

I ran into a really good friend of mine on Tues and we were talking and she said “let me ask you this.” Her in-laws are celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary later this summer and her sister-in-law wanted to have a great big party. My girlfriend suggested that just the immediate family go. Their kids and grand-kids. They had just had a big 65th party for the Mother in law last winter so she said “why don’t we just wait and have a big one for the 45th?”

So the next thing she knows is she gets this invitation in the mail saying that “the children of “so and so” are having an anniversary party so please join us at “such and such” down in MPLS.” RSVP to the “children of” with contact info for each child.”

Her question to me is “who’s paying?”

These people can’t afford something like this. Both her and her husband work hard and would have to really save for a while to pay for something like this and it looks to her like it’s their invite so they should be paying but she told the sister-in-law that they better get a bank loan because her and her husband don’t have the money to do something like this with no warning. It’s in one month. Also, she invited brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and “good” friends.

What do you think? If you got an invitation like this, what would you “assume?”

Who pays?

This entry was posted in etiquette, wedding anniversary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Who Pays?

  1. mssc54 says:

    I would assume I needed to RSVP. None of my business who is paying.

    But if WE did this I think the kids should pay. Who would make the honorees pay for their own party?!

    And waiting five years wouldn’t help because it would be the Mother’s 70th birthday.

    • Joy says:

      So if you went, would you think you had to pay for your and your families dinner? Or would you “assume” the kids were paying?

      They wouldn’t throw a 70th if they did the anniversary. That was my girlfriends point. They can only do one at a time.

      • mssc54 says:

        I wouild assume I would be paying for whatever I consumed. I think that is pretty standard.

        I had one of these for my Mrs.’ 50th birthday party. I had the place make three special offers off the menue in a specific price range. When the people called to RSVP I told them what to expect.

      • Joy says:

        Oh, okay. When you said it wasn’t your business who paid I wondered what you meant.

  2. Laura says:

    I would be more than a little miffed if my name was on the invitation for an RSVP, and I was not asked ahead of time. I would likely have my husband call (I’m assuming this is the hubs’ relations… his sister or brother) and talk with his sibling and straighten it all out. Perhaps there was a simple misunderstanding – that the sister’s family would pay, but that this particular family would help out with contact/coordinating information or something like that. But then, I tend to think the best of people, even in situations that seem like they’re out of hand.

  3. Sue says:

    Well, if they already told the SIL that they couldn’t pay and she went and sent out invitations anyway, I would think that means the SIL is paying.

    • Joy says:

      This is Shannon. She didn’t tell her sister in law they couldn’t pay. She just said being they just had the big bash for the birthday just the two boys, them and their kids should go. THEN she got the invitation and was flabbergasted but her and Eric’s phone number are on the invitation and there’s NO way they can afford this at a restaurant downtown MPLS especially being it wasn’t discussed more.

      • Sue says:

        Oh, you made it sound like she had told them already. But, if she hasn’t told them they can’t swing it, she’d better be doing it soon.

      • Joy says:

        She told them when she got the invitation that they couldn’t pay but they never talked about it after that one time when Shannon told her let’s wait 5 years since they just had a party for Audrey a few months ago.

  4. skl1 says:

    I’m a little fuzzy on what was said before the invitation went out. It sounds to me like your friend OKd a small get-together but not the big party that’s being thrown. It seems the least they should do would be to pay what they would hae paid as their share of a small party.

    I think “Shannon” (or her husband) should inform Ms. Assertive that her family can pay $XXX toward the cost of the party, period. Nobody can force you to share in a cost you didn’t agree to incur. Maybe there would be guilt trips, or maybe not.

    For my parents’ 50th, all the siblings were in contact well in advance and there was buy-in for a certain amount of cost before official arrangements were made.

  5. Nikki says:

    It should have been discussed in a sit down conversation and thought out thoroughly before any plans were made. If they are doing a big shin dig, and the family knows that Shannon and her family can’t afford much then they should be responsible for the majority of it. If I were Shannon, I would either have her husband deal with it, or if it were ME I would have to, and I would just say, this is what we can contribute and leave it at that. One should never assume anything. Something like this should be talked about, certainly way before invitations are sent out.

  6. Joy says:

    Let me try again.

    The two girls, Shannon and Jen are the in laws. They’re married to brothers. It’s the brothers parents. Jen said to Shannon “lets have a big party for Jay and Audrey for their 40th anniversary.” Shannon said “since we just had such a big party for Audrey for her birthday, why don’t you, Scott and the kids and Eric and I and the kids take them to a nice place for dinner?”

    That was it.

    The end of conversation.

    A week or so later Shannon got the invitation with the restaurant, date, time and all the info on it. NONE of it she knew about. Her name is on the invitation as an RSVP contact.

    She wanted to know if they would be expected to pay for half of this. They don’t have the money and will have to take out a loan or put it all on a credit card but she doesn’t want to pay that high rate of insurance.

    Jen thinks the people coming will pay for their own meals. Shannon didn’t read the invitation the same way. Payment was not on the invitation. It didn’t say one way or the other how this was being paid for.

    Would you think you had to pay for your own dinner?

    • Laura says:

      I would not expect to pay if I received that invitation. I would assume that this was being thrown by the family, and we were going as guests. If the guests were expected to pay, that should have been noted on the invite.

    • Joy says:

      I wouldn’t expect to either Laura. That’s why Shannon is so upset.

  7. skl1 says:

    Unless the invite was clear on who pays, I would think the invitees would assume dinner was going to be covered. Wow, that would be embarrassing if Jen didn’t make that clear.

    • Nikki says:

      I would look at it, as if it were like a wedding. Meal would be provided. It should have said otherwise, if they don’t intend on paying for everything. I’m not sure how you would go about making sure people understood that.

    • Joy says:

      That’s what I was thinking too Nikki. I’d read it like I was going to a wedding. I would be willing to pay if I knew. That wouldn’t bother me but since it wasn’t stated, I would “assume” it was paid for by the family.

      It really is embarrassing and I know Shannon feels bad and will pony up some money but they really don’t have money like this to spend and it’s going to have to be at least partially covered by credit and Shannon HATES owing. She’s sick over it.

      • skl1 says:

        So sad when families get upset with each other over trying to make someone happy. I totally understand the feeling, though.

  8. Phyllis says:

    Ok, I just finished reading all the responses, and I have to say that in my opinion the guests are not expecting to pay for their meals. I think since Jen went ahead and planned this bash without further discussion with Shannon that it is now Jen’s responsibility to pony up the cash for it. Shannon’s response made it pretty clear she wasn’t on board with the big bash. Keeping it smaller (as she suggested) would have allowed each family to pay for their own meals when the check came.

    My dad passed before the folks 20 anniversary, so we’ve never had this issue. However, for my Mom’s 80th birthday, my SIL’s and I got together and decided to split the expense 3 ways. It was summer so we had it in my yard but it still would’ve been too costly for only 1 of us to foot the bill. We were all involved with the planning every step of the way although I did the follow-thru mostly on my own.

    I can’t imagine what Jen was thinking to just go ahead with on her own without further discussion, but Shannon really isn’t responsible for the misunderstanding.

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