Even with WillyNilly's explanation, I still don't think "cover your plate" mentality is actually hosting esp with all of Hmmmmm's questions. Those are fair questions. Cover your plate just doesn't make sense to me.
I agree with LeVeeWoman, if guests are expected to pay for their meal, then they aren't being hosted.
Then you didn't understand my explanation.
"Cover your plate" has nothing, zero, zinch, totally absolutely nothing to do with hosting
. At all. If a host even breathes mention of "cover your plate" that host is a greedy gimme pig. "Cover your plate" is a mentality for guests only
. And even when those exact same guests turn around and host something, they must never think in terms of "cover your plate".
I always try to cover my plate at a wedding. When I got married, I truly did not care or consider if my guests gave more or less value then what it cost me to host them. Truly I did not. Even not the guests who I know also live by the "cover your plate" mentality.
As to your questions Hmmmmm, some people take "cover your plate" to the extreme they arrive at a wedding with a blank check and write the amount in when they see the level of hosting. But for most people its more just a guess. And if they get there and see their guess was wrong, oh well so be it, the gift is what the gift is.
As far as the two very different levels of hosting, its more like, if you adjust, and not everyone does
, and know your hosts paid $150 a head you might try to give $350 (cover your plate + $50 gift) and if they spent $70 a head, it'd probably be $200 ($140 + 60 gift). Me? I don't calculate anything. I assume the average cost of a wedding in my area is $100 a head give or take $15. So everyone (in my area or otherwise) gets $200-250 from me & DH (depending on how flush I am at the moment, how close I am to them, if I gave a shower gift, etc). If they spent $150 a head, oh well. If they spent $70 a head, whoo-hoo. But either way in my mind we have "covered our heads" because I have hit up the average