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  • November 23, 2017, 09:17:51 AM

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Author Topic: Party from years ago  (Read 3489 times)

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Abigaile

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Party from years ago
« on: May 16, 2017, 08:11:13 AM »
About 7 years ago my boyfriend, now husbands, brother got engaged. My husband was one of the groomsman, I didn't have any part in the wedding except to be a co-host at the family bridal shower. We were invited to multiple parties and attended the ones we could, with a gift in hand for each one. The one that really stands out, however, was what I think was the engagement party. We were not sent an invitation, but was told about through word of mouth. So we show up to a house that was too small for the large amount of guests. Beer, wine, and a spread of appetizers were served on plastic. There were no decorations except for a framed invitation to the party, which I didn't pay much attention to, but I snapped a photo of it. We socialized for a couple of hours and decided to head home. As we were pulling out of the driveway my husband mention to me that we needed to send the hostess $65. When I asked why, he replied that it was supposedly "his share" for the party. When I asked him why he had not told me earlier, he told me that he had not known about it until he was saying goodbye to the hostess. Apparently, this party was hosted by the wedding party. The bridesmaids, who put the party together, were in charge of the food and the groomsmen were in charge of the beer and wine. I pulled up the picture of the invitation on my phone and lost it. There at the bottom of the invitation it said it was hosted by the wedding party. I informed my husband that he was more than welcome to pay it but there was no way in hell I was writing check for $65 for a party that he didn't even know he was supposed to help host, much less have any say in it. Since there were 12-14 people in the wedding party, that would have made the total for this gala about $800-$900. There was NO WAY that cheap wine and bulk appetizers from Sam's Club cost that much. Not too mention we had already spent a big chunk of change on gifts, showers, and wedding attire as it was. That did explain why we didn't receive an invitation, but I thought it was extremely rude of the others not to ask my husband for his input, or at least inform him that he was co-host ahead of time. Needless to say we did not pay and, as far as I know, nothing else was ever said about it. I have always wondered if I overacted and committed my own etiquette blunder or if I was right to refuse to pay.

EllenS

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 08:30:00 AM »
About 7 years ago my boyfriend, now husbands, brother got engaged. My husband was one of the groomsman, I didn't have any part in the wedding except to be a co-host at the family bridal shower. We were invited to multiple parties and attended the ones we could, with a gift in hand for each one. The one that really stands out, however, was what I think was the engagement party. We were not sent an invitation, but was told about through word of mouth. So we show up to a house that was too small for the large amount of guests. Beer, wine, and a spread of appetizers were served on plastic. There were no decorations except for a framed invitation to the party, which I didn't pay much attention to, but I snapped a photo of it. We socialized for a couple of hours and decided to head home. As we were pulling out of the driveway my husband mention to me that we needed to send the hostess $65. When I asked why, he replied that it was supposedly "his share" for the party. When I asked him why he had not told me earlier, he told me that he had not known about it until he was saying goodbye to the hostess. Apparently, this party was hosted by the wedding party. The bridesmaids, who put the party together, were in charge of the food and the groomsmen were in charge of the beer and wine. I pulled up the picture of the invitation on my phone and lost it. There at the bottom of the invitation it said it was hosted by the wedding party. I informed my husband that he was more than welcome to pay it but there was no way in hell I was writing check for $65 for a party that he didn't even know he was supposed to help host, much less have any say in it. Since there were 12-14 people in the wedding party, that would have made the total for this gala about $800-$900. There was NO WAY that cheap wine and bulk appetizers from Sam's Club cost that much. Not too mention we had already spent a big chunk of change on gifts, showers, and wedding attire as it was. That did explain why we didn't receive an invitation, but I thought it was extremely rude of the others not to ask my husband for his input, or at least inform him that he was co-host ahead of time. Needless to say we did not pay and, as far as I know, nothing else was ever said about it. I have always wondered if I overacted and committed my own etiquette blunder or if I was right to refuse to pay.

Unless there is more information that you weren't given (like perhaps DH was told but forgot, or wasn't paying attention, etc) then I think you were perfectly right.

Hosts participate in planning, or give "informed consent" to how much they are going to chip in, in advance. This situation was voluntelling, and you had every right to push back. I suspect you were not the only one, and that's why the matter was dropped.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 09:18:05 AM »
Honestly, it sounds like a miscommunication. I've often seen co-hosts not receiving an invite to an event they are co-hosting because they are part of the hosts. So I don't see a faux pas on their part for that. Your then boyfriend did know something about the party. Maybe he just missed the fact that it was the wedding party hosting it? With these group type hosting events, it can be difficult to get everyone's input. Yes the primary organizers should have gotten agreement on budget. But again, maybe hour then boyfriend missed those details or someone thought he was informed.

I agree it's hard to be a little blindsided with expectations of costs. I once helped co-host a shower for my nephew. 5 hostesses in all.  There was about 20 couples invited, no alcohol, limited food (pulled pork sliders, green salad, pasta salad) but a huge spread of sweets (8 types) and tons of flowers. Guess how stunned I was to be told my part was $250. I have no doubt the primary organizers spent that much money. The flowers alone were probably over $600. Sense I was the only out of town hostess I did say "just let me know my share". I was told about the menu and assumed based on that it would be around $100-$150. I had no idea these other 4 women put such stock into décor and flowers. Completely my fault for not being better informed.

What I'm most surprised about your story is the fact that your then boyfriend felt he needed to bring a gift to every event that was hosted for the couple. In our social groups, the wedding party is not expected to bring gifts to each event. Maybe a group shower gift at the event they host and a wedding gift, but no more than that.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 11:13:36 AM »
While I completely understand your position, I think BF owed the $65.  Giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, unless he absolutely did not know he was hosting, he owed his share.  Since there was no blowback I wouldn't worry about it today. 

This is why when agreeing to host parties I think there should be something in writing (not necessarily a contract but maybe an estimate) that explains what is being ordered and estimated costs so there are no surprises when it comes time to settle up.   

I have been in a group where one of the hostesses seemed stunned that she owed a sum of $$ at the end of a shower event we co-hosted.  At the time I was surprised she thought that her input of three corsages was the equivalent to all the food & beverages served, decorations and hostess gift. I believe one of the co hosts asked if her corsages were gold encrusted (which I thought was rather rude) but I also was a bit taken aback that she thought it was an even exchange.       

Oh Joy

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 11:41:29 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

We're not privy to how combined your lives and finances were at the time, which limits our ability to judge your rights. 

But I would generally say that when "Joe's" (sorry, gave him a name because the wording was too bulky otherwise) brother is getting married and Joe has a girlfriend, the girlfriend's role is to trust Joe to manage his own family/friend dynamics and finances, attend functions with a smile, and be a sounding board when needed.  Barring egregious faults, of course.

I know just how many groceries I can buy with $65, but you moved Joe from being in a difficult position with the bridal party to being in a difficult position with both his girlfriend and the bridal party.  Even with finances fully combined, it feels to me you overstepped your role as the girlfriend of a groomsman over a relatively small dollar figure.

I agree that whoever coordinated the engagement party with the entire bridal party had many faults.  But that was Joe's issue to manage with the coordinators, not to fight over with his girlfriend.




TurtleDove

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 11:42:48 AM »
POD to Oh Joy.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 12:47:41 PM »
If that money was coming out of joint finances, I think the OP absolutely has a say in how it's spent. 

I'm going to take the OP at her word that they were not part of planning it.  Just because it's a wedding doesn't give it a free pass.  No one has the right to spend other people's money without their input. If only just to say, hey here's what we're doing and this is how much it will cost per person. 

EllenS

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 01:04:21 PM »
If OP and then-BF were not working from common finances, then BF was way out of line to say that "we" owed the money. OP was quite right to push back on that - to him. Which is what it sounds like she did.

If they were working from common finances, then I think it's up to the couple to decide what is a "minor" amount of money or one that they need to consult each other about. I have certainly had times in my life when $65 was a week's worth of groceries, and would need to be planned for some time in advance. I'm going to take OP at her word that the amount was not pocket change to them at the time.

In either case, somebody is voluntelling somebody else's money without their prior knowledge or consent. Which is not okay.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2017, 03:20:52 PM »
Unless there is more information that you weren't given (like perhaps DH was told but forgot, or wasn't paying attention, etc) then I think you were perfectly right.

Hosts participate in planning, or give "informed consent" to how much they are going to chip in, in advance. This situation was voluntelling, and you had every right to push back. I suspect you were not the only one, and that's why the matter was dropped.

This is where I stand.

I think the OP and her DH were fine.  Even if PPs were correct in surmising that DH forgot about being told he was co-hosting, he still wasn't consulted on planning and cost (and I don't think he was told and forgot he'd agreed).  I once had a housemate do this.  She didn't tell me until a few days before that she was throwing another housemate a surprise birthday party then, in the same breath, did tell me she charged up $180 on her credit card for the party so I owed her $60 as my share (we had one other housemate so the bill was between the three of us) >:(.  Uh, I don't think so (and, in 1995 with all of us housemates being broke college students, $60 was a lot of money -- I think it was the equivalent of each person's share of the utilities for two months).  I never paid her.  It was on the party organizers to maintain communication with everyone who was, supposedly, footing the bill for this party.  The fact that DH didn't even known about the party until someone conveyed it to him via word-of-mouth tells me the organizers dropped the ball and were responsible for absorbing the share of anyone in the wedding party they failed to talk to beforehand about the shared cost.

I know I would've wanted to see the receipts for everything (or, at least, be given the cost breakdowns) to find out how they managed to spend $800-900 on the party when what was provided seemed to cost far less than that.  I don't think you can reasonably expect to dun someone at the door as the person is leaving and say, "BTW, you owe me $65 for your share of the party."  Question -- why was this never brought up by the host until the last moment?  She took the time to figure out what she felt everyone owed her so why not convey that ahead of time?  She went to the extent of creating hard-copy invitations (none of which was provided to the OP and DH) yet couldn't get the contact info of someone in the wedding party?  I find the circumstances suspicious and also wouldn't be okay with being told as I was headed out the door that I owed the host money for the event.

lakey

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 04:57:29 PM »
Quote
At the time I was surprised she thought that her input of three corsages was the equivalent to all the food & beverages served, decorations and hostess gift. I believe one of the co hosts asked if her corsages were gold encrusted (which I thought was rather rude) but I also was a bit taken aback that she thought it was an even exchange.       

A lot of people really don't understand how much it can end up costing to provide food and beverages for a large party. It's especially expensive if you buy salads from a grocery store deli as I have. That's why, as some commenters have said, it is important for the hosts who do most of the planning and buying to send emails to all the co-hosts with lists of the items purchased and their costs. People would be more willing to pay their price if they aren't blindsided by an unexpected bill for $225.

Abigaile

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 09:55:48 PM »
Thank you everyone for the responses. I will clarify a couple of things. At the time me and my husband had been living together for 3 years so we did have joint finances and I was "in charge" of it. I was a full time college and working at the time while my husband worked full time. We were comfortable financially but didn't have a lot of room for extras. With notice I could have saved or worked extra hours to afford the $65, it would have a minor inconvenience but not a big deal. When I said we heard about the party by word of mouth, I meant we found out about it because my mother in law asked us a few days before what time we would be going to the party. I had my husband make a phone call to make sure we were even invited. He was told of course we were invited he was party of the wedding party. I had wondered if my husband had been told and just forgot until the same bridesmaids did the same thing to me a few years later. When we found out my SIL and BIL were expecting their second child I offered to throw a small baby shower (more like a sip and see or the new "sprinkle" type shower). SIL told me she would let me know after she decided if she wanted just one shower or multiple showers since others had offered to host showers also. Months go by and I hear nothing about it and I was so busy that I had put no more thought into it. One day, out of nowhere, I receive a forwarded e-mail from my husbands cousin with all of the details about a shower that I was to help host. The e-mail had about 16 hostess names with what they were supposed to bring to the shower that was less than 2 weeks away. Apparently the bridesmaids had gotten together, planned the shower, and e-mailed the cousin with the details and told her to forward it on the the rest of the family members that usually host family showers. I could not make it to the shower because I was already scheduled to work, and while I was not happy with being told on such short notice with once again no input, I decided to play along for the sake of keeping peace. So I send my assigned dessert with the receipt (about $20) and my gift with one of my husbands cousins. After I work I stop by the cousins house to see how the shower went. She was extremely aggravated as she gave me the details, she then hands me my original receipt back with red writing on it. The bridesmaids had added up all of the shower costs and divided it by the 16 hostesses. I was $35 dollars short. I questioned how a baby shower costed more than $800 dollars. The cousin, still upset by the ordeal, informed me that they had rented china, crystal, silver, served mimosas, and ordered flowers equivalent to a small wedding.  As upset as I was, I went ahead and paid it since I TECHNICALLY agreed to help host without any details except for the emailed list. So anyway, back to the original topic. While I can't prove that my husband really didn't have any idea about the engagement party; I am more inclined now to believe that he was blind sighted.

lakey

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 11:17:54 PM »
Quote
SIL told me she would let me know after she decided if she wanted just one shower or multiple showers since others had offered to host showers also.
Quote
The bridesmaids had added up all of the shower costs and divided it by the 16 hostesses. I was $35 dollars short. I questioned how a baby shower costed more than $800 dollars. The cousin, still upset by the ordeal, informed me that they had rented china, crystal, silver, served mimosas, and ordered flowers equivalent to a small wedding.
For a shower for a second child? If there were 16 hosts, how many guests were there?
First, it sounds like people in this group like to have parties where guests have to give gifts.
Second, my suspicion is that they have these showers with 12-14 hosts for one, and 16 hosts for another, because they want to put on a party and don't want to pay for it all themselves. You people aren't there to be hosts, you are there to fork over money. That's why you aren't in on the planning or even told about the costs ahead of time.

bloo

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2017, 06:47:37 AM »
Welcome to the forum.

We're not privy to how combined your lives and finances were at the time, which limits our ability to judge your rights. 

But I would generally say that when "Joe's" (sorry, gave him a name because the wording was too bulky otherwise) brother is getting married and Joe has a girlfriend, the girlfriend's role is to trust Joe to manage his own family/friend dynamics and finances, attend functions with a smile, and be a sounding board when needed.  Barring egregious faults, of course.

I know just how many groceries I can buy with $65, but you moved Joe from being in a difficult position with the bridal party to being in a difficult position with both his girlfriend and the bridal party.  Even with finances fully combined, it feels to me you overstepped your role as the girlfriend of a groomsman over a relatively small dollar figure.

I agree that whoever coordinated the engagement party with the entire bridal party had many faults.  But that was Joe's issue to manage with the coordinators, not to fight over with his girlfriend.

OP did trust her then-boyfriend to manage his finances by letting him know *he* could pay the share-in-question but she would not be writing a check for it. Which was perfectly within her rights to do. The follow through on paying was her then - boyfriend's responsibility. Maybe there is something about OP'S culture I'm unfamiliar with. But a family or friends group that throws parties where most of the guests are called hosts but are still expected to consider themselves guests and pony up for gifts sounds gimme-piggish.

I informed my husband that he was more than welcome to pay it but there was no way in hell I was writing check for $65 for a party that he didn't even know he was supposed to help host, much less have any say in it.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2017, 08:59:27 AM »
Quote
At the time I was surprised she thought that her input of three corsages was the equivalent to all the food & beverages served, decorations and hostess gift. I believe one of the co hosts asked if her corsages were gold encrusted (which I thought was rather rude) but I also was a bit taken aback that she thought it was an even exchange.       

A lot of people really don't understand how much it can end up costing to provide food and beverages for a large party. It's especially expensive if you buy salads from a grocery store deli as I have. That's why, as some commenters have said, it is important for the hosts who do most of the planning and buying to send emails to all the co-hosts with lists of the items purchased and their costs. People would be more willing to pay their price if they aren't blindsided by an unexpected bill for $225.

I totally agree and that's why I recommend writing it down and having an idea in mind before there is a problem.

Someone without an idea might think a couple of corsages and a centerpiece cost $50 only to be shocked when it cost double that. 


rose red

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Re: Party from years ago
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2017, 08:55:32 AM »
Welcome Abigaile.

I have to ask if you would mind putting paragraph breaks in your posts. Sorry, but I wasn't able to read both posts in it's entirety and it sounds interesting from what I read in the comments.