Wedding guests billed for being no-shows? Did you send a bill to your wedding guests who failed to show up for your wedding? Would you? Who would ever think to draw up an invoice, list the value of the squandered meals, add some superfluous tax charges and demand remunerations – not only in the way of a cash repayment, but also a written explanation?
Of course you and I would not do that, because we operate in the norms of society, where as one newly married Minnesota couple, perhaps mentally impoverished from watching too many pre-wedding reruns of Say Yes to the Dress and fretting over napkin holders and centerpieces, decided that communal protocols and manners are crap, and they wanted their money back.
An uneaten pair of herb-crusted walleyes later, and we have the makings of a viral story.
Writes NBC affiliate KARE11 out of Minnesota: “It was a couple weeks ago, Jessica Baker was getting ready to go to a wedding with her husband when she got a call from her mom. Her mom was supposed to watch their kids. And since the invitation said no children, that meant no wedding. But then this week, she received a bill for the dinner they were supposed to have enjoyed.”
“She called at the last minute and had something come up and said I can’t make it,” Baker recounted. With her babysitter unavailable, the couple stayed home.
The half-page invoice arrived in the mail shortly thereafter. It listed the two fish meals at a price of $30 each and a “service and tax” charge of $7.95 per dish. “This cost reflects the amount paid by the bride and groom for meals that were RSVP’d for, reimbursement and explanation for no show, card, call or text would be appreciated,” the note read.
“And then, when I read it, the whole thing, I just kind of laughed and had to call up my husband and go, ‘Uh, our friends sent us this bill for not making it to their wedding.’ And we kind of had a good laugh about it,” Baker said.
Baker and her husband have no plans to pay the bill; hopefully the newlyweds won’t turn the matter over to a collection agency. But the incident left her wondering what, if any, response would have been appropriate.
“I guess I don’t know what the right answer would have been. What the right thing to do would have been,” she said. In the end, she did what everyone does when they have a wonky story – throw it on social media and let the etiquette taskmasters have at it. She then took her story to the local news station, which some may say is just as schlocky as sending a bill.
It was tacky to send the invoice, yes? But should the unnamed newlyweds be vilified, or praised for doing what many of us sometimes wish we could do when guests RSVP and then turn into no-call, no-show flunkies?