In a recent post shared on the discussion-based site Mumsnet, a user explained that they run a “wedding catering company” that is “based on a food truck” and works for “less formal weddings”.
They then revealed that some couples who have reached out to them about catering have been expecting their guests to purchase their own dinners at their weddings, a concept that the caterer said they have been “turning down” because they believe it is “the most cheapskate move ever”.
“I’m now seeing a trend where brides and grooms are emailing me and are telling me that they expect the guests to pay for the dinner themselves on the day,” the Mumsnet user wrote. “I’m turning down these events as a matter of policy - largely because I think it is the most cheapskate move ever.”
The caterer also acknowledged that they could “lose money” at the wedding if guests decide to bring their own food instead of getting something at the food truck.
“I could arrive and find they have 50 guests, five food trucks, and half of [the guests] have brought a picnic instead, and I lose money,” the post continued. “[Am I being unreasonable] to think most guests would baulk if I presented a card reader for their dinner at a wedding?”
As of 25 April, the post has more than 200 comments, with readers explaining what they’d do in the cater’s situation, and ways in which the worker could make sure that they wouldn’t lose any money.
“Personally I’d ask the [bride and groom] for a guaranteed minimum spend, that’ll cover your costs and deliver a suitable amount of profit,” one person suggested.
“I’d never actually thought about it in that way but, yes, you’re right you could end up making a loss,” another added. “I think a minimum spend is the way to go. At our wedding, we had to have a minimum spend of £500 at the bar, or we had to make it up. It was fine!!”
Other Mumsnet users agreed with the wedding caterer and claimed that it was unusual to have wedding guests pay for their own meal.
“This is crazy! It’s often quite expensive to attend a wedding (travel, accommodation, gift, outfit, childcare) so this does seem very mean,” one person said, while another wrote: “Very tacky behaviour on behalf of the brides and grooms. Are the guests always made aware of this? If I was unexpectedly presented with a card reader at a wedding breakfast I’d refuse to pay.”
However, a few other people noted that paying for dinners may not be an issue. “If guests are happy to attend on that basis then I’m sure a caterer can find some way to make it work. It’s not anyone’s fault if the bride & groom can’t afford to feed people,” one person wrote.