BYO Wedding?

For the 4th time this year, I’m about to head off to yet again another wedding. Which means we’ll now have spent a little over $400 in cash just in wedding gifts alone ;) (We always give $100 checks + a tad more at times if we’re feeling more generous. Everyone loves money!)

But as I started getting all my clothes and gators ready for another rehearsal party we’ll be attending later on today, a few “what if” questions started circling my brain.  I don’t know where the heck they always come from, but as you know I can never pass them up once in my brain.  And lucky for me I have a blog where I can shoot them out for the world to see! ;)

So let’s pretend some of these things come up at your next wedding invite.  What do you do??

  1. You’re asked to bring your own food (a la pot luck) to cut down on costs.
  2. Then you’re asked to bring your own alcohol too!
  3. To save space, you’re not allowed to bring a date.
  4. You’re not allowed to talk at all at the reception, you can only draw or write stuff out…
  5. The wedding will be a “Halloween” theme, so you have to come in costume ;)

Hahahaa… GOOD ones, huh?  I do like to impress myself every now and then, that’s for sure ;)  I don’t know about you, but  here’s how I’d react in each of these scenarios:

  1. BYO food: Fine by me!  I mean yeah, I’d miss the free meal and all that, but $hit – I can appreciate some frugality!  You’re about to start your lives together and you need to save some money for that, I understand.  I’d whip up a MAD amount of peanut butter& jellies and proudly walk them over to the dinner table ;)  The kids there would love me!
  2. BYO beer:  Oh man, now THIS one would suck.  Although *much* better than a 100% dry event in my opinion…  I’d run out and grab a case of both Blue Moon and PBR (so that everyone could enjoy!), and it would probably cost less than 2 glasses of whatever these places usually charge anyway ;) And then everyone would have a VARIETY to choose from all night – how awesome?
  3. No date:  This would probably be the hardest :(  My favorite parts of weddings are dancing and hanging out with the wifey along w/ all my boys’ wives too!  Without them we’d all get in LOADS of trouble out there, haha… although that would certainly be fun too ;)
  4. No talky:  OUCH. Is there music at least??? Cuz without that *everything* would blow. It would be like a high school dance all over again except everyone’s wearing ear muffs :( I don’t know if I could do it… I’d TRY, but I’d probably fail miserably and get kicked out. I’m not good at being quiet.
  5. Halloween theme: YES!!! That would be a dream come true!!! I’ve wanted to go to ANY themed wedding, really, for years – and a Halloween one would take the cake.  I mean hell, even if you didn’t WANT to dress up, you could always go as James Bond or a ball room dancer or something that allows you to dress up normally at a wedding, yeah?  Everyone would think you’re lame, but technically you’d be following the rules ;)  I’d either go as a hardcore rocker so I could wear eyeliner and color up my spikey mohawk more, OR find a hot pink bunny suit cuz I always find those hilarious, haha… we’d have to see what my mood was at the time.

What about you guys??  Would you still attend the wedding if any of the above were to happen?  Would it matter if they were close friends/family or not, or would you be game either way?

At the end of the day, weddings are supposed to be about coming together with loved ones and CELEBRATING with each other. It’s a once in a lifetime event (hopefully!), and you want all your supporters there to rejoice with you. It’s a beautiful thing!! So I could really care less about all our modern day etiquette and what all the “gurus” say is appropriate or not at these things…  If the couple wants something different, so be it!  It’s THEIR wedding, and they’re paying a FORTUNE for it!

Am I crazy? :)

PS: Here are some other wedding questions we pondered a year ago too – this stuff fascinates me…

(Photo by Emrys.Roberts)

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  1. Scott June 22, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    No talking?? That sounds like the worst wedding/idea ever!

  2. Erin @ Aim High Erin June 22, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    No date is not a big deal to me. With the cost of weddings, I can understand why people want to invite ONLY the close people they know, versus the random dude you’ve been seeing for a couple months.

    My husband and I are both military – I can’t tell you the last wedding we attended together, because one of us has been gone. Also, if it’s an expensive out of town wedding, I completely understand only the primary “friend” attending.

  3. Jennifer June 22, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    The way I see it… it their wedding, their day. They can do whatever they want. If I don’t agree with what they want me to do then I don’t need to show up. It so simple. And more importantly, i think it’s rude as hell when other people complain about someone else’s wedding to them. It’s not your wedding!

    You’re asked to bring your own food (a la pot luck) to cut down on costs.
    I’d “splurge” and bring chipotle!! hahaha

    Then you’re asked to bring your own alcohol too!
    Meh. I don’t drink much so whatever

    To save space, you’re not allowed to bring a date.
    I’d be fine with that. I understand. Weddings aint cheap!

    You’re not allowed to talk at all at the reception, you can only draw or write stuff out…
    oh dear god. i’d feel bad for anyone sitting next to me hahaha

    The wedding will be a “Halloween” theme, so you have to come in costume ;)
    i would have so much fun with this!! LOL! I dont even know where to start!!

  4. Brian June 22, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I have actually been to a Halloween themed wedding before. IT WAS AWESOME! Keeping with my very strict halloween budget of $10 (I’ll be spending more this year to make a friend’s dream costume come true), I went as a ghostbuster (thank you target clearance the year before).

    As far as weddings go it was a blast, but that was probably most likely due to the fact it just felt like a halloween party.

    As far as the other conditions, I don’t really see them as a big deal. BYOB? Not a problem, I flask it at most non-open bar weddings anyways. BYO Food? Looks like someone is getting taco dip! No date? I guess this one would be harder since my wife is actually way more fun than I am, so I would probably be a more boring guest. But in reality I would probably just have her crash the wedding and play dumb.

  5. Edward Antrobus III June 22, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Is that Mrs. J$? A rare glimpse into the man behind the curtain (and the woman behind the throne!)

    1)Hmm. Is it a potluck, or BYO? For a potluck, I’d probably bring a 7-layer dip or deviled eggs. BYO, just some sandwhiches. While a complete BYO would be a little odd, I’d be completely down for a potluck wedding reception.
    2)If it’s BYO booze, I’d just skip drinking. Heck, if was a cash bar instead of an open bar, I would probably just skip drinking as well. The occasional beer or glass of wine is nice, but I could completely live without it.
    3)Actually, that did happen to me. One of my buddies was running out of wedding budget and I was single at the time, so he asked me if I could come stag instead of finding some random date to bring along. No problem. If noone could bring dates, that would be awkward, because, like you, at this point, my friends wives/girlfriends are my friends as well.
    4)Well, for an introvert, I do seem to like to talk. No talking rules don’t work so well for me. Just as my second-grade teacher!
    5)While I hate coming up with costume ideas (I haven’t actually dressed up for Haloween in years!), I’d be down for that. It wasn’t quite a theme wedding, and I wasn’t actually able to attend, but one of my friends had her wedding on New Years Eve and timed the ceremony so the “you may kiss the bride” was at midnight!

  6. Emily @ evolvingPF June 22, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    The only one that would make me really not want to attend is #4. How did that come into your brain?? Practically all I do at weddings is catch up with old friends! I would definitely be shocked if I were invited to a wedding without my husband though, as that’s a severe breach of etiquette. If the couple had really really good reasons for it, though, I could accept it. And while I don’t dress up for Halloween normally, I would try to go all-out and have fun with wearing a costume if it were a theme wedding. I don’t drink anyway (and our wedding was dry, sorry J$!) and love potlucks so the first two would be no sweat.

  7. Jen June 22, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    This amuses me. About 15 years ago when I was visiting Prince Edward Island, Canada I remember there were these postings in the classifieds, “Joey and Mildred are getting married Sunday June 6. Reception at local hall. Bring a dish or cash to attend.” When I asked my husband (a native), he explained that when you live on a small island you tend to know everybody – so you just have the reception at a hall and everyone can come as long as they bring a dish or some cash for the band. I thought it was brilliant! My fingers are crossed that they still do it that way and haven’t given in to the wedding hype….
    As for me.
    1) Sure thing – famous potato casserole – a crowd pleaser.
    2) I would be annoyed at both food and drink, and would likely pick one over the other.
    3) No problem. Rude, but understandable.
    4) No talking! No way. I suck at drawing things. Pictionary = purgatory.
    5) My friends had one of these and it was super fun. Strange to see the bride and groom dressed up, but it was awesome to see the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom come out as evil witches!

  8. Call Me What You Want Even Cheap June 22, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Not bringing a date would be boring unless I knew a lot of people that were attending.

    This doesn’t sound like a wedding but a potluck themed party. I would probably go, just for the experience.

  9. LB June 22, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    1) Bring your own food is where I draw the line. Especially if it is hamburgers and hotdogs, I think a wedding should be a little higher class. Expect money in the mail and me not attending. UNLESS they are really good friends. Relatives, nah, I know they are already too redneck for me to hang around with lol.
    2) Bring your own alcohol would suck, but not everyone drinks and there is always that annoying relative that drank too much. Maybe this would cut down on that?
    3) Nope sorry, hubby comes with, otherwise it is going to be boring!
    4) No one I know would follow that.
    5) A little too goth for me. No thanks. But maybe if it was an older couple that had marriages before and had a cool theme like 60’s or something, that would be fun.

  10. DebtsnTaxes June 22, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    BYO Food: I actually prefer potluck receptions over a catered one. I love me some home cooked meals, and you get a chance to see and try what others cook. And if you like something, this is the best time to get a recipe that you can use the rest of your life.

    BYOB: I’d be fine with this also as I’m not much of a drinker.

    No Date: This would be kind of wierd unless I knew a lot of the guests. I’ve never been to a wedding that requested this though, so I wouldn’t know what to expect.

    No Talky: Do people really do this? It seems to me that it would be kind of a boring wedding if people couldn’t talk to eachother. Although it would be funny if you had to write what you wanted to say.

    Halloween Theme: This would be pretty sweet. I’ve never been to a themed wedding before (I tried to get the wife to let me where one of the Dumb & Dumber Tuxedoes for our wedding but she wouldn’t let me) and I think it could be a lot of fun.

  11. A Family of Geeks June 22, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    BYOF – If it was a small gathering of friends and family, I’d bring stuff to share and probably offer a couple of dishes. If the couple were just being cheap, I would probably jut skip attending.

    BYOB – I don’t drink that much so I’d probably just bring a bottle of water.

    I grew up an area where the dominant cultures wouldn’t dream of asking a guest to pay or bring something, but I can understand the appeal of byowhatever.

    No date – hubby and I are one unit. If he’s not invited, I’m not going. I wouldn’t be offended, but I just wouldn’t be interested in attending.

    No speaking – I’d assume they were part of some weird cult and decline the invitation.

    Halloween – I live for costuming. Heck, I’d offer to sew the bridal party costumes for the cost of materials.

  12. Hannah June 22, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    BYO Food: I’m totally cool with that. I know that some people disagree with me, but I love potlucks. I actually wish this were a more socially acceptable thing to have at weddings.

    BYO drink: It would be kind of annoying to do this AND food, but I could deal.

    No Date: Depends. If I were totally single and was told I couldn’t bring a random date, I’d be fine with that. However, when my husband and I were dating (in a long-term, committed relationship) he was specifically told he couldn’t bring me to a wedding. It totally rubbed us the wrong way because we considered ourselves a “unit” at that point. We didn’t write “and guest” on every invitation to our wedding but did invite the significant others of those in relationships.

    No speaking: Who would do this? That is bizarre.

    Halloween: Hey if that’s the kind of wedding you want then go for it.

  13. SavvyFinancialLatina June 22, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    BYO Food? I would bring guacamole! BYO Alcohol…it’s k, I don’t drink. Costume party! Yes and yes! It would be so much fun. No music, I’ll go because it’s a friend, but music makes a party so much fun! No talking and no date? Wouldn’t go.

  14. Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager June 22, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    1. That would be fine. (Although I’d bring something more than PB&Js). My cousins actually did this for their wedding.
    2. I’ve done this before…sneaked booze into a dry wedding… Definitely a good way to make friends.
    3. That would be weird, especially with the bring your own food and booze combo. Not sure what to do. If your not married (or in a serious relationship) I think it would be okay.
    4. Are your friends mimes?
    5. Definitely down for a themed wedding, Halloween or otherwise!

  15. J. Money June 22, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    It’s interesting none of us thought about just attending the ceremony but not the reception afterwards :) I guess it’s usually all or nothing, eh?

    @Scott – Yeah, that was a lame one… but you never know? :)
    @Erin @ Aim High Erin – That makes sense :) I know for our wedding we invited all spouses and kids, but only the significant others that were more serious and not a few weeks old… we ended up not having too many instances of that, but one person did specifically ask us once we didn’t give her the +1 and we made an exception. Most people have noooooo idea how much weddings cost though – I know I didn’t until we planned ours!
    @Jennifer – Haha… you’re like the perfect wedding guest :) I can’t tell you how many people complain at all my friends’ weddings – I agree that it’s rude!! Just becuase YOU can afford $30 invites and a butt-ton of hors d’oeuvres, doesn’t mean everyone else has the same budget. And even if they did it doesn’t mean they prioritize their money the same way you do anyways! It drives me nuts… thank goodness they just don’t share their opinions with the beuatiful couple! :)
    @Brian – A flask!! I always forget about those!! I might have to bring one with me this time – I don’t think liquor is on the “free” list ;)
    @Edward Antrobus III – How cool!! I like that New Years idea!!! And my wife wanted me to point out that the picture up there is “most certainly not her” – haha… I thought she looked pretty fly though (look at those tats!) so I nabbed it off Flickr ;)
    @Emily @ evolvingPF – Haha I know I know, the “no talking” one is dumb. But it DID pop into my brain so I figured I might as well slip it in there, eh? I can’t be awesome all the time ;)
    @Jen – WOAHH I LOVE THAT!!! What a wonderful community!!!! Man… that’s heaven to me :) “We are getting married here and celebrating – come join us and bring tasty food!” That’s great! (And that’s hilarious with the moms being evil witches, haha… I’d loved to have been there :))
    @Call Me What You Want Even Cheap – It wouldn’t feel like a wedding? Even if you went to the ceromony and had the church and priest and all of that? Haha… and the first dances and cake-cutting and speeches and all other traditions? :)
    @LB – Well thanks for being honest! You know what you like, that’s for sure :)
    @DebtsnTaxes – YES!!!! I wanted a dumb and dumber one too once, but for someone else’s wedding :) Just didn’t want to pony up the money for it at the time, but loving that you think along the same lines! And I didn’t even think about the “homemade” food stuff – you’re right, you’d get TONS of great variety and I’m pretty sure it would taste better too :) Another perk? If you’re particular and/or have alergies/etc, you’ll KNOW 100% that you’ll at least have your own awesome tasting food and won’t have to worry.
    @A Family of Geeks – Woahh that would be cool! You must know how to sew pretty well! :)
    @Hannah – I’ve never heard of one half of a married couple not get invited either, but I’m sure it’s happened at some point… just glad not to us yet :)
    @SavvyFinancialLatina – Oh yeah, music is key at receptions! Totally changes the mood (for the good or bad sometimes, haha…)
    @Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager – Haha… MIMES!! Good one! :)

  16. Edward Antrobus III June 22, 2012 at 10:38 PM

    J, I thought the guy looked like you, so I figured the woman had to be your wife… unless you were kissing some other bride! ;)

  17. B. (Below Her Means) June 23, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    Pretty coincidental that you bring up a Halloween themed wedding! Just last night I watched a show on Netflix called Bridezillas, a reality series, and the first episode was about a Halloween wedding. Twilight zone!

  18. J. Money June 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    @Edward Antrobus III – haha… you trying to get me in trouble? ;)
    @B. (Below Her Means) – HAH! Well that’s cool! I’ve only seen bits and pieces of that show over time (a bit too crazy for my taste), but I woulda been GLUED if I saw that Halloween one! Love that stuff!

  19. Vanessa June 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    My dream wedding would be either a) to elope or b) a Halloween themed wedding. I’d bake a carrot cake and decorate it all halloween-y and there would be black and orange everywhere with candy party-favours. I would be dressed as a witch and my guests would need to be in costume.

  20. J. Money June 25, 2012 at 8:27 PM


  21. Debra June 28, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    My husband and I did get married on Halloween but here in Australia we don’t really celebrate Halloween so we didn’t even realise when we booked it. We did have one of DH’s cousins read a poem they had written called Ode to the Halloween Wedding, it was hilarious.

    1. Not a problem. I am all for relaxed weddings.
    2. I have given up the grog so not a problem. I rarely drank before I gave it up anyway.
    3. I understand if it is some random but would be a bit miffed if I couldn’t bring Hubby.
    4. No talking! Impossible.
    5. Any themed wedding would be cool.

  22. J. Money June 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Well that’s neat! I don’t know many other countries who DO celebrate Halloween, but if you were ever in the States on your anniversary you can celebrate in style with all of us! Haha… thanks for stopping by :)

  23. slinky July 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Number 5 made me laugh. i’ve been to a Halloween wedding. No costumes, but the bride wore a really pretty black Victorian gown, and there were pumpkins on all the tables, etc. my own wedding was a masquerade ball, (masks not costumes, just to be clear). It was pretty fantastic. We entered the reception to phantom of the opera. :)

  24. J. Money July 23, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Woahhhhh so cool!!! Both of y’alls weddings, why can’t any of my friends be like you guys??? :)

  25. lana March 19, 2013 at 1:08 AM

    Our wedding was $2500 for everything from church to reception and gifts. We were blessed to have the reception at a relative’s home, the food and cake came from an upscale grocery store and the soda and booze was delivered by a liquor store. No fuss, lots of fun. The partyers went to the hotel we were staying at because they had a wonderful disco bar. No cost for music or space. There were two other bridal parties there already. Lots of fun. No debt. Hubby was in college, and I was supporting him.

  26. J. Money March 19, 2013 at 10:04 PM

    Nice! Smart thinking on that disco bar being nearby – I’d be one of the partyers there ;)