Sometimes planning a wedding or some other special occasion costs more than you thought. Even though hosts mostly cover all the expenses, it’s okay if you want to let your guests know they’re supposed to cover their part.
Let’s check some ideas for how to tell guests to pay for their own meal and set ‘no host’ invitations properly!
When Should Guests Pay Their Own Meal?
There are no specific rules that tell if the guests should pay for their own meal. Also, no occasion exclusively implies the guests are supposed to pay for their meal.
In other words, it’s mostly about the preference of the host. If your budget is tight or you want your guests to pay out for any other reason, it’s okay for you to point that out in your invitations.
Every host determines the rules of their celebration. That means, you as a host, decide what you want to offer to your guests and which things you are willing to pay.
However, don’t forget to mention that part in invitations to avoid confusion. The majority of people expect all the expenses are covered if the host doesn’t point it out differently in the invitations.
How To Tell Your Guests They’re Paying For Their Meal
Sometimes it can be difficult and unpleasant to ask for the guests to pay for their dinner. Still, there are numerous polite ways to do it.
The essential thing is to make it all clear so the guests don’t get confused. This type of information is important for them to prepare the money in advance.
It’s also important to give them an option not to come if they don’t agree with the terms or are not able to pay for their meal.
In most countries, people bring gifts for weddings as well as for other special occasions. You can nicely point out you’d prefer them to pay for their meal instead of struggling to choose the right gift.
Extra tip: Keep it simple with the invitations as well. You don’t want to send expensive $100 invites that tell people they are supposed to pay for their own dinner.
9 Ideas to Let Guests Know They Should Pay for Their Own Meal
(Multiple) Menu Prices
After listing the location and the restaurant name, include the menu with prices. That’s a clear sign for your guests to calculate the total expenses and prepare to pay for their meal.
Also, your invitations can have a couple of menu options with the price of each.
Announce You’ll Split The Bill At The Restaurant
We are celebrating John’s retirement on this day at the xy restaurant. We would love to have you there. We estimate the costs will vary between $50 to $80 per person.
Please let us know if you will be able to come.
Thank you and hope to see you there!
Instead of Gifts, You Can Pay!
We are truly blessed with everything we need, and truly don’t need gifts.
Instead, we are kindly asking you to RSVP by paying $60 per person towards the meal.
Emphasize The Importance Of Their Presence
We are blessed with all we need. Instead of gifts, we’d appreciate for you to be present at our big day!
We kindly ask you to RSVP by paying for your meal.
Play it Out With Rhymes
Thank you for being here with us on our special day,
We have all we need, and we’re blessed in every way.
So may we ask instead of gifts, for the meal may you pay?
Or Try Something Like This!
We invite you for the wedding,
Our very special day.
We don’t ask for any gifts,
But only for the main meal you pay?
Drinks and dessert will be on us
Great music will be there as well,
Hope we’ll all have a great time,
Are you going to be there? Don’t forget to tell!
Keep It Casual
This is an example for birthday, but you can use it for other occasions too.
Jennifer’s dad is getting together with the friends and family for a birthday dinner. We are not able to cover the cost for all attendees, so we kindly ask you to pay for your part ($50 per person).
We understand if you can’t come. Feel free to send a birthday card or contact him the way you prefer.
You Can Reach People By The Phone!
Sometimes it is easier to say certain things over the phone, because it will sound less formal than a written message.
Hello, how are you?….You’re invited to our party, but unfortunately, we’re not able to cover all costs, so we’d appreciate if you can participate with the price of $40 per person…You don’t have to decide right know, just wanted to let you know. You can think about it and call me back whenever you decide, no pressure! Thank you!
‘No Host’ Invitation
The accurate term for the situation where you expect your guests to pay is No Host. Certain social circles would recognize this term without further explanations, while the others could get confused by it.
Hello, we invite you to our special occasion. We must say that, unfortunately, we’re not able to cover all expenses, so this is a ‘no host’ celebration. The price is $50 per person, drinks and dessert included. We kindly ask you to RSVP…
Some Final Words
Traditional celebrations usually imply the host is covering all the expenses, but it’s not uncommon to ask your guests to pay for their part.
When you want to invite the guests and tell them they should pay for their own meal, keep things simple. Make it clear and write things down so everyone understands the terms.
You want to give your guests time to prepare in advance and, eventually, decide if they want to come or not. Your guests will mostly spend money on the gifts – and it’s okay if you’d like to let them know you’d prefer them paying for the meal instead of getting you a gift.
All in all, you’re addressing your family members, friends, or relatives so keep it casual, honest, and simple.
Do you have some of your own ideas you’d like to add to our list? Reach out to us, we’d really like to hear them!
Sources and inspiration: