View Full Version : Wedding receptions: How NOT to save money politely

July 3rd 09, 05:31 PM
This one reminds me of an ex-friend low on cash who "invited" a bunch
of friends, including me, to his "birthday party" - that is, they were
invited to split the bill at a restaurant and then pay to see some
performer I'd never heard of.

I was not the only one who was offended and declined. Sadly, most
accepted. So, he never understood why the minority was offended. (He
got mad at ME, instead.)

In other words, as Miss Manners would have told him in advance: "If
you can't afford alcohol, serve punch. If you can't afford punch,
serve water. But serve it graciously."


DEAR MISS MANNERS: I realize that your column is geared to highly paid
professionals rather than people who work hard for a relatively low

I am a teetotaler, and my daughter is in love with a nice boy whose
family tends to drink to excess. Should this relationship progress to
the altar, the reception would be modest and a cash bar would be the
most tactful way of discouraging the amount of drinking that can ruin
a special day. The only thing that would make me happier is a dry

GENTLE READER: You do not need to serve liquor, and you do not need to
offer an excuse for not doing so.

But you also do not need to hurt Miss Manners’ feelings by saying that
she sacrifices honest working people to cater to – she gathers from
the way you put it – people who are working less hard for more money.
Good manners are available to all for free. And as far as Miss Manners
can tell, those interested in practicing them are randomly distributed
up and down the economic scale.

She must tell you that there is nothing “tactful” about a cash bar at
a wedding, or any private social event. It would be especially mean to
invite out any hard-working, low-paid, non-alcoholic friends you may
have and then charge them for any refreshments you have available.