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Newlyweds create $240 'invoice' to teach wedding no-shows RSVP etiquette: 'It's about integrity'

Leeda.the.Paladin

Well-Known Member
Last-minute cancelations from wedding guests often leave brides and grooms with cash-burning food waste.

A newly married couple found a way to convey this fact with a gag invoice they shared with family and friends on social media, but they didn’t realize their post would go viral and highlight a larger RSVP issue.

Douglas and Dedra Simmons of Chicago, Illinois, got married at the Royalton Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica earlier this month.

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They began planning their big day in Nov. 2020 and reached out to their guests on four separate occasions to confirm the final headcount, Douglas Simmons told FOX News.

Douglas and Dedra Simmons got married at the Royalton Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica on Aug. 18, 2021.


Douglas and Dedra Simmons got married at the Royalton Negril Resort & Spa in Jamaica on Aug. 18, 2021. (Nicky Watkins)
Simmons said four guests and their plus-ones were no-call, no-shows although they agreed they would be in attendance each time.

The Simmons saw an opportunity where they could vent out their frustrations and teach a lesson about RSVP etiquette with a mock invoice.

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Simmons said he and Dedra shared the invoice on Facebook five days after their wedding, which was held on Aug. 18, 2021.

"Don't be offended when I send this #invoice to you," he captioned the post. "I'm sending it via email and regular mail."

According to Douglas Simmons, eight guests who confirmed their attendance skipped out on the destination wedding without notice. This inspired him and his wife to create a no-call, no-show invoice that demonstrates the cost of two reception dinners.
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A reception meal for two cost Simmons and his wife $240, which included appetizers, entrees and a premium bar.

"Everyone tells the bride and groom to just eat the cost and don’t worry about it. Why is that OK?" Simmons said in an interview with FOX News.

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He also questioned why potential critics might find it "tacky or classless" to share a joke invoice rather than a no-call, no-show.

"It’s about integrity and being considerate," Simmons explained. "In my opinion, it’s time for people to hold others accountable"

While the invoice included a due date and payment methods, Simmons clarified that he and his wife aren’t actually seeking money from the guests who failed to show up.

Some of their guests have apologized for not notifying the couple ahead of time and have even offered to pay, but Simmons said he and Dedra haven’t taken them up on those offers.

"It wasn’t about the money. It was about teaching a lesson," he said. "Now they see it doesn't feel good when someone sends you a bill or you see a bill for something that you said you were going to do."

In a follow-up post that Simmons shared Thursday, he said he received more than 200 messages from people who have appreciated the invoice. Others shared their own RSVP "horror stories," Simmons said.

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Douglas and Dedra Simmons had a total guest list of 109. Four of their no-show guests had been allowed to bring plus ones.


Douglas and Dedra Simmons had a total guest list of 109. Four of their no-show guests had been allowed to bring plus ones. (Douglas Simmons)
SImmons said he and Dedra had 101 guests show up on their special day and appreciated each person who attended. They also appreciate the guests who let them know in advance that they couldn’t make it.

"We had a fantastic time," Simmons said. "It was a beautiful day."


The Simmons’ viral invoice post is still causing a stir on social media and has been shared by comedian DL Hughley and many others. Thousands have since chimed in on where they stand on RSVP etiquette.
 

Peppermynt

Defying Gravity
Meh, I’m not mad at them. They sent that to those individuals not to the news media. They weren’t expecting to collect cash just promoting awareness. It’s expensive paying for folks (& plus 1s) who’ve rsvp’d and not showed and especially without calling. *yay shrug*
 

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
I feel like if you can’t afford 4 no shows in your wedding budget then you really shouldn’t be having a traditional wedding. You have no idea what those people are going through- what if they caught COVID? Granted I would definitely tell the wedding couple if something came up last minute because it’s rude not to say anything. Now I would feel some kind of way if half of the guests didn’t show but that’s how it be sometimes- especially these days. If I was a no show I would have paid them their little money on top of a wedding gift and KIM.
 
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Black Ambrosia

Well-Known Member
Meh, I’m not mad at them. They sent that to those individuals not to the news media. They weren’t expecting to collect cash just promoting awareness. It’s expensive paying for folks (& plus 1s) who’ve rsvp’d and not showed and especially without calling. *yay shrug*
It's the passive aggressive nature that's bugging me. They send the invoice as a joke but they really mean it. Then they refuse offers for the money. You aren't teaching anyone a lesson if you can't say it with your chest out. Say what you mean or just sit down and shut up.
 
"Everyone tells the bride and groom to just eat the cost and don’t worry about it. Why is that OK?" Simmons said in an interview with FOX News.

Because it was your choice to have the reception in the first place, sir.
Like, I get it. It sucks to waste money on rude and inconsiderate people who RSVP and then don’t show up, but that’s the risk you take when you host an event, especially one with that many guests.

And he’s full of it saying it wasn’t about the money when it clearly was lol, otherwise they wouldn’t have shared the gag invoice on social media in the first place. That’s what makes it so tacky, not that they’re holding those people accountable (because that’s understandable and could’ve been done in private)…it’s their need to let everyone (including those who did attend) know exactly how much was spent/lost.
 

Kanky

Well-Known Member
I get that it sucks to pay for people who weren’t there, but if you were planning on spending that money anyway then does it really matter that you had a few no shows? Would they have charged these folks for showing up? If not then charging them for not showing up is silly.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
While I wouldn't do it, I don't have a problem with it. It's rude to RSVP and not show up.

Just say you can't attend. That's just basic "adulting".
Same. I don't take for granted that people are spending money on me. I'm doing them a favor by attending in one way...but they're doing me a favor and including me in the party. Especially with such an expensive cost. I wouldn't do it...but even if my friends were millionaires, I wouldn't toot my nose up and tell them to eat cake. They may make a lot of money but it don't grow on trees. We're all out here earning our keep. Hour by hour. Whether you make 15.00/hour or less, or $1500/hour. If you're my friend, I'll never tell you "tough tit."
The people were reached out to, and confirmed 2 weeks in advance which is when the venue needs the final deposit which is usually 50-100%. We used a fancy restaurant who's main business IS food (so they didn't need perfectly exact # as far as a head count) so we were only charged the final 100% at the end--- the actual # of attendees +10% overage per the contract, 20% gratuity + our 7.5% local taxes. Other venues are going to charge you for the final # of RSVPs + the overage, gratuity and taxes so when people ghost you, its really wasted money. Especially when the price per plate gets that high, they are often choosing YOU over other people. So communication too, is adulting. They could have saved that money or invited others.

Rude is rude, and the guests didn't call to say they had COVID or illness. They just ghosted.
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
Last thing-
I don't understand this attitude of people not being able to hold a wedding if they can't afford to get ghosted.
Like that's not even cool. Most people invite FRIENDS. FAMILY. That particular circle ought to be more considerate.

Its also like saying one is too poor to hold a wedding. If you have a $240/couple fee...you can't be too poor...How would you feel if you worked for lets say 12-24 months and you and fiancé put aside $50-75K of your hard earned money to have a nice wedding? You did it with the sole purpose of not only inviting friends and family, but you raised that much to have something really nice. You take the time to pick out decent food, a nice venue. You and fiancé really wanted to wine and dine your FRIENDS who will celebrate your special day. And then they ghost you with no regard and a "oh my bad I forgot?" And then you have to lose 1000.00. That might have been several nights you worked late. Or you and fiance fought about if the friends were worthy of something super nice and you won the fight....and same friends like ghost you for no good reason? Like that specific attitude is weird to me.
 

nysister

Well-Known Member
Same. I don't take for granted that people are spending money on me. I'm doing them a favor by attending in one way...but they're doing me a favor and including me in the party. Especially with such an expensive cost. I wouldn't do it...but even if my friends were millionaires, I wouldn't toot my nose up and tell them to eat cake. They may make a lot of money but it don't grow on trees. We're all out here earning our keep. Hour by hour. Whether you make 15.00/hour or less, or $1500/hour. If you're my friend, I'll never tell you "tough tit."
The people were reached out to, and confirmed 2 weeks in advance which is when the venue needs the final deposit which is usually 50-100%. We used a fancy restaurant who's main business IS food (so they didn't need perfectly exact # as far as a head count) so we were only charged the final 100% at the end--- the actual # of attendees +10% overage per the contract, 20% gratuity + our 7.5% local taxes. Other venues are going to charge you for the final # of RSVPs + the overage, gratuity and taxes so when people ghost you, its really wasted money. Especially when the price per plate gets that high, they are often choosing YOU over other people. So communication too, is adulting. They could have saved that money or invited others.

Rude is rude, and the guests didn't call to say they had COVID or illness. They just ghosted.
That was a good idea to.use a place that took headcount at the end.

I agree, it's not about affording it, it's about basic manners and treating others with decency.
 

Guapa1

Well-Known Member
I think it would've been polite to let them know.
I was a bridesmaid recently and weddings are so expensive! There were a few no-shows at my friend's wedding; a couple of friends, one of the groomsmen, one of the bridesmaids, and the bride's dad all couldn't come because of Covid. Obviously, the people involved in the wedding let them know but the friends let them know when their results came through even though it was too late to cancel their food.

It still got eaten though :lachen:
 

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
I should have rephrased my statement of people not being able to afford a wedding if they can’t handle being ghosted because @naturalgyrl5199 you’re absolutely right. I’m just tired of the over the top responses/Bridezillas drama in general when it comes to weddings and the entire wedding culture/industry is something that I’m not comfortable with and that I believe has become so commercialized that it has taken the focus off of the purpose of what it means to get married. I guess that’s just me projecting my own issues of the stress of having to put together something on such a large scale with that many people coming together to celebrate anything on my behalf. If I get married- no one’s going to even know :look:
 

naturalgyrl5199

Well-Known Member
I should have rephrased my statement of people not being able to afford a wedding if they can’t handle being ghosted because @naturalgyrl5199 you’re absolutely right. I’m just tired of the over the top responses/Bridezillas drama in general when it comes to weddings and the entire wedding culture/industry is something that I’m not comfortable with and that I believe has become so commercialized that it has taken the focus off of the purpose of what it means to get married. I guess that’s just me projecting my own issues of the stress of having to put together something on such a large scale with that many people coming together to celebrate anything on my behalf. If I get married- no one’s going to even know :look:
No worries.
I totally get it. Bridezillas are a THING. So are Groomzillas. MotherInLawzillas....I've seen IT ALL. I got stories for DAYS. My brother got married 3 months after I did, and it was an EPIC year for our friends and family.
And weddings are what you make it. I've been to Beautiful, crazy expensive weddings that went off SEAMLESSLY. Food was delish, DJ was on it, the cake, dessert, treats, games, gifts, you name it....I've been to some super fun weddings. With Tea associated with it. My favorite was my cousin's wedding in Atlanta. Total Family Affair. Played all our South Florida ghetto music. We danced all night. My baby was almost 1 years old and slept through all the ratchetness. My aunt and uncle spent a GRIP. My wedding was pretty drama free. It was low-key, started ON TIME, and we invested in a wedding planner who helped us avoid stuff like the above including stress as well. She literally negotiated the price with the vendors AND payment schedules to the T. The best weddings are well thought out, paid for, and lots of fun. I mean FUN. Its really your time to shine. And shine you should. The stuff you see on TV truly isn't the majority and its entertainment. I've been to mash-ups that were iconic for the right and wrong reasons. I mean still talking about it years later. I had someone tell me years and years after my wedding how well put together everything was. I am team #spendasmuchasyoulike. Its a party. A time-honored tradition....it brings together families, there are tears, laughter, and fun. I LOVE LOVE love looking at the weddings today of the younger black couples. The dancing of the sororities, or frat brothers, the hand-holding, the color schemes, many are Afro-centric....Naija and Middle eastern Lebanese weddings. Focus on that.
 
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