No, no, and HECK NO. Any couple who tells you paying for your meal at a wedding is a “new tradition” is LYING. Plain and simple. You bought them gifts off their registry and are possibly traveling to see them say “I do,” and they can’t even feed you?? That’s insane and ridiculous. You might want to re-think attending a wedding where a bride and groom asks you to pay for your own food, because why support such selfish people?
If you do decide to attend the wedding, tell the so-not-cool couple you’ll skip the meal entirely. Stop by a restaurant for dinner in between the ceremony and the reception, or cruise through a fast food drive-in lane. You might even want to encourage others going to the wedding to do the same so you can enjoy a little mid-wedding restaurant party together.
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