Involuntary Host: When someone asks you to pick up the bill

Q: My son is getting married in Mexico in November and wants to have a ‘Meet and Greet’ two days before the wedding for the people that have arrived early. He has arranged to close the bar at one of the hotels near the wedding site. It is not the hotel we plan to stay at. Now he has asked us to foot the bill for the meet and greet. We have never been to a meet and greet. What are we doing and should we be responsible for the cost? We are hosting a rehearsal dinner the following night and intend to have a cocktail hour before that dinner with many of the same people.

A: You have no obligation at all to entertain guests at events other than the rehearsal dinner. It is nice for your son to try to arrange a get-together for friends who arrive early, but he needs to figure out how to pay for that, if he wants it to be a hosted event, before committing to the expense. If it simply is not affordable, then he can find a place large enough to permit people to get together and let it be known that friends will be gather at X at X time, but it would be on a self-pay basis, not one he needs to host.

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