Should wedding guests have to pay if they fail to show up? The answer is yes, according to one Chicago couple.
Dedra and Doug Simmons have garnered international attention after a social media post of an invoice they created for no-show wedding guests went viral, prompting both praise and criticism.
The newlyweds were recently married at Royalton Negril Resort and Spa, and they had to pay for each seat beforehand. While 109 people were invited, only 101 showed up.
But after repeated RSVPs, those eight guests didn't tell the Simmons that they weren't attending. The couple had already paid the resort roughly $120 per person for the unused seats.
"If those eight people said, 'Doug, Dedra, we can't make it,' we would have totally understood it, would have been no problem," Doug Simmons said.
So, when the couple returned to their neighborhood, Doug created an invoice for the cost of two seats and put it on social media — where the photo took on a life of its own.
"We never had any intentions of sending it out," he said. "It hurts more to show it."
The invoice, titled "No Call, No Show Guest," explains, in part, "Because you didn't call or give us proper notice that you wouldn't be in attendance, this amount is what you owe us for paying for your seats(s) in advance."
Both Dedra and Doug each own a small business and say they've received support from all over the world. But some responses weren't too kind.
"They said this was broke behavior," Dedra said. "Shouldn't have had a wedding they couldn't afford. Tacky, classless."
The newlyweds say they ultimately got just what they wanted, and the invoice was really just to send a message.
"We would have given them the benefit of the doubt had they reached out to us, but the fact that you didn't reach out ... I wanted this to become a teachable moment," Doug said.