Weddings are meant to be times of joy and celebration but they seem to have been hijacked by financial fornication. There is nothing affordable about them anymore, not for the couple, not for their families and not even for the guests.
We’ve all heard the stories of lavish weddings with stellar price tags. But what about the guests? How much is too much to spend to attend SOMEONE ELSE’S big day?
It costs an average of $1192.40 for a guest to attend a wedding these days, according to a study by PolicyExpert.co.uk. That’s just for one wedding.
As we all know, weddings seem to happen in clusters so feel free to multiply that figure by however many friends you know who are currently in serious relationships. Then add acquaintances who, for some reason you cannot fathom, invite you to their wedding. Then add obligation invites. You know, your parents were best friends 30 years ago and their daughter is getting married and you were invited to her 21st for some reason and now she’s getting married. Congratulations Emily. I mean Emma.
It’s not just those unfortunate enough to be asked to be on the bridal party who are suffering financial loss, it’s everyone who receives an invite and has to fork out for all the gifts, the cost of the Buck’s Night and Hen’s Night, outfits to wear to all of the the different events – because one celebration is never enough – and then any travel associated with their attendance.
Destination weddings? Death to all of them.
We asked the Mamamia team what their biggest wedding regret is. While “I spent too much money on it” didn’t feature as many times as I expected, it’s still pretty telling. Post continues after this video…
As a woman of Italian origin I can only shake my head at how weddings are organised these days. In Italian families the bridesmaids don’t have to pay for their own dresses and expenses and guests don’t have to pay for anything other than gifts. Still, this can be costly as three gifts – engagement, kitchen tea and wedding – are required but it’s much less than the thousands upon thousands of dollars some bridal parties are expected to part with. Not to mention the lucky guests invited to destinations (plane tickets, accommodation, time off work anyone?).
The insanity of wedding costs has reach peak ridiculousness that guests have come up with their own solution. Don’t go. Stay at home and watch Netflix instead.
A poll conducted by website LoveTheSales.com found that nearly half of wedding invitees admitted to declining a wedding invitation because they couldn’t afford to be a part of the blessed event. Website founder Stuart McClure told Express, “It has been said that marriage is for richer or poorer, but for guests it is definitely poorer.”
Talk about extinguishing any joy we may have shared with the happy couple.
Maybe that’s why at the end of wedding receptions you often sees guests helping themselves to centre pieces and stuffing after dinner chocolates into their handbags (just me?). They might get something for those centre pieces on eBay and the chocolates will sustain them until they save up enough money to grocery shop again.
Or maybe not.
I wonder what the fall out has been from all of those declined wedding invitations. I remember the look on my friend’s face when she mentioned her idea of having a destination wedding and I immediately confessed that I wouldn’t be able to afford to go, even if I attended on my own and left my poor family behind. The look on her face said, “What? I’m not worth a small dodgy personal loan, to help celebrate my loving union?”
Those planning a wedding should factor in all costs outside of gifts including the cost of Buck’s Nights and Hen’s Night. And if you’re thinking of a destination wedding, remember your guests will be just as happy for you if you are saying your vows down at the local church or at sunset on the beach in Vanuatu. The local church may have that funny smell but at least your guests won’t have to eat eggs and toast for dinner for the rest of the year.
Love shouldn’t cost so much, nor should being a part of a family, nor should friendship.
Be in love. Get married. Celebrate with friends and family. But don’t make your guests pay for your dreams. That’s called bad love karma and no-one wants that on their wedding day.