Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Expensive Peal of Wedding Bells

Oh dear. A friend of mine is getting married. It's a bit weird, actually, as she and her boyfriend have been together for ages, and now they are suddenly tying the knot on short notice. (And I don't think it's because she's pregnant.)
I had already heard the news second-hand when she called to tell me. So I already knew the wedding was going to be "very relaxed," "very informal," very soon, and very expensive, at least for the guests! So now that I have actually been invited-- over the phone, nothing written to follow-- I have to decide whether I want to spend around $600 on transportation, another $600, probably, on accommodation, who knows how much on an outfit, because I'm sure I won't find anything in my closet that is appropriate for an "informal" island wedding, and then of course there is the issue of a wedding gift. The bride, "Fifi," has rather expensive tastes, which is why she's broke. Her fiancé is probably paying for the whole wedding, and I think they were hoping that hardly anyone would actually attend! So should I do them a favor by declining and just sending a gift with best wishes?
I also have to decide if I am going to this wedding, or another wedding for which I received a "hold the date" fridge magnet but as yet, no actual invitation even though I know other people got theirs at least a week ago. (It figures the two weddings of the summer would have to be happening on the same day!) The other wedding is for people I am not as close to, but it will be easier and cheaper to get to, more people I know will be there, and when this couple says it's relaxed and informal, they really mean it, so I could more easily get away with clothes I already have.
Ugh, invitation etiquette, gift etiquette, travel, hotel, clothes-- I just can't believe all the stress weddings cause!

11 comments:

MissPinkKate said...

No kidding!!! I'm glad I'm only involved in going to one wedding this summer- my boss' wedding, for which I am flying across the country. Annoying, yes, but what can you do. Now I just have to buy a gift....

MissGoldBug said...

Weddings=Resentment

Seriously... I dread getting invitations in the mail... I basically just hear cha-ching, FLUSH! Cha-ching, Flush! Usually to the tune of about $1k...

Skip the $$$ Island wedding, send a gift with your regrets, and go to the fun wedding... If your invitation actually arrives...

If I ever get married, it will be a very short and sweet affair... no gifts, no bridesmaids, no travel. Just come eat, drink, celebrate the moment and try to enjoy yourself. Done. Thank you!

Rich Minx said...

I'm not a fan of weddings at all - my own or other people's. I can think of so many better things to spend money on. And everyone gets so stressed. Parents seem to like them though.

beth said...

Skip the expensive one, and send a gift (or do something nice like cook them a romantic dinner at home)(actually that's a good idea).

ditto what missgoldbug says - if I ever do it, I'd like a casual back-yard sort of deal. well, if I knew anyone with a yard ;)

Anonymous said...

This is easy! Just wait for a third invitation for the same date - to the wedding of someone you're close to *and* who's getting married locally.

:)

Fianna said...

First come weddings, then come babies and then come . . . divorce parties! Weee!! Lots of ways to spend money!

The whole wedding business is so ridiculously expensive nowadays. I am definitely one to get married in the back yard, or just a family gathering at the church with a nice dinner out perhaps.

My vote is send a gift to both, stay home with a bottle of wine. Much cheaper!

shaz said...

weddings are such a headach (trying to avoid mine until a few years) wish me luck

mapgirl said...

The rational part of me says don't go to the expensive wedding.

The irrational part of me says pick the wedding that's going to be the most fun.

I killed myself and went into debt to attend four out of town weddings last year (and I think I total of 6 or 7). But I have really good memories of all of them and the couples and other guests made me so happy. I probably wouldn't do it ever again, but I am glad I did. I strengthened a lot of my relationships with family and friends. Sorry to pull out the sappy 'Priceless' style argument, but I can honestly say that I don't mind paying my credit card debt off when I remember what I got out of being at those 4 weddings.

Would I do it again though if I had another 4 weddings? Probably not!

Allison said...

Ugh. Weddings are far too expensive. I was bridesmaid at a friends wedding last weekend and it cost me upwards of AUD$1K. The dress was $120 on sale, I refused to buy new shoes so I wore a pair that I got last time I was bridesmaid, I did my own make up and paid for my own hairdresser ($150) because the bride didn't want to spend money having a stylist come to the hotel, I paid the excess from the bachelorette party because several people didn't turn up plus an extra hour for the palm reader ($160), a tank of petrol to a drive to the venue ($32), two nights accommodation ($500). Oh and the gift and a bunch of other bits and pieces. I had to talk Bride out of having TWO bachelorette parties and a wedding shower becuase the wedding itself was out of town and most guests had an airfare plus accommodation to attend. Crazy stuff.

Frugal Homemaker said...

Don't go. Send a gift and a heartfelt card. I've decided after my wedding-a-rama summer that I'm no longer doing out of town weddings. (I still have TWO more this summer!)

Angie Hartford said...

OK, so I'm weighing in late. Unless you're absolutely dying to attend, don't do it. It seems as if American lives are pumped up on steroids. Our weddings over insanely expensive. Oh yes, and since when did it become necessary to hang lights for holidays like St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day? This is a frenzy of overconsumption, and when viewed from a global perspective is close to obscene.