Ok so the title makes it sounder than it is, but I honestly am starting to dislike wedding season. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends. I go out of my way to spend time with friends and family as they are a priority to me. These days I find weddings to be gaudy, tiring, and a funnel to get expensive gifts. Don’t even get started on the need for wedding, and bridal showers. Why?
Let’s back track here for a moment. I am 28 years old. I work for myself, kind of. I am one of the lucky people who managed to remain friends with people I met in grade school. Although most of my mates are males, I do have a few really close female friends who have grown to a point where I think of them as sisters. That, however, is not the issue. The issue is that they are ALL getting married or having babies, or both. Side note: No, I am not bitter or jealous. I am genuinely happy for them, if any of them decide on a destination wedding, I’ll be the first one there.
As much as I love spending their big day with them, weddings are getting really expensive. I am invited to 6 weddings this year, and I am in 2 wedding parties. I was extremely honoured to be asked, but all I saw was dollar signs. I need to set up a separate bank account just for weddings.
Costs involved: These are best case scenario costs. Things always seem to add up.
- Clothes. I have a few dresses that I can wear, but since its mostly the same people at each wedding, I may have to get at least or two new dresses. I’m pretty sure I have shoes already.
- Travel. 2 of the weddings are out of town. I need to calculate gas money and hotel.
- Gift: Wedding gift, bridal shower gift, gifts for the stag and doe.
- Bridal Party costs: Bridesmaid dress and shoes (x2), bridal party weekend, and helping organize the shower etc.
My poor date get stuck with splitting some of the costs with me, too.
This is not a rant about weddings or about how I don’t like friends, but rather how expensive the instution has gotten. Can you imagine if you couldn’t afford to go? I have a few friends who are grad students and weddings are completely outside their budgets. They feel extremely guilty saying no because they don’t have $200-$300 to spend on a friends big day.
I have personally started to say no to wedding of people that I am not really close to. This puts me at odds with my family as in my culture people invite EVERYONE to their wedding. There is a certain cultural norm that suggests that you go to every wedding that you’re invited to and you, in turn, invite them to yours. Its a vicious circle of gift giving, and new over the top clothing. I have also had to say no to being in a wedding party too. The time and the costs associated with it is just too much.
I haven’t had a lot of weddings to go to so far. I’m still young, so I’m guessing that in the next year or two it’s going to most likely be bad.
I’m sure it will be fine. I was just in a ranty mood.
I’m weird. I don’t like weddings. Wedding season is fun – I like seeing brides in their pretty dresses and all that – but weddings themselves are a little boring for me. Lots of people disagree.
Depends on how close you are to the wedding party. Some of the ones that I’ve been to are a BLAST; others suck.
We have the opposite problem. I keep hoping my friends will get married so I can go their weddings! We don’t have any weddings to go to … 🙁 and I LOVE weddings
You can be my date to the ones that I have to go to.
We went through a couple of waves. When I was first out of college, I went to a ton of weddings as everyone got hitched. Then it sort of died down. Then, I met my wife who was younger so we got to do it all over again for her friends. We then had a mini-wave of second weddings from friends of mine in the first wave that got divorced and re-married 🙂 It does start to level off.
Looking forward to it, and not because I don’t want people to get married.
I experienced this a few years ago. I was in three wedding parties in a spam of three months. Two were out of town, requiring hotel and travel costs, not to mention I had to use a personal day from work for one of them. Luckily as a guy I didn’t have to buy a dress, but renting a tux is pretty expensive too. I’d only been out of college for a year at the time and didn’t have much money. Maybe I went the cheap route, but I considered all the expenses of attending the wedding as my gift and just gave them a card with a handwritten congratulatory letter inside.
Ouch. I can imagine the expenses. I think a letter is perfectly acceptable.
One year I went to eight weddings. Sheesh! It’s ridiculous but it’ll be a fun year. Wear the same dress if there isn’t a guest list overlap. I love weddings, and the way to stay positive is to know that when it comes to be your turn, you’ll have done all this in-person research on what to do, and what not to do!
Eessh. My record is 6, so you win. I can’t wear the same dress sadly, but I think I can get away with different accessories.
I feel the exact same way! I know it’s partially because I’m not even close to getting married yet, but I feel like there’s so much giving and giving…at one point you just become so tired of attending these things and the EXPECTATION to give a lavish gift, attend bridal showers and BABY SHOWERS with gifts in hand, is what really bothers me the most.
Wouldn’t it be cool if people just had these functions to celebrate their love without the expectation of gifts? I think I would be all for that. And I’m pretty sure that’s how it started…damn evolution!
Sorry, long comment lol. I just feel the same way because my best friend got married and had a baby within a month of each other – and I was going broke since I was a bridesmaid. I felt so much obligation to outdo all the other gifts/bridesmaids. I can’t imagine going to 6 weddings 🙁
I can imagine. I don’t mind baby showers since I like baby clothes and they’re rather cheap. Wedding gifts tend to add up.
Check out “Rent Frock Repeat” (www.rentfrockrepeat.com). I had 7 weddings last summer (April-Sept) and I had the same issue with having basically the same crowd at each. This is an easy way to pick up a few dresses, at a fraction of the price and not stock your closet with memories of money wasted!
Great idea! Thanks!
I’m pretty happy that there are no wedding bells in the immediate horizon for me. That said, my best friend is in the first serious relationship of his life, so a group of us are taking bets on how long it’ll take him to pop the question.
We’re not actively betting, of course. 🙂
I think the problem is that a lot of couples feel like since they’re spending so much money on their own wedding, their friends shouldn’t feel uptight about spending comparatively so much less.
I agree, and normally I wouldn’t but when I’m spending the same amount on 6 weddings a season, it starts to add up.
I’d just rotate the dresses you have. Probably no one will notice. My little heart is breaking because one of my best friends is getting married this summer…across the country. I can’t seem to get the cash together to get out there. It truly does add up.
I haven’t had any weddings to go to! Crazy, I am planning my own wedding and it will be extremely frugal and small, I don’t want to make anyone feel like they have to drop a couple of hundred dollars to share a day of happiness with me.
I have so much respect for people like you.
Great time for this article because I’m heading to a wedding next weekend and not really wanting to go.
I’m sure it will be fun. Hopefully its an open bar.
I was shocked at how much it cost to be a bridesmaid. I was still in college at the time, so $500 was a crazy amount of money! Now that I’m older, I won’t be a bridesmaid again, but I will be attending some weddings — thankfully, the expense of attending is so much cheaper!
Are they ever! I discovered a new site today that helps with the dress costs of guests now too!
Wow, I totally disagree with you – I love weddings! We agonize over how to get to every one we’re invited to because we are dual grad students on a tight budget. We recently committed to a black tie out of town wedding that will probably cost us at least $1000 because we’re making it a long weekend, but it’s worth it to be present to celebrate the start of a marriage. I really reget not attending several weddings that I simply couldn’t afford at the time, but since then we’ve made it a priority to save for those occasions. We are only attending 3 weddings in 2012 (that I know about as of now), two out of town and one international, and I’m sad it’s a slow year.
That is the greatest answer ever! Don’t get me wrong, I love being present on the happy day, I just hate the costs that go with it.
Whenever I end up getting married it is going to be a small group of people. I’ve only had to go to one wedding so far but thats because I’m a guy and I have moved a lot so don’t have a huge group of friends I’ve known my whole life. Sorry it costs so much but I’d definitely do what I could to try to keep costs down.
I appreciate anyone who keeps their guests in mind on their wedding day.
I’m so over weddings =\
Even tho you get to buy new pretty dresses?
I just talked to a maid of honor who is planning a surprise bachelorette party in Las Vegas. She is appalled that some members of the bridal party can’t make it. Hello! They all live in Wisconsin. Perhaps a weekend in Vegas along with all the other expenses that go with standing up in a wedding is out of their price range.
It shocks me when people don’t understand the financial stress that the wedding party has.
i don’t mind weddings too much, but i feel ya. there were summers a few years ago when we had as many as 5 weddings in just a few months, and it got old really fast (and expensive, as you mentioned)..
now, with both my wife and myself in our thirties, the wedding season has died down a bit.
I am actually REALLY looking forward to going to a wedding. It’s a fun excuse to get dressed up, catch up with old friends, meet new friends, and of course celebrate with the happy couple. I’ve only been to 3 weddings before in my life (excluding my own), and I’ve never been in a wedding party. So I suppose I have a long ways to go until I’m wedding-ed out.
Weddings ARE expensive for others. We’re planning our own wedding right now and frequently grapple with guilt over the costs that some of our friends (particularly our wedding party) are incurring. But as much as we offer to cover some of their costs, they insist that they have no problems paying for things. So what can we do! 🙂
I’m not a big fan of weddings myself. A lot of them are pretty much the same. One can only go through so many wedding speeches before wanting to bang their head on the table. I hate it when people have stag n does before the wedding because its such a money grab. By the time its the wedding, I’ve already spent money on the engagement party, stag n doe and bachelorette. Next year my sister is getting married and it will be the first time I’m in the wedding party. I’ve been to several weddings and I’m more than happy to just be a guest.