Everyone knows weddings are expensive. But they don’t just cost a small fortune for the betrothed couple. Guests also pay a pretty penny to attend. And according to a new poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling, 43 percent of Americans say they decline wedding invitations because of financial reasons.
“The average cost of attending a wedding — including expenses like hotel stays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, child care, and party attire — reached roughly $539 this year, up 60% from 2012, according to an American Express survey,” reports MarketWatch. The average cost of hosting a wedding is $28,400, according to The Knot.
The pressure to attend a wedding can be great, especially if it is for a family member or a close friend. Some people spend money they don’t have to make the occasion. Some 36 percent of people say they’ve gone into debt to attend a friend’s wedding, found the American Consumer Credit Counseling poll.
Then there is the matter of the gift. “Etiquette experts are divided over whether an invitee who sends regrets still needs to give a gift,” reports MarketWatch. There are some schools of thought that say even if you don’t attend a wedding, you must still send a gift. Other etiquette experts say no. We’ll agree with the latter unless you’re close to the bride and groom and want to send one.
If you do go, traditionally the gift should equal the amount the host is spending on you as a guest. Wedding guests are expected to spend $108 per gift this year, an increase from 15 percent from 2012, according to American Express. Still, some brides are never satisfied with their gifts.
One ill-mannered bride sent a complaint via email to one of her guests expressing dissatisfaction with the $100 wedding gift she received from one couple, reports The Huffington Post. The bride wrote:
In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn’t expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well.
We didn’t know guests now have to assume responsibility for paying for the wedding. The nerve!
Do you think weddings are getting too expensive to attend?