It seems that wedding season is in full swing; a time when British brides pray not for summer sun but simply for it not to hammer down with rain on bare shoulders and marquees in fields. I recently read a post over at Notes From the Frugal Trenches about receving an invitation to a wedding that came with a pretty outrageous set of demands. Fortunately I don’t know any people like this but I can’t deny that attending a wedding can be a pretty expensive business.
Have you ever declined a wedding invitation because of the associated costs? We were invited to a wedding a few years back by a girl I went to school with about 20 years ago and hadn’t seen since. We ran into each other at a mutual friend’s wedding. It was fun to catch up but then she began insisting we came to their wedding which was being held only a few weeks later. It was awkward because I just didn’t want to go. Is this mean spirited? We wouldn’t have known anyone else there, I didn’t really know the bride (we played a few times as 7 years olds) and it would have taken up a whole weekend. Never mind the fact we would have had to buy outfits and spend a fortune on accomodation and petrol. And then there would have been the gift we’d have had to get which is really hard when you don’t know anything about the bride and groom so have no idea what they would actually like. None of which would have mattered if it had been close friends, but for people we don’t really know? Ummm… I also declined an invitation a few years ago from another old school friend for much the same reasons. It was going to be a posh ‘do’ that would have required a new outfit and all the rest. We hadn’t seen each other for about 10 years and had barely managed to exchange Christmas cards in that time. I just didn’t see the point. Cor, writing this post is making me feel seriously bah-hambug! Anyway…
The only other invitations I have declined were for two weddings last year, though only because they were within a few weeks or so of Baby being born and I suspected I wasn’t going to be up for it (Correctly I might add. I really, really wasn’t). However, we have been invited to a wedding this summer that we are going to be attending. I doubt we’ll know anyone else there (how we know them is a bit of a long story) but seeing two people we like very much getting married is going to be great. The only thing I’m not sure about is the gift. Unless there are specific requests I nearly always give a photo album for a wedding present. This is based on the theory that wedding photos get a special album but the honeymoon photos can end up being a bit of an after-thought. Paperchase do really beautiful ones for around £20 and I’ve seen lovely ones from £15 – £25 in lots of others stationery shops. However, more and more people seem to be asking for money. I’m not really sure how I feel about this. There seem to be a lot of notes included with invitations saying that you don’t need to bring a present but, if you do want to give something, please give cash. I get that you don’t want your house filled up with a load of weird crap you wouldn’t have picked yourself but I still feel a bit uncomfortable about it. How much are you supposed to give?!
I’ve heard of other couples asking for people to pay for their own meals at the reception (instead of a gift) or for money towards their honeymoon etc. I’ve also heard a lot of mixed reactions to these requests. In response to paying for your own meal, I’ve heard ‘Great idea.’, ‘I might do that if I get married because I would be able to invite more people’ and ‘F***ing cheek!’. Ah, it’s so controversial isn’t it?
Is it mean-spirited to turn down wedding invitations? How much money should you give if asked? And what do you think of the new ‘rules’ of gift requests now that the tradtional wedding gift list seems to be a thing of the past?