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Should you be charged for going to a wedding?

‘If you can’t afford a lavish wedding, then don’t have one’

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Monday 22 January 2024 17:43 GMT
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A bride has sparked a debate after charging her guests $65 to attend her wedding.

In a wedding shaming Reddit forum, a user who goes by u/theluckyone95, wrote about how their close friend of 12 years - who has over the years garnered a reputation for being “cheap” - is charging her 50 guests to attend her wedding. The original poster explained that in the invite they received, guests who wanted to attend the festivities after the ceremony would have to pay a $65 fee that would cover food, decoration, music, and venue costs. They wrote: “If I’m INVITED to a wedding I shouldn’t have to pay to attend the actual wedding?!”

The couple also has a wedding website page, where they encourage guests to contribute money to various gifts, including cooking class, dance class, and a trip among other options. They wrote on the page “gifts are not needed but welcome”.

“WHO would pay for a gift after they have to pay to attend the wedding?” the original poster wondered. “Since it’s a norm to give a gift I think many people are gonna feel forced to give one anyway.”

With added costs for rehearsal dinners, staying at the venue and gifts, the poster said that their friend wasn’t being mindful of their guests, and the total amount guests would have to spend could amount to an estimated $300 to $400.

“The thing is, I KNOW they have money,” the original poster explained. “My friend inherited a lot of money from her grandma in advance, they have a house, her fiancé is an engineer, they have a boat, and they are currently renovating their house. I also suspect that they actually can afford both the renovation and the wedding, but they are probably just trying to play it smart and make the guests contribute.”

They added: “I’m also questioning if their gift solution will actually go to said gift, or if it’s just another contribution to more renovations of their house.”

Knowing the couple and their history with being cheap, the original poster wrote that they will “absolutely” refuse to pay, even if it means that they’ll only be able to attend the ceremony.

In the replies to the post, Reddit users supported the poster, with many commenting that charging your guests when you have the money to pay for your own wedding is “tacky and tasteless”.

“Ask her if you can not pay, but still come to the reception if you bring your own dinner and promise not to look at any of the decorations. That should be fair, right?” one person wrote. “This is so beyond tacky and tasteless. I hope she gets roasted for it.”

“Simply decline the invite,” another person said. “It’s beyond tacky to charge people to come to your wedding. Inviting guests is supposed to be about sharing your most special day with loved ones. I wouldn’t go, no matter who, what, where or when.”

However, some users noted that people charging their guests for weddings have become more and more common.

“I’ve seen it happen a few times myself (with one bride offering to split the amount into a few eTransfer payments!)” someone wrote. “Gifts are also usually expected. Always found it super tacky - if you can’t afford a lavish wedding, then don’t have one.”

The average wedding costs $30,000, according to the Knot, and even for smaller, lower-cost wedding parties, the bill at the end of the festivities is no laughing matter. For example, decorations on average will amount to anything between $2,000 to $10,000 - a number that isn’t reasonable for everybody. As a result, more couples have been either planning within their means or opting for low-fuss courthouse ceremonies - which cost $120 on average - allowing all that money that might have been spent on the wedding to go into travelling or buying property together.

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