Bring your own CASH
This whole $500 wedding where the bride & groom had guests pay for food and drink is a whole social media debate. Some are like… oh hell nawww… I won’t be there. Other people think this couple deciding against taking on debt before starting their lives together is brilliant. I saw a variety of opinions.
People spend, on average, $20,000 on their wedding. I will tell you, when I got married, we spent $6,000. Our ceremony happened a year prior for free. I spent $500 on a dress. I made the reception centerpieces, they cost, at most $20. My bestie paid for the cake as our wedding gift. For photos I got single calla lilies for my bridesmaids, who wore the black dress of their choice, at about $50. The DJ was $300. Approximately $5,000 was for a sit down dinner and open bar for my guests. We spent $1,000 on ourselves, and $5,000 on our guests. This was a celebration of us, yet we spent more on other people. I will tell you, if I marry again, my dress will be super duper badass, it will be on someone’s beach where me and the Mr will vacay after, and when we get back we will have a bbq , it will be fun and you will have a great time, but it be about us, not ya’ll. Don’t like it… don’t come.
I would happily attend the wedding of someone who I wanted to support in their matrimonial goals … and pay for my food, and take them a magnificent gift. It is not about me. It is also not about them only doing what they can afford… if they send you an invite and you are aware of the parameters, they have told you what they can afford… not to feed you… but that doesn’t mean they should have their reception at Old Country Buffet. A couple should have the wedding and reception they want. If that includes taking on debt, that’s their choice, but anyone with a brain can tell you its not the smartest idea. If that involves saving their money to start realizing the goals of that marriage, that is okay too. What that does not include is having the event YOU want.
We live in this world where people believe in tit for tat. You feed me and let me drink unlimited liquor for free and I’ll buy you a great gift. If it’s a cash bar, I’m taking that money out of your gift’s value. Then folks claim Miss Manners ideology that having guests pay is against the rules of proper society. Wtf? A wedding is a celebration of other people, not you. They often even let you bring someone… for free! Someone they don’t know. But impropriety… they got brides twerking in rhinestone thongs at weddings these days, all impropriety has been tossed out the window and run over like roadkill. Personally, I think people have gotten used to, even to the point of expecting, to be paid or compensated in some way for everything they do. Folks show up to shit they’d never attend for the free food. Folks show up to byob parties empty handed and drink what everyone has supplied. I have heard couples talk of a wedding as a free date for them… dinner and dancing. THAT is not the point.
Beyond that, this whole idea that if you can’t afford to feed a gang of people you should just go to a restaurant or forego a reception all together is ludicrous. We treat people who are lower class or simply not yet financially well established like dregs… get married at the courthouse and go home and eat a chicken wing dinner in front of the tv together. That’s outlandish. Saving money is not broke people shit. Actually… But since when does being less financially successful mean you are not worthy of a traditional wedding? In my opinion the couple figured out how to have a celebration that would not bankrupt them that looked as close to the wedding they wanted as possible. As a guest, if you are only willing to get dressed up and buy a nice gift, if you can eat and drink on their dime… you really don’t rock with them the long way anyway… so you should stay home either way!
Lastly, if I’m honest, and I look at people’s response to this story…. not that I know everyone’s financial situation, but the folks with coin overwhelmingly thought being financially responsible over following some rules someone made up about what an appropriate wedding looks like was the move. But to the folks who call them broke… well I am not broke and I am also not paying for 200 people to eat ever again… unless it’s hot dogs and hamburgers and maybe a shrimp skewer if I’m feeling frisky.
Buy your own chicken dinner.