When we think of weddings in 2018, we hardly ever think of the groom and much less the guests. All of the attention is focused on the bride along with ensuring she has secured the best optics to freeze her Cinderella Princess moment.
Blame it on capitalism, social media or cultural influence but the symbolic meaning of weddings has evolved over the years. I have never favoured big weddings for myself but always supported and welcomed the idea with excitement for friends and family because of the fairytale energy it always somehow manages to capture. Perhaps it’s the hounding of the bride with smart phones to get a picture and the intense buildup with guests chattering while they await the celeb of the day, but the anticipation gives it an additional special spark. Unlike small weddings where you are primarily focused on each other (which admittedly can be pressuring), big weddings allow much more supportive moments which can make the big day seem a bit less pressuring.
However, having that support show up for you on that day comes at a no cost for both the couple and guests. Even though it is sometimes made to seem that getting invited to a wedding is a prize, since you are treated to a meal and entertainment that include lifetime of memories, it is an expensive prize to collect.
According to a survey from Bankrate.com, guests who are also members of the bridal party pay on average $728 (which includes all wedding-related events like bridal shower etc) and while the cost does decrease for guests who share a less-intimate relationship with the bride and groom, the price is still a staggering $372. These figures may seem unimaginable, but when all costs like hair, make-up, clothing, travel, gifts, and pocket money (if it is a destination wedding), this price seems fairly decent, if anything under budget just a tad bit. According to Robert Barba of Bankrate.com, “While it’s fun to celebrate with friends and loved ones, the associated costs add up fast and can wreak havoc on your budget if you’re not prepared. It’s imperative to start planning early—open a dedicated savings account to start your own wedding fund.”
A special fund to celebrate someone else’s love sounds reasonable, but what happens when the need for those funds start to multiply. Being part of someone’s special day is a huge compliment. I understand why most people feel the need to show up and show out, but how far is too far when it comes to the guest minding his or her expenses. The topic is almost taboo because when compared to the bride or groom, it sounds petty in the grand scheme of things but nevertheless expenses still remain expenses.
The concept of RSVP has always seemed foreign to me. Growing up, my parents always responded to stuff like that with the line, “ah gun see if ah cud mek it”, even though they fully well knew they really weren’t planning on going. Perhaps they thought it was rude to say no. But in this day and age, no is probably the most respectful thing you could probably say to yourself and the people extending the invitation.
An RSVP no doesn’t also mean you can’t be part of their special day either. I know for sure young couples always accept gifts as it is a pivotal moment in their new life together. Besides who doesn’t want or like a new glass set or bed sheet set. I know I enjoyed collecting gifts even after we got up married even though we didn’t have a big wedding. Remember that RSVP exists for a reason. Attending every wedding isn’t a must and neither is it rude to decline. More often than not the bride is too caught up in her own emotions to be bothered with who showed up and who didn’t. If you do decide to attend, consider the fact that even Kate Middleton is recycling wedding outfits. What a royal pain and expense weddings have become.