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To think that the cost of attending a wedding is prohibitively expensive?

(88 Posts)
Mumswang Wed 13-Jul-11 11:51:43

I’m of that age where lots of our friend are getting married. Now I’m not a party pooper, I love a wedding, and I love my friends, I love celebrating with my friends, but…….latest of friends to get married (the second this summer). Not an extravagant do, just a normal wedding, no outrageous demands or costs, in fact it's one of the more modest events

Hen night
Spa £55
Curry £35 (no booze for me, pregnant)
Club £15 (again booze costs minimised)
Contribution towards hen night tat £15
Total - £120

Stag night
Weekend in European city – God knows, in region of £500 I should think (conservatively)

3 hour drive away
Petrol £40 ish
Hotel (only allow 2 night bookings at weekends in summer, can’t actually stay 2 nights as no DC wedding, fine but no one to look after DS for two nights) £180
Outfit – have to buy something as huge so £50 dress, swollen feet so need new, flat shoes £50
Present - £50 I think is about the minimum we can spend without looking mean (they have asked for cash contributions)
Total - £370

So we’re looking at near enough £1000

DP and I haven’t had a holiday for 3 years, not even a weekend away somewhere together

We’ve just moved house and can’t afford, for example, curtains so have old, faded ones that don’t fit the windows, amongst other things

My car needs a new exhaust, I can’t afford one

These are the 6th of our friends to have got amrried in the last couple of years, there are still about another 4 couples engaged and planning their weddings for the next couple of years

AIBU to dread the ‘wedding season’?

DrCoconut Wed 13-Jul-11 12:01:54

Say you can't make it due to childcare or health issues then just send a card and present. Unless you really really want to be there.

RoseC Wed 13-Jul-11 12:02:19

YANBU as it can get stressful but why do you have to buy £50 shoes? You could ask the bride/groom if they will get you a discount on the two nights as it is their stipulation of no DCs that is stopping you staying two nights... maybe the hotel will understand if you call them directly?

Also, most people are totally reasonable and will understand if you can't do something because you can't afford it. I went to a wedding in March and had to wear odd shoes because I couldn't afford them - but it was someone else's wedding and they were the centre of attention. No one cared about my shoes.

tyler80 Wed 13-Jul-11 12:03:00

YABU as a lot of that list isn't necessary. that list isn't necessary.

thefirstmrsrochester Wed 13-Jul-11 12:06:09

YANBU, not at all.
Thankfully no weddings for us this summer. The shine has been taken off previous weddings by the knowledge that something else of importance was having to give in order for us to fund the shebang.
I think it's fair to say to good friends that hen and stag do's are just not affordable given your circs.
And a good friend should absolutely understand.

MrsCarriePooter Wed 13-Jul-11 12:07:56

Can you stay somewhere else, eg a B&B in the area? I agree it's crazy to spend £180 on basically one night in a hotel. If you're pregnant it's not as though you'd be drinking anyway so could easily drive elsewhere.

Nellythecat Wed 13-Jul-11 12:09:21

I know what you mean. I think that when you are very hard up you need to learn to say, 'sorry, we can't afford that.'

"Can you come to my hen do? We're having a spa day, curry and then out to a club."
"No sorry I can't afford that. Hope you have a great time though and I look forward to seeing the pictures!"

"Are you staying at the hotel for my wedding? You'd have to book for 2 nights because that's the wedding deal."
"No sorry we can't afford that. We're going to drive to the venue early in the morning then, as we have to get back for the kids, we'll have to leave at about 8pm. We would have loved to have stayed but we just don't have the money right now."

And don't feel obliged to spend a certain amount on a present. Surely your friends would just be glad of your company? One of my friends only gave me a card for my wedding, but I didn't care as I was just happy she came, as she lives a long distance from me.

I went to a wedding recently and gave the couple a gift that cost me £4. I don't feel bad - their wedding is very important to them but for my husband and I the most important thing is not to spend money we don't have.

fatlazymummy Wed 13-Jul-11 12:10:58

Well you could cut it down.
Don't attend hen and stag do's.
Buy cheaper shoes and dress.
Give less money for present.
Book into a cheaper hotel if possible [eg a travelodge].

vogonmothership Wed 13-Jul-11 12:11:35

Use your pregnancy as a perfect excuse

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 13-Jul-11 12:12:04

YANBU weddings are expensive for all involved but I agree with coconut do you really have to be at this wedding? It doesnt sound like you're thrilled to be going so you could you just stick to weddings in your area?

Ive been to 4 weddings in the past year inc my own. Only one required travelling 2 hours by car but had to go to that as it was FILs wedding and DH was the best man! We didnt go to other people's stag/hen dos. Well DH went to 2 but hes not a drinker so was quite cheap.

Ephiny Wed 13-Jul-11 12:12:11

It's not necessarily the case - I went to my friend's wedding recently and her 'hen night' was BBQ and camping combined with the stag do, a short drive away (some people came by bike!). And for the wedding I wore a day dress and shoes I've had for years, we went by train with cheap advance tickets and came home the same day. They said not to bother with presents as they didn't need anything, and didn't want anyone to feel obliged. It was probably the nicest and most fun wedding I've ever been to.

If it's too much expense or hassle, just don't go (make a polite excuse). Or can you just go to the wedding, wear something you already have if possible, and make it just a day trip? And don't give more than you can afford as a present - I'm sure your friends would understand, and wouldn't want you going without things you need!

Or if your DP could get out of going on the stag weekend (these things are usually awful anyway I believe!) that would save you a lot just on its own.

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 13-Jul-11 12:13:39

Also, £50 is alot for a present, if you're just friends i.e not very close relations could you not spend £20 max? Thats what I spent on my friends presents because we just couldnt afford anything else. They're not going to be angry at you for 'only' giving them £20, they should be grateful.

pointydog Wed 13-Jul-11 12:13:57

The killer is the hen/stag night. I'm all for a drink down the pub, not over-planned, over-funned, over-expensive weekends away. Refuse the hen and stag night.

Find cheaper accommodation nearby.

Knock £10-20 off the present to cover your taxi to your accommodation.

mamalovebird Wed 13-Jul-11 12:15:20

£100 for a dress and flat shoes?? Where are you buying your flat shoes? You'll get a nice pair of pumps in Tesco for around a tenner. I'd speak to the hotel about the two night thing as you do have mitigating circumstances - got straight to the manager though as central reservations will probably be of no help.

Just because they've ask for cash, doesn't mean you have to give them cash. Can you make something that will mean something? I guess that one depends how good friends you are. We asked ofr honeymoon donations but knew we'd receive other things as some people don't like giving money.

I totally understand where you're coming from as we've had 6 weddings to attend this year (including our own) and DH has gone on 3 stag parties (including one in Berlin and one in Palma) and it is costing us a fortune, so we've jsut had to be creative with things like presents and staying in b&b's rather than the designated hotels

I'd rather go to the wedding than the stag/hen and if they're good friends they'll understand if you just can't afford to do both.

PopBiscuits Wed 13-Jul-11 12:17:08

RoseC - Odd shoes?!?!? Did you really? Really really?

Gemjar Wed 13-Jul-11 12:18:48

If you really want to go it doesn't have to be as expensive as that.

As you aren't drinking you could just go to the spa bit of the hen do and not the night out.

The groom should be understanding if your DH cannot afford a weekend away esp. as you have not had a holiday yourself and as you are pg. He could always take the groom out for a few pints instead

Stay at a local B&B near the wedding venue as the 2 nights only thing is stupid and expensive.

Also, I wouldn't spend as much as that on an outfit, wedding outfits are likely to only be worn once and especially when you are pg. I had to go to my Nana's funeral when I was heavily pg with DS2 and I knew that I wouldn't wear whatever I bought again, so I just got a dress for £9 in the Asda maternity range. Maybe you could buy a cheap maxi dress and then no one will notice if you wear flat shoes that are a bit old?

Weddings are a PITA as they are so expensive, but costs can be reduced

SootySweepandSue Wed 13-Jul-11 12:19:39

Yes it's horribly expensive. But you have a friendship to consider.

I would do it on the all time cheap if possible. Maybe ask around to borrow an outfit and go B&B. Only if the friendship is strong though. If not though I'd sack it off and say you are unwell due to pregnancy. No doubt you will be even more skint once baby is here so shouldn't spend £1k on a night out.

mamalovebird Wed 13-Jul-11 12:21:16

just thinking about it, get on ebay for a nice dress to wear. If you'll only wear it once then you could put it back on ebay and get some money back on it.

Popbiscuits - I notice the odd shoes comment too - I do hope so!!!

issey6cats Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:36

as others have said dont go to the hen or stag dos thats £620 saved, at our wedding people travelled on the day from all over the country and went home about 8pm i was just glad that they had made the effort to be there on our day, thats £180 saved, look on e bay for clothes and shoes some real bargains on there i can go into jonathon james shoe shop and thier average price for shoes is about a tenner so if your canny you can save about £50 there, and if cash is thier stipulation for a present £40-50 is more than generous, i had a wedding list at argos and knowing some people couldnt afford expensive presents i put things on the list like £5 sets of glasses up to the dearest thing was a £40 food processor, my sisters and brothers went in together to put together a bedding set

Camerondiazepam Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:39

PopBiscuits - I read that as "odd shoes" as in "strange shoes", not "one pink one and one green one". I hope to be wrong though!

Ormirian Wed 13-Jul-11 12:25:15

Yes it is expensive.

And of course no-one is obliged to go but I do sometimes think that b&G are cutting their noses off to spite their faces in a way - presumably they invite people they'd like to see but they often price them out of the event by making everything so extensive and costly.

DesperateHousewife21 Wed 13-Jul-11 12:28:00

My sister was heavily preg at my wedding last month and she bought a beautiful maxi dress off ebay. It was lovely and everyone complimented her.

sausagesandmarmelade Wed 13-Jul-11 12:28:45

You could drastically cut those costs by not participating in everything...

You don't HAVE to attend the hen do for instance...

As for the wedding outfit, could you not wear one of the outfits you wore to one of the previous weddings and accessorise it differently?

Other than could make your excuses and just not go!

thursday Wed 13-Jul-11 12:30:29

£500 stag weekends are not essential and are outrageous demands imo. same re: hen weekend. if the couple are close enough friends that they take you're position into account when planning these things then they arent close enough friends to be obligated to go.

i agree attending weddings is expensive, travel, accommodation, outift and present plus usually drinks galore IS very pricey and would be a real problem for us.

is there nowhere nearby you could stay one night? a travelodge in taxi distance? good friends dont expect £50 presents, they'd be happy with anything, or nothing. some guests at my wedding didnt get us a present because they travelled a long way and had to stay 2 nights and i'm glad they didnt feel obliged to.

Aworryingtrend Wed 13-Jul-11 12:31:32

YANBU. it is SILs wedding next weekend and so far we have paid out for:

Hen Night

Petrol to get there- £60
Meal/Drinks- £50

DH didn't go on Stag as it was for 3 days 450miles away!

Hotel for two nights (we live 350miles away so anyhtign less not really possible) £180
Present - £50
Petrol £70
Meal night before £60
Drinks on day £50

DH and I are both wearing clothes we already have.

Basically this wedding is the reason we aren't having a holiday this year.

What can we do though, SIL was my bridesmaid and came to my hen night and of course the wedding and probably felt the same at the time- I just didn't think then how expensive attending weddings is. Has opened my eyes rather now we are much more cash-strapped than we were when we got married.

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