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Old 11 May 2013, 08:09 PM
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Icon22 My friends' weddings are putting me deep in debt

Wedding season is here. And for the estimated 69 million Americans who will be attending weddings this year, it means shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Between travel, gifts, attire and other costs, guests are expected to spend an average of $539 per wedding this year -- up more than 50% from last year's average expected expense of $339.

And with roughly a quarter of couples planning "destination" weddings, wedding travel often comes with a major price tag.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/10/pf/wedding-debt/
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Old 12 May 2013, 07:42 PM
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And with roughly a quarter of couples planning "destination" weddings, according to TheKnot.com, wedding travel often comes with a major price tag.
I've always assumed (perhaps wrongly) that people who are planning destination weddings are doing so at least in part because they aren't expecting many guests. I hadn't thought though about the expense of being in the wedding party itself.

I'd hope the bride and groom are footing some of the bill or are, at the very least, sitting down with the people they want in the wedding party and explaining what kind of pricetag is going to be attached to this before they get commitments from their friends.
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Old 12 May 2013, 08:55 PM
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I think people are usually aware of the cost. I didn't read the article, but I doubt that the $539 is meant to depict costs for the wedding party, but rather the guests. Just paying for the suit or dress is more than $539, by far. The $539 is on top of that, meant I assume to cover the gift and possibly drinks.

I have been to/in weddings in which the couples family paid all or part of the travel costs, but usually I assume the costs will fall to me, as part of my gift to the couple, and being there to support them.
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Old 12 May 2013, 09:02 PM
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Hopefully the Supreme Court takes this into consideration when it rules on gay marriage/marriage equality. The US is just coming out of a recession (I think it is year 4 of 'coming out of a recession), can the citizens afford to have more weddings to attend?
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Old 12 May 2013, 09:12 PM
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We have a situation here in which one of my colleague's brothers is getting married in Jamaica. She and her partner are house-poor and cannot afford to fly to Jamaica and stay there, much less take time off work to do it. Her brother is quite angry that she is not coming and refuses to understand that it is an issue of can't, not won't.
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Old 12 May 2013, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by nonnieyrissa View Post
I think people are usually aware of the cost. I didn't read the article, but I doubt that the $539 is meant to depict costs for the wedding party, but rather the guests. Just paying for the suit or dress is more than $539, by far.
Maybe dresses, but renting a tux costs nowhere near $539. Really it's only the flight that could make a guy's expenses for a wedding that high. Well, unless he's a generous gift giver or likes to stay at expensive hotels. Or he's buying a new suit just for the wedding, I suppose, but I doubt that happens enough to raise the average cost of a wedding to guests that much.

(Maybe this belongs in stupid questions, but why aren't there places that rent out bridesmaids' dresses? Or are there?)

And dfresh, isn't the point that we need to raise aggregate demand? Same-sex marriage must just save the economy.

Also, this whole thing is pretty much people guessing how much they're going to spend on weddings in the coming months, so I doubt in means much. Has air fare really gone up enough to account for a 50 percent jump from last year? I'm guessing people are just pretty bad at estimating stuff like this. Which is to say, I think this article is pretty much worthless, and therefore I commented on it extensively.
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Old 12 May 2013, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve View Post

(Maybe this belongs in stupid questions, but why aren't there places that rent out bridesmaids' dresses? Or are there?).
I don't know how common it is but I know when I was involved with a wedding back in Montreal the bride rented her wedding dress and the bridesmaids could have rented their gowns as well - we opted not to because it really wasn't that hard to find decently priced dresses that worked for a wedding but could also be worn again.
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Old 13 May 2013, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
We have a situation here in which one of my colleague's brothers is getting married in Jamaica. She and her partner are house-poor and cannot afford to fly to Jamaica and stay there, much less take time off work to do it. Her brother is quite angry that she is not coming and refuses to understand that it is an issue of can't, not won't.
I'm way beyond the age where I have to attend many weddings, but I always thought that destination weddings and mega-receptions were something that only people with actual wealth planned. I'm surprised to read young people would make such financial demands on their friends and acquaintances, and that people would agree to these demands. A gift or money tree is one thing, but the rest seems so excessive and self-centered, especially with the high cost of living and education, and the dwindling availability of decent paying jobs.
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Old 13 May 2013, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Maybe dresses, but renting a tux costs nowhere near $539...
And dresses don't have to cost that much either. I raised two daughters without spending more than $500 on a dress, even for weddings.
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Old 13 May 2013, 04:13 AM
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I planned a destination wedding in part to severely limit the guest list without upsetting anyone for not being invited. I thought this might be pretty common, a bit like eloping but taking a small number of people along for it. It wouldn't have hurt my feelings if some of them hadn't wanted to go, and I looked at their attendance as their wedding present to me.

As it turned out, the only four people invited turned out to be three too many. I'm still not talking to my family around five years later.

If we ever decide to try again to have a wedding, it will still be a destination most likely, but no one will be invited other than the two of us and any necessary officiant.
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Old 13 May 2013, 05:14 AM
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Nevermind.
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Old 13 May 2013, 07:28 AM
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"My friends' weddings are putting me deep in debt."

Then don't attend said weddings? Or get new friends that have financial situations and expectations more in line with your own.
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Old 13 May 2013, 11:34 AM
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Many people don't realise that things don't HAVE to be expensive. There are many perfectly lovely suits and dresses at op shops/thrift shops. And gifts don't have to be pricey. When DH and I were recently married most guests didn't have bring a gift though most did give a nice card. In fact I would have felt terribly uncomfortable if someone had spent hundreds on us! Perhaps the author doesn't realise that most guests don't go to as much effort as him and that its certainly not required.
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Old 13 May 2013, 05:40 PM
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If you think about it, when the bride and groom come from different parts of the country, then it's a "destination wedding" for half the guests to begin with. One of my two best friends got married 3 years ago - she's from the Detroit area, he's from Hamilton Ontario, and now they live just outside of Boston. The wedding was not huge, but it was held near Detroit. The only people who didn't have a long commute were the bride's parents and some relatives of her parents. But the groom's entire family, bride's sister, and any friends all had a long trek. This wasn't a "destination" wedding in the classic sense, but it certainly involved a lot more travel than average.
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Old 13 May 2013, 05:46 PM
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Icon220 29-Year-Old Has Been Going To Different Friend's Wedding Every Weekend For Past 3 Yrs

Interestingly enough, The Onion has a story this week on the same subject.

Quote:
Speaking with reporters Friday after picking up his suit from the dry cleaners, 29-year-old Jeremy Wallace confirmed that he has spent every weekend for the past three years attending a different friendís wedding.
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Old 13 May 2013, 05:52 PM
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The year I turned 29, I was in five weddings and attended at least 10 others. 4 of the 5 weddings I was in were out of town, as were about a third of the others (not destination weddings, they were college friends who had scattered across the country after graduation). That was brutal.

Last year was the first year of my adult life that I didn't attend a single wedding.
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Old 13 May 2013, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latiam View Post
We have a situation here in which one of my colleague's brothers is getting married in Jamaica. She and her partner are house-poor and cannot afford to fly to Jamaica and stay there, much less take time off work to do it. Her brother is quite angry that she is not coming and refuses to understand that it is an issue of can't, not won't.
I don't even see an issue with a won't. I think it's rude to ask people to spend thousands of dollars to honor you.

I always make the joke to my GF that if we get married it will be at the drive through chapel. My family lives in Missouri. Her family lives in North Carolina and MI. Most of her friends live in Reno, NV. Most of mine are in California and Missouri.

I am not asking people to spend a lot of time and money traveling anywhere for my wedding. I just find that rude. I would rather get married by a priest and travel to the majors locations to spend time with family and friends.

One of my good friends is planning a wedding. He is going to spend $45,000 dollars on it!!! That just blows my mind. They want to have the wedding in Hawaii and asked if I would come. I said I would love to come but I don't have that kind of spare cash to spend traveling to Hawaii.
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Old 13 May 2013, 10:13 PM
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Right now I am trying to figure out the dress code to my cousin's wedding. He and his partner have decided on a Marvel Comics theme, with the bus taking us to the reception site dubbed the "superhero express" and such. It's an evening wedding though. I'm trying to figure out if it's dressy or not.
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Old 13 May 2013, 10:14 PM
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How is the wedding party dressing?
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  #20  
Old 13 May 2013, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Sue View Post
it really wasn't that hard to find decently priced dresses that worked for a wedding but could also be worn again.
You are allowed to do that? I thought it was a law that bridesmaids' dresses had to be hideous taffeta monstrocities.

Last edited by geminilee; 13 May 2013 at 10:34 PM.
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