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When Did Attending Weddings Get So Expensive?

Just hear me out okay? I know everyone can get in a tizzy with wedding posts.

A friend of mine is getting married in about 6 weeks. She’s having a fairly elaborate shin-dig. The rental of the hall alone costs $15 000. She and her fiance are very into “how things look” in that they always want to have everything in exactly their taste, their way. Her engagement ring cost $40 000. However, these two are NOT uber-rich young professionals. She works as a government assistant. He’s a transport broker. They’re paying for a lot of this on credit cards.


About two months ago, I got the invite and sent back the RSVP that I was going. I was slightly annoyed that I didn’t get a +1 (no long term partner, no +1) since I’m not going to know ANYONE at this wedding. She and I have known each other since elementary school and have completely diverging lifestyles, so her group of friends and I don’t exactly mesh well. When I was in my 20s, my friends and I went out to bars where there was a happy hour special and you could wear jeans. She and her friends when to the swankiest dinner clubs in town and got $200 bottle service while wearing designer clothing. It’s partly why we remained friends I think - get could get no nonsense advice from me, she could tell me the best places to get hair, nails done and the best steak in town. But whatevs, I sucked it up knowing that weddings cost a bunch and that I could have sent my regrets if I had wanted to.

Then, skip ahead to about a week ago and I went out to her house in the exurbs for the afternoon (they wanted a big house, so they had to buy 40 minutes out of the city where they both work...). We’re just chatting about the wedding and she’s talking about how her family (french canadians) don’t understand the “Italian way” of gift giving - i.e. cash in an enveloppe to cover the cost of your meal. FYI - neither person getting married is Italian, but the groom grew up in an Italian neighbourhood, so the bulk of his friends are Italian.

So she’s having her mother instruct all her family members that they should put $200 per person in a card.


I am well versed in the money-card-plate thing. I am half-greek. This is the way we do things to.


Like, I get it, you’re having a swanky wedding. But defacto it’s been $80-$130 in my circles (and that’s with 400+ people weddings that are ridiculously extravagant). I can’t wrap my mind around someone expecting other people to poney up $200. Even $100 is a bit much in my head, but that can be kinda justified if you compare it to a night out on the town (if you go to a fancy restaurant and drink fancy stuff). But never in my life have I gone out and spent $200 on a night out on food and drink.


So after that conversation, I’m debating sending my regrets. However I RSVP’d “Yes” so long ago that saying “sorry, have something else” would be kinda suspect . And we know each other well enough that she would be hurt that i’m just now deciding not to come. However, I cannot fathom being expected to spend $200 on a gift PLUS having to spend a whole night with people I don’t know.

God, I hate wedding season and all it entails.

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