A friend of yours is getting married and you’re invited. Yay! Well, maybe not yay, not always, but still — you might see some old friends, there might be plenty of free booze, and there will be an entire mountain of cake to be eaten, unless of course the people getting married are weird and adopted a zero tolerance cake policy for their special day. In that case, you can only expect sadness for dessert, and it will still have cost you a lot of money just to be a guest at some stupid, cake-less wedding. Fuck that.
Once you hit your mid-to-late twenties, people you once caroused with in college, once dated, or once witnessed earning the nickname “Arty Farty” in the second grade start getting married. It’s just a fact, according to Reuters, and, unless you’ve been some sort of reclusive misanthrope for the better part of your young adulthood, you’re going to wake up on your 28th birthday neck-deep in wedding invitations. Many of them will be printed on cheap, tasteless paper. This is another thing youth should have prepared you for, but it’s really just a minor annoyance compared to the tremendous amount of cash-money you’ll probably have to spend if you accept every invitation, which means (usually) making travel plans, taking time from work, and buying a gift. And that’s if you’re just an ordinary guest rather than, say, part of the ceremony.
From Reuters’ Chris Taylor:
In fact, according to the wedding site TheKnot.com, the average bridesmaid could be facing a bill for $1,385 when adding all potential costs. Add to the mix that more couples than ever are opting for destination events — almost a quarter of all weddings in 2012, up from 20 percent in 2008 — and the price of celebrating your friend's big day can be dear indeed.
"Look at all the spending involved in being in the bridal party," says Anja Winikka, site director for TheKnot.com. "There is the dress, there are accessories, there are flights and hotels for out-of-town guests."
"Then there is all the pre-wedding activity, like bridal showers, bachelorette parties, even engagement parties. It can very easily add up to $1,000 or more for a single wedding."
Taylor goes on to point out that, since the average ages for men and women getting married are 28 and 26 respectively, a lot of people in their late 20s find themselves getting inundated with wedding invitations within a relatively short span of time. In a down economy that has many 20-somethings scrambling just to keep from tumbling back into a pit of debt of unemployment called Parent’s Basement, attending a shit ton of weddings just isn’t financially possible. The best thing to do, according to at least one woman interview for the Reuters piece, is to attend none of the weddings you’re invited to, so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, or you hurt everyone’s feelings equally.
Is it dignified to simply confess to a friend that you can’t attend or participate in his or her special land and cattle exchanging ceremony? No, of course not, which is why you shouldn’t be forthright about your financial difficulties. The best strategy is to lie about why you can’t attend a particular wedding. The simpler the lie, the better, and if you can manage to make your friend feel a little guilty for even asking you to attend a tawdry and shamefully expensive wedding, then all the better. Try something like this: “Sorry, but I really can’t go to your wedding. I want to, really I do, it’s just...well, I don’t tell many people this, but we’re such good friends and I’d had to keep secrets from you — I’m building a hospital in the Sudan with my bare hands, brick by brick, gurney by gurney. Your wedding sounds fun and all, but, honestly, I just don’t think I can enjoy myself knowing that so many people are suffering somewhere else in the world.”
It’s a can’t-miss gambit, but if you doubt your ability to pull it off, try a more personal lie, something that makes you sound so crazy that your friend won’t even want you to come to the wedding anymore: “Sorry, love to come, but...my house is haunted and I don’t know if it’s a localized haunting or if the phantoms are leeching off of my life-force and will follow me to your wedding, where they’ll surely ruin everything. You understand, right? Right??”
If (going to weddings) costs too much [Reuters via Today]
Image via Getty, Carlo Allegri