Should guests be charged to attend a wedding?

This weekend was my future son in law’s stag do, and next weekend is my daughter’s hen do which means one thing: their wedding is imminent.  This time next month in fact.   They have been engaged for almost two years and saving hard from the minute the ring hit Caity’s finger at the Trevi fountain in Rome.

All the plans are in place now (except for bridesmaid’s dresses, don’t mention the lack of bridesmaids dresses.  How impossible is it to buy something appropriate for two young teens and two older teen/twenty-somethings of differing dress sizes?  I will tell you.  Impossible.  About eight dresses have been tried and sent back.  But I digress) and it is just the logistics of the day to sort out.   Which is probably why headlines about weddings are catching my attention more than they usually would at the moment.  They seem to be everywhere.

This one particularly caught my eye this weekend:

It had been asked by Hitched to their Instagram followers and of the 2108 who responded it seemed most agreed with my sentiments of NO YOU BLOODY CAN’T.

1965 had said no, versues 143 who said yes.   Though to be fair they said they would consider it, not that they actually had.   The very idea though that the question is even asked seems bonkers to me.   As does the notion that the average wedding now comes in at over £27,000.

Twenty seven grand for a day.

A day.

Do you know what it actually costs to get married?  £46.   Forty six quid is the cost of a marriage licence if you want to get married in a register office.    Everything after that is discretionary, a wish, a recreation of something seen on Pinterest.    Which I am not criticising, not in the slightest.   My own wedding to Mr B nine years ago came in around £17,000 so believe me I am not knocking people who spend money on weddings, but I am certainly questioning the notion of then passing those costs on to guests.

Is it fair, for instance, that we might have asked our guests to foot the bill for £1500 of fireworks?

Were we any more married by ending our evening with five minutes of pyrotechnics set to Hard-Fi’s “Something for the weekend”?  Did they add anything to our marriedness?  Nope, they were a “Let’s do it” for us as we love fireworks and wanted to end our big day with a showstopper.   Should we have asked our 100 guests to chip in £15?  Nope.

The same Hitched article above also states the following:

This was following on from the news last year that a couple charged their guests £150 each to attend their wedding, but bundled it up as also including an all inclusive three night stay in a spa too.  I can’t see the logic of it seemingly then saving guests money by doing that, let alone £67.    They still have the majority of the costs associated with the wedding.  And possibly the hen and stag do too, which can run into hundreds, if not over a thousand for a couple attending both events abroad.

My dress for Caity and Dan’s wedding has cost £250, add on to that the hat, shoes, hair appointment etc and I fail to see how charging me to attend the wedding in anyway saves me money.

All the other guests attending the big day next month will have similar expenses, including child care, travel, hotel accommodaton, and let’s not forget what will be a hefty bar bill, is it really fair to then ask them to stump up money for the flowers / photographer / venue on top?

Costs over which the guests have had no control?  May well not be able to afford and therefore may have to decline the invite?  Is that a position that any bride and groom really want to put a guest in?  When they really want to be there to see their friend/relative marry but they can’t because there has been an invoice for £300 included with the RSVP?

What next?  Contributing towards funeral costs?

If that is case I want to flown out first class to the Maldvies and buried on a remote atoll after my coffin has laid in state in the presidential suite of a swanky resort for two weeks and as I am then lowered into the ground I want Guns N Roses to play November Rain live.

Let me know where to send the bills?


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • I will admit I’m frightened to death by how much weddings will cost by the time our girls go there. In Ireland, it is the norm for guests to give money as a gift and for the amount to at least cover the cost of the meal. I’m now wondering if they have a good system?