Wedding Business

Mr. Big and I eloped. It was a beautiful day, in a beautiful location, surrounded by a small group of our closest loved ones. We aren’t fancy and not fans of big crowds so it was perfect for us. Therefore, we didn’t have a big reception with gifts and stuff – so maybe I am ignorant on this but here I go…

I had a conversation with a coworker, I will call K, that has been bouncing around in my head driving me crazy…and I need advice on it. K is in a committed relationship, and has been waiting for a proposal for a couple years now but it hasn’t happened yet. Her sister is getting married, though, so weddings have been a hot topic recently.

K: “Dad just told me the funniest thing – he’s going to give me and (sister) $10,000 for our weddings. It’s super nice, but doesn’t he realize it won’t even cover half of the cost of a wedding these days?”

S (other coworker): “Well it’s really nice that he’s offering that though. Besides, you get some money as gifts to help you get started in life anyway at the wedding.”

K: “How much do you think I’d make? Like if I invited 120 people, I’d probably make over $30,000 right? So then I could technically spend $30,000 on the wedding and $10,000 on our honeymoon and then still have a bit left over.”

Me: “Wait…you shouldn’t count on it, it’s a gift – and some people give presents not money. Besides, I think the average gift is more like $50 to $100…”

K and S share a horrified look, followed by embarrassment and then laughter.

K: “I don’t know what kind of weddings you go to…but it’s AT LEAST $100 per person attending.”

S: “Ya, I mean they have to at least cover the cost of their plate of food.”

More conversation on how much money K will make off her eventual wedding ensues while I keep quiet and try to shake off how belittled I feel.

Seriously though guys – am I super cheap? I thought – first of all – that you buy the gift/give how ever much money you feel is best for that couple (because, you should know them right?). If I had to put a dollar amount, I’d say between $50 and $150 as a gift…because I remember getting that for my wedding (and being incredibly grateful for it!). That seems fair to me… but she seems to expect if you bring your family of 4 to the wedding, that you gift at least $400. Is that for real? I cannot imagine the average family of 4 being able to spend $400 as a wedding gift….especially if they know many people getting married that year.

I get the cost of covering the plate, but that should be a courtesy that you decide to do that – not an expectation.

Help me out peeps – what do you think? Am I being the worst wedding guest ever by not giving the couple at least $100 per person? (I seriously had NO IDEA that this was the standard, and if it is, I will amend accordingly because I’m not trying to be cheap, I just didn’t know!). I have two weddings coming up this summer, and I want to know what’s standard.

*Keep in mind – we live in a rural region where most people make minimum wage (it’s a joke that we live in a $10 town) so it’s not like we’re in NYC.

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