Wedding Season

This is a guest post by Dave, who is also looking to retire no later than 45, but unlike Tim has no kids and doesn’t want any. Dave is from Ontario and is working towards his CGA certification.

As I come up on my mid-30’s, I seem to be attending fewer and fewer weddings every summer. With fewer weddings to attend, I seem to enjoy the festivities much more. I tend to split my time at these events catching up with friends and family members that I don’t see enough because of a lack of weekends to see everyone. Besides catching up with people, I do dance – well, more jump around for a few hours until I’m exhausted, since I have no idea what I’m doing. 😉

For most weddings, there are three major things that we have to budget for when we get an invitation:

Clothes – I don’t really buy new clothes for a wedding, but my wife uses a wedding invitation in the mail to buy a new “fun” dress. The good thing about most of the dresses she finds is that they are generally (but not always) cheaper than a guy’s tie, which is how the dress is a “justifiable” purchase, since you can’t wear the same dress twice (apparently).

Presents – We used to try to give really cool presents that we put a lot of thought into, and still do. Last summer, we gave a particularly injury-prone friend a super heavy duty first-aid kit, which we thought would be useful and potentially lifesaving, given his injury history. Mostly though, we give cash – it’s less thoughtful, but more useful, and we feel better “paying” for our own dinner.

Travel – Last summer, we had a wedding in Nova Scotia, and decided to drive out, taking a tour up through the Eastern seaboard and the Maritime provinces – taking 4 days to get out there from Ontario and (not well planned) a long 2 days to get back. We know we’re going to be spending money on hotels, gas, meals, maybe some booze (realistically, probably too much booze), and other stuff that we wouldn’t have to buy if we just stayed at home.

We look at going to weddings (now) as a fun weekend activity. It’s nice that people send out invitations months in advance to allow us to budget our summer activities. I don’t really like the idea of huge, expensive weddings (because I can see a number of better things to do with the money that gets spent), but I do have fun at them.

Do you budget for weddings? Do you have a busy summer season ahead of you? Do you ever turn down invitations?

5 thoughts on “Wedding Season”

  1. I am also in my mid thirties and noticed the same thing this year. It was very apparent when I found out my brother-in-law in attending 11 weddings this year! We are in the new baby era now. We have one on the way and I could probably name 10 or more people who are or have had babies in the last year. Interesting to go through the phases of you life. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. I don’t have a budget for weddings, but eventually I will need to create one! I’m getting to that age where everyone is engaged.

  3. So Along with budgeting for weddings, what seems reasonable for gifts these days? I hear some people just cover the cost of their plate of food, and some give what they can afford and others give what they can’t afford, what is good in your experience?

    Myself, I find that if I go to a wedding, that $150 – 200 is usually my gift. If it is free drinks, then $200.

    I have turned down 1 wedding for this year, as it is 3 hours away and it just does not work for my schedule with my daughter who lives with her mom.

    What do you feel is a good gift to give? Do you feel people give enough, or are too cheap with a $50 for a couple when the per plate cost is $100 a plate?

  4. I’m just entering the wedding phase as the first grandchild (my older brother) is getting married this summer.

    For clothes, I’ll wear my fancy summer skirt (only have one of them) and if it were winter I’d wear my fancy winter dress (only have one of those too)

    For Presents, I make them myself (usually a nice embroidery) since I’m going to be sewing anyways it doesn’t cost me any extra money.

    For Travel, I lucked out, they’re getting married in the town where I live, but if I got invited to an out of town wedding I’d probably just combine it with my summer vacation and take it out of my travel budget.

    I see no reason why weddings should be absurdly expensive.

  5. I like weddings too, but I don’t like imposed expenditure like when your good friends get married in an exotic location. I once wrapped up my plane ticket and gave it to a friend as the gift.

    Great blog. Good reading.


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