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?