Weddings get too costly — for guests (article)

Weddings get too costly — for guests

(Link): Weddings get too costly — for guests

    Aug 4, 2013

    43% say they’ve declined invitations because of the expense

    Throwing a wedding costs a fortune. Going to one isn’t a bargain either. As guests struggle to afford to attend, the bride and the groom both could end up left at the altar, a new survey suggests.

    As the cost of attending weddings increases, so does the volume of RSVPs marked “Declines with regret.” Some 43% of Americans say they’ve declined to attend a wedding for financial reasons, according to a new poll by the American of Consumer Credit Counseling.

    The average cost of attending a wedding — including expenses like hotel stays, bachelor and bachelorette parties, child care, and party attire — reached roughly $539 this year, up 60% from 2012, according to an American Express survey.

    Of course, that pales in comparison to the cost of hosting a wedding: $28,400 on average last year, according to wedding website TheKnot.com.

    Even so, the pressure to attend the wedding of a close friend or family member can be so strong that guests will go into debt to be there: 36% of people say they’ve gone into debt to attend a friend’s wedding, according to the American Consumer Credit Counseling, a non-profit financial advisory in Auburndale, Mass.

    …There can be significant consequences, whether you decide to go or not. Mary Kate O Flanagan, a screenwriter who splits her time between Dublin and Los Angeles, turned down an invitation in Italy because of the $1,000 cost of airfare and accommodations. The friend didn’t speak to her for years, she says.

    On the other hand, Christopher Taylor-Edwards, a digital strategies manager at a New York-based non-profit, once decided to attend an out-of-state wedding because he was in the wedding party. The couple appreciated it. His former employer? Not so much. “It got me fired from my job,” he says.