Cost of attending a wedding....
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  1. #1
    Registered User Sumacaroni's Avatar
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    Default Cost of attending a wedding....

    I am trying to hard to become debt-free and things like attending weddings, graduations, milestone anniversaries and other celebrations are still important to me - meaning I don't want to go so frugal as to forego attendance or forego giving a gift in order to save a buck - so I'll be making sure we budget as best we can to include such costs.

    But it occurred to me last night (after driving 140 miles to attend a wedding) that my budget numbers will need to be increased somewhat. Here's what it cost us to attend a co-worker's wedding yesterday:

    $25 - cost of fuel to drive 140 miles
    $17 - for dress and shoes at thrift store (thank goodness I found something fancy that fit, wedding-appropriate)
    $51 - card at the dollar store and enclosed gift check
    TOTAL = $93.00

    Now if this had been a close friend or relative's wedding, I would have had to budget in additional wedding-appropriate clothing for my children as well plus I suppose the gift would then have been $100 to cover the costs of 5 meals. I figure it might look something like this:

    Relative's wedding:
    $20-25 for cost of drive
    $40-$50 - if I can find appropriate khakis and a dress shirt for my son plus a dress and shoes for my daughter at a garage sale or thrift shop
    $25 - for drinks/snacks during layover between wedding and reception
    $100 - card and gift check
    $50 - shower attendance and gift, if it's a relative like a niece or nephew, then my daughter and I would be invited to a bridal shower (we had one this year)

    After reading the thread on gifting a "standard" personalized gift or safe or something like that, I wonder what people's thoughts are on what to give or how much to spend for a close friend or relative.

    And basically, I have to become more conscious of how many potential weddings we may be invited to for the upcoming year and plan accordingly - budgeting $100 for non-relatives, $200 for relatives seems reasonable. The problem is.... like this wedding, I really didn't think we'd be invited so had no plans until I got the invitation about 6 weeks prior and found out how important it was to the groom that his co-workers attend.

    On the other hand, by just putting a wedding "standard" gift idea into practice, I should be able to save ca$h by shopping with coupons and watching the sales circulars.

  2. #2
    Registered User sinopa27's Avatar
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    I understand where you are coming from. I attended a wedding and broke my budget. So, I now have a section in my budget for gifts. This includes: wedding, birthday, school fund raisers etc.
    My problem is trying to make sure I allow enough in that part of my budget. I like to make soap. So wedding gifts are usually homemade soap which people tend to like and want more of later. I also make a wonderful cheeseball. So at work when I am asked to bring a food as a gift, a cheeseball is it. I try to have these items handy around Christmas time.

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    Registered User Sumacaroni's Avatar
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    I think handmade gifts are the best!!

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    Registered User NicJean's Avatar
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    Smile

    I always have a million ideas for gifts, but never the cash on hand for them. What I've done to trim those costs is settle on a set gift for all weddings (feather pillows with His and Hers embroidered pillowcases) and for baby showers (small pre-decorated photo album and a Christmas ornament- usually not dated). This way, I 'always' have a gift on hand that's appropriate.

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    I have no budget category for weddings, gifts, etc. because there is no money for those things to put in a budget. We just don't go!

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    Registered User lisaflex's Avatar
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    while not so frugal, i think that when people invite you to such a special ceremony an appropriate gift should be given. your gift (wether $ or a gift) should at least cover the food costs per person...so if just you and dh go, it should be a minimum of $100 in my mind. as for showers, bridal or wedding, an appropriate gift should be given also. consider the venue, food, drinks, etc.

    also - keep in mind what they have given you in the past for gifts.

    and, even if you do not have the $$ to attend an event like this, a gift is still the proper thing to do...although the gift does not need to be as large as if you were atteding the event.

    now, this is just my opinion and we are big on proper etiquette...

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    Is it really necessary to buy a new outfit for each wedding?

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    Registered User ravenmaniac's Avatar
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    No, it is not necessary to buy a new outfit for each wedding. Men do not do it, why should women? I have a black dress, an olive dress with flower print, and a navy and yellow dress. Plus several cardigans that match.

    I buy a gift like a nice picture frame or photo album. I cannot afford to give cash.

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    I don't think there is a standard.

    But I might not be the person to ask as we received homemade knitted washcloths and a special mustard from one set of grandparents.

    Another set of grandparents made a quit from scrap material.

    Both presents were well received.

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    Registered User Menifeemom's Avatar
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    We are going through this right now too. I have been invited to a bridal shower, bachelorette party, and wedding for a friend. If I do things the way they are expected I should show up to each of these events with a gift. That adds up really really fast. I want to be there to support my friend, but I am going to have to make each gift very small in order to pull this off.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    Like lisaflex we are big on proper etiquette. However our budget just does not allow us to spend as much is as proper. The way we get around that is having a gift shelf. I buy high end generic wedding/anniversary/hostess gifts on deep clearance. Also certain antique pieces. Birthday/Christmas gifts I'm not nearly as extravagant, but still purchase high quality items. I've scored big doing this over the years.

    ~I tell you this only as a cautionary tale

    Our gift shelf is now empty, and the last wedding we were invited to the only thing I could do was crochet potholders to give as a gift. I thought they were pretty, a nice multi blue cotton yarn to match their kitchen. We also respectfully declined the invitation as we did not feel right accepting under the circumstances. The wedding couple distressed by our obvious financial situation ended up emptying their freezer of leftovers and leaving them in a cooler on our porch. They must have thought we were starving to death. Next time we saw them at Thanksgiving they gave us the pitiful eyes, hands clasped firmly around ours, saying gravely, "So how have things been" All they while shaking their heads slowly back and forth. All through the dinner I'd catch the wife giving us sorrowful looks across the room. Talk about humiliating.

    As far as clothing, I have 1 outfit set aside for weddings/funerals. Dress up or dress down. I bought the skirt for $4 on clearance and the blouse for $3 at the thrift store. The shoes I bought on sale, I can't remember how much it was so long ago. I don't wear it for anything else so it stays nice. I've had it for years now, and it's saved my butt from having to go out and get a new outfit every time something comes up.

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    Registered User Sumacaroni's Avatar
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    Mndrp and ravenmaniac:

    As for outfits, in our case.... yes, it's necessary for the growing children (if they are invited) who change sizes every six months. For myself, purchasing different dresses has been necessary to allow for breast cancer treatments (my chest and upper body has changed sizes - from small to flat to larger) - dresses from previous years do NOT fit correctly. And now experiencing a frozen shoulder post-surgeries - just can't get into my previous dresses anymore since my arm doesn't work to raise above my head.... You'd be surprised how hard it is to get dressed in anything pullover-style or even zip-up without full use of an arm! Much of my wardrobe has gradually changed now.

    Then, considering this wedding was a Fall wedding and another was Summer wedding - yep, in Wisconsin, it is necessary to have different dresses for 50 degree weather as opposed to 80 degree weather. I wouldn't wear a summer dress to an October wedding around here (especially since the wedding was outdoors). And my work attire would definitely NOT be appropriate.

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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    My step-daughter is getting married Saturday. I have lost 36 lbs in the last year and have a VERY limited wardrobe.

    I bought a very inexpensive top for a funeral several months ago, but do not feel it is appropriate for the wedding. I found a VERY nice top that looks fabulous on me at Kohl's last night. It was regularly $36 and marked down to $21.60 and I got 30% off of that.

    So I paid $15.12 plus tax for it, it looks REALLY expensive, and I will be able to wear it a lot! I have pants and shoes (bought on sale previously and wear them often); so I am fixed up. We are going to carpool to the wedding on Saturday with MIL and niece to save on gas.

    Unfortunately hubby and I have to go to the rehearsal on Friday night. We are going to ride our Harleys, get to the area early, visit friends that live nearby and have offered to feed us, attend the rehearsal, and then have a wonderful evening motorcycle ride home.

    We will kill several birds with one stone. Plus the price of premium unleaded has dropped over 30 cents a gallon.

    We will be buying/helping to pay for something for the happy couple when they let us. My step-daughter is learning to be frugal. The good news - her hubby to be is VERY frugal! So this is a win/win situation for all of us.

    Hubby's ex-wife will call ALL of us cheap. But you know what? I don't care! Hubby and I and step-daughter and her hubby to be have little to no debt and ex-wife is in debt up to her ears and can't pay her bills. I get collection calls for her all the time.

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    Registered User Sumacaroni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pollypurebred39 View Post
    Like lisaflex we are big on proper etiquette. However our budget just does not allow us to spend as much is as proper. The way we get around that is having a gift shelf. I buy high end generic wedding/anniversary/hostess gifts on deep clearance. Also certain antique pieces. Birthday/Christmas gifts I'm not nearly as extravagant, but still purchase high quality items. I've scored big doing this over the years.
    I like this idea and will try to fit low-cost searches into some what of a routine when going to neighboring cities that have those types of stores.

    Quote Originally Posted by pollypurebred39 View Post
    ~I tell you this only as a cautionary tale

    Our gift shelf is now empty, and the last wedding we were invited to the only thing I could do was crochet potholders to give as a gift. I thought they were pretty, a nice multi blue cotton yarn to match their kitchen. We also respectfully declined the invitation as we did not feel right accepting under the circumstances. The wedding couple distressed by our obvious financial situation ended up emptying their freezer of leftovers and leaving them in a cooler on our porch. They must have thought we were starving to death. Next time we saw them at Thanksgiving they gave us the pitiful eyes, hands clasped firmly around ours, saying gravely, "So how have things been" All they while shaking their heads slowly back and forth. All through the dinner I'd catch the wife giving us sorrowful looks across the room. Talk about humiliating.
    And this just makes me think people can be soooo oblivious but the point is well taken Nothing I can say for their reactions.

    Quote Originally Posted by pollypurebred39 View Post
    As far as clothing, I have 1 outfit set aside for weddings/funerals. Dress up or dress down. I bought the skirt for $4 on clearance and the blouse for $3 at the thrift store. The shoes I bought on sale, I can't remember how much it was so long ago. I don't wear it for anything else so it stays nice. I've had it for years now, and it's saved my butt from having to go out and get a new outfit every time something comes up.
    I just bought a fall-type dress and shoes at resale that fit decently so that should hold me for the next year or two for fall weddings. I'll keep my eyes open for the same wrap-type dress for the chance we have another spring/summer wedding. Nice thing about the fall one being a wrap, it should allow for inevitable changes in weight Not much I can do about the kids' changes in sizes, though, I can never estimate how much they might change in height or weight - early teenage stages right now. So will have to continue with my paltry estimate of $40-50 on clothing figured into gift-giving occasions budget.

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    Registered User savvy_sniper's Avatar
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    I find separates help me keep my spending down (as opposed to dresses/suits). I can mix and match pants, skirts, tops. and sweaters. It is generally less expensive to buy one piece. I keep the pants and skirts in neutral colors and then I can mix with a dark top (for a funeral) or a bright top for other occasions.

    I have a very limited wardrobe, but when I mix and match I have quite a few different outfits. And they work for all sorts of occasions (casual to slightly dressy).

    Not that this particular situation pertains to you; but I LOVE certain Harley shirts. They are VERY expensive when purchased brand new. I have searches set up on eBay and get email notifications when matching items appear. I can often buy used but like new for half price (or less). I also have a friend that frequents the resale shop, knows what I want, my size, price range, keeps an eye out, buys for me and I pay him back.

    It all takes some planning and forethought, but I have more time than money - LOL!

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