Does Anyone Really Like Being A Guest At A Wedding?

There are countless films and television shows about the planning of weddings, down to the color of the place cards and other minutia, at huge expense taking months, if not years, of planning. This is always planned as if every person invited will be breathlessly counting down the hours and minutes, eagerly awaiting the day to see if the entree has imported truffles, etc.

However, many people I know get an invite and think, “Great, another wasted day traveling to wherever, buying an expensive gift and getting dressed up to hang out with people I don’t know or like, and ruining my weekend…”

Do you like going to someone’s wedding ceremony/reception etc.?

BTW, maybe mention if you are male or female - just to see if this is a gender “thing” about liking/not liking to be a guest at a wedding.

I love it! Dressing up, dancing, and free food!

I actually prefer the wedding to the reception. I would rather just go to the wedding and skip the reception.

Depends on whose wedding it is. A family member or good friend? I’ll have a blast; I give a shit about the people getting married and I’ll know enough people there to be comfortable and have fun. I’m someone’s plus one? More of a chore.

Female here. Also never had to travel to a wedding except for one cousin’s and the whole family went and it was a blast. And it was only a few hours’ drive.

Profile Check: Male, married, been to lots of weddings.

I enjoy them. I like a good preacher doing his thing, so I like that part. My wife enjoys the dresses, and I like it when she is happy.

The food is usually pretty good in my peer group. The chance to drink and dance without being at a club is great. I don’t LIKE clubs for the most part, but dancing at weddings is fun.

I wear a suit every day, own a tux with several different tie, vests and cummerbund options. There is no impact to me on getting dressed up.

So, yeah - I like getting the invites.

Love the weddings of close family and friends.

Have zero interest in attending weddings in more of a pro forma way, like as someone’s date or (possibly the worst) in an obligation invite situation from a colleague.


I’ve only been to 3 weddings. two were of my good friends, so of course I enjoyed it, I was so happy for them. And the food was very good. I care about them, thats why one buys presents.
I fail to see the draw of the ‘hoopla’, I spent $10 on my wedding. I don’t like a big fuss, just simpleness.

But if you buy a wedding gift that costs more than the price-of-catering-per-head, then the food isn’t actually “free” right?

Personally, I skip the wedding and hit the reception. Hard. Get to know the bartender(s) and have the father of the bride pour me a taxi at the end of the night.

I like traveling, giving gifts to people, and getting dressed up, not to mention drinking, dancing, and eating free food. And I like seeing my friends and family happy and having fun. I’ve never been to a wedding where I didn’t know or like anyone else there, and I’m not even sure how I’d get invited to such a thing. If I were, I sure as hell wouldn’t go. I am in fact right now looking forward to a wedding coming up in January. I won’t know many people there but the bride and groom, but knowing and liking them, I’m sure I’ll get along with at least some of their friends.

Female, 30s.

I am fortunate enough that I get very few wedding invites these days. Most of our friends/colleagues are either already married or not likely to be that traditional.

However, did go to a wedding last year (less-than-close friends, but felt obligated). We didn’t know anyone but the bride & groom, and it was a fairly tight squeeze in the reception hall so we didn’t stay long past the meal.

I will say that we did enjoy ourselves immensely, for all the wrong reasons. We are bad, bad people who can snark rather well, albeit discreetly.

That’s like saying that if someone gives you a Christmas gift that cost them $30, and you give them one that cost $50, then you paid $20 for your “gift”.

As long as it’s the wedding of someone I care about (friends or family) then I like them.
It’s a chance to share a special occasion, and see people I like. But I’d have just as much fun if the wedding was in a picnic shelter, with a bar-b-que afterwards. I don’t think I could tell you what food was served, what the colors were, or what flowers were there, for most of the weddings I’ve been to.

In reality, an expensive wedding/reception is less about the guests, and more about the couple’s (and possibly parents of the couple) dream of a perfect wedding.

I double checked the math, and yep, that sounds about right. The net transaction is minus $20.

I guess you’re saying it’s tacky to consider the cost of an airline ticket, overnight stay at the hotel, or the rental of tuxedo, or wedding gift, or cost of gas for a 5 hour drive etc. Some folks who are not wealthy sometimes weigh these things.

Seriously, is the food really “free”? Well, if it’s an “open bar”, you might down enough vodka to net out a positive on the balance sheet.

My rule of thumb would be that if you do pause to weigh these things, you already have your answer on whether or not you should attend. Just send a card/gift and be done with it. :slight_smile:

If I need to travel more than an hour to get to a wedding, and that’s my first thought, then I’m pretty sure that I will not be going.

As counterpoint to the OP, one of the favorite weddings I ever attended was one where we got a call saying, “Meet us at the park on Saturday at 2.” We met in the parking lot, proceeded to an available spot and stood around while they got hitched by a JP. Then we headed to a nearby restaurant where everyone paid for their own meal in lieu of presents. (Of course, we still gave them something anyway.)

The couple had been living together for a while, she was pregnant, and he was in school. Money was tight but love and happiness was overflowing, and a great time was had by all.

If I ever do get married again (which I’m not opposed to - I’m just not planning on based on my SO.) I would like to do something equally laidback. Like getting married at a Renaissance Fair, with everyone paying for their own ticket in as their gift, and coming in costume if they want. Once inside, the acts and the entertainment is free - and people can do what they want.

(Ok, so not ready to get married - but now I’m really liking this idea - lol.)

Free food and cake and sometimes booze, and then dancing with a whole bunch of other people who don’t care if they look stupid, and everyone is in a really great mood, and eventually you may end up talking drunkenly with a cousin you haven’t seen in years about the time she made you listen to Guns n Roses when you were both about 12…I really don’t see a down side. Unless you don’t like parties, or you don’t know anyone at all. But really I’ve always found that if you are invited to a wedding you’ll know at least one person, and if there’s alcohol involved that one friend can turn into a dozen friends really quickly.

Also if you don’t know anyone going in you will probably never see any of them again so you can go crazy without guilt!

I like 'em okay when they’re family or close friends, but don’t love them. I find that there are always boring stretches.

That’s why, when I got married this Halloween (:D), I thought about:

  • what are things people will remember at ALL 6 months from now?
  • try to bore them as little as possible
  • have great food

Hence a small wedding with 26 guests. The boring part was the Catholic mass. :slight_smile: But afterwards was just a sit-down dinner at our favorite restaurant/brewery. Good food and good beer. Those were my priorities!

If you can’t afford these things, or simply don’t wish to spend the money and and can’t go with pleasure, simply decline. It’s an invitation, not a subpoena.

I love weddings! For the last three years, I’ve gone to three family weddings, and we all had a blast!!! The food was great, (especially the chocolate fountain and my cousin Marc’s!), the dancing was AWESOME (even if I felt like my hip muscles had been stretched out and snapped back like rubber bands the next day!) and the dresses I found were great!!! (Especially the one I got this summer for my cousin C.B.'s wedding.)

In our family, weddings rock. As for the Catholic Mass, it’s only an hour and the music is usually beautiful. My sister was the wedding singer for Marc’s wedding.
(Well, that and I grew up Catholic, so it’s no big deal to me)

Ditto, I’ve enjoyed weddings (well technically receptions) since I was a teenager (when I discovered I could be served booze no questions asked).