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So, in case you missed it, a few days ago I caused a bit of drama when I penned an article suggesting that maybe guests should consider chucking in a bit of money to contribute to wedding costs in order to prevent their loved ones, the bride and groom, from getting into debt. I basically argued that with all the free food and entertainment that weddings provide, it might be nice to help married couples out with a small financial contribution. The practise is commonplace in Hispanic culture, apparently.
I could not have anticipated the reaction. I was told that I was being bitter about how much I paid for my own wedding (I'm not married), that I was spoiled (maybe), that all my friends hated me (unlikely), and that I was crazy (definitely). All in a day's work at Pretty52, I suppose.
But three hundred or so furious comments and several death threats later, I'm back with another story about guests being charged to attend a wedding. But this time it's not me who's having the opinions, so save your vitriol please folks!
Basically, a Mumsnet user who goes by the name Crummyfunnymummy attended a wedding recently where she was asked to pay to attend. The bride and groom had hired out an entire house with 15 bedrooms for a three-day spectacular wedding event.
Apparently each day of this wedding circus had a different theme and guests were charged £150 per room in the the house per night. And they had to bring their own food and drinks! Yowzers.
It's a far cry from the 'pay for your own food' model I suggested in my previous article...
Crummyfunnymummy had this to say on the issue:
So one of my closest friends got married a couple of months ago. She said they didn't have a massive budget which I have no problem with, of course! They decided to hire a big house and not get any catering or bar staff. Instead they bought the food and basically got the guests to all pitch in. All fine so far. But the wedding was a 3 day event (Is this a 'thing' now??!) and there was a different themed party on each day (with different themed outfits to have to buy for both me and my DH. Some of which we cobbled together but we did end up spending about £40 on the various bits we needed).
The venue was 6 hours drive, so cost quite a lot in petrol there and back. And we were asked to bring our own drink. So for 3 days we spent about another £50 on wine. Then, and this is the bit which made me rather cross, there was a room set aside at the house for me and my DH. At a cost of £150 per night! So £450 for the 3 days!
As this wasn't a hotel there was no breakfast included, rather we were required to bring what food we wanted to eat as well! Oh and then we were asked to buy something from their wedding list which was circulated beforehand. I'm usually quite generous but we opted for a cheaper item as it was costing us so much to attend. Basically, the cost of going to this wedding was over £700!
I've just found out that hiring the venue cost her and her fiancé nothing! Because, she told another friend of ours, that they recouped the full cost of hiring the house through the money they collected from friends and family for the rooms!!!! In other words, the venue cost x amount and they just divided x by the number of bedrooms (about 15 in total) and charged all the couples who stayed 1/15th of the venue hire!!!!! I get that not everyone can afford the big do and that it can be quite fun getting friends and family to pitch in. I was happy to help with cooking and clearing up. But seriously, I just don't think it's OK to be this self indulgent (3 fecking days of celebrating their union!!!) and charging everyone else for the privilege.
Anyway, it has made me really cross but none of our other friends seem to have issue with it so I'm worried I'm being a tightwad by complaining. I won't say anything to my friend as it's done now, and I know I could have declined the invite. But she's one of my oldest friends and when I agreed to take one the rooms at the house, I had no idea how much they were nor that this would be paying for their wedding! I feel really cross about it!
Jesus, even I, the king of charging people to attend weddings, think that this is ridiculous! It's conceited and profiteering and unkind towards your friends.
It seems the majority of people who replied to the post were just as scandalised as I am, though a few people have argued that if the original poster didn't agree with the pricing structure, she shouldn't have said she'd attend.
What do you think? Is this a vision of all your nightmares come true or do you think it'd be worth the money?
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