This post is from GetRichSlowly.org staff writer Tim Sullivan. Right now, I'm on my first-ever visit to Ithaca, New York. I'm attending my third wedding in the past month. These three weddings have taken me to three different states and three different time zones. My girlfriend and I just got another invite to a sorority sister's upcoming nuptials this fall and had the same first thought: “Do we have to?” Our friends and family are important to us and we want to support each one of them on their special day. But with plane tickets, hotel rooms, time off work, and modest gifts, these weddings are adding up. On top of that, while we've been gone, we've both received a lot of text messages from friends back home eager to get together when we return to hear about our travels. After budgeting for all our trips this summer, it means we won't have as much disposable income as most of our friends. We want to be at the wedding. We want to hang out with friends, but when is saying “no” more appropriate and how can we make sure we don't overspend on the always seemingly harmless drink invite from friends? One Wedding Too Many
I came across a wedding etiquette book in a used bookstore on The Commons here in Ithaca and read a section about saying no to wedding invites. The book recommend a handwritten card addressed to the bride wishing them every happiness and apologizing for not being able to make it. Okay. Great. For distant relatives and friends from college I haven't seen since, this seems like a great option. But for those close friends, a card seems lacking. I asked the bride and groom here in Ithaca how some of the folks who couldn't make it went about informing the couple. They did get a lot of cards, some gifts, and one long drawn out phone call.