When your mailbox becomes inundated with wedding invitations from friends and family, planning mini-vacations around these momentous occasions can become both time consuming and expensive. Though we don’t want to let anyone down on their big day, attending multiple weddings in one year can become next to impossible if you’re trying to stick to a budget.
A recent CNN report highlights the way these types of obligations can really eat up your vacation time and finances. Attending weddings can get even pricier for guests when more and more couples are choosing destination bachelorette parties and weddings. Whether it be a weekend in Vegas with the girls or a wedding in Jamaica, this type of travel can be both fun and financially draining.
But how do you say no when your close friends and family are counting on you to be there? The truth is many of us don’t say no, we just grin and bare it paying for it (usually on high interest credit cards) in the end. Hotwire recently released a survey revealing that 41% of U.S. adults use most of their vacation budgets on obligation travel to weddings, holiday gatherings, and reunions.
Sociologist Jeffrey Alexander explains why we probably have such a hard time saying no to friends even if it is a financial burden to attend their weddings. Alexander explains, “On the one hand, doing these rituals is a way of showing that you're not a materialistic person and that you value your close friendships. At the same time, we do live in the economic world. I think that is a kind of test. If you invite somebody and they don't come, then they're not willing to put their money where their mouth is. They're not showing that they actually care about you."
Are the majority of your vacation days spent on obligation travel?
Do you often find yourself invited to more weddings and family reunions than you can afford? How do you politely say no when you just can’t afford the travel?
This topic came up in a Professional meeting. Consensus was to make sure to always reply to the RSVP, even if you aren't going. And even if you aren't going to send a gift, you have up to 1 yr. If on a tight budget, to join together with someone else and combine to send a gift. Or send a gift card in an amount you can afford, most people have a Target or Walmart near them. Always have an open conversation with people, even on the tough subjects, and stick to your boundaries you have set. The people that really love and care about you will understand.
The best advice that I've ever gotten about wedding is this, "The most important thing is that at the end of the day, you are husband. Everything else is just a detail." This was really helpful for me to hear and reminded that I need to put certain spending decisions in perspective. I would focus on what are the most important elements to you on your future husband. So, is a great band the most important thing, is food critical etc. Then spend on those items and be thrifty about others.
i try to keep my wedding acceptance list to close family and friends.I just respond with I am sorry I can't make the wedding.