Four Weddings and Maybe My Funeral…


Today I’m getting slightly off track because I need to rant and, well, it’s my blog so I’m going to go for it!

Ok, first off, maybe four weddings is an exaggeration… I have three to go to in the next month. And maybe it’s not really going to be my funeral, but it sure feels like it!

Here’s the problem…

Wedding number one is out-of-town – it’s in the big city… New York City. I hate the big city. I’m a suburbs kind of guy. I don’t care for the hustle-bustle of big cities like Chicago and, even though I haven’t been there before, I’m going to assume NYC as well. Now, I know a lot of you live for the big city and think it’s wonderful and that’s fine… but it’s just not my thing.

However,  I’m going because it’s family. In fact, the bride is basically like a little sister to me.

The piece that seems to be weighing on me is the costs involved. As I’ve said, I don’t mind spending money, but I also try to be smart with how I spend it. In this case, I have the following costs:

  • Flights for my wife, daughter, and lil’ ol’ me… $468
  • Airport parking… $45
  • Lodging – this one’s a whole different story, but whatever… $697
  • Taxis / Uber… guessing around $200 when all is said and done
  • Dining, Sightseeing, etc…. we’ll say $400
  • Wedding gift (I’m sure this will be debated, but try to remember how close we are)… $200

Estimated grand total… $2,010.  What the??!!!  This is just a long weekend – how the $%^ did that happen?!!  I’m the most conscientious person when it comes to money and suddenly I’m dropping over $2K for a place I’m not even excited to be!  This will definitely be a one-time event, but it’s something that I need to do to support family.

In addition to that, we’re flying into New York City on 9/11… ouch. Some people think that might be the SAFEST day to fly into New York. Guess I’ll be finding out shortly.

The final bit of contention with this wedding is all the animosity and other fun with my extended family.  I won’t go into it or we’d be here for days – and I know all families have some kind of drama – but the Italian side of my family is beyond incomprehensible.

So this wedding is the bulk of what’s been on my mind and also what has caused me to get about six hours sleep across the past three nights… but I thought I’d throw in my thoughts on the other weddings I have coming up since I’m on a roll.

The other two weddings I have coming up are for friends that are in their forties.  Look, I’m going to take care of them and write them each a decent check, but really, this is a pet peeve of mine.  Wedding gifts originated with the intent that when couples got married, they were young and needed… well, stuff.  They needed stuff to get their lives going, to furnish the new house, get ready for the babies that were going to come along soon, and all that other jazz.

But when you’re in your forties, you’re usually pretty established as to where you are in life, especially in middle-class families.  My check and everyone else’s just get traded back and forth with each wedding that comes along.

One of the guys is on his second marriage.  And again, I might be cheap, but I’m not when it comes to wedding gifts and tipping, and this won’t be an exception.  I was invited to the first wedding, but couldn’t make it.  But let’s say I did – should I be shelling out more money a second time after the first marriage fell through?  This is definitely another debatable topic (and one I highly encourage you to give thoughts on), but it’s something that I still find kind of odd.

Look – I love each of them or I wouldn’t be going to their weddings… and I’m the one choosing how much to give so that’s on me. However, as a society, I think we’re just slightly off track.

I think I’m done with weddings. I think I need to just get past the guilty feelings and start RSVP’ing “No” to a lot more of these.

True, the weddings are about the bride and groom about to make a symbol of their commitment to one another. That’s fantastic but it’s starting to stress me out.

I’m sure I’m going to get a lot of negative feedback from you guys, but I just wanted to share my thoughts… feel free to share yours as well!

Thanks for reading!

— Jim

You know you wanna share this!!

10 thoughts on “Four Weddings and Maybe My Funeral…”

  1. What a great post, I think that your rant was something that we all think and it does need to be said. I have been in the same dilemma as you for our friends that get married again. I am going to say it, although I am slightly ashamed to admit it but on a few occasions I have made an excuse not to go and just sent a nice gift. By not attending the wedding it saved us hundreds of dollars and I did not have to give up my weekend.

    1. That’s great… don’t be ashamed! Maybe we’re starting a movement! :). You’re definitely right though… you could save a lot of money by just sending a gift and skipping the wedding altogether!!

  2. So now that they are all over can you honestly say you think about the extra money you spent months ago? My guess is you had such a great weekend in nyc with your amazing and fun brother that it was all worth it!

    1. I did have a good time, Joe (though I would never go back there again). And you’re right – I don’t really think about the money I spent on that trip. But that’s only because I try not to focus on the past – once the money’s gone, it’s gone. That’s why I try to make the smart decisions from the start. In this case, I made the decision to go because the bride is family and I’m very close to her. For me though, it just kills me to spend large sums of money I don’t want to spend.

      — Jim

  3. I love the rant. That’s a brutal price tag for a wedding in NYC as a guest! I’m from Long Island and never liked the city, always feel out of place.

    And then weddings for 40-somethings…or second weddings…what? Why would they spend all that money on a big wedding? I went to one of those for family (a 40-something second wedding) and they were done in less than two years. Brutal!

    I’m the same as you, not a cheapskate with this stuff, but hate being put in the position. Not a fan.

  4. Luckily we are past prime wedding friends age and either second weddings are quiet and small or not happening at all thank goodness but I would also be very upset to have to pay several thousand on something I don’t really want to do (weddings are a very stressful pain in the neck) so even if it was someone close I might make an excuse to be honest. They are also so jam packed you only talk to the bride and groom for about 20 seconds so you are really paying to hang out with everyone else, if that’s an excuse to have fun with your mates fabulous but if it’s being bored with a bunch of idiots and their relatives you’ve never met and never will again hard pass.

    1. That’s a good point about paying to hang out with everyone else – I didn’t even think of that! We’re past most of the weddings with friends and family now as well – some were fun, but I’m glad to be done with attending these on a regular basis. 🙂

  5. I only just realised this was not a new post :), someone tweeted it and I assumed it was, some problems are timeless eh

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