Virgil Abloh was so loved, but he should have been celebrated long before death
Virgil Abloh was so loved, but he should have been celebrated long before death

Sarah Finnan

Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022
Netflix and Shonda Rhimes’ ‘Inventing Anna’, will be the must-see series of 2022

Jennifer McShane

Afore After: The womenswear brand that’s so sustainable, it uses buttons made from Irish milk
Afore After: The womenswear brand that’s so sustainable, it uses buttons made from Irish milk

Sarah Finnan

The Ghislaine Maxwell trial starts tomorrow. Here’s what to expect
The Ghislaine Maxwell trial starts tomorrow. Here’s what to expect

Amanda Cassidy

Our favourite Irish shops to buy gorgeous Christmas decorations
Our favourite Irish shops to buy gorgeous Christmas decorations

Megan Burns

5 fashion secrets from seriously stylish women
5 fashion secrets from seriously stylish women

Marie Kelly

22 colourful kitchens that will convince you to whip out the paint brush
22 colourful kitchens that will convince you to whip out the paint brush

Lauren Heskin

Andie MacDowell: Why is my grey hair an issue and George Clooney’s isn’t?
Andie MacDowell: Why is my grey hair an issue and George Clooney’s isn’t?

Sarah Finnan

This Victorian Ballsbridge home is on the market for €2.45 million
This Victorian Ballsbridge home is on the market for €2.45 million

Megan Burns

5 films to watch for interior design inspiration
5 films to watch for interior design inspiration

Lauren Heskin

Image / Editorial

Why Don’t We Talk More About The True Cost Of Being A Wedding Guest?


By Sophie White
13th Sep 2017
Why Don’t We Talk More About The True Cost Of Being A Wedding Guest?

A few weeks ago, a writer I follow on Twitter made a controversial statement. The 142 character bombshell was that she no longer gives wedding presents. Is this so incendiary? In 2017, actually yes, I think it totally is.


I got married in my 20s. My own wedding was the first wedding I’d ever actually attended. I didn’t really know what a wedding called for. I didn’t invite people to the registry office just the afters. I didn’t have a white tiered wedding cake. I didn’t do up a present register in a department store like they do in the movies and on Sex and The City. I didn’t really know what I was at, frankly. The wedding was brilliant aside from some light flooding in the tent and the fact that everyone was cross with me for not getting a tent with a real floor. In my memory, people were on the dance floor in flood water up to their shins and the whole thing had a slightly Day After Tomorrow disaster movie vibe about it, but surely it couldn’t have been that bad?

Flooding aside, the most shocking thing about the wedding was that my friends gave us envelopes of cash as presents. I was stunned, this was bizarre. I felt weirdly awkward and guilty about taking money from my friends – all of whom, I presumed, were every bit as broke as we were.

Five years later and now I understand that envelopes of cash are completely the norm and, in fact, to not hand it over is social rebellion. Don’t believe me? After a wedding a few years ago I hadn’t brought a gift intending to give it to the couple after the party because I had bought them some stuff for the house. On the Monday after the big day, I got a call from the bride at work asking me who I’d given my envelope to. I was a bit stunned and stammered out that I had the gift wrapped and ready to go and that I would be delivering it post haste. Gift procrastinating is evidently not remotely acceptable.

The wisdom behind the cash gift as I understand?it,?is basically to pay for your dinner, which is fine however lately, I attended a cousin’s wedding and was thrown into a bit of internal turmoil because my husband was staying home to mind the kids and I would be going alone. My turmoil was born?out of not knowing how much to give. I was going solo so did that mean that I was “paying” for just one dinner? Or because I live in a double income household, do I still give the ‘couples’ amount?

It seems like a really petty mercenary concern, in light of the fact that we’re supposed to be celebrating the union of two people in love. However, the reality for a lot of people, I feel, is that weddings are becoming almost?prohibitively expensive to attend. Let’s do the sums. €200 for gift; €200 for the (often necessary) overnight stays and travels expenses and €200 for the hen party, that’s €600 without even factoring in a babysitter, shelling out for a new dress or the various pre-wedding personal admin (hair, nails, tans if you go for that kind of thing). Times that by a conservative three weddings to attend per Summer and that is nearly €2000. A LOT basically.

I’ve had to start declining invitations due to the cost, which is kind of a sad state of affairs but with two kids and a mortgage, it’s the truth. And I’m not blaming the bride and groom, I know that they’re not trying to scrounge money off their friends and relatives, they’re just trying to have a nice celebration. But let’s be real here, I just feel we need a societal shift away from big weddings, big’dresses?and big MOOLAH.

Main image by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash