A friend of mine got married recently. I'm not married, so I don't have any first-hand experience at this, but I was appalled at the rudeness and lack of consideration from their guests.
The first problem came after the RSVP date for the invitations came and went... and 30% of the guests still hadn't responded (one way or the other). OK, fine, people might forget or whatever - or maybe they assume that a non-RSVP means that they are not coming (by the way, that is NOT what it means - it just means that you are lazy, rude and inconsiderate). Whatever the case, a 30% non-response rate is a lot. Many of the invitees who didn't RSVP were married themselves, so you would think that these people would appreciate how expensive weddings can be (even at the cheapest) and would understand about how getting the guest count correct is key to managing the costs, right? Anyway, the bride and groom had to spend tons of time calling these people personally and ask them if they were coming (certainly something they shouldn't have to do, which is the whole purpose of the RSVP). But, wait, it gets worse.
The couple getting married requested no children at the wedding reception - it was written on the invitation - yet multiple people who attended the wedding brought along their friggin' kids. Additionally, the RSVP cards were sent out pre-printed with the number of guests already written on it (like "1" if the invite was just for one person, "2" if it was for someone and their girlfriend, etc.). Well, get this - people would cross out the pre-printed number and write their own response. Individuals would cross out "1" and write "2". Couples would cross out "2" and write "4". You can't fucking do that, people!! But, wait, it gets worse.
After the wedding, the couple couldn't help but notice that the the gifts they received only amounted to one-fifth of the cost to throw the wedding. And this wasn't an expensive wedding, so it made the numbers all the more shocking. As an example, if the wedding cost $20,000, they only received $3,700 in gifts. There were a ton of people who didn't event bring a CARD! I know the "rule" is that you have one year to give the married couple a gift, but let's be honest, if the guest doesn't bring a gift to the wedding, there is a great probability they won't give a gift at all. It was a destination wedding, so you can excuse the people who traveled from giving a gift. But the majority of the attendees at the wedding were local at this "destination" wedding, and the couple still didn't get shit for gifts. (Disclaimer: the guests were not the most affluent people in the world, but I'm still pretty shocked... I mean, knit a sweater or something.) Of course, you shouldn't throw a wedding in order to get gifts, or with the expectation it will pay for your party - I understand that - but isn't this horrible that a ton of people didn't give anything, not even a card? That seems rude to me.
The couple then held a reception in their hometown for the people who couldn't travel all the way to the actual wedding, and the gifts received at the hometown reception was just as bad - again, only about half of the guests brought a gift and they were just as skimpy as those received at the actual wedding. I'm shocked that HALF the guests wouldn't bring some sort of gift or token - is this the norm?
There was one person who is a close friend of the couple, who attended the lavish bachelor party (for free), didn't come to the actual wedding, attended the hometown reception, and didn't even bring a card (let alone cash)! This is the same person who received a $300 gift from the groom at his wedding a while back). In another horrible example - a bonefide millionaire, who is a friend of the family, came to the hometown reception and didn't even bring a card. What the fuck?!?!
It's shocking how screwed up and rude people can be when when invited to weddings. How is this possible? If I get invited to a legitimate friend/family wedding, I send a gift even if I DON'T COME! Shouldn't the button be pushed on all these people?? If you're the bride or groom, how do you even LOOK at these people again? Maybe the guests didn't think the couple would make it long term?? I just find this all very disappointing, and it shakes my confidence in people.
I'd love to hear your wedding horror stories, as I'm sure they get much worse.
If you're interested in reading more about weddings, you might want to check out another post on this blog titled, "Weddings: The Money Pit of All Money Pits".