Dear Crabby, What Do I Do About the Wedding Budget Blues?

Dear Crabby,

My wife and I just received an invitation to her college roommate’s wedding. Right away she starts talking about coming up with a budget to cover the showers, parties, gifts, and travel out of state. Is this normal, and how much is this gonna set me back?

Patrick Pauper

Dear Mr. Pauper,

Holy cow! A budget for attending a wedding? Just when I think I’ve heard it all. I thought this sounded crazy, so I made one of my grandkids go on the computer and do that Google thing. It turns it costs almost $700 just to attend a wedding! And that doesn’t take into account the gifts, showers, and all the other stuff. If you ask me, the processional song should be changed from “The Wedding March” to “Hey Big Spender” – ha! And if that doesn’t get your goat, the average cost of a wedding is over $30,000. That’s a down payment on a house or a nearly-new Cadillac. Crazy expenses like this is why I offered each of my kids a nice sum of money if they just eloped and skipped all the hoopla. Just one took me up on my offer and that’s why he’s my DearCrabbyfavorite kid. Now I know Mrs. Crabby and I got hitched back during the dark ages, but we would have never expected our friends and family to shell out this kind of money for our big day, and we certainly wouldn’t have spent a bundle either. But as they say, times change, so I guess my suggestion would be to trim the fat where you can. See if there are other couples that want to go in on the big gift to help keep the cost down. You may have to buy multiple gifts, but no one said you had to buy the most expensive ones on the registry (don’t even get me started on those). And if the wedding isn’t too far away, consider driving or taking a train instead of dealing with skyrocketing airfare and annoying airports. And for the love, don’t let your wife agree to be a bridesmaid. That will add almost another $2,000 to the bottom line. Besides, from what the ladies in my life tell me, the whole line about being able to wear the dress again is a lie.

Good luck and happy wedding season!

Dear Crabby

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Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at

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