I'm 24 years old and I'm just now approaching the age where people are actually doing adult things like buying homes and getting married. This year, I have two friends getting married and the first thing I've learned is that weddings aren't only expensive for their hosts; between flights, gifts, hotels and outfits, weddings are a huge expense for the guests as well. They've become such an expense for young people that one frequent wedding-goer is even moving back in with her parents. Yes, that's right. Georgina Childs says she spent $13,000 on friends' weddings and is now giving up her home as a result of her mounting wedding-related debt.
Childs, a 30-year-old woman from Essex, England, was recently a guest on the British TV program "This Morning" where she explained to the hosts, Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, that she spent £9,250 (AKA $12,885) on going to friends' weddings and bachelorette parties. You see, over the past four years, Childs has been to 14 weddings and 14 bachelorette parties. Ah, the (literal) price of popularity.
For those of you finance brains out there trying to get to the bottom of how she was able to afford this all, let me break it down for you. In the interview, Childs explains that she relied on her credit cards to pay for the more hefty expenses like transportation and places to stay. And if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty, she reveals she spent £1,500 (AKA $2,091.47) on outfits and £4,000 (AKA $5,577.24) on hotels throughout the four years. TBH, I'm impressed by how thrifty she was. You guys, she only spent that much on dresses and hotels for **14** weddings. That rounds out to about $149.39 a dress! I'm currently considering spending about $1,000 on dresses for two weddings this year alone!
Eventually that credit card debt got so out of hand that Childs was left with two choices: start saying no to weddings or move out of her apartment and move back in with her parents. She chose the latter.
"I was living away from home, and I'd just got to a point where I thought if I want to keep going to these weddings and seeing my friends walk down the aisle, then something has to give," she told the show's hosts. "So I went back to my parents'."
In response to her friends who suggest she starts being a little more selective about which weddings she actually says she'll go to, Childs explains:
It's actually not that easy to turn down a wedding invite. I think that's almost seen as a sort of social faux pas. It is an honor to receive an invite and to turn it down could be seen as rude or offensive.
The conundrum has gotten to be such an issue for Childs that she admits that, while she still acknowledges the "honor" of being invited to a wedding, she's reached a point at which she actually dreads receiving another invitation.
You see, the problem isn't just the wedding alone. According to Childs, it's the fact that many weddings these days are an entire weekend getaway in and of themselves. "There's quite a trend for people to do a night before or a day after so it doesn't tend to be just a day's event anymore," she explained on the show. "It's more like a weekend celebration." A weekend celebration that she admits has even taken her "abroad." And that's not even including the bachelorette parties she has attended.
So why does Childs feel this incessant need to attend every single wedding she gets invited to... even if it means giving up her own home and moving into her parents' house as an adult woman? Well, aside from her belief that turning down a wedding invite could be seen as a social faux-pas, Childs gives credit to another motivator most millennials are all too familiar with: FOMO.
Because, I mean, how can we be expected to save money and stay home while we have to suffer through Instagram stories of our friends having so much fun at the latest wedding without us?!!? C'mon, don't act like you don't completely understand where she's coming from.
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