Two things you should know about me: 1) I have bouts of unsocialness, where it is incredibly hard to get me out of the house, and 2) I am a tight-arse with money. Mostly because I get paid monthly, which means getting excited at the start of the month and buying DVD’s and books I don’t need and then about two weeks in being in a mad panic and budgeting as though I’m from the Depression.
So, I have a wedding to go to this weekend. Now, I am not a big fan of weddings, as I find them incredibly clichéd and if you’re not in the wedding party, you spend a lot of waiting around for exciting things to happen. The best wedding I have ever gone to was about 3 years ago. Total people at the wedding – including wedding party – was 20. The best man’s speech was half about the bride and groom, and the other half was a personal anecdote about each guest, so once the speeches were over, you knew something about everyone at the wedding and had talking points, and there were no awkward silences. Wedding was at 11am, reception at 12:30 and it was all over by 4pm. You really felt a part of the bride and groom’s life, and not just a person in a seat. Also, as it was in Sydney and as it was over by the afternoon, I managed to catch up with relatives in the evening, which I wouldn’t have been able to if the wedding has started at 3pm like most do.
This wedding I’m going to this weekend... the closer it gets the less I wish I was going. For starters, it’s a 6.5 hour drive away from where I live. Now, the bride and groom only live an hour away from me, all their families live only an hour away, but they thought it would be nice to get married in the Snowy Mountains. I can’t drive down with anyone, as the friends I know are coming from Canberra which is sort of in the other direction. I worked over the Easter break, so I could get Friday and Monday off work without having to use up any leave. I’ve never driven up the Mountains before, so that’s going to be fun. If I’m feeling fairly well on the Sunday, I’m toying with the idea of driving half-way Sunday afternoon – or at least get down the winding part of the road - and then on Monday I have the hard part behind me.
The weather has turned; it’s snowing where the wedding is being held. SNOWING. There’s been a cold snap, and winter has come a couple of months early, so there’s that. Hopefully, the weather will get warmer, or at the very least be not snowy enough that a person who has never driven on a road in even slighty snowy-ish conditions (for gawd’s sake; I have only seen snow once in my life, and that was over 20 years ago!) will feel confident driving up a bloody mountain.
Next gripe: accommodation. The accommodation is $300 a night. The ONLY accommodation is at least $300 a night. I have been incredibly lucky and am bunking in with the two friends coming from Canberra, so I only have to pay for a third, but if I wasn’t…..jeebus.
So between my outfit, (I’ve lost some weight recently – Yay! – so none of my going out/ wedding appropriate clothes fit me), accommodation, and petrol (it will take about 3 tanks to do the round trip.) this wedding has so far cost me over $600.00.(And that doesn’t include meals at the hotel, and assumes a tank of petrol will only cost $50 a pop) And I haven’t bought them a gift yet. (Which, they just want money for anyway so they can have a nice honeymoon. Because I’m guessing where the wedding is isn’t enough??) And other than the bride and groom I will know two people at the wedding, and I will be in a slight state of panic trying to make small talk with people I don’t know.
I’m not buying a gift. Why? Well, partly because of reason 2 mentioned above, and secondly… it’s her second marriage. They have lived together for 4 years and have a one year-old daughter. By law, they’re married. They already have the same rights as a married couple and if they broke up, the legal proceedings to divide their stuff and custody are the same as an already married couple. Or as my Dad says, “They’re married but not Churched.” Thirdly – that whole “please just give us money so we can have a nice holiday” shits me. I’d rather if they said, in lieu of a gift, can you please pay for your meal at the reception. In fact, I’ve gone to weddings where the bride and groom said that, and it worked out well. But yeah; you’re asking me to take money out of my holiday fund to fund your holiday.
TL;DR I am an unromantic tight-arse. Please, if you ever invite me to a wedding, add an addendum saying “I know how you feel about weddings, so this invite is more about saying you’re my friend and less about you actually coming to the wedding. Just work out what you’d spend on coming, and give half that money to one of the following charities in our name.”