I don’t understand weddings.
I recently attended a family wedding. Although we gave a gift, I do not think that was the reason for the invitation. I was not invited because I was close to the groom and I not met the bride previously. I enjoyed myself, but that was not why I was invited. I was invited because I was in a sufficiently close relationship to the groom, so the exclusion of me would look odd.
The wedding was held in the hometown of the groom’s parents, meaning almost everyone who attended came from out of state. The bride and groom lived over 600 miles away. We were fed three generous meals from Friday evening to Sunday morning, and there were open bars at two of them. It was an expensive gathering.
This was not something the parents imposed on the couple. The groom, who is in his middle thirties, is not easily imposed upon, and I was told the bride is very strong-minded. I can only speculate that they wanted to make their wedding an occasion to remember.
A great deal of money was spent, not only by the people who gave the wedding but by the people who came. The guests paid for hotel rooms, car rentals, airfare, incidental meals, extra clothing (I bought shoes) and gifts. I will just think of it as an economic stimulus package that gave me two days of partying.