Bride charges guests $65 to attend wedding

@noellefitchett/TikTok IVASHstudio/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘So basically, you are paying for your friend’s wedding’: Bride charges guests $65 to attend wedding

'If I’m paying to attend a wedding, I will NOT be bringing a gift.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Jan 18, 2024   Updated on Jan 18, 2024, 11:21 am CST

Weddings aren’t cheap. The average wedding costs $30,000, according to the Knot. Even a small wedding, consisting of 25 guests, that a couple has at their home can run up a $3,500 tab. Even for a low-cost wedding, there are hidden costs at just about every corner, including those for a license and officiant, wedding rings, wedding attires, chairs, tables, food, drinks, a cake, flowers, invitations, a photographer, and centerpieces, just to name a few. So it’s no surprise Inspired Bride reports more and more couples are opting to have a no-fuss wedding at the courthouse, which costs $120 and is perfect for couples who are looking to save money, are non-denominational or of differing faiths, want to get married fast, or don’t want to worry about the planning involved in a traditional wedding.

One bride apparently wanted to have it all—a low-cost but traditional wedding—and attempted to use her wedding guests to do it. Now people online are discussing whether they think it’s appropriate for a wedding couple to ask their guests for a fee to attend their wedding. 

TikTok user Noelle Fitchett (@noellefitchett) highlighted one such case in a video that was viewed over 560,000 times since Jan 1. Fitchett said she came across a Reddit post, in the weddingshaming subreddit, in which a potential wedding guest shared that one of their closest friends, the bride, was asking for $65 from guests. “I always knew she was cheap, so in one way I’m not surprised,” the poster started. 

The poster added that there are only three options listed on the RSVP: “I will attend the wedding (envelope fee: 65 dollars),” “I will only attend the ceremony,” and “I will not be able to attend.” The invite does not outline what the money will be put toward, but the poster assumed after a quick Google search that “they literally want their guests to pay for decorations.” “If I’m INVITED to a wedding I shouldn’t have to pay to attend the actual wedding?!” The redditor questioned. 

They also said in addition to the fee, guests are being asked to contribute to a gift and mentioned 50 people were invited. If all 50 guests sent the $65, that leaves the couple $3,250 richer. That has the potential to cover all the wedding decorations, as the range for wedding decorations is $2,000 to $10,000, according to Zola

In an update, the redditor shared they are not planning to attend the wedding. “I think I will choose option 3 after all,” they shared. 

Fitchett, who brought this to the attention of TikTokers, agreed that “this seems a bit excessive.” Fitchett said that when she attends a wedding, she usually forks out $50 to $100 for a wedding gift. “You’re the ones deciding to get married, so it seems a bit excessive to have your friends pay for your wedding,” she said, addressing the couple getting married. “If anything, just cut down.” 

@noellefitchett Seems a bit much… #wedding #economy #genz #news #viral #weddingtiktok #commentary #greenscreen ♬ original sound – Noelle Fitchett

Most commenters on both TikTok and Reddit agreed that “giving $65 per person instead of a gift is very reasonable.” “If I’m paying to attend a wedding, I will NOT be bringing a gift,” one TikToker said, to which Fitchett agreed, responding, “I wouldn’t mind if they asked for money instead of gifts.” The issue with this couple’s ask is that they seemingly expect both. 

“If u can’t afford to have a big wedding, don’t. I get asking close ones for financial help but asking ppl to go and then asking them to pay?” another user questioned. 

An easy way to cut wedding costs is to trim the guest list. As some viewers pointed out, asking guests for a $65 fee is a surefire way to organically trim the guest list. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Fitchett via Instagram direct message and to the Reddit poster via direct message.

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*First Published: Jan 18, 2024, 7:00 pm CST