This year, we’ve had ten wedding events between us, most of them weddings. And like I’ve said, I frigging love weddings.
I also read an article that said that the average cost of being a wedding guest in 2019 was £391, so the maths says we should have spend over £3,000 on attending other people’s weddings this year.
Unsurprisingly, the maths is wrong and not just because it didn’t occur to me to not take my chipped nails to someone else’s event and my make up is older than my first born.
Speaking of which, attending a wedding with a baby makes things…interesting financially.
Hotel, Motel…Premier Inn
Back in ye olde time of when I was both Young and Childfree, I would still be on the dance floor, thrusting like a madwoman, even as the carriages began to pull away come eleven/midnight/1am.
The Hatchling’s tolerance for things is inversely proportional to how loud everything is, so now the beginning of the dancing is actually when I duck out.
If the wedding venue is close enough, we come home, saving the cost of a hotel. But the shrieking wrath of a sound-dazzled dragon baby stuffed into a car seat to then be driven for over an hour is shrill enough to shake the hardest of hearts (and ear drums) which has meant that, rather than shop around for the cheapest and/or best deal, we’ve gone for whichever place is most convenient for us.
This could be in terms of distance, accessibility (“Eighth, floor, no lift??” You learn quick), stopping times or proximity to family. Sometimes, one factor will win above the others and, at that point, we’re prepared to deal with the cost.
“I like your dress!” “Thanks, it’s my only one!”
I’m a reluctant shopper but a quick calculation let me know that the Hatchling would probably still be nursing during the bulk of the events.
So I needed a dress that would provide easy access. A quick Google gave me three options:
- Buy a special fancy nursing dress.
- A button down/dress shirt.
- A wrap dress.
The issues being:
a) The special fancy nursing dresses were either non-existent or one blogger I found recommended some dresses that were between £100 – £300 for a designer ones that also would do the job. No.
b) All seemed far too casual
c) Wait, don’t I have one of these…?
And I did have a silk/polyester wrap dress from a few years ago that I scored from a charity shop for £8.50. I have worn it to all but two of the wedding events I attended (different dress code for those two), which has also meant same shoes, accessories, makeup etc etc so the preparation was also super streamlined. Huzzah!
The Hatchling, after a particuarly disgraceful series of nappy incidents during one ceremony, helped set our expectations. Yes, as lovely as a particular set of clothes would be for a wedding, we chose normal everyday clothing instead and no-one made a comment about our child not living up to the dress code.
There was no pressure to keep up or look like we were contributing to wedding costs through our drink buying either.
Who wants to be drunk and in charge of the infant?
What, soft drinks are on the tab? Hit me up with another lemonade, my good barkeep! Free drinks all night!
And sometimes, some weddings are childfree and – since we couldn’t be bothered to start faffing about with a babysitter at such notice – the decision was almost made for us.
I just didn’t go. They were sweet about it and I understand that my absence did not affect their ability to have a bloody good time.
In certain cases, we’ve shelled out more for accomodation that we would have otherwise but I think we’d definitely say it was worth it for the peace of mind and ease that it bought us. There’s been a obvious shift in our priorities this year and that’s been clear in our spending
Image credit: kellyjean at Unsplash