College is a weird time for many different reasons, but dating and marriage is high on the list. While some college students may be swiping right on Tinder, others may be scanning Pinterest for the perfect colors for their soon-to-be wedding. Since Lewis has a large population of adult students, it’s common that some students are either married, planning a wedding or on the brink of engagement.
As a friend of someone in a serious relationship, it’s exciting to receive a save-the-date in the mail or notice the relationship status change on Facebook. Knowing some of your closest friends have found the love of their life and are inviting you to their wedding is a special feeling.
However, many thoughts will immediately begin to pop into one’s head about how to afford the gifts and an outfit for the different wedding occasions. Let’s be honest, weddings are costly for guests, and students are usually broke.
Important, and somewhat awkward, questions can linger like: How much do I give for the wedding gift? How much should I spend on the shower gift? Do I attend the bachelor/ bachelorette party with only $50 in my bank account?
Wedding gift etiquette is a touchy subject for those that live a day-to-day budget friendly life, especially for students who worry about paying back student loans. It’s expected for a wedding guest to cover the plate they’re receiving and then some. While culturally accepted practices vary based on age, financial stability and relationship to the bride and groom, there are some things that are understood – and being a student is one of them.
If you’re strapped for cash and don’t believe attending the wedding is in the budget, don’t be afraid to say no. RSVPing as a “no” won’t make the bride and groom despise you forever, they anticipate that some people won’t be able to make it.
However, if so inclined, attending the wedding and being able to give as much as believed is necessary doesn’t hurt either. Asking other students who have attended weddings could be a start to getting a good price range, or asking a married couple what they would expect based on the details of the wedding. Being honest with the bride and groom may be the best option – let them know you’re a struggling student.
The rules behind culturally acceptable behavior should change. If a friend bows out of your wedding, there’s probably good reason behind it, whether it’s because of financial issues or even a previously planned event.
Overall, it’s crucial to remember that your friend invited you because they want to share their special day with you, not because they’re hoping for an expensive wedding gift. While showering friends with money and gifts seems like the “norm” for special occasions, it truly is all about one’s genuine actions or feelings toward the celebration.
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