Wedding season is arriving and it has people thinking about what it costs to attend. A new study shows the average cost to attend a wedding of a close friend or family member is around $630. So are things getting too expensive? To help us answer that question we invited Lauren Crocker, of "The Blaine Fowler Morning Show" on 96.3 WDVD, Marlin Williams, a technology strategist and the "Scotchanista" on YouTube, and Tony Frost, a local singer, to join host Tati Amare on our What's the Buzz panel.
So, to start off, what's an appropriate cost for a gift? Do you pay based on what it costs per plate? Is donating to a go-fund-me for a vacation or a new home just the same as giving cash? "I love cash," said Crocker. She just got married last year she believes, "cash is king." She cited a popular etiquette rule saying your gift should cover the cots of your plate, plus a little extra depending on how well you know the couple. Williams said she does cash or she will go off the registry if the couple has one. In terms of the Go Fund Me-style registries both Frost and Crocker were for it, saying it is fun and no different than giving the couple cash. Williams, on the other hand, found the idea of donating to someone's vacation or other Go Fund Me-style registry was tacky.
Onto the next topic: What about the cost of a destination wedding? Do you feel obligated to pay the cost if it is a family member or a close friend? If you say "no" when invited to a destination wedding, because of cost, do you feel that jeopardizes that relationship? Or, should the bride and groom know that if they pick a destination wedding some people aren't' going to come? "I think it is up to the couple to give you enough time to prepare," said Crocker. Again, she said it depends on how close you are to the couple as to whether or not you should go, but if you do attend, she thinks you should bring a gift as well. Frost said that the couple should know if it is affordable to their friends. Tati said she knew of some people who had destinations weddings just because they knew some people would not show up.
Up next: Who should pay for a wedding? Should the parents still foot the bill? Marlin said whoever can afford it is who should pay for the wedding. Crocker said she paid for her own wedding so she could have complete control over it. She said she didn't like the idea that if the parents helped pay they can have a say in how it goes. We also asked this question of our Facebook fans, and Michelle Oliver came in with their responses.
Finally, what about the costs of being in a wedding? "You're asking a lot of your friends, but if they are good friends, they are going to want to do it for you, just like you'll do it for them, " said Crocker. Michelle agreed but said there is a limit to what you can ask.
What's the Buzz airs every Monday on Live in the D. If you want to be a part of the conversation look for the topic posted on our Live in the D Facebook page every Sunday afternoon.