Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Dead Weight Loss-Free Wedding

My niece is tying the knot this summer.  She and her future hubby plan to marry on the beach in Brunswick, GA.  That’s a long ways from south Texas, and getting there will require either two days of hard driving or flying and renting a car.  Naturally, we plan to attend, but before we cement our travel plans, we have presented the bride and groom with a most unusual request:  Do you want to see us or get $500 cash?

I must admit I had reservations about this proposition.  It runs the risk of hurt feelings because some might interpret the question as ~ “Brad and Amanda would rather not come.”  To head off those concerns, I informed my brother prior to extending our offer to Lauren.  As expected, he took it well, but insisted he knew how Lauren would choose, implying that she would not take the cash.  However, we got a response from Lauren this morning stating that she wants to chat with future hubby before making a final decision.  Our offer has her thinking!

Let’s be completely honest here; actual face time with the bride and groom would span no more than five minutes the whole weekend.  And while she would receive some enjoyment from our attendance, it would be limited.  On a positive note, I would get to spend time with my brother, but this trip is all about Lauren.  In short, I’m asking Lauren if our attendance is worth $500.

While I may be berated for my seemingly callous proposition, I think it’s pretty thoughtful.  Unlike other guests who will spend most of their resources on ancillary wedding travel (dead weight loss), I’m simply giving Lauren an opportunity to share in the saved resources of not traveling.  I hear of parents offering their daughters cash in lieu of a wedding.  This follows the same principle.

I’ll share how it all shakes out.


  1. This is definitely a good approach. As you point out, you will see your niece in the receiving line and maybe at the dinner later, but it will be a very small amount of time, and not very meaningful. The money will help them, and they'll remember you for it, as much or more than attending the wedding.

    Of course, I'm more practical than sentimental.

  2. You make a great point: they'll always (most likely) remember the $500 gift. Will they be able to remember the entire guest list at their five year anniversary date? Not likely. And what's more important to a newly wedded couple than cash? Not much.

    However, I'm not convinced she'll take the cash. She's young and may let emotion cloud her rational thinking. She may also succumb to external influences (like mom). However, there is a price at which she wouldn't even blink. I would imagine that a cool $1,000 would definitely work. But I'm too cheap for that.

  3. She turned down the cash. Amanda just got an email saying our presence is worth more than $500. I suppose that should fill me with appreciation, and it does, but I strongly suspect external influence played a role. I'll probably never get to the real truth, but that's alright. It was a fun experiment. And I'll get to see my bro.

  4. Well, look at it this way: at least you're worth $500 to someone.