Wedding season is well and truly upon us – I went to a lovely one this weekend past. Being invited as a guest is a lovely gesture from the married couple – they obviously think a lot of us to fork out £85 for some champers and a bit of chicken just to have our bum on the seat – but being a guest can also be a bankrupting nightmare.
Here’s why you need a personal policy to see you through this often treacherous and emotional time.
*especially when you are really, really not bothered about the happy couple (perhaps they’re old school mates you never see or your boss’s daughter, you see what I mean…)
What Is A Personal Policy?
A personal policy is something I took away after reading Sarah McKnight’s life-changing book on not giving a fuck*
Another takeaway from that book was devising a fuck-budget – but back to personal policies…
Essentially you can get out of anything you really don’t want to do by telling people you have a personal policy against it. For example, your co-worker wants to to sponsor her and her annoying husband’s dance-a-thon for charity but you already give your spare £8 a month to the dogs’ home? You tell her, ‘I’m sorry, I have a personal policy about sponsoring *cough*daft things*cough*’ and YOU’RE FREE.
Another example of a good time to implement a personal policy is for other people’s birthdays. Say your mate wants you to go to a burlesque dance class but nipple tassles ain’t your thing? ‘Sorry I have a personal policy against forced fun but I’ll come for drinks afterwards.’ DONE.
The more you implement personal policies into your personality, the more people will just accept that’s how you are and leave you to it!
DISCLAIMER: Some people might get fucked off with you for being curmudgeonly but BOTHERED – you don’t have to sponsor their shit or go to boring events. Real friends will appreciate your nuances.
I took to Twitter to ask those who have been married recently or who are planning weddings to tell me what they expect from a guest they’ve invited. Responses were varied to say the least.
Some attested to just having the people they love THERE being the most important thing. Especially when being there just meant rocking up on a bus and leaving again at midnight as opposed to ‘just being there’ meaning ‘just travelling for 6 hours and getting an expensive hotel.’
However others argued that if their guest has been invited then they should accept that they’re honoured to be a part of the day and should throw everything in and not whinge about it.
I’m not saying that every wedding will need a personal policy by the way – sure I might use it on Helen from uni who I’ve seen once or twice and couldn’t give a shit about but when my friend Amy gets married in August – you can bet your butt I’m excited for the road trip, hen-do and weekend away in Manchester, as I’m bringing Ben, I can treat it like a mini-break.
And sure, I’ve used personal policies before to get out of ex-boyfriend’s cousin’s aunt’s parrot’s wedding when I couldn’t think of anything worse to do. And sure I used the excuses that it’s too expensive, it’s forced fun, I wouldn’t know anyone etc etc etc but you can also guarantee that I happily slapped down £££ to attend a friend’s wedding last year – complete with Beyonce dance class, travel, Air BnB and ALL THE ALCOHOL because that person means a lot to me.
It seems that, from my limited Twitter research, that the wedding couple and guest divide is vast.
There are of course times where guests are happy to get involved in all of the proceedings AND spend good money on the happy couple but there are also times where guests feel a complete obligation and take part under pressure and financial duress.
However, for most of the couples – they can’t see past it being their special day. They can’t understand that a portion of the 120 people they’ve invited might really, really not care to be there and not care EVEN MORE about spending their hard earned money on outfits, travel and hen-dos.
So if you’re one of those guests, who’s found themselves a recipient of an Etsy-special invitation to wedding that you REAAALLLY can’t be fucked with – here’s why you might need a personal policy.
How To Implement Personal Policies Into Wedding Season
Your friend, family member or acquaintance is getting married. You don’t really want to go to the hen do and it’s £300 you could spend on rent, bills or a holiday with people you actually like.
You don’t care about the flowers, place settings, invitations, bridesmaid dresses, buttonholes.
It’s a couple you barely know/like and can’t muster up the enthusiasm to be happy for them.
You live nowhere near the venue so you’ll have to spend £100 on travel and on average £100 for a hotel stay.
You could of course recycle an old wedding outfit – but if there’s a theme, colour scheme or you don’t have anything to wear – you’ll need to spend on average £100 for something you might only wear once.
And fair enough – there’s no free bar because they’re spending a lot of money on feeding 150 people so you’ll need money for that too.
So whilst, as a guest, you’d LOVE to succumb to the couple’s wishes for their wedding – sometimes it’s just bloody unreasonable.
Use your personal policy.
The Hen Do Personal Policy
‘I have a personal policy against hen-dos that are abroad/expensive/forced-fun/with people I don’t know/etc but I will definitely take you out for a few cocktails to celebrate!’
If they’re a good-enough friend to invite you on their hen-do, they’re a good enough friend to understand that it’s just not something you want to or can do.
Offer to take them out to celebrate on a separate occasion. You’re showing your support and happiness for them but you are also saving yourself months of having to tell everyone you meet, ‘did I tell you about the wedding I’m going to where the hen-do is costing me £600!’
The Outfit Personal Policy
‘I have a personal policy on fast fashion/consumerism/buying things to wear once so I’ll be wearing something I already have – sorry if it ruins your colour scheme but there are bigger things to worry about, I’m sure.’
I’m not quite sure why you’re entertaining anyone who would dictate that people had to buy new clothes just to wear to their wedding ANYWAY. As long as it’s not a direct replica of the bride or bridesmaid’s dresses – does it really matter? It’s like an employer – if I have to wear a uniform, I AIN’T BUYING IT.
(you could however get lucky, like me, and get gifted this beautiful dress from the women’s clothes department of JOY that I not only wore to a wedding but the family lunch the next day, just with different accessories)
The Gift Personal Policy
‘I have a personal policy about giving money at weddings, I think sentimental gifts mean more.’ or ‘I have a personal policy about registries – here’s some money to get you something you’d like instead.’
In my opinion, if you’ve forked out for the hen-do, travel, outfit and hotel then the people getting married can’t EXPECT a ridiculously expensive gift. However, if they’re paying for quite a bit for you – it’d be quite nice to give them something special back.
I’m sure you get the point.
At the end of the day – no one HAS to invite you to their wedding if they don’t really want you there. And no one HAS to attend a wedding or spend a fortune on it if they simply can’t afford it or would rather spend their money on something else.
It’s testament to the wedding industry and how everyone LOSES THEIR MINDS when it comes to weddings that it has become such a money pit but everyone involved should operate in a way that is kind, considerate and generous.
Sunglasses are New Look but I can’t find them online – I found a similar pair here though.
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