I will: Wedding guests still spending big on gifts

Have you down-scaled your wedding gifts? Or perhaps even turned down an invitation rather than wince at the prices on the bridal registry? Then you're in the minority, according to a recent survey by Brides.com and the AP.

The poll showed that 90% of guests at wedding still give generous gifts, more in the $100-199 category than any other. Some 63% of those surveyed said they would feel obligated to send a gift even if they did not make it to the wedding.

Pre-wedding celebrations weren't so generously treated, however, with only 10% gifting at the engagement party, and 37% at the bridal shower. As you might expect, the age of the guest makes a huge difference. About 72% of geezers feel obligated to gift, compared to 53% of those under 30.

Even with the popularity of destination weddings, most guests said that the cost of attending is not a significant factor is their decision to attend or not. The median expenditure to attend a ceremony is around $200, including gifts and traveling expenses. I'm wondering why the study didn't include the cost of the new dresses and shoes that many women of my acquaintance deem crucial. And I'll bet that, in some circles, the Botox bill alone is over $200.

Most people's favorite part of the ritual is the ceremony, followed by the music and dancing, then food. For the post-wedding feast they favored the moderately priced chicken and wine over champagne and caviar. The reception line is the least liked part of the wedding experience for most attendees. Perhaps because it takes place before one reaches the wine table.
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