The Saturday Weekend Review #40: Nothing is free at a wedding not even being a guest



Money Can Ruin Relationships, Tread Carefully

Nothing in life is free but expectations put on guests when it’s party time especially for a wedding can get out of control like it did for these two ladies below.

It’s another one of those wedding letters that a guest writes to the bride because she turns into some money hungry bride who wants her guests to pay for the extravagant wedding that they couldn’t afford.

I’m always amazed at how the wedding gifts seem to be more important than the day itself. It’s probably why my wife and I never bothered with a traditional wedding or why some decide to jet off to the Dominican or other hot spot destinations to get married.

I remember one of our guests gave us a hand painted tea-cup and plate and although it was simple it was a reminder of friendship and her presence at our wedding.

Wedding budget

We did not request any form of gifts from our guests and to be honest we wouldn’t have cared if they brought anything at all because we saved up the cash to pay for our entire wedding in cash with a realistic budget in mind.

Since we had a very small wedding the costs were kept very low and we didn’t go crazy on all the extras because really how many people watch their wedding video over and over. I guess some of you might fancy watching the ceremony again but we weren’t so bothered by it.

There are ways to organize a frugal wedding without breaking the bank but most importantly there never really is a rush to get married so plan ahead and start saving to pay as much cash as you can for your big day.

When you have unreal expectations of your guests giving you an envelope stuffed with cash whether it’s tradition for your culture or not it’s important to remember not all of your guests are made of money.

Your guests should never feel pressured to bring a gift and although it is etiquette to bring something it’s not fair to put a number on that gift.

When you read the private messaging between these two ex-friends and then read the letter that was hand delivered to bride-zillas house you will see how money can ruin relationships and it’s not just marriages or dating flops it’s also friendships that can be cut off for the same reasons.

This poor girl was so happy for her friend’s wedding and the announcement of her pregnancy but lost her job in the process of all of the good news which meant her bank account didn’t have the funds necessary to pay for pricey gifts nor did she seem to want to go into debt putting gifts on credit cards or any credit for that matter.

Smart girl if you ask me. I think she did the right thing and if people would stop thinking money is more important than love than the world would be a better place.

Money is not meant to bring happiness in the sense that it takes away from the simplicity of life. It’s meant as a means to pay for what we need to get by and if we have more than we need then we might just get better quality or more of something but we should never use it as leverage for why people should do or not do something for us.

If you have friends and family that can’t afford to pay for a large wedding gift or cash for whatever reason which no one is obliged to give then leave it be. You risk losing a precious friendship or love and money isn’t worth losing neither over in any situation.

Be Real. Love. Live Simple And Live With-In Your Means- CBB

When the girl was supposed to drop off a card with money this is what bride-zilla got instead. I love this letter which is from the article at The penny taped to the top was icing on the cake.

It’s well written and if you are reading this and planning a wedding don’t make the same mistakes and expectations of your guests. Click the image to enlarge letter.


Have you been to a wedding where there were gift expectations?

Best Canadian Personal Finance Blog

The Plutus awards were put together to celebrate the best in personal finance on the web and this year I am humbled and honoured to have been nominated and now a finalist in the best Canadian personal finance blog category.

Thank-you to everyone who took the time to vote for Canadian Budget Binder.

On October 17, 2013 at the Plutus awards ceremony the winners will be announced and you can follow this through live blogging at or follow along on the Twitter feed if you are not attending the ceremony.

We are all winners because every morning when we get up to blog we share something that someone in this world will benefit from and that is what it’s all about, education.


Canadian Budget Binder this week

If you missed any Canadian Budget Binder posts this week you can catch up by clicking any of the links below. Somethings always brewing at CBB so subscribe to the blog today and get my daily post sent to your inbox!


Making a difference

Student Debt Survivor

Hi CBB readers!

My name is Kari and I’m the blogger behind I’m a 30-year old non-profit professional living and working in the greater New York City area.

I reside with my wonderful boyfriend and our menagerie of rescue animals. We recently purchased a condo where we indulge in Mexican food, Belgian beer and bad 80’s pop music.

I guess some folks would also call me a personal finance blogger. I’ve always had a passion for personal finance and budgeting, but my finance finesse was weakened by the allure of an expensive education.

Like many college students, I took out loans to pay for my tuition and expenses. I thought that student loan debt was “normal.”

It wasn’t until several years later when I started paying back over $30,000 in student loan debt, that I realized I was in a lot of financial trouble. Long story, short, I made a plan, worked hard and paid off my debt.

A self-proclaimed “student debt survivor”, I launched Student Debt Survivor for 3 reasons:

  1. I wanted to share my story and document my failures and successes with money and debt.
  2. I wanted to warn others about the dangers of taking out too many loans and starting your adult life drowning in student debt.
  3. I wanted to offer encouragement to friends, family and readers who are in debt. I’m just an average gal with a modest salary. If I can pay off my debt, you can pay off yours!

Garage Sailing with Jen


I’m pretty sure garage sales are coming to an end but Jen my Canadian Budget Binder success story is still out pounding the pavement on Saturday mornings looking for bargains so she can save money in her budget. Check out what she’s found.

  • Blue purse – FREE
  • Black boots – FREE
  • Blue jeans for me (Denver Hayes) – $1.00
  • 4 toy cars – 4 x $.25= $1.00
  • Step 2 Easel (has chalk board on one side and white board on the other and came with the marker wiping brush) – $1.00!
  • 7 Foam mats – $.50 (GREAT deal!)
  • 4 books (not pictured as they were for my MIL and I gave them to her already) – FREE

Total $3.50



Every week I get thousands of people visit Canadian Budget Binder because they did a search online and found my blog.

Here are a few of my favourite searches that may have even brought you here and you’re reading this, right now.

  • Why does Dollarama not sell salad dressing any more: Ha, that was awesome.
  • How low can I realistically go with my food budget? : Well that depends on what you want to eat and how much your grocery budget is.
  • My cheap meal at Tim Horton’s: Eating out is never cheap it’s convenient
  • Plants that will help you save money: I can only think of one but it’s not legal lol
  • While you’re ignoring her quote: Someone else is loving her… and that’s a fact!
  • I want a man with lots of money: Sad how people forget about love…. it will never last.

That’s all for this week’s edition of The Saturday Weekend Review: Nothing is free about a wedding not even being a guest.

Join me next week same time, same place to see what trouble I can get myself into. Have a great week everyone.





Are You New To Canadian Budget Binder?

Related articles


Share to...

Similar Posts


  1. Good for that friend for setting that bridedilla straight. Weddings have gotten way out of control in my opinion. Certainly not worth losing a childhood friendship (or any friendship for that matter) over money. Many thanks for choosing me to be a part of the make a difference series I really appreciate it! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  2. I think that everyone who has a wedding will expect something in terms of a gift. However, the nature and amount is obviously completely to the guest’s discretion and should never be discussed or judged.

    Loving that exchange of texts and following letter. Not sure they’re friends anymore….!! 🙂

  3. Wow!!! Bridezilla!!!!! Last wedding I went to I made a nice afghan for their livingroom, checking the colours beforehand so it would look good. The wedding couple loved it!!!!
    My daughter was in a wedding party a month after our grandson was born, another bridezilla!! The girl knew she had just had a baby, money was tight and so on. Our daughter got a nice picnic set made up for a shower gift….it didn’t go over well. Too bad. Personally I thought it was a lovely idea…. but the bride… not so much. When this girl got pregnant shortly after the wedding our daughter was invited to the baby shower. Normally when she knows some one having a baby I get called on to make her gift. This time she told me to not bother… ‘she’s not worth your time Mom’…. There hasn’t been much contact between the two lately, not a big surprise to me but it might be to the other girl..
    I got a chuckle out of the search terms but I can think of some plants that might save money….the ones you plant in your garden to grow veggies or herbs or even flowers for the house!!!! The one are thinking of might not be legal but it is a pretty plant!!! Lol!!!
    Jen got some sweet deals at the garage sales today!!!! Enjoy your weekend!!!

  4. On the wedding article. It’s unbelievable that the bride was unhappy that a friend didn’t pay their share. Since when are guests supposed to pay? Sure, if it was a night out, and everyone agreed to go Dutch, but a wedding?

    Our wedding cost $3,000, and that included the bridal gown and tux rentals. We had over 100 guests. The largest cost was the photographer at $1,600. We rented an outdoor space in a local county park for $200. You can see a picture and a breakdown of costs in my blog post, Our Wonderful, Frugal Wedding.

    1. Thanks Bryce… weddings are not cheap by any means but we have the choice to hold one with-in the means of our budget. Thanks for sharing a link to your wedding breakdown for my fans. Cheers

  5. have a relative who has kept records of every penny given to herself, hubby,children & now grandchildren for baptisms, communions, confirmations, birthdays, showers, weddings & anniversaries. Always make it known how much the “plates” are at functions, however my wife & I had a very small service, no children & hence no grandchildren, no large anniversary or birthday parties so I guess we are “owed ” several thousand dollars as gifts are calculated by what you have given & how many are in your family.

  6. I feel like the “standard” gift expectation is $100 or valued at $100 per person, which of course is totally outrageous for someone like myself who can’t afford to get my own $100 needs fulfilled . I’m going to a wedding next weekend and spending the rest of this weekend thinking of cheaper, thoughtful gift alternatives.

    1. We’ve never been invited to a wedding as a couple yet but if we do we will plan to save money for the event that is appropriate to our budget. My wife says normally they give about $100-$150 per person.

  7. First of all – holy crap your blog redesign looks amazing! I think that pretty much every wedding has an expectation that guests give something in return for attending. I think the bride/groom in the above mentioned letter definitely did a big no-no: asking specifically that people give something in exchange for attending! Honestly you will probably get gifts, but don’t bank on it and don’t vocalize expectations. That’s the approach I took for our wedding and I was blessed by everything that people gave, but even more so blessed by everyone in attendance. The memories far outweigh any gifts that we could have received.

    1. Hey DC… Thanks man I love the new design.. he did a great job. I haven’t been to a Canadian wedding except for my own but I don’t really fancy giving hundreds of dollars unless I’ve saved the money up and i can afford it. Not everyone can so it’s unrealistic to expect that of guests. Cheers mate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.