I Sold My House to Attend My Friends' Weddings | This Morning
A 30-year-old woman went into debt attending 14 weddings in 4 years
Childs has gone to 14 weddings in the past four years. Photo courtesy of Georgina Childs
Getting a wedding invitation in the mail is generally a happy moment. But it can also come with some mixed feelings.
"," Georgina Childs, a public relations account manager, said on British weekday show "This Morning" earlier this week. "It's always nice to be invited to a wedding isn't it? Then when you start to look into the finer details — where you need to travel to, the accommodation you need to book, the gift list, all of that — it is a sort of a 'gulp' as you realize quite how much you're going to spend."
Childs had a major 'gulp' moment herself after going to 14 weddings and 14 bachelorette parties in the span of four years left her nearly ,000 poorer and ,800 in credit card debt. This led her to move back in with parents to save money.
The costs of going to so many weddings and bachelorette parties left her in debt. Photo courtesy of Georgina Childs
People dragged her for not just turning down invitations — but she told INSIDER it's not that simple.
Many on the internet had no sympathy for Childs after her appearance on "This Morning" where she talked about the financial hardships of attending so many weddings, with some viewers slamming the 30-year-old on social media.
One person tweeted, "Is she a professional wedding attendee? Or has she really got this many friends that are getting married. Weddings are the best events to attend but if you can't afford it, simply say NO!!!!!"
But it's not so easy to turn down a wedding invitation, Childs said.
"When it's people that you really care about — like last year my brother got married, and two of my really good friends, and the year before that, it was one of my cousins and two of my other cousins the year before that — it's hard," Childs told INSIDER. "Because when it's someone you care about. you obviously want to be there, so I don't think you would turn that down."
With six weddings on the horizon, she's moved back in with her parents to avoid more debt.
With no end in sight of weddings to attend, Childs moved out of her rental apartment in London and back in with her parents to save money to pay off her debt — and go to the six weddings she's already committed to this year.
"I have a few friends who've been in long engagements so they had already Sent save the Dates for this year, so I just couldn't really see a point where there would be a month that I wouldn't have a [bachelorette party] or a wedding," Childs said. "Because they just kept on coming. There was no respite from it to just get back on track."
She moved back in with parents to be able to attend her friends' weddings without accumulating more debt. Shutterstock/Stock Rocket
Childs, who works in public relations as an account manager and said she makes an average salary for that type of position in London, plans on moving back into her own place in London after her credit card debt is paid off — hopefully by the end of the summer.
Guests are paying more and more to go to weddings because of changing trends.
Weddings are getting more and more expensive to attend partially because of the trend for them to be entire weekend affairs, Childs said. And with these extended celebrations, the costs of train travel, accommodation, gifts, and outfits quickly add up.
More and more weddings are weekend celebrations instead of single-day events. Photo courtesy of Georgina Childs
A recent study by Provident revealed that Brits spend an average of ,415 for each wedding they attend, and twice that much if the ceremony takes place abroad, according to The Independent.
Many couples are also choosing to have their weddings on a weekday to save money, which means guests have to take an extra day off work, Childs said.
She's not the only one who struggles to afford being a wedding guest — but it's "taboo" to admit it.
Childs said that some of her friends have come to her saying they can relate to her struggles, and that it's a common issue that nobody likes to talk about.
"I think because weddings are so nice," she said. "It's such a nice occasion. There's good spirits and it's a happy day. So it's not like someone's asking you to go to an event that's awful — it's not a conference. It's something that you know is going to be nice. So I think you feel really privileged to be invited and you do genuinely want to be there and you want to celebrate with them."
Nobody likes to talk about not being able to afford to go to a wedding. Photo courtesy of Georgina Childs
There's also the fact that the bride and groom usually pay for your drinks and your meal at their wedding.
"It's obviously very generous of them," Childs said. "So I think that then, you don't want to be the person saying, 'Ah, I know it's really nice to be invited to this wedding, but I can't actually really afford to go.' I think it's almost a bit of a taboo subject to say, 'I can't go because of money.'"
Childs is starting to say 'no' — and she said we should all have the courage to do the same.
Although she has several upcoming weddings to attend, Childs has started turning down invites to bachelorette parties. She tries to save money in every little way she can when going to a wedding — even though budgeting for such events is difficult.
"You know how much your phone bill is, you know how much your travel is, and all that," Childs said. "But weddings, you don't ever really know, because maybe the only hotel in the area is really expensive. Or maybe the train to that particular destination is expensive, or what have you."
Childs said that despite the pressures of society, people should start committing only to what they can afford, especially when it comes to bachelorette or bachelor parties that turn into weekend getaways.
"Commit to what you can afford, but don't be shy to say, 'You know, I'd love to come to Friday night and Saturday night but I would struggle to pay a bit, so can I just come for the Saturday or can I come for the day on the Friday?' or something like that," she said.
Photo courtesy of Georgina Childs
Going forward, Childs resolves to turn down a wedding invitation if she can't afford to go.
"It's almost like somebody needs to be that person to do it, and then other people might be like, 'Oh, it's OK to do it,'" Childs said. "You never really want to be that first person, but it has got to that point."
Childs said that although people should be more honest about what they can afford, weddings will always be pricey events to attend.
"I know that nobody can go to a wedding and not feel the kind of dent in their purse," she said. "It's the same for a lot of people. But unfortunately, I just don't really think that will change.
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