Sunday, July 21, 2019

Has social media increased the demand for wedding party activities?

It seems like people are spending more money on weddings and related activities. This gets expensive for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Some of them drop out because it their bride or groom friends want them to spend too much money.

See Go Broke or Go Home Bachelorette Parties by Rhiannon Picton-James in The NY Times. Excerpts:
"The cost of bachelorette parties is ever growing, with weekend wedding festivities at destination locales now the norm. Millennials are even going broke to attend, and I’m one of them.

A recent survey from Credit Karma found that about one in three millennials have gone into debt to attend a bachelor or bachelorette party. Among them, 36 percent were more than $500 in the red.
It’s not only bachelorette parties that are cash drains. A third of people who have been attendants in a wedding in the last two years have incurred debt and regret the money they spent. Some people are even declining invites to be in wedding parties because of the costs they will incur.

The pressure to afford lavish nights out and trips away is exacerbated by the need for everything to be Instagrammable."

"“Social media is normalizing expensive bridal traditions, like destination bachelorette parties,” said Stefanie O’Connell, a New York-based money expert who focuses on millennials. She is also the author of “The Broke and Beautiful Life: Small Town Budget, Big City Dreams” (Coventry House Publishing, 2015).

“If our point of comparison was limited to our own social circle — the people we live near and work with — we’d naturally be comparing ourselves to people with means somewhat similar to our own,” Ms. O’Connell said. “But because of social media, our point of comparison has shifted.”

People now look at pictures of others who might have incomes 10 to 100 times what we have, she said. But we don’t see that in the pictures. We just see the trips and the dresses and the gifts, and so it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking, well that’s normal and I should have that, too."

"A recent survey by CompareCards, a division of LendingTree, found that 58 percent of bridesmaids and 61 percent of maids of honor felt pressured to spend money on bridal party-related expenses and say the financial pressure strained their relationship with the bride. The survey also said 43 percent of groomsmen and half of those who were the best man, said they also felt the strain of being in a wedding. And the survey said 37 percent of people — I wish I had been one of them — have declined being in a wedding because of the costs."

"They feel like it’s their moment to shine and everyone else should spend money, too. It’s just become the norm and societal expectation.”

This brings us back to social media. “They want to create the perfect Instagrammable wedding moment,” Dr. Kaplan said. “It pulls them further from reality, and more into a fantasy world, built on unrealistic expectations.”"

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