Gift-free weddings, baby showers are on the rise due to financial concerns
- March 16, 2023
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In an uncertain economy, more and more brides and grooms and parents-to-be are relieving their guests of buying gifts.
Americans are aware of the pressures that high inflation and mounting job losses are putting on some — so when hosts say having their friends around is enough, chances are they actually mean business.
“More hosts are realizing the financial strain their attendees might be under, and they’re saying just because I want that $1,000 stroller for my new baby doesn’t necessarily mean my friends want to step in,” Wall Street The journal’s consumer trends reporter Rachel Wolfe told CBS News. “So the hosts are trying to give people more opportunities to be a little bit more aware.”
Some people celebrating their special days will even go out of their way to reassure guests that the “no gifts” request is genuine.
“Today, your presence is indeed the present,” Wolfe said. For example, engaged couples are aware that their friends and family “have to pay for more expensive flights, hotels and possibly childcare to be here.”
Some couples even worry guests won’t attend their weddings over the cost in the current economic environment, and hope that doing away with gifts will help ease the financial burden that comes with spending on airfare, lodging and sometimes clothing .
On average, guests spent $160 on a wedding gift in 2022, according to a survey of 1,000 people by wedding planning site The Knot.
interception of gifts
According to social planning website Evite, 33,000 invitations sent through the platform this year have encouraged guests to turn up empty-handed — an 18% increase from the same period in 2022.
Some event planners even station assistants at event entrances to intercept gifts from those who don’t follow the rules, Wolfe said.
Changing norms surrounding marriage are also driving the no-gift trend. “People used to help a couple settle into a new home,” Wolfe said. “You helped them build a house together. But now that so many people are living together before the wedding, they already have a blender and dish towels, so they don’t need more of those things.”