I’ve been to one wedding in my entire life and there’s no amount of money or friendship points that will convince me to go to another. I took off work for a destination wedding in Taos, New Mexico; it was hot, the food was horrible, both families were ghoulish and everyone involved is now divorced.
Obviously, time-off work is a valuable thing, but next to birthdays, weddings are the hardest things to get out of. At least with birthdays, you can feign poverty, but someone will always offer to pay your way for a wedding. The growing minority of people that still get married take the event very seriously and expect their friends to do the same.
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How many people actually enjoy going to their friends’ weddings? Even with the free booze, uncle fights and fancy cakes took into account, how many people would put your “special day” on the pay-no-mind list if they knew they could get away with it?
A brand new nationwide study conducted on a randomly selected group of 1,000 men and women, between the ages of 18 and 65, of all income brackets, conducted by third-party research firm, Mortar, for Flash Pack suggests we’ve been taken advantage of our friends during their limited free time. An average of 3.5 days are gobbled up by other people’s events; 10 days is the average number of vacation days given to employees-which means 35% of those days are forfeited every year. One in four respondents took more than their yearly allotment of vacation days to attend their friends “important things.”
Wedding season haunted 25 to 44 years with the most frequency. Sixty-one percent of this demographic reported as many as 10 local weddings in the past three years alone and an additional 34% occasioned four destination weddings during that same period.
The RSVP plague is more rampant in bigger cities. The average respondent has gone to 30 events for other people in the past three years, this figure is divided by a median of: four local weddings, four destination weddings, seven birthday celebrations, four baby showers, six bachelor/bachelorette parties, and five anniversary parties.
Eighty-percent of all the participants involved in the survey said that they would much rather use their vacation time for themselves-leaving 20% of respondents consensually calling out of work, renting a car/tux/gown, to watch you make a mistake … probably (the odds are really good).
Thirty-one percent of respondents said they made up lies to get out of going to their friends’ events, though a much larger slice of people didn’t have the confidence, to be honest about saying no. Twenty-two percent of people freak out by the simple act of getting invited to a thing,
“These figures show it’s all too easy to fall into a habit of obligation in your 30s and 40s,” says Flash Pack co-founder Lee Thompson. “You have this long summer stretch ahead of you but before you know it, every other weekend is being spent at a wedding, a birthday bbq or a bachelorette party. These events are great, of course. But they also mean that, in a life that’s already bursting at the seams, you’re frittering away all your spare time on other people’s dreams. This summer, we’re encouraging people to be a little more positively selfish. Do the things that YOU want to do. Travel the world, meet new friends push your comfort zone. Reclaim your precious vacation time.”