Group Chat is In The Know’s advice column, where our editors respond to your questions about dating, friendships, family, social media, wellness, shopping, beauty and beyond. Have a question for the chat? Submit it here and we’ll do our best to reply.
Hey, Group Chat,
My cousin invited me to his destination wedding, which is going to cost me a lot of money to attend. However, I just found out he plans to save money by catering the wedding with tons of fast food options. The bride thinks it's cute, but I'm heated and want to skip the event. What should I do? Am I allowed to give them a cheaper gift because of this?
Dear Doesn’t Want Fries With That,
Chase Hill, a petty fast food dipping sauce connoisseur, says… A fast food destination wedding during a panorama, we love (hate) to see it. That’s, in my opinion, the bigger ask out of all of this right now. Regardless of what your vaccination status is, only about a quarter of the country is completely vaccinated. Think about all of the people you’ll be coming in contact with on your way to the fast food buffet.
Now I’m petty, so I’d RSVP: “No, unless there’s a variety of dipping sauces.” There’s a 50 percent chance they won’t stay together, but a 100 percent chance I will flip a table if they don’t provide sauces for the nuggets. If I wanted fast food I’d stay at home, put on The Wedding Planner and eat cold takeout that took an hour to arrive.
If you’re going to actually go, just suck it up, smile and eat what you’re given. Isn’t it supposed to be about them, or their day or whatever (eye roll emoji)? Eat as much of the free food as you can and hope it’s not a cash bar (this event has cash bar vibes FOR SURE).
As far as the gift goes, get them plastic cutlery or paper napkins — something equally as petty as a fast food wedding dinner.
Christine Wallen, who loves luxury, says… Everyone has different visions for their wedding day, and if your cousin’s includes fast food, then who are we to judge?
I think having a destination wedding sounds dreamy and romantic. However, the effort in getting to that destination wedding can be super pricey, so if you have to roll back on the gift, I am sure the happy couple will understand and take you showing up as its own gift! If the night ends with French fries, that isn’t the worst. Actually, a lot of nights should end with French fries.
Matt Mataxas, who is a former Chick-Fil-A employee, says… Go to the wedding! Depending on where it is, you can go ahead and make a lil’ vacation out of it.
Spend a few days beforehand doing what you wanna do, then close out your week with a bang at your cousin’s wedding. Nothing goes better with dancing and drinking than having some fast food to munch on. It might even mitigate your hangover.
Katie Mather, who has never been married and has only been to one wedding — but considers herself an expert anyway, says… Not to make a sweeping generalization, but this is typically why men shouldn’t plan anything. Although, if the bride “thinks it’s cute,” then maybe they’re a match made in heaven.
I’m not sure what possessed your cousin to think something like, “I’m going to make everyone fly out to Hawaii to eat McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwiches,” but he’s insane. I have mixed feelings about this: On one hand, if I showed up to a fancy wedding and they surprisingly unveiled Taco Bell served on fine china, maybe I’d think it was funny (obviously there would need to be an open bar, that goes without saying). Here though, he’s telling you ahead of time, as if to warn you to lower your expectations.
Why even do a destination wedding then? This is like throwing a Halloween party and not wearing a costume, then charging all the guests $600 for wearing a costume. Still, because it’s your cousin, I reluctantly think you need to go. If it was your freshman year roommate, I’d feel totally different, but this is blood. Get them an avocado cuber — it looks fancy, but it isn’t.
TL;DR… Whether it’s sirloin or McNuggets on the table, if you’d already planned to go — and, first and foremost, if it’s safe to do so — then you should probably follow through. As far as the present goes, might we suggest a Taco Bell gift card?
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