Few people will argue with the fact that weddings are a completely inexhaustible source of content, both incredibly beautiful and slightly strange, from some marvelous wedding photoshoots and romantic memories to bizarre cases where the only thing that comes to one’s mind is the thought “How is this even possible?”

Indeed, it looks as if weddings awaken some deep subconscious instincts in people, forcing them to give out something much brighter and deeper than the ceremony itself that will be imprinted in people’s memory. Wanna hear some examples? One – “Guestzilla” is trying to order a special dish behind the bride’s back! Two – the newlyweds won’t allow a guest to bring her boyfriend with her just to set her up with their old friend! Three – entitled relative tells off the bride-to-be for scheduling a destination wedding at a time and place uncomfortable for them! And there are actually lots of such examples…

The most recent one is blogger @kellikeylimepie‘s video, which has amassed over 850K views and nearly 19.2K likes on TikTok in just a few days. A video that sparked an incredibly lively discussion in the comments. A video that raised the question among commenters about what a wedding really is – a happy event for a loving couple or a big occasion for fundraising? However, let’s talk about everything in order…

More info: TikTok

The author of the video has a wedding invitation stating that cash gifts are highly appreciated

Image credits: Camille Robinson (not the actual photo)

So, the author of the video got a wedding invitation somehow, probably to the wedding of her own friends. The bride and groom turned out to be prudent, noting directly in the invitation that gifts for the newlyweds are welcome, and ideally they would like the guests to give money right away.


Image credits: kellikeylimepie

The same invitation obliges guests to pay for their own meals, which really outrages the author

Of course, many future spouses do this, because a new family often needs money to equip their life. And guests may not always be able to guess the wishes of the newlyweds, so often people receive a completely different gift than what they would like, or even a totally unnecessary one. Yes, money is incomparably more convenient and, in fact, it was for this purpose that mankind invented it several millennia ago. But the most beautiful thing about this invitation was on its other side.

Image credits: kellikeylimepie

It was printed in beautiful artistic font that guests should remember – everyone is obliged to pay for their meals. And it was this point that caused sincere bewilderment in the author of the video. “We get it, you blew all your $$$ on a wedding”, she states quite ironically.


In fact, weddings are extremely expensive nowadays, according to various surveys and studies

However, the facts inexorably assert that a wedding is an incredibly expensive thing in late 2022, both for the newlyweds and for the guests. For example, according to a study by, the average cost of a wedding ceremony and party is approximately $12,000, while the average guest has spent almost $3,000 per wedding this year, Affirm consumer spend report reveals.


The rise in prices is also confirmed by numerous experts. “There is a good 15% increase from pre-pandemic pricing, and I don’t see this going away anytime soon,” notes Connecticut-based wedding florist Yumiko Fletcher in her interview for Carats&Cake. “So in other words, 2019’s $10K on flowers is really $15K for 2022 weddings.”


Image credits: denAsuncioner (not the actual photo)

Some countries actually have a whole tradition of wedding guests paying for themselves

It’s interesting that in some countries the very idea that guests have to pay for their own food at a wedding party is quite common and traditional. For example, this is how it is done in Israel. “To be honest, I first faced the very concept of ‘mandatory amount’ as a wedding gift here in Israel. At none of the about two hundred weddings that I held in Ukraine, Moldova, and in Ibiza, Spain, have I ever heard of such a thing,” says Denis Tsykanovsky, a wedding host from Tel Aviv, Israel, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for comment on this story.

“Here, the so-called ‘manA’ (from the word meaning ‘dish’ in Hebrew) – the amount of the check for food and drinks per guest – is a common thing accepted in society. When going to a celebration, just prepare the amount (often indicated even in the wedding invitation) plus a certain cash bonus in the piggy bank for the newlyweds. Of course, its size already depends on your personal attitude towards them.”

“Some Israelis even include upcoming visits to the wedding of relatives in their family budget for a year as a significant expense. And the newlyweds take special loans for the wedding. In general, this is a serious financial flow. Israel is a high-tech country. Therefore, I would not be surprised if special mobile applications are about to appear that will facilitate the transfer of money specifically for wedding gifts,” states Denis Tsykanovsky.


The video sparked a debate in the comments, yet most of the people agreed that making guests pay for themselves is pretty weird and inappropriate

So there is nothing strange in the desire of the newlyweds to return at least part of the money spent with gifts from the guests. But most people in the comments to the original video are hearing about the fact that guests pay for the food themselves for the first time in their entire lives. So, according to some commenters, if you can’t afford to have a wedding and pay for your guests, then either don’t invite so many people or just have a wedding with immediate family.


Most commenters fully understand the newlyweds in their desire to receive gifts in cash, especially since a lot of people already live together, but paying for your own meal is totally inappropriate for most people. “The gift is paying for your meal”, one of the wittiest commenters jokes. Well, people generally prefer to stay at home for free – especially if the bar also turns out to be paid…

@kellikeylimepie Tell us how you really feel! #weddingtiktok #weddingguest #strugglebus ♬ original sound – Kelli

And now, in all sincerity, we invite everyone to comment below this post to discuss how acceptable it is today to require guests to pay for their own meals. And if you have experienced a similar situation at someone else’s (or, who actually knows, your own…) wedding as well, then we’d love to hear your own beautiful story!