To add another thing.
I hate weddings in general. In most cases (not all!), it feels like an obligation. I have to figure out clothing, figure out how I'm getting there (why does everyone like New Jersey!), and clear my schedule. Once I'm there I get to sit through boring ceremonial ritual and speeches that fail at their attempted humor, eat mediocre food and get cornered into smalltalk with some people I don't know or particular like.
There have been perhaps a handful of wedding that were the exception. My favorite cousin. A VERY CLOSE friend here or there .... And it was never about how fancy the wedding was, but about how much I was truly happy for the person. Because for me, all things equal, a wedding is a HUGE hassle. Absent the few exceptions and unless it's an absolute obligation, I get out of going to one. So for the ones where I go, I also get the privelege of being obligated in a gift (I always give generous gifts, I believe. That doesn't bother me and is not the point). But a wedding invitation sounds like Lose Lose Lose to me. Weddings are narcissistic. It's all about the bride and groom. And they invite you to come honor them. And if you can't afford to also pay for their day of honor, go through the hassle but just don't eat the mediocre food. Hooray for you. Again, with the few exceptions where I was so happy to see the person getting married and celebrate their happiness vs just another wedding in the pile.
So you know, when it comes to my wedding, I'm making it crystal clear - if someone actually wants to show up? Actually wants to go to the hassle of dressing and attending and all that? And they really in earnest want to be there? I'm amazingly honored by that. The number of my friends who have let me know they want to be at my wedding has made me feel like a million bucks. I worry about inviting anyone who will feel an obligation to come but considers weddings a hassle too.
Just knowing that someone ACTUALLY wants to be at my wedding - like if they actually want to be there to celebrate with me and make me happy to see them and it's not a hassle or obligation - that is something worth everything. How few people did I truly feel that way towards rather than being stressed out about either attending or finding a non-offending excuse? That's amazing to me that anyone would want to be at my wedding ... like, besides my mom.
Someone who would want to come for the free food? That's more foreign to me. No wedding food is worth the hassles of attending a wedding.
I mean it 100% when I say that the very best gift anyone could give me would be the actual desire to be there. I hope I am so lucky to have some of those people in my life. If people attend your wedding - or rather, if people attend my wedding - I consider it a favor to me. Not a favor to them where they owe me payback.