Weddings are expensive as hell. Even if you opt to go a DIY discount route, the costs of providing food, drinks, and decorations for a wedding party quickly pile up and form a fat, daunting bill to settle.
To add to that stress, the financial costs don't even begin to sum up the many emotional factors that go into planning a wedding. Do you really have to invite your racist uncle just because the rest of the family is there?! Is it tacky to tell your fiance their completely harmless ex from eight years ago can't be invited?! There are so many questions at play and dynamics to handle that many couples choose to funnel that wedding money into eloping in privacy, and later throwing a smaller party.
While it's fairly standard practice for wedding guests to bring gifts for the couple (often dictated by a registry), it's technically not required in most cases. To add to this, the concept of attending a reception party is different than attending a full-on wedding ceremony and reception. All this is to say, the etiquette and expectations around wedding gifts varies, and it can already be incredibly expensive to attend weddings as a guest if you are traveling, or buying new formal outfits.