Wednesday

WEDDING GIFT ETIQUETTE: A GIFT BY ANY OTHER NAME...




 Ok Brides and Grooms. Time to get blunt.

I was inspired to write this post after I read an article in the Toronto Star today. In a nutshell, a Bride is chastising a wedding guest's choice in gift (a food basket) arguing that because she paid over $200 for the guests' meal, etc that the guest should have given a gift or a cash gift of equal value. The Bride even went so far as to display the apparent 'cheap gift' at her post-wedding party as a form of entertainment for her guests.

So I'm going to lay this out for all the couples out there who agree with the above Bride as nicely as I can, because...well...those that know me are aware that I have no filter:

1. As a couple getting married, YOU chose to have a lavish celebration that cost you 'x' amount of dollars rather than have a intimate ceremony followed by a much smaller, simpler reception. YOU chose to invite the guests that are in attendance (and how many of them). YOU chose the meal. YOU chose to outfit the decor in orchids and crystals. YOU chose to have the DJ and the Band.  Your GUESTS did NOT. Therefore expecting your guests to reward you for having such a large celebration is just plain silly. You invite guests to share in your joy of getting married. Not in your debt. 

2. There's a widespread myth out there that wedding guests are expected to "cover the cost of the meal and add to it". Let's use logic shall we? How in God's Green Earth are your guests supposed to know what the meal cost? Keep in mind that many of your guests have likely not planned a wedding as grand as yours and don't know how much a four (or five or six) course meal costs. When you started planning your wedding, did you?

3. As someone with an Italian background I can tell you that yes, in certain cultures and ethnic backgrounds, gifts in monetary form are accustomed. But that's all that is. Tradition, what folks are accustomed to, preferred gift-giving method, etc. It's not a RULE. No matter what country you or your parents are from,  a gift by any other name is still a gift. And you should be thankful that you were in their thoughts at all.

4. A party is a party no matter where it's held which means you are still the hosts no matter where it's held. Whatever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? If a guest showed up with a bottle of wine to a dinner party that you planned at your home would you chastise them because their gift didn't equate to the number of hours you spent cooking in the kitchen? No. You would likely thank them for being so thoughtful and that would be the end of it. Why then does that mentality change because you took the celebration out of the home and put it in a more commercial establishment? It doesn't.

5. If your expectation is to pay off the wedding with the amount of money you get as gifts, that is a risk you chose to take. Your guests had no part in that gamble. So don't make it their problem too.

I have to be really in-your-face-blunter-than-blunt here: if an engaged couple's main focus in having wedding celebration is what they're going to get in return -- a.k.a: the cash value of the gifts you get or the amount of cash that you get --  as a couple they truly need to re-evaluate why they're celebrating their wedding with others in the first place. Because somewhere in the zaniness of planning that celebration they've lost sight of what weddings are truly about.

Brides and Grooms, don't let that kind of couple become you.



2 comments:

Jolyn Saramaga said...

hear hear!! couldn't have said it better myself Mel.

Fern said...

I agree completely. Well said.