Crazy Brides, Your Guests Don’t Have To Earn Their Wedding Meals

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shutterstock_129502205__1381074542_142.196.156.251What is it with crazy brides gift-shaming their guests? When did an invitation to a wedding become a binding contract? It didn’t – but you’d think it had the way that some brides and grooms act toward their guests. Yes, it is proper manners to give gifts to a couple within a year of their marriage. Is it required? No. Should it be something that guests are reprimanded about? Definitely not.

The newest installment of “you ate at my wedding and now you are required to shower me with cash” comes from a bride named Brandy who goes text crazy on her friend Gretchen when she realizes Gretchen is too broke to give her the wedding gift she was expecting. When Gretchen explains that she lost the card she was going to give Brandy, Brandy implies that it sucks because the money that she of course expects will be in it will help her pay the bills for her wedding. This text interaction ensues:

Gretchen: What I have to give you won’t help at all, unfortunately – lost my job right before the wedding, which was completely unexpected and now that school has started I’ve spent so much money on books and tuition. Had I known, ever, that four parties were going to be held in your honor this year, I would have saved it all and given it to you in a lump sum instead

Brandy: Ok but it’s still something instead u coming for free ya know

Gretchen: I’ll be by with the card later, if you’re not home, I’ll leave it with your mother

Brandy: Ill be home

Brandy: So I understand ur strapped for money should I not send an invite for the baby shower in November

Oh my God. “Coming for free?” Why don’t we just start charging admission? That way everyone can be clear about expectations right off the bat.

Weddings are incredibly expensive for everyone involved – attendees included. And rarely is it just the wedding day that you are expected to pay up. The engagement party, the bridal shower, the bachelorette party – all of these events have a gift expectation. You’re really screwed if the wedding is out of town. That usually requires some travel expenses and maybe even some time off work. Some weddings require so much effort, the additional expectation of a gift is almost insulting.

Back to Brandy. She’s awful. But Gretchen responded in kind, by taping a penny to a piece of paper that read, “Here is your card. Now I didn’t go to your wedding for free.” Her entire response is pretty epic; she even included a footnote referencing an expert who insists that the sole cost of weddings falls squarely on the bride and groom.

Listen brides, it’s not your guests’ fault that your wedding was so expensive. Stop expecting them to earn their meals.

(photo: chrisdorney/ Shutterstock)


  1. keelhaulrose

    October 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    That’s disgusting.
    I didn’t expect gifts from my guests, as many traveled right hours and stayed a couple nights, and many more were broke college kids. I appreciated the gifts we got, but would never hold it against anyone who didn’t bring one.
    And “should I not send u an invite to the baby shower in November?” should be replied with “don’t bother sending me an invite to anything ever again, gimmie pig”.

    • Muggle

      October 6, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      I’m actually a broke college kid (sort of) getting married in April. All of my friends are broke. If someone doesn’t bring a gift, I really don’t care. I don’t even know what to register for, anyway! I mean, I’d like a crockpot and some new dishes, but they’re inexpensive enough that I can go get them myself. I have guests coming in from out-of-state as well. That’s a lot of money just to show up! I’ll be glad that they’re there at all, instead of bitching about the lack of gifts.

    • Karen Milton

      February 28, 2014 at 12:28 am

      My mother made a bit to-do about registering even though we knew some of the guests were already paying to travel or were not in a financial situation to be faced with a list of things like a $300 mixer but felt weird not bringing a gift. My mom had a good tip – lots of little things under maybe $10 or $15 that were somewhat nicer versions of stuff we might already have. A can opener, various kitchen utensils, a metal strainer, tea towels, that sort of thing. It was a good idea – just ask my new, non-rusty can opener! I would feel odd not bringing a gift – misplaced pride? – so I would love a registry like that to choose from.

    • Muggle

      February 28, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Yeah, I’ve been thinking of registering for cheap appliances (that I really don’t have, I’m serious, I still don’t own a crockpot or a blender) but I’m not very sure of what else.

    • Simone

      October 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Gimmie Pig!

    • Karen Milton

      February 28, 2014 at 12:15 am

      I don’t understand how these people even know who did or did not give a gift. We had some lovely things delivered to our home as well as some gifts brought to the wedding (which included some cards with very thoughtful messages in place of a gift). Hearing nice things about some of our relationships with our guests was a wonderful gift.

      What we did not have was a checklist of inventory do record who sent what. Are they going to include that list in a ‘wedding memories’ photo album? Will it be laminated? Grow up, Brandy lady, you’re kind of the worst.

  2. Blueathena623

    October 6, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Did the bride not register for anything? I’m not saying she’s obligated to receive a present, but why is she assuming she’s going to be getting cash from people? And for people who attend a wedding, wouldn’t you normally bring the gift then (unless its something big and needs to be shipped)? I barely remember my wedding, but I thought there were gifts there. I know I’ve brought gifts to a wedding.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      October 6, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      I had friends who actually asked for cash only gifts on their invitations. It was kinda gross honestly.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I understand the sentiment, I really do. I hate “stuff”. If someone wanted to buy me a scented candle, a better present would be them telling me “I was going to get you a scented candle, but then I decided to get you nothing instead.” I would seriously write a thank you note for the thoughtfulness of not getting me more stuff. But you can’t do that for weddings, especially on the invite. Granted, if you* really need the cash for something important, I don’t think its too bad to have a family member give people the head’s up that cash would be appreciated, but I think that only flies if you are having a cheap wedding.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      October 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      I guess the most awkward part was at the actual wedding they only had a wrapped empty box with a card sized slot cut into it, and no where to put an actual gift. And this was also a friend whose dad paid for her entire wedding, they weren’t out of pocket on anything.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 6:06 pm

      That would make me tempted to do some Boris and Natasha bad guy stuff and bring a gift wrapped box that actually has no bottom, and then I’d put my box over that box and hold it so the card box wouldn’t fall and then be all “hey, since there is no space I’m going to put this present back in my car, be right back!” Annnnnnd exit stage left.

    • Simone

      October 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      You are …. a strangely creative lateral thinker….

    • Jen

      October 7, 2013 at 4:23 am

      It’s pretty much become the norm in Australia to have a “wishing well” for people to put cards with cash in and also to register for some things on a registry (for those who don’t like giving cash). Regardless of whether some people think it’s “tacky” it has become the done thing for most weddings.

      The simple fact of the matter is, most people live together prior to getting married nowadays, sometimes for several years, and guests know they probably have most of the stuff to “set up house” that they need. Giving them cash instead means they can put it towards their honeymoon or something large they’d really like. The last wedding I went to the couple have been renting for years and they let everyone know on the invite that they already had most of the things they wanted but would love contributions towards a deposit to buy a house. I don’t see that as rude at all. Those who really wanted to get them a physical gift did, everyone else was relived that they could put some money in a card and knew it would be gratefully received.

    • pixie

      October 6, 2013 at 6:02 pm

      I think it’s becoming a trend with wealthier families to hold weddings where gifts are “cash only”. My wealthy aunt and uncle have been to a few over the past few years of their equally wealthy nephews and colleagues’ kids. I only know this because every time they get invited, my aunt shows me the already very expensive-looking invitation and where it says “cash only gifts” and then asks me how much I think they should give as a gift. Not that I know, I’m not married, I haven’t been raised in a wealthy family situation where I would have learned how much is an appropriate amount to give at a cash only wedding based on where the reception is being held. I’ve only been to 3 weddings in my entire life and none of them asked for cash gifts.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      I don’t know this for a fact, but I would guess there is no set amount. It really is the same as deciding what to buy from the registry based on how much you can/want to spend, but instead you write a check. I mean, that’s what I would do. I don’t do a lot of weddings.

    • Amanda

      October 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      See, that’s the line, asking on the invite, because that makes it sound like you’re asking for presents. As I understand it, people are supposed to call up your mom or someone similar and ask where you’re registered so they can preserve the fiction that they just out of the blue thought you might like something nice.
      Now why, if you want to preserve that fiction, you register at all is beyond me but I imagine it just makes things easier.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      My mom got thoroughly sick of answering the phone from people asking where I was registered. I mean, I guess I get your point of view of preserving the fiction, but the truth is, most people will buy you a gift. People want to buy you what you like. I didn’t add the registry info on the invite, but I kinda wished I did. I don’t think I received a single present that wasn’t on it. People used it!

    • Annona

      October 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      I think it depends on culture and location. I was brought up to think that a cash gift at a wedding is “tacky” and that you should buy something off the registry. Apparently, though, in some places cash is encouraged/expected and presents are for the shower. (Because in some places, apparently, you are expected to do BOTH).

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      I faced a somewhat awkward situation. I had a fairly large wedding here in the US. People sent gifts to my house, dropped them off at my mother’s house and also some people brought them to the wedding. No biggie.

      However, I had ANOTHER reception in my parent’s home country with a bunch of relatives and old friends (this was thrown by my grandfather who could not attend the wedding in the US). And lots of people called to ask my grandmother where I was registered in said home country. Well, this was before internet. People couldn’t just buy them online. And we really couldn’t bring back a bunch of stuff when we came back to the US after that reception. And again, even if I could somehow, there was no way for me register for anything in home country (again, no internet). So my grandmother told people (when they asked where to buy gift) how it would be impossible to bring back anything and if they really wanted to give a gift to make it cash. It was awkward and I’m sure violated etiquette rules, but there really wasn’t much of a an option.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Special situation, and it was your grandmother telling, not you demanding.

    • Sundaydrive00

      October 6, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I’ve always heard you’re supposed to send the gifts to either the bride’s house or a family member’s house if they are leaving for their honeymoon from the wedding.

    • Litterboxjen

      October 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      We had a registry for our wedding, and something like 90% of our guests gave cash, cheques or gift cards. We put most of the money towards buying the stuff we’d registered for (plus buying a new bed), some in the bank for future registry/household purchases, and some went towards our semi last-minute honeymoon (my husband had a dream destination for the longest time, we settled on going about a month before the wedding, and he covered most of the cost himself, but used some wedding money to help).

      I think because most of our guest list travelled to come to the wedding (and apparently there aren’t Bay stores in their hometowns — my bad for not realizing that), that it was just easier for most people to give money instead of lugging a physical gift. Regardless, it was appreciated — and we certainly weren’t cross-checking who was invited vs. who gave gifts.

  3. Z's Mom

    October 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Brandy’s behavior was disgusting but Gretchen’s letter was EPIC. You go, girl! 😀

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  4. Cee

    October 6, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Have the wedding you CAN afford. If you can’t afford the one you want…wait until you can!
    Your guests are not funding or breaking even your wedding expenses with their attendance.

  5. C.J.

    October 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    We had friends that we knew couldn’t afford to bring a gift to our wedding and would likely make an excuse to not attend because of it. My husband and I approached this couple and told them to not feel obligated to bring a gift. That them sharing our wedding day with us was the only gift we wanted. I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking from someone who couldn’t afford it. About a year after our wedding these friends called us and asked us to go out to dinner with them, their treat. They said they appreciated that we went to them and said what we did and wanted to do something nice for us now that they were a little better off. Of coarse they didn’t have to do that but we really appreciated it. It was the nicest wedding gift we received. Gretchen is better off without having Brandy as a friend. Friends should be understanding and supportive when you are going through a hard time.

  6. Andrea

    October 6, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I don’t understand how this works. How does me bringing a gift help you pay for your extravagant wedding? Was everything on a credit card and you expect to sell your gifts to pay it off? Or is that why you insist on cash? I don’t understand at all.

    • Erin

      October 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm

      I know someone who registered because it was expected, then returned everything for cash and got something she really wanted. Kind of makes me feel icky, to tell you the truth. If you really don’t need anything, put some token things together in a small registry (who doesn’t need new towels and sheets?) and most people can read between the lines that cash is appreciated.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      I dunno, I think most people won’t and will get pissy when there’s nothing really to buy on the registry.

      I think it’s becoming kinda complicated these days. It’s like we are in this post-modern era but still applying etiquette rules from the 1800s.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm

      What did she really want?

    • Erin

      October 7, 2013 at 7:34 am

      I don’t remember. Something innocuous, but atypical.

  7. Annona

    October 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    My god, people are grabby and greedy. Here’s a newsflash, young people, NOBODY IS EVER OBLIGATED TO GIVE YOU A PRESENT, EVER. That’s why it’s called a “gift” and not a “cover charge”. I don’t care if you’re getting married, or popping out a kid…if you cannot afford to do that thing on your own merit, without cash or stuff donations from everyone you know, you probably should not be doing it. I’ve noticed just in the past few years that I am constantly getting invitations to the wedding showers and baby showers of children of my relatives who I haven’t seen since they were in diapers, (With registry information front and center, which I was always raised to think was a super faux pas) and I always interpret it as “Give us stuff!” and it’s off-putting. If someone treated me like this girl did to her “friend”…well, I’d chalk it up to learning that my life is better without this person in it I guess.

    Seriously, when did it become all about what you can get instead of about celebrating a joyous milestone in your life?

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      Including the registry stuff is supposed to be a HUGE no no. However, I found it impractical not to. I didn’t include it on my wedding invites and it resulted in phone call after phone call to my mother asking where I was registered.

      So on one hand, yeah it looks grabby, but on the other hand, most people will give you a gift ya know? Seems simpler to just include the info. I am honestly torn on that issue.

    • Annona

      October 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

      I understand it for showers, really. Because everyone with sense knows that that’s what showers are for. But on a wedding invitation, it really bugs me. I feel like, well, I can’t afford to get you a giant mixer or contribute scuba lessons to your honeyfund, so am I still welcome at the wedding? Or should my broke ass stay home? I feel like I’m not being invited because they want my presence, but because they want my presents. And that makes me more inclined to NOT go to the wedding (or send a gift.)

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Ha! Registering for a scuba adventure? I registered for things like can openers.

    • Meg

      October 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      Wish people were more practical like that. As soon as I hear money for honeymoons I am turned off. Now if a couple asked for money to fix their roof, I might be more inclined to gift.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      We cut a lot of corners on our wedding because we wanted to go on a nice honeymoon. Apparently the average cost of a wedding is now 25k. To me, that’s a wedding and 3.5 honeymoons, or a wedding and a house down payment.

    • Meg

      October 6, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      My wedding was way cheap. The most expensive part was paying the priest. It was a backyard wedding, and the reception was in my home and the food was all homemade by my mom and grandmother. The flowers were fake 🙂 in fact I still have my bouquet, might drag it out for my 10th anniversary.
      I went to a family members wedding over the summer, and was really disgusted by the money spent on it. The flowers alone were over 5k. Only thing I could think about as I watched the flowers wilt in the sun was, that could have bought a used car. But even then, my relative had the common decency to know you don’t demand gifts from people. 😉

    • jessica

      October 7, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Your wedding sounds lovely! Also it is kind of cool that you could have kept the flowers till the end of days kind of like how some people keep a piece of the cake in the freezer.

      That being said, I get that people have different expectations. If people want to spend 25k or higher on a wedding that is ok with me and up to them so long as they don’t act as if it is everyone else’s job to pay for it for them and generally behave like decent human beings (like your relative did).

    • Muggle

      October 7, 2013 at 1:59 pm

      I was thinking of going almost non-floral for my wedding just because flowers are so damn expensive! I was just looking around online to see how much bouquets cost (JUST bouquets) and it’s fucking ridiculous. I’m not paying $150 for a bunch of flowers that will be dead in a few days, let alone $90 a pop for the bridesmaids to have their own dead flowers. On the other hand, I found a site that offers silk bouquets for like $30 (for brides, that is). I do not understand people who pay hundreds or thousands of dollars on flowers.

    • InNM

      October 8, 2013 at 3:14 am

      We used grapes instead of flowers on the table because we had our wedding in a winery, and they were a hit. Our guest loved the grapes as snacks and they looked very elegant among the candles. We had a total of $50 worth of grapes shared among 8 tables.

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

      We spent $1000 for our wedding flowers, but they were all varieties which dried beautifully. All the bridal party, and many of the guests still have our flowers and we’re near our 7th anniversary.

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 1:38 pm

      I like giving honeymoon money for established couples. When people have been living together for a good while, or come into the relationship older, they almost always have all the stuff they want. While my friends could certainly appreciate a really good bread knife, they will treasure a honeymoon experience.

    • Karen Milton

      February 28, 2014 at 12:10 am

      We spent, but it was entirely our own money, with the exception of a surprise gift. My husband’s mother, who was wonderful, was so, so excited that we were getting married. Very sadly, she passed away before we could have the wedding. So, we did it up the way she would have liked, using some of the inheritance money she left. No regrets.

    • Erin

      October 6, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      I think the happy medium is a link to a wedding website where you have a space for that info. Otherwise, guests should google the bride’s and groom’s name + “registry.” That’s how I’ve always been able to find people’s registries without having to call anyone.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Now maybe. I got married 15 years ago before the internet was really a thing.

    • Aldonza

      October 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

      We had a website with a lot of additional info, including registry info, and we put the website address on the invite. We felt weird having the registry stuff in our invite, especially since so many of our friends are poor artists and we didn’t want them feeling obligated to get us something, but that way, people could still find the info if they wanted to.

    • Andrea

      October 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

      Now that would be probably what I would do. I got married 15 years ago and the internet wasn’t really a wide spread thing.

  8. simpleton

    October 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Okay, so I understand all the posts on here about how no one is obligated to give you a gift, and that is a totally fair point to make. However, etiquette-wise, it is proper manners to give a gift, whether that gift be a $5 ladle or a handmade picture frame. Insisting on a gift, especially a cash gift, is gross. However, I’ll admit that I was a bit offended (if not surprised) when not ONE of my in-laws gave a gift at my wedding (nor did they help before or after the wedding in any way). These are the type of people who claim to be broke constantly but came to the wedding with new dresses, shoes, and their hair professionally styled. Yes, people do not have to pay admission to your wedding, and you should just be happy they are there, but people would also bitch and moan if the reception just had cheese and crackers and water. And most of our friends would have come and been happy anyway, but we all know that there are some other people you HAVE to invite, as unpleasant as they are.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:27 pm

      Yeah, that is pretty low, since their son was getting married too! And you are correct — people do judge if the reception is lacking. For my wedding I heard (albeit, like 4th hand, so who knows if it was true) that apparently one of my cousins thought it was a little tacky that we had a middle of the day affair so the food wasn’t a full sit-down dinner and there wasn’t a bar. And full disclosure, those were intentional moves to cut costs because we didn’t have a ton of money and wanted to go on a good honeymoon and said cousin did fly in from out of state and stayed in a hotel that I didn’t pay for, although maybe my parents did.

      My philosophy is that you should always be thankful for gifts, but you don’t have to be grateful. So, no matter what I get, even if it is just literally a card with nothing in it, the giver gets a nice, personalized thank you note plus a thank you in person if I am able. But I think its ok to be internally peeved that you got a piece of tatty crap or something totally useless or a very obvious re-gifting attempt. The problem is now, with social media, not many people are “internally” peeved.

    • Amanda

      October 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm

      Yeah, imagine the grumbling if you didn’t *at least* have beer/wine/soda covered at the bar! And it’s one thing for guests to not ‘owe’ you anything and another thing for your in-laws to not get you anything. It’s not even about the gift, it’s about the acknowledgement.

    • Emmali Lucia

      October 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm

      I’m not going to cover libations at my wedding that hasn’t even been planned yet.

      If someone wants to get shit-faced, go for it, but not on my dime. That might keep my cheap alcoholic father from embarrassing anyone too much, although he would probably kick up a fuss over anything.

      I’m still debating on whether or not to invite my father’s side of the family.

    • Gangle

      October 6, 2013 at 8:56 pm

      I don’t think you need to supply free alcohol at your wedding. I had a couple of bottles of wine set out for each table, and some toasting champagne and that was it. I did pay for non-alcoholic drinks though. There was a bar if people wanted more.
      My little brother had a ‘byo’ policy for his first marriage, and just supplied non-alcoholic beverages and toasting champagne.

    • MoD

      October 6, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      I think the etiquette around that is to just have a dry wedding if you don’t want to have people getting drunk. The part where people complain is being charged for drinks at a party when they are guests. But if it’s a dry wedding, and you pay for soda, punch, juice, etc., then there’s nothing to complain about.

    • simpleton

      October 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

      I definitely didn’t feel owed anything, but I did feel some resentment. To be fair, my in-laws are kindof a nightmare. They capped off the night by complaining that I even asked them to help clean up, because I had 1 friend who was doing everything (which aren’t you supposed to do anyway, so the bride and groom don’t have to?) and then running off with all the alcohol left at the reception and having their own rager party till dawn! I guess stolen champagne is the best champagne?

    • AP

      October 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

      I had a few guests not give anything, and honestly, the only problem I had was that I was worried that they’d given us a gift or card and it had gotten lost. I didn’t want them to be offended that we didn’t send them a thank you.

    • rachel

      October 7, 2013 at 6:49 am

      Obviously too late for your situation, but I’d recommend anyone else just send a thank-you note to attendees, period, for taking the time to come out and celebrate your special day. Even if someone did give a gift, I don’t think they’d be particularly hurt if there were a gracious note thanking them for their company instead.

    • Jen

      October 6, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      I agree, there’s no way in the world I would turn up to a wedding as a guest without a gift – ever. It just seems so impolite to me. It most certainly doesn’t need to be an expensive gift (I’m still shocked that people are buying us $200 gifts on our registry, that just seems like such a lot of money and so incredibly generous to me) It wouldn’t bother me for one minute if guests I knew didn’t have much money handmade us something or bought us $5 egg cup holders (something that is on our registry by the way – we made sure we had ideas from $5 to a few hundred dollars so no-one felt embarrassed and like they couldn’t afford anything). I think I would find it slightly rude if people came to my wedding and didn’t bring a gift at all, but it would be a passing thought and I most certainly wouldn’t say anything or hold a grudge against them for it. But then again, my family have always been big on gifts – we love giving presents and make a big deal of people’s Birthdays, Christmas etc – I’m only just getting used to the fact that my Fiance’s family isn’t so inclined 🙂

      We put a card in with our invitations with our registry information on it because I think its impractical not to. I feel annoyed when I get an invitation that doesn’t have this information (and to be honest, in the 15 weddings I’ve been to I’ve only received one invitation that didn’t have it) because it makes it a detective mission for me to try and figure out whether they have a registry or what they want (especially if I’m not close friends with their family). I don’t think putting this info in with the invitation is rude at all. It seems like a stupid “skirting around the issue thing” – everyone knows the guest is most likely going to give you a gift, and the guest wants to know what would be a good gift to get, but we’ll all pretend that it isn’t happening’. Also though, in these 15 weddings I’ve been to (spanning 15 years) I’ve known one person that had a “bridal shower”. It seems to me that (maybe it’s just here in Australia) people just don’t have bridal showers anymore (unless it’s a big European wedding, then there is usually a bridal shower, kitchen tea etc) otherwise, I’ve never been to one.

      We also requested no gifts for our engagement party, because we are having a 9 month engagement I thought it was bad form to expect people to give us gifts twice in one year.

      As for people thinking the gifts should “re-coup” the cost of inviting someone to the wedding, that is completely ridiculous. If you’re inviting people to make sure you get money / presents you’re a very silly person. YOU are throwing a party, YOU are providing the guests with food, drink and a good time. There is no “cover charge” at the door – it is up to you to foot the bill.

    • moonie27

      October 7, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      When a group of friends was going in together for a wedding gift, and trying to figure out how much they wanted to spend, one of the people estimated how much the couple had spent per head and presented that as a starting point for much everyone should contribute.

      As there were a few very broke people involved, I jumped in and said a) your presence is enough and b) you should spend only what you can afford.

    • Benwhoski

      October 7, 2013 at 9:34 am

      I think a big part of the issue here is that it doesn’t sound like Gretchen didn’t give them a gift at all. She gave a homemade gift, and that wasn’t good enough for the bride, who then demanded that she cough up cash for her.

  9. kris

    October 6, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    My soon to be in-laws asked what we wanted for a wedding present. Now, my fiance is from England, and there are a ton of fee’s for him to stay here after we get married, so I told them, as well as other people who asked, that we have plenty of “stuff” but the almost $3000 in paperwork would be the best thing for us. Tacky, probably, but it is really the only thing we need.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      There is a difference in telling people who ask that cash would be appreciated and holding their attendance hostage unless receiving a gift. I don’t think what you did was bad.

    • kris

      October 6, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      I would never hold someone hostage for not bringing a gift. My gifts are normally food items I made myself, simply because I don’t have the money for anything else.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      See, I would love that for a present because it is practical.

    • LiteBrite

      October 6, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      I don’t think it’s tacky. Your in-laws (and others) asked what you wanted, and you told them. That’s quite different from **demanding** people give you certain gifts such as cash.

    • Roberta

      October 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      There is also a difference between “gimme cash to pay for signature cocktail drinks” and “we need to cover the grooms visa and immigration papers”. One is a priority, the other is a luxury.

  10. Grace

    October 6, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I’m getting married in December and we put on our invites that our guest’s presence was the perfect present as a lot of people are travelling to share our day with us. We have been living together for a few years and have a kid, our house is pretty much set up with all the things we need. Gift giving isn’t so important these days as most couples tend to live together for a bit before they get married. It’s a lot different to times past when they would move into their marital home shortly after their marriage and needed to furnish it. I dislike registries, I guess they can be good for informing guests on what they need but it does seem a bit grabby. Especially as people only want the best, top of the line brands. I have seen some people get royally pissed because people didn’t buy the things specified on their baby shower registries. If you want your kid to have the best, buy it yourself! That’s what I think anyway. I have no problem helping people out, it’s just annoying when they are ungrateful.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      See, I had the opposite experience. My husband and I were young with very little when we got married, so we did need the essentials. In hindsight, I think I may have gone too cheap and too practical, because I got almost nothing from my registry. I remember opening a box that had a beautiful Waterford crystal vase (no receipt, so who knows, maybe it was a regift) and crying because I really needed those cheap washcloths I registered for. Pls note that I was at home, so I wasn’t crying in front of guests or anything 😉

    • Grace

      October 6, 2013 at 5:35 pm

      That’s fair enough. An interesting view point, thanks for sharing. I guess it all depends on circumstance. Sometimes registries can be very helpful (as in your situation) but at other times they are outlandish and extravagant. I was more feeling peeved about people who verbalize their disappointment that they didn’t get the kitchen aid they registered for, or the expensive china or any other big ticket item.

    • Emmali Lucia

      October 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm

      I would have cried in front of guests. Been like “THIS COULD HAVE BOUGHT ME EVERYTHING ON MY REGISTRY!!!”

      Who knows? Maybe they got the wrong registry?

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 9:41 pm

      They may have gotten the wrong registry, but we overall got sooooo few things from the registry that I think people just didn’t think my choices were “gifty” enough. And, in a way, I get it. If you have a mental limit of 25 bucks, you want to get a 25 bucks item and wrap it and make it look pretty. Its hard to wrap a can opener and a strainer and a paring knife and some dishcloths, and those items aren’t as “fun” as a mixer or fancy sheet set.

      Its hard to buy for us practical people because we barely ever want fun stuff.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      October 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      I would totally make a sweet ass gift basket of those items, with dishtowel flowers. Practical and pretty!

    • Meg

      October 6, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      aww 🙁 Kinda makes me wish i was your friend back then, I would have given you a garbage bag full of towels. 🙂
      When I got married, I had been living with my husband for about a year. It was his house, and he was not much of a housekeeper, so I was still struggling to get the house in order a year later. Almost everything on my registry was of the practical sort, and was in various price ranges. Oddly enough, I didn’t get much that was on my registry either. Makes me wonder how many people actually check registries.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      I’m telling ya, people do not like giving practical gifts.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      October 6, 2013 at 10:52 pm

      I almost only give, and request practical gifts. This leads to me being told I am “no fun” and being given money and being told to “do something FUN with it” What is so wrong with fun being getting a damn bill paid? I don’t get it.

    • EX

      October 7, 2013 at 3:11 am

      I didn’t have a registry for my wedding because I didn’t really need or want anything specific (we’d been living together for years and already owned a house). That caused problems because everyone kept bugging my mother about what to get us. Then for my baby shower I did register, but for practical stuff and I had the same experience – everyone told me I was no fun. Made me feel like you can’t win!

    • Blueathena623

      October 7, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Amen. My thing is, I prefer experiences to things. And the experiences I want to do are too expensive for any one person/couple to provide. I hate asking for money outright, so if someone wants to give me something other than cold, hard cash, I’d prefer something practical or a giftcards to a store I can buy groceries in, because the money I save can go toward my fun, expensive experience. Right now I’m saving up so I can do the “zoo keeper for a day” thing at my zoo so I can be with elephants. So there you go people, THAT’S my fun thing.

    • Ptownsteveschick

      October 7, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      OMG that sounds so stinking fun!

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm

      The key to a good registry is to have lots of things in lots of different price ranges. That way people can choose based on what they like/can afford/want to give.

      I personally am a HUGE fan of registries (even for kid’s birthday parties!) because it takes all the pressure off. Nowadays you can even do it online, spend what you want, and be assured that it is something they really want. I am TERRIBLE at picking our gifts and the registries are a god-send!

    • MommyK

      October 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm

      Yes! It’s the worst when the only thing reasonably priced on the registry is a hand towel, lol. I recently went to a wedding like that, where even one mixing bowl was way above what I could spend. I didn’t even know they made dishes so expensive! Ended up getting them a couple nice bottles of wine (not on the registry) instead.

    • Momma425

      October 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      This is what I don’t get. I have a kid, so maybe it is different for people who don’t have children…but I HATE getting nice stuff. It is nice for 4.73 seconds before my 4 year olds breaks it or gets it dirty or otherwise rins whatever it is I have. When I registered, my mom convinced me to get some matching dishes that were nicer than the ones we have. I wanted something really basic and easy/cheap to replace. I ended up registering for a $30 20 piece set…and those sit in high up cubbords in my home. I rarely ever use them because I don’t want to have it get broken and have to deal with the mess. I much prefer my cheap, good-will style plastic dishes that don’t match. Same with everything else…I didn’t want fancy towels…I was sitting in target registering for the $4.99 ones. It was awesome! People who didn’t have much money had plenty of options, and people who wanted to spend more were certainly allowed. I didn’t care regardless. My wedding was 2 months ago and I don’t even really remember who got what- just who all was there and the fun we all had.

    • Sara610

      October 7, 2013 at 6:54 am

      I have friends who got married and their registry was mostly really, really expensive stuff. And older friend of mine made the hilarious suggestion that since they were clearly mostly interested in getting “fancy” gifts, all of their friends should give them something very pricey but almost totally useless, like 25 identical sterling-silver shrimp de-veiners.

    • nikki753

      October 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      See, I do like to go through and critique registries. Some of them are clearly made by people who haven’t been on their own and register for some totally worthless space wasters – like egg separators and larger just as useless things. I love ones where they only register for ridic expensive things. Oh yes, I totally need the $150 Waterford crystal wine coaster. Then you’ve spent $150 and you got them… a coaster… ummm. No. But, that did make me feel really weird when we registered. Will people still like us? Will they think that is stupid?

  11. UGH

    October 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm


    Gods, that reminds me of a friend who just got married. NOt only was she a total control freak bridezilla, she made everyone on both sides of the bridal party spend so much money on their outfits, props for their grand entrance (she made all of them do a little dance as they were each announced by the DJ, leading up to her and her new hubby’s entry), FORCING them to learn that aforementioned dance routine when many of them were uncomfortable dancing in front of others, and generally was just so much of a bridezilla that my husband had members of the bridal party who had been involved in our wedding telling him how much they preferred our wedding because I was such a laid back bride.
    On top of her bridezilla behavior, she tried to have five (yes, FIVE) parties before and after her wedding. While I agree that the engagement party and bridal shower are sort of par for the course, there were also: A “help us choose our signature drink” party at a bar, which translated to “everyone pay to buy us drinks until we decide on one we like,” a “pre-wedding party” a few days before the wedding which basically meant “buy us more drinks and food,”, and THEN she tried to force her bridal party into attending a “thank you” party a few days after the wedding and reception were over, which of course would have required them to pay more money on drinks and such. Of course by then nobody wanted to pay any more money or go to any more parties for this self centered little princess, and she actually had the nerve to call THEM the selfish ones because they didn’t want to spend more money on showering her with attention… Ugh. Sorry princess, but after the wedding it’s OVER. Nobody cares anymore, you had your moment and it’s done.

    It just baffles me how people have gotten so damned greedy.

    • UGH

      October 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Oh, AND this princess friend of mine also set up a honeymoon fund and actually stated ON THE INVITATION (!!!!!) that “we already have everything we need, but the honeymoon is another thing: we had to choose between it and the diamond ring, so go to this website and donate in lieu of giving gifts.” Um, newsflash hon: If it comes down to choosing between a fancy rock and a honeymoon, you either get a cheaper ring or delay the honeymoon until you can afford it, NOT make your guests pay for the honeymoon. And then they also had a money dance at the reception… UGH. That whole wedding was just one big Gimme Fest.

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Please tell me she spends every other minute helping needy children or saving baby seals, because otherwise, why are you friends with her?

    • UGH

      October 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm

      I have since pulled away from her after that fiasco. I thought she was a decent person before, but you know what they say: Weddings bring out the worst in people. Clearly her good behavior did not outweigh the bad that she is capable of. I remain cordial to her because she married a man who is also one of my husband’s good friends, but that’s it.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 6:22 pm

      Maybe not anymore, but there was a time when the money dance was de rigeour in certain circles. I had people ask me at my wedding when it was happening! I had never heard of it before.

    • Gangle

      October 6, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      I always thought things like the money dance were left over from the days when getting married was the first time a bride and groom would leave the family nests and go out into the world on their own, so it was to help them out while they are finding their feet. In fact, wasn’t that what bridal showers etc were for? To help the betrothed couple gather the everyday things they would need in life? While I understand that bridal showers etc are now more about celebrating together, I am kind of over them.

    • Andrea

      October 6, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Most of the traditions we have regarding weddings are a result of things that have become kinda outdated. Wedding gifts, bridal showers, money dances, etc were all designed to get the couple started on their new life because they were (mostly) going straight from their parent’s home to their own and they have nothing.

      A lot of couples now (most maybe?) are getting married later in life, they probably already live together and have home set up so it’s one of the reasons why registries are getting weird. Most couples don’t “need” things like towels, sheets or kitchen stuff, they have that already. So they register for things like the expensive kitchen stuff and nice dishes (more expensive) or honeymoon stuff, which a lot of people find offensive.

      Personally, I think we should go for the cash option all around and the couple can decide how to spend it.

    • Gangle

      October 6, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      I honestly think bridal showers and the like should be completely done away with. Maybe I am just missing the romantic gene, but weddings more and more are going away from celebrating a happy occasion with family and friends to competing for the most elaborate party possible and dragging out the me-me-me time for as long as possible. I mean, seriously: The engagement party. The bridal shower. the hens/bucks parties. The rehearsal. The actual wedding (if everyone isn’t completely over it by now).

    • Blueathena623

      October 6, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      I have hope that the non-bridezillas still greatly out-number the bridezillas, but its just that they are less vocal.

    • Andrea

      October 7, 2013 at 7:47 am

      I think so. The zillas are the ones you hear about (and they make shows out of)

    • nikki753

      October 7, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Exactly! “I was a bridesmaid and she made us all weigh in weekly and charged us for bringing dates and made us all spend $1,500! blah blah blah” makes for an exciting story that’s fun to tell and hear. “I was a bridesmaid and the dresses were kind of expensive so my friend covered part of the cost and it was actually a cute and flattering dress and we had a nice time and it was totally normal.” makes for a borrrring story. That’s why that one doesn’t get told often.

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      I work weddings, and I can assure you the bridezillas are in the minority, but they are so unbelievably horrible that they loom large in people’s memories. The last bridezilla I had was so bad she refused to pay half her vendors because they didn’t fulfill her perfect vision. I offered to be a witness to each of them if they decide to take her to court.

    • Amy @ MI Savings Mama

      October 7, 2013 at 10:28 am

      My husband and I didn’t have a Bridal Shower. We did have the Bachlor/Bachlorette party, but ours was combined and we had a bonfire at our house. It was BYOB, no gifts necessary… And it was just a great evening. We did a registry – and only put on like 10 things, that we really could use, and 2 things that were things that we wanted (But were higher in dollars) Just incase anyone wanted to join in and get a gift. We got 2 things off our registry -and use them constantly. We bought our bridesmaids their dresses. Thought nothing of it.

    • LiteBrite

      October 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I always write a check as my wedding gift for this reason. That way the couple can decide how best to use it.

    • MommyK

      October 6, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      I always get uncomfortable when the money dance comes. Usually I have spent what I can on their gift, and they always seem to be done by people who are going somewhere super nice for their honeymoon (and don’t really need the extra money).

      When my husband and I got married, we had both had family members affected by breast cancer, so we did Kiss for the Cure to honor our loved ones who have had it and those we have lost to it. Instead of clinking glasses to get us to kiss, we had people put money in a pink box to be donated to the Canadian Breast Cancer foundation. We felt better about doing that than asking for money for us.

    • C.J.

      October 6, 2013 at 11:12 pm

      That’s a very nice thing to do.

    • Momma425

      October 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Ugh, I opted out of the money dance.
      I have OCD. I love all of my friends and family, but am not a huggy/feely/touchy person and really would prefer that I ONLY dance with the two men in my life I am comfortable with: my dad and my husband. I danced during the reception with my new brother in law…and then we all did YMCA and fun dances like that. No money people had to spend extra, no pressure.

    • gammachris

      October 7, 2013 at 8:09 am

      I was a witness for my dear friend Kristin when she and her husband tied the knot at the courthouse. A year later, they had a big church wedding, and I was asked to be a bridesmaid. I couldn’t afford a gift, much less shell out for a gown, so I went to her to ask to leave the wedding party. My friend essentially told me that I had to be a member of the party, and BOUGHT MY DRESS AND SHOES! On top of her wedding expenses! 20+ years later, we are still friends. She is my daughter’s godmother. She was with me after the stillbirth of my 3rd son. I was there when she had several devastating miscarriages. She is a generous, bighearted woman that I’m proud to call my friend.

    • jessica

      October 7, 2013 at 9:11 am

      Totally! Lets start calling out the good people in our lives too!

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

      I HATE that bridesmaids are “supposed” to buy their own dresses. I bought the dresses for my bridesmaids, because I find the idea of forcing someone to buy an expensive dress they will wear once, unconscionable.

    • Sopie

      October 8, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      When I got married I asked my bridesmaids to buy dresses in a specific color but to buy a dress they felt comfortable in and could wear again.

    • Erin

      October 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      My husband and I threw a help-us-pick-the-beer party, but we just asked for a few of our good friends to bring six-packs and vote. We made snacks, and it was a lot of fun.

      Your friend sounds waaaay out of order.

    • UGH

      October 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      See that’s fine for me, because at least you provided something in return (snacks to go with the beer) and only a few people were invited. This woman just made everyone she could possibly rope into it go to an expensive bar and foot the bill themselves.

  12. Gangle

    October 6, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    What a nasty, spoiled piece of work. When hubs and I married we had some good friends who didn’t buy a gift. I didn’t actually think about it on the day, because we were all too busy having fun, and to be honest I didn’t think of it at all until the friends approached me weeks later to apologise. Apologise for what? I asked. I invited them because I love them and they are fun and I wanted to hang out with them on my wedding day, not because I wanted presents.
    I think Brandy has forgotten what the definition of ‘guest’ is.

  13. Lara

    October 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    So for one I agree with most of you that person who made these demands was totally a jerk

    The cash vs gift giving for weddings I feel is a regional thing. In the tri state area (ny/nj/ct) I feel like the way it usually happens is actual present off registry for shower and cash or check for wedding reception. At least that is how I was advised by family and friends. I did have a bridezilla friend once tell me she expected people to cover their plate she did not want to hear it when I said that you shouldn’t expect that of people and that you are only going to be disappointed if you do. She and I are no longer friends after said wedding. Lol

  14. whiteroses

    October 6, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    I was invited to a wedding recently. She used to be my best friend. It came back to me, however, that she had repeatedly referred to my son as a bastard, despite the fact that his dad and I were married when he was born. Apparently, being conceived out of wedlock- HORRORS- is the same thing as being born out of wedlock in her tiny little brain. (And it should surprise nobody that we are absolutely not friends anymore).

    When I got her save the date, I made it pretty clear to the people around her that I had absolutely no interest in attending her wedding. If I’m going to squeeze myself into a pair of Spanx, find childcare for my technically illegitimate child, shell out money or a gift and spend a perfectly good weekend going to a wedding, it’s going to be the wedding of someone I actually like.

    I read somewhere that some modern brides actually have withdrawal when their weddings are over. And we wonder why half of all American marriages end in divorce.

    • Sara610

      October 7, 2013 at 6:50 am

      A former friend of mine turned into a complete Bridezilla–my best friend was much closer to her than I was, so she bore the brunt of it–and yes, after the wedding was over it did seem like she had some “withdrawal”. She actually kept going about all the post-wedding stuff like it was an equally big deal to the (completely overblown, ME! ME! ME!) affair that she made her wedding into. For example, she sent out big Facebook announcements when she and her husband returned from their honeymoon; when the photos came in; on their “one-month anniversary”, etc., etc. Even after the wedding was over, I never heard her talk about much else for a good several months.

    • LiteBrite

      October 7, 2013 at 10:04 am

      Yeah, that would be one wedding invite that would get a serious decline from me.

      As to the last paragraph I blame the media and the wedding industry in particular. The media sets your wedding up as “THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE.” Its YOUR special day! You should have everything you want! Unfortunately this translates to some brides (and grooms too) spending more time planning this one day than actually thinking about the marriage itself.

      By the time I got married, I was in my early 30s and had been a bridesmaid eight times and been to more weddings than I could ever count. Frankly, I was “weddinged-out” and would have been happy just getting married on a beach with just my husband. In fact, that’s what I told him when asked about the wedding after we got engaged: “Let’s just fly to Jamaica, get married on the beach, drink Red Stripe until we pass out, and come home without fanfare.” But my husband is the one who wanted an a wedding with all family and friends for various reasons (one being that it was important to him for his parents to be there) so there you go. It was fine, but honestly, I was glad when the day was over. 🙂

    • whiteroses

      October 8, 2013 at 10:36 am

      Sounds like you and I would get along well in person :). I felt the same way. Did part of me want the fluffy white dress? Sure. But I was eight months pregnant when I got married, and I couldn’t justify spending the cost of a small car on a party that I’d barely remember.

    • Tinyfaeri

      October 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

      If you’ve ever seen Bridezillas, you wouldn’t wonder anymore. I love that show, it’s like Jerry Springer meets Real Housewives of [insert city here].

    • whiteroses

      October 8, 2013 at 10:38 am

      Oh, I don’t wonder at all. That show is like a train wreck. And what fascinates me is that nearly all of those women end up getting married anyway. I always wonder how they’d react in an actual crisis if they get so incensed over what shoes their bridesmaids wear.

    • Muggle

      October 7, 2013 at 2:28 pm

      Go on Weddingbee and you’ll see tons of women who blog about their weddings in tiny increments for MONTHS, or just read there for the “Wedding porn.” The boards are filled with people already married (sometimes, for YEARS) who want to look at everyone else’s weddings. I guess that’s the WIC for ya…

      I can understand being really into weddings and wanting to look at wedding pictures a lot, I just don’t understand constantly going back on your own or looking for ideas long after your wedding is over.

    • Rachel Sea

      October 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      I was relieved when my wedding was over. It was the best party I have ever thrown, but it was a lot of work, and a lot of stress.

  15. Momma425

    October 7, 2013 at 1:43 am

    Wow, that’s awful.
    I got married in August. Many of my friends didn’t get me wedding gifts or cards- and that was perfectly fine with me. I was just happy that they were there to celebrate with us.
    I think that when you have the money, not bringing a card or gift of some sort is kind of rude. It’s like going to a child’s birthday party and not bringing a present. However saying something about it is SO RUDE, it’s unbelievable.

    • Amy @ MI Savings Mama

      October 7, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I was slightly frustrated at not getting cards – or having people at least sign the guest book. Its not like i dont remember who all was there, but It is nice being able to go and write your thank you for coming cards, and know you got everyone. I knew some of our guest couldnt afford to give a gift/money. What do you do though when someone gives you something that you didnt want … was not on a registry… Something that you cant use… We tried to exchange it towards something we did want at target *cuz thats who carries it* but they said that because of the value, if I didnt have the original reciept I was stuck with it.

  16. Jack Paxton

    October 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

    I don’t know how people get so greedy. And in this economy to have such expectations means you;re gonna lose some friends.

  17. Janok Place

    October 7, 2013 at 8:44 am

    Our wedding was an at home affair, and a total disaster. The farmer we allowed to bale our field drove over our well and cracked it, flooding the house and leaving us without running water for 3 days before (we were doing the cooking of course). Then DH aunt blew up our electrical panel with hot plates she was told not to bring. Not only did I not hold her or the farmer accountable for $8,000 in repairs. I DIDN’T FINE MY GUESTS.

    One aunt and uncle did not give us a gift. They were having difficulty selling their house, they traveled 5 hours the day before to be early and helped. They drove their daughter who was a brides maid. They drove home my sisters date (5 hours!) they camped in my field and my uncle had THE WHOLE wedding cleaned up the morning after before we even woke up!

    I never said a word except explicit thanks. They never apologized for not giving a gift. I felt blessed to have them there, I love them whole heartedly and wouldn’t trade their attendance for a new cadillac. Brides need the STFU, and applause to this girl for putting bridezilla in her place!

  18. JLH1986

    October 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I’ve been married 4.5 months now. And I couldn’t tell you who did or didn’t get us a gift. I can tell you who danced their asses off (at our very low key and inexpensive affair) and who liked the cake and all that. I knew going in that some of our guests wouldn’t have the money to offer a gift, but we didn’t invite them for that reason. We invited them because we were getting married and the thought of doing that without them there didn’t feel right. We had invited 100 people at our wedding (I know, 100 people is A LOT but apparently not) but I remember seeing each person and talking to them. I couldn’t tell you who gave me what (except my awesome bosses hooked it up like…well a boss) but other than that I don’t know and I don’t care. Seeing a 70 year old woman do the cupid shuffle was worth more than a freaking pan.

  19. allisonjayne

    October 7, 2013 at 10:02 am

    People can be so gross. I remember talking to a coworker about her son’s upcoming wedding, and his fiancé really wanted to get married at this beautiful old cinema, but it was really expensive and if they got married there, she was worried that they wouldn’t “make as much money from the wedding”. I was like…what? MAKE MONEY? I’m so confused….

    We were blown away by the generosity in the gifts we received, and it was all just a bonus (that ended up going into our “down payment” fund that later became a “we’d rather have a baby than a condo so it’s now our IVF fund”) because we threw a wedding we could afford. There were also a fair number of people that attended without giving us a gift, about which I could not care less because having them there was the part that mattered to me.

  20. NeuroNerd

    October 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

    I had a cousin of a cousin get married a couple years ago. I’d just finished college and had a ton of student debt, and I had to travel to her wedding. I bought the three cheapest things from her registry–three different cook books that made up a set–for a total of $45. My grandmother (not the grandmother of either the bride or the groom) had the NERVE to criticize my gift, saying that you’re supposed to buy the expensive stuff and shower the couple. WTF? Then what’s the purpose of the cheap gifts on the registry?

    For the record, the cousin of the cousin was a super gracious bride and sent a lovely thank-you note.

  21. nikki753

    October 7, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    One of the worst things about crazy people who happen to be having weddings is how their crazy affects nice people who happen to be having weddings. We looked at ours as a way to celebrate the people we love and who had supported us all of these years. Our whole point was to celebrate together and to show our guests that we loved them.

    I spent a ton of time stressed out about whether or not to invite old friends who live far away and I was sure wouldn’t be able to make it but I wanted to let them know I wish they could be there. But if you send an invitation to an old friend you don’t talk to a lot, because crazy people would do it as a ploy for a gift, will they think that’s what this is??? Ultimately I went with not sending an invite because it seemed safest but I’m still not sure if that was better or if people were hurt when they saw that we had gotten married.

    I don’t know what happens to people where they start to think that if they decide to spend $100 per plate on dinner that means that we should be coughing up more than that in a gift plus this and that. You chose it. You deal with it.

    • Muggle

      October 7, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      If I had a dollar for every time my bridesmaids have had to remind me that it’s MY wedding and I can make them wear whatever purple dress I want, I’d never have to worry about paying for college again.

  22. Blahblah

    October 7, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    This is just horrible. “That’ll help us with bills.” Um, what? That’s like someone getting mad Grandma got them a sweater for Christmas instead of giving them cash. Piss off.

    I quit giving a lot of my friends presents at all because they weren’t grateful about it. “Oh. A DVD. Well, you could have just given me the money.” How about I give you nothing ever again.

  23. AnonyMouse

    October 8, 2013 at 1:17 am

    My wedding was $60 a plate, and we had 160 people there, BUT we did not register for gifts nor did we ask for anything. We told people that if they wanted to give us something (because people were asking) that they could donate whatever amount they wanted to our future children’s college fund. All the money we got we put into an account for our not yet born kids. We still haven’t touched it, and it’s been months.
    We also paid for our wedding ourselves because we spent 2 years saving up for it following a super small Justice of the Peace wedding. I feel like that’s the way to go. If you want to get married, but don’t have the money for a wedding, do a JP wedding, and then renew your vows after you’ve saved up. Ours was a like a party celebrating our love with our friends and family. It was nice to just have everyone with us. It was a great day.

  24. Andrea_W

    October 8, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    I got married 4 years ago and we did the charity donation thing in lieu of gifts (my husband jokes that Will and Kate stole the idea from us!) and we got SO heavily criticized by family and friends because we didn’t want gifts after living together for 3 years and moving across the country. It was really weird. I went to a wedding two years ago where the bride stated on her website that the minimum gift per couple was $200 to cover the cost of our plates…..super tacky!

    • Emily Clocke

      October 8, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      Gift minimum!!??!?!? She deserves a good slap across the face.

  25. MorrisCoveMom

    October 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I too, will never understand this expensive wedding and greedy nonsense. I got married in a pizzeria. We regret buying rings that cost more than $50, as we both lost weight after the wedding and now wear rings form the local artisan store that cost $29.95. Funny thing is, we get tons of compliments on these rings, and no one ever even noticed the other ones.

    My favorite part of my wedding was that my husband and I got to be the nice guys in the wedding situation. Our best man and matron of honor asked when we should go shopping for their clothes. We told them to wear their nicest clothes, whatever they wanted. They were stunned. But we had been wedding attendants before, spending thousands between us, so we knew that we didn’t want to cost people any money. And my bachelorette party? Japanese restaurant with my MIL and matron of honor. No drinks, just food and dessert. Perfect and cheap. I hope all these other cats can figure out that it’s the relationships, not the pomp and circumstance that matter.

  26. Guelettis

    October 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    I think she was well within her bounds. Four parties wasn’t enough? Jeezus, my man of honor and I went out for pizza and mused over childhood memories. I didn’t have a shower because no one offered and I didn’t demand someone throw me one because I am an adult that doesn’t need presents. Considering the boring showers I’ve gone to, I’m considering the lack of shower a win.

    “Brandy” is out a great friend. “Gretchen” can come hang out with me and we can be reasonable human beings together. Props to her.

  27. Ray S

    November 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    What a horrible bride. I think this new norm comes from a generation which has been ingrained with a self-entitlement culture. It’s all about them. They could care less about your situation. Ironically I was a wedding photographer for seven years and can say from the almost 200 weddings I had attended, the one’s that were the most memorable had nothing to do with how much they spent on the occasion, but on how much love and joy was seen between both families and guests.

    I have been to expensive weddings where families were obviously feuding and guests were talking really bad things behind the wedding party, quietly criticizing every little detail, but smiling whenever I was taking pictures. And I’ve been to some weddings that were modest, but the food was incredible, and everyone showed kindness toward each other. These were so different even during their receptions. The best one’s were when you’d see people coming together on the dance floor, not separated by family name or social status. Two completely different worlds. Being as I was a photographer I’ve had the privilege of seeing it from the outside-in. How you handle your wedding will reflect on how you connect with your guests and family members. Most aren’t going to remember what flowers were on the table or what food was served… but they’ll remember the memories they shared with you before you got married, and they’ll remember being invited, and they’ll remember that you remembered to thank them for coming -regardless of weather they got you a gift or didn’t. One of the wisest things I heard was a guest who said, “you know, this many people all coming together for just two people… well this only happens once and then again when you’re dead and they show up to your funeral.” After hearing that I thought to myself, “man, after some of these brides and how they’ve been treating their guests, I don’t know how many would even want to show up to her funeral if she died on the spot.”

    Don’t fake love (and I’m not just talking about love between bride and groom, but love for people.) If you really believe that what you spend on your wedding day equals/represents true love, do yourself a favor. Don’t get married.

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