It appears to me that this whole wedding thing has become a profit-loss business for some people. Just read this ungrateful rant on Yahoo! Answers:
I myself am planning a wedding. It’s costing me about $35,000 give or take. (And that’s not a big number for a wedding) Now I understand if you are traveling super long distances (I have a guest coming from France to my wedding in Canada) but people that live by me shouldn’t have a problem. Right? If you break it down, I think it will cost me about $230 per person. Now, whenever I go to a wedding, I try to find out how much it cost for a plate, add 15% or more. I thought that was what everyone did. I know that maybe not everyone has tonnes of money, but it’s a wedding! I plan on doing it once! Isn’t the point of weddings (other then getting married) to help start off a couple? When it was my fiance’s brother wedding we gave him $900 between us. He’s family! I see people asking “what is a cheap gift for a wedding?” … and I can’t help feel insulted for the wedding couple.
Tell me am I out of line with my thinking??? Should I expect only $20 gifts from people?
Forget about the ridiculous numbers in that text, just concentrate on the attitude.
Fortunately, the rant received some suitable chastising replies, and probably the lady who asked the question finally learned something at the end of all that. The best answer to that rant was this:
…and by the way, you are having a wedding, not a fund raiser!
Now, I have met a few people/couples who are not as ungrateful as the author of the above rant, but they do try to *estimate* the value of gifts received, so as to find comfort against the rising cost of their wedding. They are not blunt enough to say “I am expecting wedding gifts“, but somewhere at the back of their mind, their calculators are running, and they are hoping that guests will give them *reasonable* gifts.
I can understand the feelings of people/guests, who, with their own free will, genuinely wish to give something to the marrying couple to help them start a new household. Such noble feelings extend beyond the boundaries of culture and tradition, and are perfectly sensible from the point of view of the giver.
But, I haven’t fully understood the logic behind a couple or a person who expects (or for that matter, just accepts) gifts on their wedding? Are you expecting gifts because everyone else gets gifts for their weddings? or because of cultural and traditional obligations (like your parents want you to accept gifts)? or because you really need the help that the gifts will provide in setting up your new household? or are you just taking them because people are in the mood to give? I am not asking these questions in a fit of ranting mood - I would really like to know what goes on in the mind when it comes to expecting gifts.
People share this common, often quoted, philosophy - “it’s the thought that counts“. If it’s really the thought that counts, then why not just accept good wishes and blessings as wedding gifts instead of merchandise and/or cash? and if you are ready to accept just the thoughts, why not proactively ask people to not bring any gifts? “Proactively” is the key word here - without which, the line between “expecting” gifts and “accepting” gifts becomes blur.
Why not save hundreds of poor souls from situations like this, and advice like this on how to avoid overspending on wedding presents? Why not save yourselves (and/or some of your family members) the trouble of ridiculing people who give *cheap* gifts? Just politely ask everyone to not bring any gifts and a lot of problems will be solved.
If you think that would be an earth-shattering, revolutionary way of doing things, take heart; people have done this before. For example, here is a part of a wedding invitation I received last month (from an economically average, middle class gentleman):
We (me and my wife) had a similar wedding “policy”. It wasn’t within the norms of our cultural and/or traditional mindset, but we did it anyways. We had a lot of reasons why people shouldn’t spend money and time on buying gifts for us, but we never found a single one that convinced us to accept any gifts from anyone.
I would be glad to hear from people who have (or have not) accepted gifts at their weddings, and the reasons behind doing so. If you are planning on getting married in future, would you consider proactively asking your guests to not bring gifts (or even flowers)?