- 6 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
My fiance and I have been living together for about 3 years, in a home that I purchased all the way back in 2001. We both have generous salaries and we are a well-established household; as such, we really don’t want or need much in the way of gifts, although my fiance is a lot more “anti-gift” than I am.
Knowing that most folks in our social circle would no sooner show up to a wedding without a gift than they’d show up naked, I created a small registry (seriously, it’s about 8 items) of things I’ve been meaning to buy for our new kitchen and just haven’t gotten around to. I also set up an airline miles registry and a hotel points registry. On our website’s registry page I also requested that guests make a charitable donation in our name, with our chosen charity and a reminder for our friends that are my co-workers, my employer does a 100% donation match. My fiance was against doing a registry at all, but I feel strongly that people will give gifts anyway, and we should either give them some guidance or risk our friends’ wasting their money on crap that immediately gets shoved in a closet.
Where we are hitting a problem is with a couple of friends and family members who are trying to make gifts that are TOO generous.
As an example, one friend is a former White House photographer, and I asked him to refer me to a photographer, knowing that he’d know who is THE BEST in town. He’s made all the arrangements and put us in touch with each other, but has apparently told the photographer that he’s paying, not us. I asked another friend to visit the guest hotel with me, as they do a nightly free happy hour and I wanted to see the room set-up before making that the official gathering in lieu of a more traditional rehearsal dinner (we’re having a pre-rehearsal luncheon), and she’s placed a small catering order with the hotel so guests will have nibbles, and she won’t give me the bill. I asked my sister to help me make some small welcome bags for the out-of-town guests and she’s already bought all the supplies and goodies (except what she’ll be baking the day before the arrivals), and won’t give me the bill.
I’m perfectly comortable with the friend who is a salon owner and has offered to do my hair and makeup as her gift; it’s not taking money out of her pocket, and while I’d be glad to pay her (and already offered), it’s a wonderful gift and I’m grateful to have one less expense to fund. I’m also comfortable with our other photographer friend whose gift will be a post-wedding photo shoot of our choice. What I’m not comfortable with are these HUGELY generous gifts— that photographer has got to be at least $5k, given his reputation, and the hotel catering must be at least $500.
How can I persuade these well-meaning friends that they don’t HAVE to do this, they can help with the decisions and I’m grateful for their advice but I don’t want, need, or expect them to go broke paying for my wedding?
On the flip side 😀 we are traveling to Wales for our friends’ wedding next month and they have requested donations toward honeymoon funds, but won’t give us their paypal address, saying that we’re already spending enough just to get there. I guess the shoe is on the other foot now, because I’m not respecting their wishes for me to put the wallet away, but would it be tacky of us to give a small envelope of cash or hotel gift cards? I guess this part makes me hypocrite of the year, but to me there’s a huge difference between 100 quid for honeymoon cash and $5k for a photographer.