(Closed) a rant about wedding gifts

posted 8 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 152
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

This Time Around, I just love you. We are from the same era and I knew you would weigh in here and have the same feelings I do.

Post # 153
509 posts
Busy bee

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@This Time Round:  I too got china, crystal and silverware at my first wedding.  As most of it was gifted from my ex-husband’s side of the family, I gave it to him when we separated.  Mostly because I was trying to be nice, but partly because it was too ostentatious and expensive for my taste.

Being from the UK, I grew up with Denby as our everyday stuff.  My mother has, at last count, 25 fine china tea sets, and her great-grandmother’s full dinner set.  I didn’t kHow the value of this stuff until one of my friends had Denby on her registry o_0

I think we have become much less formal in our entertaining styles, and most people just don’t use fine china and cystal anymore. Having said that, I would still be thrilled to get something in that vein as a young bride.  It’s a tangible gift that has memories attached which is way more important, in my opinion, than a wad of cash.

It seems as though the whole wedding industry has become a commercial nightmare. The sense of expectation and entitlement seems to have moved even beyond that.  Being invited as a guest should be a positive experience, not one fraught with “will what I give as a gift be considered good enough?” A wedding should be a celebration of the joining of two people’s lives, not a cash grab to cover expenses or to ‘pay your way’. 


Post # 154
228 posts
Helper bee

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@BookGirrl:  I think it’s fine to have expensive items on the registry, especially the traditional stuff. But what seems greedy is when there are no cheaper items on there as well. I think couples should try to think about their guests’ economic stati (though there is no knowing for sure what people are comfortable spending) when making a registry. We have well off families and grad student friends. We’ll register for some all-clad pots as we both live to cook, but also will have plenty of 10-20 dollar items on there as well.  I hope no one feels uncomfortable with that or thinks we are greedy for the pricier items. I’ve had friends do similar things, and I knew their family backgrounds, so it made sense.

Post # 155
972 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Short and sweet response:  We’re having this marriage for Fiance and I.  We’ve invited others to attend because they are important to us and care about us.  We want them to attend, we don’t care if they get us anything or give us any money.

Long response:  I get you’re unhappy you didn’t get what you wanted.  You never know what people are going through or what they can afford.  If they were impotant enough to invite it should not matter what they give you (I don’t see why you’d invite people where the main goal wasn’t just having them there but expecting something of them in gift/money form, but that’s us).

We did a registry because several people pestered us months out to do so, we told them where it was, 20 days to wedding and nothing has been bought from the registry.  I still don’t care if they get us anything at all, or regift something, but I’m like “Why did you pester me to do this and not buy anything from it?!” (nothing over $50 on the registry).  We’re 35+, we don’t need anything!  We’re both frugal, so we love money, but don’t expect it.  So I get the annoyance factor there.  But we invited people to share this day with us because they are important to us.  Their being there will be more than enough.

This thread reminds me of my 7th birthday.  I had a friend who moved in to town a few months before.  They slept on mattresses on the floor, had little clothes and the girl had less toys.  My mom invited her to my birthday party.  Her mom said she couldn’t attend, they couldn’t afford a present unless I wanted a hamster.  I loved hamsters (or anything furry) but I didn’t want the girl’s pet and before I could speak my mom said “She’s only allowed to come if she doesn’t bring a hamster, no gift required”.  I remember enjoying the girl being there, I don’t remember not getting a gift from her.  At that point we were low income enough to think about food stamps, but we were rich compared to their family.

At this time, with the economy the way it is, you can look like you have money but be struggling for food but make to much to get help.  This may not be the case.  Sure there’s “rules” about gifts but what’s really important to you?  If you only invited people important to you and they showed up (gift/money) or not, that’s what mattered.  If you invited people you didn’t care about and they didn’t give what you expected, now you know for the future.

I’m sorry if I sound harsh, and I know you’re venting, but honestly I don’t get why you’re venting.  Maybe it’s a way we were raised thing?  To me the importance is in who attends, not what we get.  If we get stuff we don’t want or is regifted, we’ll be happy to give it to someone we know can use it.

Post # 156
2491 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I can’t say I agree, but I understand getting strange gifts. For a few years after my grandmother died my grandpa would buy us knick knacks from the dollarstore for every holiday (and it wasn’t a money thing). 

I will say, for anyone who does give random gifts and giftcards, we received some great ones, like for home depot, a very nice spa/hotel/restaurant, a local restaurant and a mall. It was all great and very generous.


Post # 157
2353 posts
Buzzing bee

Sounds like your circle of friends includes people who are down on their luck and/or come from a different gifting culture than you do. Life is pretty hard, isn’t it?

Where I come from, giving money is considered rude. And registries are considered just a guideline. There is a gift table at the wedding for “boxed” gifts (what a weird phrase) because it’s normal to bring a sizeable gifts to the wedding itself. And the idea that people give you something at a shower AND then something for the wedding is weird to me, since where I’m from, you get one gift (if any) either at the shower or at the wedding (why should people invited to showers – and there may be multiple showers – have to contribute multiple gifts?)

DH and I got some nice surprises, some weird surprises (how long before we can get rid of the clown tile?), a small amount of cash, and some gift cards – some from stores we like and some were surprises. Some guests have never given us anything, not even a card. At no point did we consider ourselves cheated by our guests. That’s what shocks me most about your post – that you believe anyone owed you a particular gift, or even a gift at all. 

Post # 158
1377 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Also, some of what you have been complaining about is PERSONAL PREFERENCE. You prefer cash or registry gifts sent ahead and not brought to the wedding. OK, fine. Some people might think cash gifts are too impersonal, really appreciate off-registry gifts and like looking over and seeing an overflowing gift table at their wedding. You are essentially asking people to be mind-readers and that’s unfair.

I also think some people are reacting so badly to the OP’s post because many of us as guests have made these so-called horrible gifting errors. At my first big-girl wedding, I got a random, off-registry gift only worth about $30 which I brought to the wedding. I really didn’t know much about wedding and almost forgot the gift, most of the registry was brought out and I scrambled to find anything in my price range (I was a recent college grad who was working a low-paying job) and brought the gift to the wedding because the logistics of transporting the gifts didn’t occur to me. I’m glad my friend wasn’t like the OP because she would have hated me and thought me thoughtless when I was just young and poor and inexperienced with weddings. 

Post # 159
1231 posts
Bumble bee

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@the_future_mrs:  Your grandma is the BEST gift giver ever! OMG those are hysterical! I bet you never have to worry about getting a boring gift from her. 🙂

Post # 160
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

So you had an expensive party to get gifts, and since you didn’t get the ones you want, you’re throwing a tantrum. I feel sorry for those who got you anything.

Post # 161
4474 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

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@the_future_mrs:  (GASP) Those shirts are AMAZING.  The lamp’s great, too, but those shirts…words can’t describe.  Grandma sounds awesome.

Post # 162
3657 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000



We live next door to a couple who got married last month. They went off on a  honeymoon and UPS flooded their house with boxes.

Since no one was there picking up boxes, we picked them all up. They covered our dining room table for two weeks.

We thought it was funny, and kind of fun, to see what would be delivered each day. I was responsible for these packages, anyway, because I had told the UPS man early on “oh, I think they are home now” so he left a package. And then another. and then a lot of them. Mea culpa, but all turned out just fine. 



Post # 163
246 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

i somewhat agree with your statements. In our family and social circles, it is customary to give only cash gifts at the wedding. There is no gift table, only a card box. For friends who are not aware, i am sure this may be shocking. At our culture our bridal showers, gifts are usually spilt half physical gifts and half money

I have an aunt who has been making a small quilt for each new bride to be in our family. She spends some of her spare time sewing, and working on it. This is a wonderful, personalised, and unique gift and I am sure she enjoys making, and likes that we can use it and keep it forever. But I feel guilty, that i will not be using it. I do not like quilts or that style of decorating. I know it is her choice for the gift, but i wont appreciate it the way she would like me to. I feel bad, keeping it in storage.  I kept hoping that she wouldn’t ask my mom what my fav. colours are, but she did.   I would prefer tuperware, or anything else more useful.  So yes, a guest can mean well with their gift choices, but the gift may not always suit the recepiants’ needs. I wouldn’t call her quilt a crappy gift, (ok, maybe i have when venting)  but it is only b/c it does not suit us well, and i feel guilty for not liking it as much as i should.  I think she has recieved great feedback from my cousins after recieving their quilt, that she has decided to make one for all our family’s brides. I just have to suck it up, and be thankful.  End rant.



Post # 164
497 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1993

I was going to comment about your registry, because I figured it probably had nothing but expensive items on it. But then I read that it ranged between $5-$300 so yeah idk why people did that.

Idk if anybody said this already, but….there are some people that aren’t accustomed to registries. My family never really does that, I guess because we really don’t expect people to give us gifts. And if they do they will give us whatever they can afford.


P.S. You are very brave for posting something like this, girls can be very snarky on boards like this (i.e. the knot) lol!

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