- 4 years ago
- Wedding: October 2017
There are just so many cultural/ethnic, personal, and class factors that go into gift-giving and registries. It’s probably why these threads are always so heated. My sense is that women coming from traditional and sentimental cultures highly value a tangible gift off their registry. They enjoy being able to say, “Auntie Em bought us all the serverware to our china pattern. We think of her every time we pull it out!” Probably also the case for brides who are from more economically stable backgrounds where needing to pay the light bill with wedding cash is less pressing. Contrast that with people who see themselves as particularly modern or practical. Cash is king and will always be. What is Waterford crystal and why the hell would I need 8 of them? I need help paying my car note and every little bit counts!
I don’t like giving cash gifts (because I find them very impersonal), but for the last few weddings I went to, the couples haven’t registered or have done very limited registries. In those cases I gift cash. I will say this though – when I give cash, I have noticed that I tend to give less. I think seeing the physical tangible gift gets me excited about this major life transition and I subconsciously up the budget. When I’m cutting a check, I tend to think about things in very practical terms – how much did I spend to travel, where’s my budget this month?
Life is too short to worry about stuff like this. Who cares. Put some money in a card and call it a day. I’d rather give cash than give a gift that will end up being returned for credit or regifted. Cash makes my life easier.
Showers were invented as a way for the community to help a bride set up a home for her husband to be and herself. If a bride already has her own home, or the couple is already living together, perhaps, in those cases, it is time for this tradition to die a graceful death, like other traditions that are no longer followed.
If someone wants to host a social occasion for that bride, they could host a brunch or luncheon, no gifts involved. Yes, it will mean that some brides will get shower gifts and some won’t, but that is the current situation anyway. Some brides don’t have showers. If your home is already established, and you don’t want gifts, you don’t need a shower. They were never intended to pay for the wedding, the honeymoon, student loans or anything else.
Growing up in a culture that doesn’t have bridal showers, my definition of a shower is the definition that was first given to me. “A bridal shower is like a PG bachelorette party.” I always thought the point was ladies/family bonding time. Not that I’ve ever asked anybody else about it but I never heard that the point was to “shower the bride with gifts” until this thread.
If you’re going to go, I think a gift certificate in any denomination would be proper. I’d be weird if she opened gifts and she and others immediately knew how much you gave.
I am not living with my Fiance and have moved states every two years since I was 18. I don’t have anything to set up a house. But I still don’t get the concept of a shower. The party in celebration of the wedding is the reception. So why is there an additional party with a separate gift for the same occasion (a marriage/impending marriage)? And some have a third party, an engagement party. Why so many parties celebrating one thing? Maybe people just like them- admittedly I’m not the biggest fan.
That being said, I firmly believe that a wedding shower should be when people give the wedding gift. Maybe it’s not traditional, but I think it makes the most sense! I think it allows the guests to enjoy the wedding more and allows the couple not to have to figure out how to transport gifts. So, at my wedding, I hope people show up to the wedding “empty handed.” I just want them to come with full hearts and to be ready to enjoy the evening. Of course, there’s no easy way to express that in invitations or in person. Sometimes I think weddings have become too traditional and people have become too worried about etiquette.
Proper etiquette varies by culture and family, so it’s not as easy as just looking it up online. My Fiance and I are different cultures and I’ve found that things that my family expects might offend his family because they view it as proper etiquette and vice versa. So, we’ve just been trying to do things in a way that makes sense to us and offends the least number of people.
I definitely agree with a point you made above that sometimes traditions need to die a graceful death.
I cannot believe so many people are against giving cash?! I would much rather give a bride cash for both the shower and wedding and know she got to use it towards her honeymoon, down payment, the wedding itself, etc.
I’m only 25 but I only need a handful of things for my kitchen. I think it’s rude to put all brides into a box and say “oh you’re getting married so you must need towels and a set of knives.” Honestly, it’s archaic.
I know a lot of couples who did a honeyfund and I think it’s an awesome idea. Maybe it’s time we start to throw some outdated ideas of gifting away. Someone has a registry? Great. Someone doesn’t? That’s great too.
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