- 10 years ago
- Wedding: September 2011
This is copy and pasted from a larger article here: http://manolobrides.com/2009/03/19/the-myth-of-covering-your-plate/
“The cover your plate myth is likely an offshoot of the pernicious idea that brides and grooms will recoup the cost of the wedding in wedding gifts. For some couples, this may be true, but I wouldn’t recommend counting on it when you’re putting together your wedding budget… and if you’re choosing well-off wedding guests in the hopes of making back the cost of your wedding you have bigger issues than we here at Manolo for the Brides can fix.
“A recent NY Times article about wedding gifts attempted to clear up the issue of how much guests should spend on wedding gifts, and the expert responses were fairly uniform:
Roseann Hirsch, a freelance book editor from New York, is a veteran wedding guest who has “probably been to 75 or 80 weddings over the years.”
“There’s no rule of thumb about how much to spend,” she said. “There are lots of ways to give welcome gifts within a tight budget if you think outside the box,” she said. “Maybe a gift certificate to a restaurant, concert tickets or a stack of art books from a museum. Art books are an interesting gift that has legs in terms of longevity. They will decorate a coffee table long after they are read.” She said those gifts could be bought for about $100.
Letitia Baldrige, the etiquette expert in Washington, said giving a gift isn’t just about emptying the pocketbook. “The whole idea of a present is to please people and make them happy,” she said. “We’ve gotten so blasé in the past few years with all the gift-giving by people wanting to look rich.”
“I think the best advice I’ve read regarding wedding gifts came from Weddingchannel.com: “The rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford. If money is an issue, try your hardest not to be impulsive when you’re out there shopping for just the right present.” I’d suggest that you also take your relationship to the bride and groom into account — feel free to spend more on beloved friends and relatives, and less on acquaintances or coworkers.
Other than that, how much anyone spends on a wedding gift is up to that person and that person alone. While I wouldn’t recommend hitting up the Dollar Store (unless you have some kind of wacky idea in mind that you know the bride and groom will love) for wedding gifts, there is no rule that states wedding guests must spend enough on gifts to “pay back” the hosts of a wedding for the cost of dinner or anything else.”
I’ve spent the past hour or so scrolling through the four massive posts on this topic, and I thought everyone would find the above interesting. I just want to say, without intending to sound nasty, that I think we could all use a little perspective. Your wedding is about your marriage. Not cash. Not gifts. Not cocktail time. Not the gown you wear. Not the size of your diamond. All that stuff is great, but it’s all secondary, it’s all the cherry on top. The love you’ve found is supposed to be what you’re there to celebrate. If you’re hosting a lavish reception expecting every person there to pay you back for getting married in the first place, you need to put your priorities in check.
I’m a little appalled at some of the people in these threads claiming ‘Brides remember exactly who gave them what, trust!’ and ‘If you can’t drum up the money to pay for your presence there, don’t show up at all.’ Seriously? GET OVER IT. Get over the money, get over your expectations, get over your bubble, get over your traditions, get over what you THINK you know other people have in their checking accounts. You sound catty, petty, childish, selfish, ungrateful, and frankly, really conniving. I mean, why don’t you just send out invitations that say: “I’m getting married, and YOU’RE paying for it!”? At least then people will know exactly what your agenda is and can save themselves some time by RSVPing ‘No’.
I want to believe that everyone here is a nice person. I think we all are, even those of us who lash out and take things too far. But it’s very easy for nice people – and yes, this includes me – to lose sight of what’s important. A guest who recoups the $130 their meal cost should be just as valued and loved as the guest who bought you two of those $20 bath towels you registered for.
If you’re wondering why your ‘rich’ relatives aren’t ‘gifting you properly’ or giving you what you think you ‘deserve’, then maybe you should sit down and think about what that may be. They don’t HAVE to give you anything, and maybe your attitude is turning them off from being more generous? I’m not saying this in a mean or degrading way. I’m not trying to make people feel guilty. I know it’s difficult to decipher how people are saying things online, so let me just say, if I were saying this in person, it would be straight-forward and simple, not nasty or condescending. A tough-love approach, really.