(Closed) When did gift giving become such an awful thing????

posted 8 years ago in Gifts and Registries
Post # 107
6386 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I think most brides really overestimate how invested other people are in their weddings and how much those people really want to “celebrate”  with them.

@cmbr:  This!!!

Post # 108
1626 posts
Bumble bee

@FauxPas2012:  I agree with Miss Manners as well. 

Personally, I can see giving cash if you were invited to the wedding and not the wedding shower.  Or perhaps you did not know what to give, etc.

I am saving up for my own wedding with my FH.  Both our families live 16 hours away from each other, so it’ll be Destination Wedding for both sides of the family or one side at least travel wise.  FH and I have 100% decided to make the trip worth their while and want to pay for their meal and drinks WITHOUT expectation of them paying anything. 

We also already live together and have what we need, so I’m not even sure I will feel right with a registry Undecided 

Post # 109
155 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Depends on if the groom or bride presents their party as grabby. I have dealt with grabby couples before and it is obvious that they were.

I work for a luxury brand company that offers registries. A bride registered and called our store after her shower was over to complain that her guest could not “find” her name and instead purchased items at big brand store she also registered. She was very upset that they went to the other store instead. She said she asked her guest why they didn’t buy her gifts from our brand and they told the bride the could not find her registery. We pulled up her register with no problem. Our store had worked with her friends coming into purchase items for her but most could not afford what was on her registry. Her friends instead chose to go to her other optional store she registered at. The guest were college students who could not afford $1000+ gift for her bridal shower. I am afraid her guests were not telling her honest reason why they did not purchase from us. That also raises the question why register at another company if you do not want you guest to purchase anything from them?

Demanding what to guests should give and then asking the guest why the didn’t give what they asked for is grabby.

I have no prob with the dollar dance. I have never been to one but I would find it a fun traditon if it was the family is familiar with! Don’t be afraid to do what is comfortable with your family and region. Have fun!

Post # 110
3073 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2000

@NauticalDisaster:  you said

…And it amazes me how people elaborate extravagant scenarios with huge numbers like 200, 300, 500 $ a plate ! I have NEVER heard of such money in my entire life. The average guests give is around 50-60/pp …

But here’s the thing: on the east coast many people consider it cheap to give less than $200!They give $200, $300. It is not unusual or a farfetched scenario, it’s common.

That is not me. I could afford to give $300 if I wanted to but even for neices and nepews we give only $100.



Post # 111
2354 posts
Buzzing bee

@FauxPas2012:  Yea but we’re not in the east coast. And people rarely give 300$ where I live. That’s why it makes no sense for people who live in expensive areas to judge other traditions, because the prices do not compare. There is a reason why this tradition or guideline works here and is considered effective :

1) We do not make registries (unlike probably where you live), so it’s basically always money gifts. Where does that guideline come from ? From guests, actually, who were wondering how much they should give the couple as a gift ? Since they do not have a registry to pick items from. A reasonable way they’ve found to adress this problem of ”how much should I give without looking cheap” is to say ”try to cover your plate”, knowing food is the most expensive item of weddings here. If guests are not rich, they give as they can, trying to cover their plate as much as they can. If they’re more wealthy, they don’t have to care about this guideline at all, since they are able to give more.

2) Again, prices usually do not compare with some I’ve seen here, therefore it rarely costs the couple over 100$ or 150/pp all including cocktail, venue, 4 or 5 course dinner and alcohol. That’s still a lot of money to me, but in this situation ”cover your plate” as a guideline absolutely does NOT mean you have to pay 300$ or 500$ each. This is not the reality of what it costs where this ”tradition” is common.

Post # 112
2300 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - An amazing non-profit retreat

I have to admit, I was too worried about sounding spoiled to create a registry or ask for gifts. I had thought about registering for “upgrades” to our existing stuff, but in the end, we decided that we truly did not need anything. We told our guests this multiple times, and created a honeymoon registry for those who would feel awkward not giving a gift. The registry didn’t work and actually was a big headache, and most people just gave cheques, cash, and movie tickets/gift cards instead. My husband and I were floored by their generosity, given that we had told them repeatedly that just the travelling to be with us was more than enough.


I like giving gifts. What I do not like is being told what to get. For my Dad’s wedding, I refused to go off the registry. I wanted to get them something personal, so I found them a painting in their wedding colours. They didn’t appreciate the thought. That’s what gets me…when people get greedy.


Post # 113
25 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

I like giving gifts and gift registries help me to to choose a nice stuff for the host according to their wish. Of course in many items I choose the thing which suits my budget but this would always help me to get something very nice.

Post # 114
1034 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

@Horseradish:   I love this. 

I do what I want regarding weddings and gifts. When I accept an invitation to a wedding I am generally close to the couple. When I am close to someone I want to do everything I can (within reason) to make their day memorable, special, and I WANT to spend money on them. With that being said, when couple do things like only register for $100+ items and have 5 wedding related events requiring gifts, THEN serve cake and juice for the reception after making you stand for 45 minutes it makes me wonder how considerate THEY really are. If you are perceived as taking advantage it’s perceived as gift grabby. 

I don’t think the term is describing MOST people. And honestly? I have never been to a wedding like I described above. I only hear of these gift grabby events on the bee…….

Post # 114
33 posts
  • Wedding: August 2014

View original reply
AngelR88:  Wait, so I’m new to this thing – if I have 100 guests, do I have to have 100 items on my registry?

Post # 115
460 posts
Helper bee

View original reply
dazzlechild:  No, you don’t. Couples (and maybe even some families) usually give a joint gift… 

Post # 116
81 posts
Worker bee

I went to a horrible wedding that the couple played and squeezed out as much as they could. From every kind of dollar dance to registry over $100 for each item, to a honeymoon fund. It was ridiculous. We felt so awkward and the wedding was held in a gym with catered cheap BBQ and a grocery cake. It was pretty sleazy. There is always one person who can ruin it for others. I think doing things in your culture, etc. is wonderful. Having a registry with different items is fine. Honeymoon fund or towards a house addition gift card: Especially for the couple that had everything. Everyone is asking me, I want travel cards. Either southwest, hilton properties, rental car, etc. Anything related to travel and you can get the cards or donations in any amount. As long as you don’t come across wanting wanting and wanting so that your guests just felt plundered, I think that asking for something specific that you want isn’t rude. I find it ruder when guests feel like they can’t make a choice on what they want to give (as in amount of cash). I could careless if anyone comes empty handed. As long as they come and celebrate With us.

  • This reply was modified 7 years, 6 months ago by Cmsatx2014.
Post # 117
1016 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - San Francisco, CA

I have met couples who have had engagement registries, shower registries, wedding registries, PLUS honeymoon registries. I had a cousin whose wedding I was in and who had the nerve to ask me multiple times if I’d purchased a gift yet who ONLY registered for gifts $150+ “so people could cover their plate.” (Screw you, Cousin K., I’m not dropping that kind of cash in exchange for a dry plate of chicken and almost no booze. Especially after the $200+ purple monstrosity prom dress.) I had a coworker who posted a link to her own registry on facebook multiple times “In case anyone lost the link!” or any non-guests wanted to buy her stuff. I had an old college friend who posted an INSANE rant on Facebook DURING HER HONEYMOON about how 150 people came to her wedding and only 65 brought/sent gifts (can’t remember the exact numbers, but that was the gist.) I heard about a friend-of-a-friend who refused to write thank you notes to anyone who bought her an off-registry gift. And here on the Bee, we’ve all seen untold numbers of people who whine and moan about getting the wrong expensive stand mixer or getting boxed gifts when they specifically asked for cash only. It’s horrendous and, at least according to my older relatives, it’s something that’s only become de rigeur in the past decade or so (aka AFTER the era when almost no couples cohabitated before before.)


If your whole celebration/relationship is about material things (gaining them, showing them off, asking for them), then your marriage is going to be horrendous. It’s as simple as that. This certainly doesn’t apply to all couples, or even most, but weddings are about celebrating commitment, not obtaining presents. Or at least they should be. Sure, when you’re celebrating someone you love (friend, relative, whatever), it’s a normal impulse to want to help them out and recognize their milestones. But anyone that gift-obsessed after the age of 11 should be ashamed.

Post # 118
144 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

View original reply
Stace126:  I agree with everything you said….except the kid’s birthday party example. Haha.

I hear you, though! Registering for gifts, having showers and upholding cultural traditions – they’re just not gift grabby if you handle them properly. 

Post # 119
56 posts
Worker bee

I’m right there with you! I’m in the middle

of deciding what to put on my registry, and keep suffering doubts as to whether or not it will seem “gift-grabby”. Almost makes me want to get married Chinese-style (I’m Chinese) where everyone just brings cash. 

Post # 120
875 posts
Busy bee

IMO, gift-giving isn’t an abomination. I love giving people gifts to show them that I care about them, regardless of the occasion. But what I do have a problem with is when gifts become a strong expectation, or even an obligation. One should never have to worry about buying a wedding gift equal in value to their meal at the reception. I understand anticipating to receive gifts from family members and close friends, but it’s not some atrocious thing if some closer acquaintances from school give you a thoughtful card and nothing else.

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