Skip to comments.Hint: It rhymes with bash - Please come to our wedding: RSVP with cash
Posted on 08/11/2013 6:04:39 AM PDT by rickmichaels
Kristen De Filippis recently had an argument with her aunt and mom about what makes an appropriate wedding gift. They said, You have to give at least $100 [cash] or more, says De Filippis, 38, who lives in Toronto. I was like, the whole thing is insane. It should come down to what you can afford. De Filippis loves her big Italian family, but wedding season isnt cheap. Its standard to give gifts at the engagement party and the shower, and an envelope on the big day. With the older generation, if you dont give a certain amount, youre considered cheap. (At a distant relatives bridal shower, when De Filippis committed to giving a $40 gift, her mom put in $150 from both of them instead, she says, to avoid embarrassment.)
In many cultures, giving cash at weddings has long been standard. Now that a growing number of couples live together before getting married, money is an increasingly in-demand present: They may not need another set of towels or dishware, but would prefer funds toward a vacation, or the down payment on a home. I have five weddings this year, and five next year, and Im giving cash at all of them, says Amanda Marshall, 29, of Vancouver. Having polled her close friends, she knows thats what they want. But other guests can see it as a cash grab, and in some cases, cash-strapped guests are fighting back.
The first high-profile spat erupted in June, when two guests at a Hamilton wedding left a gift basket filled with salsa, oil, biscuits, spreadable marshmallow and Sour Patch Kids candies. Life is delicious, the card said. Enjoy! But the two brides did not enjoy. Afterward, one fired off a text: Im not sure if its the first wedding you have been to, but for your next wedding people give envelopes. I lost out on $200 covering you and your dates plate. (The brides were of Italian and Croatian heritage, two cultures where cash gifts are the norm.) Outraged, the guests sent this exchange to the Hamilton Spectator newspaper, and it went viral.
Just a few weeks later, another womanan American named Tanyawent public with a Facebook message shed received from a friend whose wedding shed attended. I just want to know, is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mikes and my wedding that both you and Phil gave $50 each? the bride wrote, informing Tanya that the cost was in fact $100 per person. That money didnt grow on a tree, Tanya huffed to the Huffington Post. If she had a minimum gift requirement, she should have specified it or asked everyone for income statements before inviting them. While that brides reaction might have been unusual, she wasnt alone in her expectations. De Filippis notes that, at weddings, its understood you have to cover the cost of food per plate. This is also the rule of thumb with Marshalls friends.
The average cost of a wedding in Canada is now $32,358, but never mind the couplesfor those attending these events, the price is going up, too. This year, guests expect to spend $539 per wedding, according to a U.S. survey by American Express, up 59 per cent from last year. Close family members will spend an average of $179 per person on a gift; for co-workers, its $66. There seems to be a growing disconnect between the happy couple and their guests. Most Americans (35 per cent) would like to give a gift from the registry. Most couples (52 per cent) want money. A growing number write on the invitation, Presentation or No boxed gifts, to more politely imply they want cash, although etiquette dictates that even registry information should be left off the formal invite.
If theres a generational gap between De Filippis and her mom about how much cash is appropriate to give, Marshall has experienced a different kind of disconnect: an exs mom who was told a couple wanted cash, and just couldnt do it. Loath even to buy something off the registry, she insisted on picking something out herself. Indeed, some people still feel that cash is too impersonal. Most people, though, whether givers or recipients, seem to agree on one thing: After the big day has come and gone, proper etiquette dictates that thank-you cards should be sent out for each and every gifteven if it was a lowly box of Sour Patch Kids.
look you greedy brides
if you want the wedding of your girlish dreams understand it is on your own nickle
if you want people there to share your joy, you don’t charge them
I hate the gimme attitude that has taken over this country
the spread sheet has become a monster.
Or have the wedding at church and a get together in your mom’s hovel, that would be cheap
but don’t dun your guests
When people throw wedding that cost more than a small country’s GNP, they shouldn’t complain about not having money. A cash gift is crass unless it’s from an elderly aunt who can’t shop or from the parents giving the couple a downpayment on a house.
Wow—my wedding cost $600.00. Half for the dress and half for the hot air balloon.
I have left complete instructions for my funeral and a specific dollar amount for it: 1 day or less visitation; minimum “vault”, my flag which I am entitled to and the vet cemetary....nothing more.
For our wedding, we spent about $4K. We had a nice event for 60 at a local BandB; appitizer plates, a cake, a pianist, and an available horse carriage ride. I supplied the wine from my cellar and a few cases of beer and each guest received a .375 bottle of wine with our wedding date label on it. We specifically stated no gifts, just come and party with us. Our neighbor minister officiated.
A friend, well, ex friend since they’ve moved away years ago, has been inviting me to their daughter’s wedding. Invite - wedding cancelled - on again - invite - change of date - invite - new venue - an updated invite - distaster #347 - another invite. Enough already. I told them the first time I wouldn’t be attending because I’d have to get a hotel room for two nights because of the distance. Told them again and again, no. Found out last week invitations went out... again... and I didn’t get one. Yippee! I got dumped because they sent an invation to someone they hate (feeling is mutual) hoping to get a $$$$ gift. Ha, it ain’t gonna happen.
B in L just got remarried and the new gold digger (see my new car, my new house, my huge ring!!) was planning a destination wedding. Excuse me, but if you want me to attend your destination then you’re going to buy my plane ticket. Apparently, the rest of the family was of the same opinion because she finally came around to having it locally but by that time she was so mad everyone was univited. Their kids were the only ones there and they were racing for the exit immediately after the I do’s. Now she’s mad because no one gave them gifts.
It should come down to what kind of wedding reception and where.
Backyard, church basement/hall, restaurant cheap/fancy, hotel/wedding factory, wedding venue, destination wedding.
Guests should try to at least cover the cost of “plate”, which could range from $40 to $150.
If one can’t afford the “fee”, then decline invitation and send the gift. Better way is to see how the wedding, venue, food and overall atmosphere goes and reward the newlyweds appropriately. Nowadays it is nice to see normal people getting married and they appreciate any generosity to help them start new life in this overtaxed reality.
Wedding is not just reception for the newlyweds, but occasion for close and distant family, friends to get together and celebrate the sanctity of marriage while enjoying the socializing at the wedding venue.
We were recently at perfect destination wedding at www.MVmanor.com (NY, NJ, PA corner) and enjoyed meeting family, witnessing happy occasion and rewarding newlyweds for their efforts to start the new family.
Whata difference from “cocktail and finger food reception wedding” in NYC. Some don’t even bother getting married, or......
What fun. I wanted a hot air balloon but it didn't work out. Good thing because it rained that day. My wedding, the gown down to the honey roasted nuts, was $500 total. It was much nicer than the one I attended two weeks later where the gown cost over $2000. That was years ago when $2k was big money.
We just had our 50th. Wedding Anniversary party. I prepared all the food the kids served it , We asked that gifts not be brought, but several people gave them anyway, Mostly gift cards to restaurants.
The whole party cost less than a thousand dollars and we had a great sit down dinner for 140 guests and family.
Catering is just too expensive these days at $25.00 a plate, and that is what they call cheap.
mr. a and I were married in 1993. We paid for the entire wedding ourselves and yes, it was very expensive.
Our goal was to throw a big party for our friends and loved ones to celebrate our marriage. We certainly didn’t tot up the cost of the gifts to see if we were making a profit. Heck, I’m sure some of the guests didn’t even give us gifts. Their choice.
It’s a party to celebrate a life event - not a shakedown.
$25 a plate would be a steel from what I gather.
My wife decided to host a wedding her daughter a few years ago. Against my counsel to just give them money as their relationship was troubled from the start, she spent about 25K for an affair for about 120 people. Frankly, I was not enthralled with her daughter and less so of her friends. The upshot is they are now divorced. We are far from rich and part of that money came from retirment funds, the rest from borrowing.
Aside from that story, the point is there is a whole industry of leeches out there from planners to caterers to resort sites who see dollar signs as soon as someone walks through the door with stars in their eyes. Those stars turn into meteors which hit them in the head a few days after the event. My advice is plan on small events and give money to form a financial foundation for the new couple.
Wow! ours was twice that. I couldn't get a hot air balloon in the church parking lot, so we had a horse and buggy instead. (horses must cost more then balloons)
My girls (three of them) have a $2000 budget a piece from my pocket for weddings when the time comes. Everything else they have to fund. We are simple people, so it should be doable.
The ceremony was short and sweet. Probably 15 minutes from her walking up the aisle to man and wife departing.
Good friends (they were both attendants) hosted the reception in their back yard. We had an excellent country western 2-man band that played at a bar I liked, plywood laid on the grass for dancing, sandwiches ordered from the grocery deli, and a keg in the garage. The wedding cake was from a local bakery... maybe $200.
To this day, I have never been to a wedding/reception that I enjoyed more. Our guests had a wonderful time (they passed the hat among themselves to keep the band another hour... when we booked, we only got the guys for 3 hours, thinking it would be more than enough), we didn't break the bank for our church wedding and reception, and it was relaxed and fun. I'd guess that all expenses were MAYBE $1200.
We specifically asked for no gifts, buy our friends were so generous. We still have many nice things that we received as wedding gifts, and we use them.
Of course, Mrs. K and I were in our 30's when we hitched, so we were past the starry-eyed phase where girls dream of the Sound of Music wedding. Even today, I wouldn't trade our memories for a cathedral wedding with pipe organs, a sit-down banquet, and an orchestra at the reception.
I got married in ‘93 also. We had no family - my mother refused to come to the wedding, his parents lived in a foreign country. We had a potluck wedding: a friend lent me a dress - another friend brought a case of champagne, another, the glasses and napkins. A friend who was a chef brought beautiful chips and dips, another friend brought cold cuts and bread. Another friend paid for the cake. Two musician friends played music. It was a beautiful wedding, and we were so grateful for everyone’s participation. Later, when we made a lot of money, we had parties for all our friends.
How low class! IF you want FRIENDS to watch you get married, you shouldn’t expect them to pay to do it. If you can’t afford to INVITE people to a celebration and feed them without presenting a bill for every finger sandwich and stuffed mushroom, don’t invite anyone! Get married and go home. An invitation to a wedding shouldn’t be a bill before services. Is it a wedding or dinner and a floor show? If it is now considered the latter by brides, they had better provide 4 star food and a well known entertainer for $200+.
You are exactly right.
Being an old Firehouse cook, and the cook at our American Legion Post, I am used to cooking for a lot of people, so when my son got married I cooked the food,, The same for when my daughter got married. The greatest expense was the hall rental and the band. Still both of these weddings were in the $6,000 dollar range. My son married a girl who’s parents didn’t have much and they couldn’t afford the wedding, so old dad got stuck with the bill. The wedding was cheap , The Divorce cost me $30,000, but it was that or lose my Grand daughter. A friend of mine took out a 2nd. mortgage to pay for his daughters wedding. To me that is pretty ridiculous. If you haven’t the money there is no shame in having a small wedding.
Putting on a show to impress the Jones’s is BS.
My lovely bride and I had the best wedding- her father is a minister and married us. Her sister was her maid of honor, a buddy of mine my best man. We were married under an awning (usually used to shelter motorcycles) in a friend’s back yard. She made her dress, I just put on a shirt and tie (only for the ceremony- it was July in Texas!).
The night before the wedding we had buried a pig with hot coals in our friends back yard (and had a pre-wedding party :). Next day we dug it up, got married, and then had a pot-luck reception right there in the same yard. We specifically asked all of our friends to bring their kids- one of their toddlers ended up in our wedding pictures, because he kept wanting to be with me.
It was a stinkin’ blast, and hardly cost anything. We and others still talk about it fourteen years later- our daughter is jealous because she couldn’t be there!
My Wife’s family was not financially solid when we got married. My Wife and I arranged and payed for our own wedding, we were young and expected nothing from our equally young friends other than their sharing our happiness.
“... a simple bright yellow plastic wall clock”.
A relative gave us a hand written journal/book with her recipes. She organized it so beautifully from soups all the way to desserts. Before each chapter, she wrote out a simple sentence or two offering advice on a good marriage. Not preachy... just simple and cute. I still have that book and her meatball recipe is always requested from us (and her pound cake as well). To be honest, it is hard to remember most of the other wedding gifts. You are so right, PM... some of life’s greatest treasures are simple little things.
I can't comprehend even this. A wedding is supposed to be a religious sacrament. It is the giving of solemn and sacred vows before the community and before God. It is not a party or an excuse to dun others for money. If you want to bring others who are close to you into your joy by extending them hospitality, that's fine, but don't expect them to compensate you for the mildly interesting spectacle of your wedding and reception. It's as appropriate to expect money at a wedding as it would be to expect people to pay you if you invite them to Thanksgiving dinner.
I usually give something I believe the new bride and groom would find beautiful and perhaps useful--perhaps an engraved silver bowl, julep cups, flatware pieces for their silver service, a Waterford vase or bowl, etc. They can take it back if they don't like it, but usually they do like and use it. of course, I try to attend only weddings of people I know well and they are usually well-reared young Southern ladies who will actually find a use for such gear.
How strange people are nowadays! Must be the advent of television reality shows or something so that everyone imagines she has to be a fairy princess for a day, no matter how much it costs and how far removed it is from reality. When you remove God from the center of the ceremony, you get this sort of greedy vulgarity.
Of course, one of the couples in this article is a lesbian pair who state that "weddings are for getting set up financially for the future," so what can you expect. I'm pretty sure they don't spend much time on their knees before the Lord anyway. Mistake #1: going to the wedding of people like that.
Some people gave us gifts, some gave us cash and some gave us the joy of seeing them.
We put on the wedding we could afford and it was a lovely day.
You know, I’ve read about this kind of attitude but thankfully never encountered it.
I can’t even imagine why the hosts of any event would expect the guests to pay for attending. Don’t they call that “an admission fee”?
Have the wedding you can afford and let your guests enjoy themselves.
you are nuts
“guests should cover the plate” what complete bullsheet
I threw a dinner for my 16 year old’s birthday; I was taken aback when one of the guests inquired how much was it going to cost to attend! What the folk ever happened to hospitality? I quickly informed her I was picking up the tab. It was a nice dinner, private room at a restaurant, printed menus, cake, salad choice of main dish, lemonade. Not for one millisecond did I expect anyone to pay and I also had no gifts on the printed invites because I did not want or need an influx of new stuff, you have to be a storage genius right now to keep track of all her stuff.
Sounds great. My wedding reception was the best party I ever went to too. Paid for by us, $4,000. Beer, Champagne, Ice sculpture, buffet style, can’t remember the menu but it was at a tennis club
I usually give cash, usually $250-500, depending on how close I am to the bride or groom.
I believe that people that don’t have a traditional courtship don’t get the benefits of a traditional wedding: a big, traditional wedding & reception, a more expensive wedding gift, a fancy bridal shower, or a big bachelor party.
You don’t get the benefits without bearing the burden.
I’ve been invited to white weddings where both the bride & groom had previous live-in relationships with other people. It’s absurd. In those cases I just pick a $50-60 gift from the registry and pass on the festivities.
One solution is to spend less on the wedding from the commercialized fairytale - then you don’t need a lot of cash to offset the event.
Another option is to accept that people have different norms, different financial situations and simply accept their gifts with gratitude.
And these brides should appreciate that a guest may have spent hundreds of dollars to even be present at the wedding and not get in a tizzy for not receiving that much more in cash.
People who had relatively simple, do-it-yourself weddings and receptions seem to enjoy them more.
The last Big To Do wedding I attended was a contrast to this. The bride was so nervous and worked up over all the little details, I thought she was going to be sick.
When we got married, we almost eloped, but decided together that we wanted a church wedding so that our mothers could attend. I'm glad we did now.
However, we both agreed that we didn't want all the hoopla of a large wedding. Our chapel wedding was very short. We only spoke one word during the ceremony... "yes." We had told the preacher we wanted to speak as little as humanly possible... he said he could condense that down to "do you take..." but we had to verbally answer in at least one word. LOL
We were so blessed with friends who pitched in on planning and carrying out the reception. And, as I said before... people still talk about what a great time they had.
When's the last time someone went to a high-dollar catered sit-down reception kind of wedding and thought to themselves afterwards, "Wow, I had a GREAT time at that wedding!"
For me, it's generally, "Well, that's over. Let's order a pizza."
Weddings should be...
“You want her?”
“You got her, now let’s go eat.”
Cash is the normal wedding gift in Asia I think, to help pay for it. I have seen Asian TV programs where those holding the wedding give prizes to the guests,
Our friends all took tons of photographs, and then got together and put them in a book for us.
We treasure that book in a way that I don't think we would staged professional wedding photos.
When did weddings in this country/Canada become an affair to be funded by the guests? The guests had no say in the price tag.
In the old days the father of the Bride picked up the tab, nobody would have expected the invited guests to pay for it. Do you ever pay for dinner when you are invited to someones’ home for supper?
Lived in Japan twice during my service. We went to a traditional Japanese wedding... WOW. I don't know how normal people pay for it over there.
There was a traditional Japanese service for family and very close friends only, delux kimonos that had to have been very expensive. This was followed by a "western" type service, bride in flowing white gown, groom in tuxedo...
After the sit-down banquet and orchestra... finally time to go home. Guests were given a gift bag on the way out to thank them for spending the day with the couple... and it had an assortment of not-cheap presents... clocks, little Waterford figurines, pen/pencil sets, very expensive looking chopsticks and bowls...
Pure unadulterated greed. I wonder how long these mercenary "marriages" last.
I thought the parents of the bride sprung for the expenses. My brother shelled out thousands to give his daughter away. There was never an expectation for anyone to give any money.
I'm a little put off by people telling me it's rude to think you need to cover your plate. These people are the very same supposedly polite "southern ladies" who introduced the idea of bridal registries to middle class Philadelphians and New Yorkers. Even 20 years ago, my wife and I had never even heard of them. And the first time we saw a registry, we were appalled that people would tell us what to buy them. (Here, although registries have become common, most couples still only register for showers, not the wedding).
All that said, there are a few people who don't need to worry about covering their plate at a wedding - the parents and grandparents of the couple and other very close friends and family. If they can't afford it, they absolutely should still attend. Otherwise, work people, not close aunts, uncles, and cousins should stay away if they can't afford it.
The way I see it, a wedding reception is a social occasion to mark a sacramental event. Here in the northeast, while eloping would be fine for a career, announcing a Church wedding date and not inviting the office could very well be career suicide.
As Catholic parents, we wanted nothing more than our children to be married in the Church. We realized the burden this planned and announced date put on our children and sometimes on their in laws. This is why we have always paid as much toward our children's receptions as we could. Of our 8 married children, I would say only one couple had very specific ideas about their reception. The rest were just trying to do what was socially acceptable.
And here that means a cocktail hour, an open bar throughout dinner, and at least a DJ. And if you're an attorney with massive student loans, a VFW wedding with a keg of beer and hot roast beef might be what's in the budget, but it'll hurt you in your quest for partner. And so, I maintain that here in the northeast it would be rude to be on the periphery of the couple's circle and to attend their wedding without covering the cost of your plate.
I did not know this
I'm sorry, but isn't that what the bride's father is paying for? I had no idea he was just the Maitre d'
If this is the expectation, I'll write the check AFTER I eat the meal and pay accordingly plus I'll include the tip.
You know, I have often heard people say this, but even 50 years ago when my wife and I married, we paid for our wedding ourselves. Our kids paid for the bulk of their weddings themselves. I've seen on TV where the father of the bride pays for the wedding, but I don't think I know any in real life where that's the case. We chipped in where we could for our kids and in some cases their in laws helped a little too. Maybe the couple paying themselves is the other reason it's considered rude here in the northeast not to cover your plate.
We also paid for our wedding.
But I was asking more for the comment that the guests should pay the cost of their meal. I would NEVER have asked friends and families to do that.
However, if that IS the norm, I will be going to very few weddings, if any.
It's not the norm that couples ask for cash - THAT would be rude. The responsibility for knowing falls on the guest. It's rude to attend if you can't cover your plate and your presence wouldn't really be missed by the couple or perhaps their parents.
Guess I never knew the wedding etiquette.
And I probably will not attend many more weddings without a lot of nagging.
I got kind of put off giving around $500 in gifts/cash to a nephew in law who’s marriage lasted less than a week.
Almost asked for the gifts back.
Hah! That I might have done as well!
Cash is my usual wedding gift, but this is crasser than crass. I would not be attending this wedding, nor would I send the "obligatory" gift in my stead. And if anyone had the temerity to complain, they'd hear exactly why.
Like others on this thread, my husband and I preferred a small and modest wedding we could afford to a big costly one we couldn’t afford. We were adults so we didn’t ask our parents for financial help, either—we considered it quite enough that they had to travel to the area where we were living. Still, the ceremony was beautiful and memorable, the only one to be held in that particular venue (and the venue was free!) We invited people we loved, and were glad to pay for their food and drink. And having a small but charming wedding did nothing to harm my husband’s ascent up the ladder in his profession.
The gift registries aren’t intended to be a way of telling guests what they have to buy. They’re supposed to save embarrassment for everyone. So if Tilly and Vortigern are getting married and you can’t spend much, you don’t have to call up Tilly’s mother and hear her tell you that Tilly and Vortigern need twelve thousand-dollar Flora Danica dinner plates. You can just look at what they have on their registry and find something that’s at the price point you’re comfortable with, from a bath towel on up. You don’t have to buy a gift from the registry at all, if something else catches your eye. Or if you don’t want to buy anything at all.
I guess traditions are different in different parts of the US. We can surely accept each other’s traditions, and I will remember never to accept a wedding invitation from Italian-Americans in the Northeast, because I truly could not afford to give an acceptable gift these days. But surely we’re all in agreement that pitching a fit if someone doesn’t give you enough money is vulgar, yes?
My wedding cost the fuel to get to the courthouse, oh and we did go out for lunch...
I disagree - the bride can choose from a lavish wedding with very expensive food or a simple ceremony - but it shouldn’t be up to the guests to fund her vision of what her dream wedding should be. This is her party and her expense and those who attend give a gift because they want to, not because they are obligated to fund her dream day.
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