I had a friend pull this shit when she got married last year. A few weeks before her wedding, days after Hurricane Sandy, she texted a mutual friend (who lives in the neighborhood I grew up in, our families [the bride, me, and the friend she texted] still live there and had extensive damage to their homes) and said "I know you're not coming to the wedding, but I assume you're still giving me a gift. My parents spent $175 a plate. I'll be at my mom's house later today helping her with the house, I'll stop by and pick up my gift". I swear to God I'm not making this up. Even worse, the friend was at her OWN parents house helping them clean up after the storm!
She also did the same thing to another friend who RSVP'd "no". She send her a facebook message a couple of months after the wedding demanding a gift, etc. The friend is a single mom with big financial issues. Hell, even if she was Rockefeller, it's NEVER appropriate to demand a gift from ANYONE!
A friend/coworker of mine got married this summer. She sits in the cube next to mine and I heard all about her planning. She told me numerous times she was paying $200 a person and hoped that everyone realized how much it cost so they could give a gift to cover it, plus "a little extra". I was so turned off that I didn't attend the wedding, nor did I send a gift. I saw the pictures, she had professional dancers and all kinds of bullshit. What happened to a wedding being about the couple's love, some dinner, cake, an open bar, and that's pretty much it. Everyone wants these over the top extravaganzas, it's sickening!
I hate this shit. My partner and I eloped, but if we did have a wedding, we would have had a very small ceremony and reception that was in our price range, WITHOUT relying on gifts to pay for it. In fact, I would tell guests to make donations to an animal shelter that we volunteer at.
All these brides think they're Kardashians.
Funny you say that, R1, my cousin had a big over the top wedding a few years ago. They spent every dime of their savings and took out loans. They ended up divorced less than a year later.
Why do people want to start their married life in incredible debt? I have a friend who took out a mortgage on his house just to pay for this insane destination wedding (they also had a separate ceremony/reception where they live). It's just not worth it. So many couples argue over money, why start a marriage like that?
It is an insane social obligation that I just don't get.
Perhaps if I were upperclass and had "important" family, and had people to impress. I could see the wedding event as the solidifying that lifestyle expectations. You'd want to invite the right people, be seen with the family etc.
The problem is that middle-class schmoes feel pressured to live up to this ideal even thought they don't have the means. Much like everything in the social economics these days .
IT's actually what that song "Gangam Style" was all about. People living WAAAY beyond their means in order fool themselves and everyone around them that they are higher class than they will ever be.
I handmade a gift for a wedding once because I couldn't afford much. I had some spare butcher block from a house project so I cut it down and made a very nice cutting board. It was quite large and I spent more on shipping than a nice store-bought board itself would cost- but it was unique and they LOVED it.
When I get married, I'd like to ask for gifts but leave the registry list at a range wide open for people of all income levels.
I would never say no to something handmade or special.
I would hope to be able to afford a comfortable setting and have some good food and a decent bar.
"The problem is that middle-class schmoes feel pressured to live up to this ideal even thought they don't have the means. Much like everything in the social economics these days."
Plus, these schmoes are watching all of these tacky, materialistic bitches on "reality" TV and think they're entitled to the same thing.
I don't think it's a class thing, I think it's a foul combination of materialism and entitlement.
It's all those wedding shows that have now made weddings a gross display of excess and horribly entitled behavior.
r6 - You realize that viewing your imaginary wedding in terms of what presents you can shake out of the people you know is crass? You're not being magnanimous by accepting less expensive gifts from poorer attendees, you're being a slightly lesser boor. (And you still imply you expect the richer guests to deliver the goods.) You're not entitled to gifts. Start there.
Tacky, tacky, TACKY!!!
R5 I agree. If you don't have the money to do it, then don't do it. If you have to have a 'budget' wedding, then have a budget wedding. I understand people putting themselves in debt for a college education or a home, but a wedding? Fuck that.
Ah, why not just cut to the chase and start selling tickets? Isn't that how most fund raisers operate?
It would also make for a great reality check for Bridezillas to see how many people actually want to be there and how many are just fulfilling a social obligation.
All you need for a wedding is an officiant, two witnesses, and a ring. If you want anything more than that that is YOUR choice and YOUR financial obligation. The only thing guests owe you is an RSVP and good wishes.
What R14 says.
I think the financially strapped friend could hire out writing emails to exes. For example,the OP from the "He's just not that into you" could have used this woman to write the email to the guy who dumped him. If you're going to go big, go big.
It's just not logical to say "My parents spent $200 per plate, therefore you need to spend more than $200 on me".
Shouldn't the guests be giving the $200 gift to the parents of the bride, the ones who spent the money? Seriously, it's not fair for any guest to spend that much because our hypothetical bride is getting a gift of $200 per person from the parents, and wants to match it with a gift of $200 from each guest.