I know you have all heard about the bride who complained about the cost of a wedding gift she received from one of her guests. In case you haven’t, you can see it here.
I asked my staff for their thoughts on this issue. Here is what they had to say.
“Am wondering what prompted the guest to choose such an unusual gift…may be some history that isn’t being told. It seems a little fishy and shows lack of discretion by the fact that the text was made “public”. About gifts…there are a lot of people who simply cannot afford to spend a lot of money for a gift, and should not be humiliated if what they choose is not “expensive” enough. Like they say “It is the thought that counts”. In the case of the video, there is something very strange behind such a gift, but I feel the bride should have said nothing and made a mental note to question the relationship with the guest.”
“As we all know, weddings are not cheap. Even the simplest of receptions can cost a fortune for young newlyweds. As common courtesy, guests are often expected to give gifts that will either aid the happy couple as they enter married life, or at least help offset the cost of the wedding. But what exactly does this entail? Does this mean a bride should expect her guests to spend as much as she is willing to spend on them? Absolutely not.
Recently, an article was published about a particularly spiteful “bridezilla” who sent one of her guests an angry Facebook message for only receiving $100 as a wedding present. She argued that the cocktail and reception alone cost $200 per person and in short, the bride was angry that her guest did not try to “pay off” the reception. It is not a good idea to rely on your guests to actually pay off your wedding.
In a similar situation published by the Toronto Star a bride demanded to see the receipt of one of her wedding gifts, arguing that it was unacceptable because it did not come close enough to the price of the reception. The guest defended himself saying “If you want to have a party, you have to pay for it too”. Although this may seem a little harsh, it is true. As guests have no say in the actual wedding planning, they should not be expected to cover the costs. Also, from watching an unhealthy amount of TLC’s “Four Weddings”, I can confidently say that what one couple believes is appropriate to spend on entertainment and food for guests can be entirely different than what others may believe.
Therefore, it is important to properly assess how much money you are willing and able to spend on the reception without outside support. The invitation itself should be honour enough and a couple must never feel obligated to spend outrageous amounts of money to satisfy their guests.
All I can really say is both parties shouldn’t allow greed to ruin such an important milestone in a person’s life. If you are the bride, be understanding that some guests may not be financially stable enough to give a huge donation or extravagant gift. And if you are a guest strapped for cash, try your best to either find something a little less expensive off the bridal registry or give something personal the couple will cherish.
Once we strip away all the glitz and glam, a wedding is about two people who have fallen in love and have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together and the guests are the lucky people they have decided to share this moment with.
And lastly, when you look back on your wedding day, do you really want to be known as the “bridezilla” who freaked out over a wedding present? I didn’t think so. “