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Wedding Gift Spat Goes Public

Kathy and her boyfriend went to a wedding in Hamilton, Ontario. Not knowing the wedding couple that well, they presented a basket of food items as a gift. After the wedding, the bride texted Kathy to ask for a receipt because one of the couple was gluten-intolerant. Then it got weird.

“I want to thank you for coming to the wedding Friday,” it begins.

“I’m not sure if it’s 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 . … and got fluffy whip and sour patch kids in return. Just a heads-up for the future.”

Kathy was shocked but then made the mistake of engaging in an email exchange about the incident.  

Gift-givers: “… to ask for a receipt is unfathomable. In fact it was incredibly disrespectful. It was the rudest gesture I have encountered, or even heard of.”

Newlyweds: “Weddings are to make money for your future … not to pay for peoples meals. Do more research. People haven’t gave gifts since like 50 years ago! You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue.”

Gift-givers: “It’s obvious you have the etiquette of a twig, I couldn’t care less of what you think about the gift you received, “normal” people would welcome anything given, you wanna have a party, you pay for it, DON’T expect me to.”

Newlyweds: “You should have been cut from the list … I knew we were gunna get a bag of peanuts. I was right.”

Kathy then turned to a local Facebook group to see who was in the wrong. The consensus they received was that the gift was lame, but the bride was unbelievably rude for complaining about it. The bride maintains that she was shafted as Kathy and her boyfriend were one of only two guests that didn't give them at least $150 in cash, as was expected in their culture. Oh, there's more to the story you can read in the Hamilton Spectator. What do you think? I was raised to believe that gifts are never expected, required, or requested, but always appreciated, no matter how small. Link -via Fark

(Imzage credit: Barry Gray/The Hamilton Spectator)


Both bride and guest should recognize that the invitation was to blame. Adequate wording would have read: "Mr. and Mrs. Whew Shesgone and Mr. and Mrs. Run Therestime invite you to support our children's Kick Starter Style marriage with your presence and cash on xx-xx-2013," or something like that. - Mr. Manners.
(ps- please remit $250 to the above address because I don't do this for free.)
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What a bunch of silly gooses

Newly Weds: If money's so important to you, don't have a wedding. Noone in the history of ever has made money on their own wedding. That's just stupid.

Kathy: If you don't know or respect the newly weds enough to get them a decent gift, don't go to the wedding.
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As someone who paid almost half a year's salary for my wedding, I am appalled by the bride's reaction. A gift bag of groceries may not be "high society" but it was your decision to have an expensive dinner/reception. My brother, who got hitched when he was still in college, couldn't afford a reception and just treated his guests to a simple buffet at a restaurant. Of course I had the hindsight to plan for my wedding when I am somewhat secured financially.

I didn't expect my guests to pay for my reception and I appreciated what was given to me. In fact, I'm still using the $25 electric fan one of them gave me. It is a sad state of affairs when we look a gift horse in the mouth, right Matt?
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Be grateful for anything you get even if you hate it. Can't eat the food that was given?? Donate it or give it to a friend/family that will eat it and quit bitching like a spoiled entitled brat.
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When I got married, there were a few people who helped covered the tab at dinners before and after, and a couple that gave more elaborate presents, but in the end, the presents that made the biggest difference and went the furthers were the simple staples. We were trying to start a family, not furnish a vacation home. If you are fortunate enough to not need or appreciate any help with basics, even snack food, then you can probably just relax and enjoy the celebration, which is what I thought the point of such things was supposed to be.
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Why should we be surprised to hear of people treating a wedding any different than Christmas? Nothing is sacred anymore; it's highly commercialized.

'You should have been cut from the list... I knew we were gunna get a bag of peanuts. I was right.' The embodiment of the attitude right there.
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If you can't afford a wedding without shaking down all your guests for at least $150 each, then you need to downsize your wedding. End of story.
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If anything, the reception is to offset the expense and inconvenience to the guests who shared your special day with you. They give up at least a day off to attend and many spend money on the trip to the wedding, things to wear for it, etc. A nice party is nice if it's something you can give back to them to enjoy with you. If you can't afford a fancy party, that's okay,too. People are happy to celebrate with their loved ones regardless. But just because you could afford to and opted to have a nice reception doesn't make anyone you invited obligated to pay for it. Your wedding guests are your GUESTS, you're supposed to be treating them.
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I see the wedding gift as being more of a symbolic thing than anything. When it comes down to it, few people these days really NEED any of the things they get as wedding gifts. I've picked items off of several registries the last few years and I can assure you that not a single couple I was buying for was in need of any of the things on the list. And the kind of couple that could shell out enough for a wedding reception that would cost 100 dollars a plate most certainly isn't the kind of struggling young newlyweds that still could genuinely use the help of their family and friends to have what they need to set up a proper house together. If they can throw a hundred dollar per guest shindig, they probably shouldn't be soliciting gifts in the first place, of neither the wrapped box variety nor the envelope variety,and even if they thought it was okay to encourage folks to give gifts (really, people are probably going to bring even if you ask them not to, it's just such a tradition that no one wants to show up empty handed no matter how well-off the bride and groom are), they're certainly too well-off to complain that gifts were inadequate.

Especially with a food gift like that, there was no reason for the giver to ever know that the couple wasn't crazy about it. It's a consumable good. They can go on forever thinking you ate the treats and enjoyed them. It's not even like something that's going to be durable and you're going to feel obligated to keep around even if you don't need or like it so that they won't know you don't like. The proper thing to have done would have been to give the food they didn't want to some neighborhood kids and send a thank you note (they wouldn't even necessarily have to mention the gift if they were just so bothered by it, just a "thanks for being a part of our special day" kind of deal would work) and move on with their lives.
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What the guests should take from this: the married couple would never be the kind of friends you really need, so at least you didn't waste money on them. They're not worth any more of your time either, except for one small thing...

In the bride's own words: "but for your next wedding … people give envelopes". Easy solution: take back the food and give them a pack of envelopes.
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