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» Ship of Fools   »   » Oblivion   » Wedding Etiquette, Gratitude v. Greed (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Wedding Etiquette, Gratitude v. Greed
John Holding

Coffee and Cognac
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quote:
Originally posted by Mrs Shrew:
Mr Shrew and I are getting married early next year. My mum was adamant that gift lists are essential, but we both feel really uncomfortable with soliciting gifts, especially after attending a friend's wedding last year where the gift list was over promoted to the point of vulgarity.

As one who has reached the age that invitations come in from the children of people we know, or from people who have been living together for several years, having a list is a great kindness to me as a guest -- because as a guest I want to give a present, within the limits of my purse and good taste. It gives me a fighting chance of being able to give something (not necessarily on the list itself) that the couple will enjoy, because it gives me insight into what they still need and what their tastes are.

Having a list is not a request for gifts, nor does it mean guests can't give something else -- even cash if that makes their lives easier.

As someone pointed out, once upon a time when people gave china, a bread and butter plate in the chosen pattern was a lovely thing for not-very-well-off friends and relatives who wanted to give us something but didn't have very much money. We received 24, and were able to return the excess to the china store and buy the missing pieces of our dinner set. Having a list with a number of inexpensive things on it is a reasonable alternative, it seems to me.

So have a wide range of things, including things you certainly don't expect or that are far too expensive. My wife and I got several pieces of very expensive cookware that way, because groups of people clubbed together to get us one piece. My daughter put an automatic washer and dryer on her list in case -- not that it worked -- but was then able to purchase a set at the wedding present discount within the year because it had been on her list.

We've been invited to weddings which listed with Canadian Tire (not just automotive, but a broad range of house and garden things). So don't think the list has to be at a posh or upscale place. But if you are inviting people from distant places, try to make it at least a chain operation, not the local shop.

If you're really unhappy about a list, have one with fewer things on it than guests invited and relatives. That way, no one can accuse you of just wanting the goodies. Many are going to ignore it in any case.

John

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Zacchaeus
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I think a list that is given on request is one thing as it helps guide those who want it. However I have in the past received an invite with the presnt list attached - I thought that was a bit tacky.

But at the end of the day - we should show gratitude and thanks for gifts and not expect them as a right.

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Pomona
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The URL of the wedding website* being on the invitations is a great help I think, since the website can include gift registry information if applicable but it's much less tacky than including all that information with the invites.

*these are usually free to set up and are quite common now, and one of the few modern wedding trends to actually be useful - maps, food info etc can all be online rather than bulking up the invites

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:


So the idea of wedding gifts setting the couple up for the future is ancient. What's new is that many couples don't need dishes and bedding and cookware, they already have it all. So the concept of setting them up shifts to cash for the honeymoon (a common request) or for a downpayment on a house (less common). Or just cash.

The brides arraigned a dinner at $100 a plate. If they were concerned about setting up for the future, they should have spent less.
quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
Also, some of the articles say "She's Italian and her bride is Croatian. They've never been to a wedding where guests didn't give cash...Mason was one of only two guests who didn't gift at least $150 cash (the other gave a present in addition to cash)." story on the spec This sounds like a culture clash.

They are in Canada, a multicultural country. One should not expect every guest to conform to, or even know their cultural expectation.
Such expectation would only apply in monocultural area and, IME, even in many of those, expressing such ingratitude is unacceptable.

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L'organist
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It seems to me that its the BRIDES who need educating about wedding etiquette:

1. The guest list should include all those people you'd like to share your day with - if that means more than your "venue" can comfortably hold, change the venue.

2. Weddings do not have to cost the earth and receptions can be simple - or, to quote a departed relative " Friends and the people you love will be happy with a cup of tea - a bun will be a bonus ".

3. It is useful to have a list: the range of items on this should range from those that could be bought by a child with pocket money (wooden spoons, can openers, etc) to more expensive items.

4. You do not solicit for cash - VULGAR, VULGAR, VULGAR. If you cannot afford the honeymoon you've booked cancel and go somewhere cheaper. It is wrong to expect your guests to foot the bill for your post-wedding holiday.

5. Any gift that is received should be acknowledged with a hand-written letter of thanks - end of.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
It seems to me that its the BRIDES who need educating about wedding etiquette:

1. The guest list should include all those people you'd like to share your day with - if that means more than your "venue" can comfortably hold, change the venue.

2. Weddings do not have to cost the earth and receptions can be simple - or, to quote a departed relative " Friends and the people you love will be happy with a cup of tea - a bun will be a bonus ".

3. It is useful to have a list: the range of items on this should range from those that could be bought by a child with pocket money (wooden spoons, can openers, etc) to more expensive items.

4. You do not solicit for cash - VULGAR, VULGAR, VULGAR. If you cannot afford the honeymoon you've booked cancel and go somewhere cheaper. It is wrong to expect your guests to foot the bill for your post-wedding holiday.

5. Any gift that is received should be acknowledged with a hand-written letter of thanks - end of.

Agreed with all of this - cash is the assumed gift in many cultures, but generally this is already known by the guests and doesn't need stating tackily in the invites.

Of course, unfortunately sometimes it's not the bride but her mother or the mother-in-law to be that's being a pain!

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:


So the idea of wedding gifts setting the couple up for the future is ancient. What's new is that many couples don't need dishes and bedding and cookware, they already have it all. So the concept of setting them up shifts to cash for the honeymoon (a common request) or for a downpayment on a house (less common). Or just cash.

The brides arraigned a dinner at $100 a plate. If they were concerned about setting up for the future, they should have spent less.
quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
Also, some of the articles say "She's Italian and her bride is Croatian. They've never been to a wedding where guests didn't give cash...Mason was one of only two guests who didn't gift at least $150 cash (the other gave a present in addition to cash)." story on the spec This sounds like a culture clash.

They are in Canada, a multicultural country. One should not expect every guest to conform to, or even know their cultural expectation.
Such expectation would only apply in monocultural area and, IME, even in many of those, expressing such ingratitude is unacceptable.

I have been to several Italian weddings in Ottawa and Montréal; the Italian guests did the money envelopes, and it was quite clear that the others were not expected to do so. At one wedding at Notre Dame de la Defense (with the mosaic of Mussolini in the dome) I made note of this to the bride's sister, and was told with a big smile not to worry, it was "for us and our people."
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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... I'm more than willing to buy the premise that cash giving vs. a gift basket was a culture clash. But do we really want to suggest that holding a gift up for public ridicule is an essential feature of either Italian or Croatian culture?

It was actually the gift-giver -- so not the Italians or Croatians -- who made the whole thing public, and invited readers to comment on the bride's actions. The ridicule of the gift was all private until the giver released the bride's e-mails for public ridicule.

(Laughing in private at a weird gift happens in every culture. Hands up, every diabetic who has been given a box of chocolates or non-drinker who got a bottle of wine.)

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... I'm more than willing to buy the premise that cash giving vs. a gift basket was a culture clash. But do we really want to suggest that holding a gift up for public ridicule is an essential feature of either Italian or Croatian culture?

It was actually the gift-giver -- so not the Italians or Croatians -- who made the whole thing public, and invited readers to comment on the bride's actions. The ridicule of the gift was all private until the giver released the bride's e-mails for public ridicule.

(Laughing in private at a weird gift happens in every culture. Hands up, every diabetic who has been given a box of chocolates or non-drinker who got a bottle of wine.)

There are two competing articles linked written from each perspective. I was referring to the one which mentioned the bride having a pool party in which the gift was displayed for friends and family to laugh at, and the one which mentioned how the bride arranged the items in the basket to be photographed for the newstory, highlighting the marshmallow fluff and the candy.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Vulpior

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We asked people to pay for a (relatively inexpensive) meal. The ceremony, meal and party were all in different venues so it allowed people to choose what they were going to attend. It also meant that we could spread invitations widely rather than stick to a budget-driven guest list.

We said no presents because we were planning our move to Australia and already had a houseful of stuff, much of which would not go with us anyway. We added that if people really wanted to give something, then cash towards setting up our new home after the move would be preferred.

We had 70 people pay to come to the meal, half a dozen modest gifts of cash, and a few obstinately-given but genuinely-appreciated physical gifts. The donors were thanked, and received letters three years' later telling them that their cash had bought our new glassware, crockery, pans, etc.

There's no reason to buy into the whole wedding industry thing at all.

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Pomona
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# 17175

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What do you mean by the guests paying for the food - was it in a restaurant (where people chose their own meal)? If guests stumped up for their own food at a traditional-style wedding breakfast, that seems incredibly rude. Whether a wedding or any other occasion, it's not the guests' job to provide the food - it's the hosts'. If a couple can't afford the food without the guests paying, they should just stick to cake and punch.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Vulpior

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In our case they prepaid around £35 (adjusted for inflation) for three courses and wine. We fully booked a restaurant and planned a limited menu from which people chose on arrival. There were speeches after, so in that respect it was a traditional wedding breakfast. But it wasn't specially decorated (centre pieces, chairs with skirts, etc) and the food wasn't excessively priced. And there was no way that we could afford to stump up even that limited amount of money, nor did we want to do the selecting from wide circles of friends based on the venue capacity.

These were friends who were used to being asked to bring a bottle to parties, or to pay when we organised a large catered picnic meal to coincide with a local event. It was the way we pooled and spread costs for large events while being on limited personal budgets.

I certainly wouldn't have asked people to pay towards the cost of anything other than the food itself; we hired the venue for the ceremony and we had volunteer musicians, celebrant and photographer.

Many local acquaintances from church and pub were able to come to the ceremony but chose not to have the meal, then came to the evening party or not (which was in our regular pub and cost nothing). If our overall invitation list had been limited by budget, they wouldn't have been part of the day at all.

These days we can afford to throw parties without fretting over cost (though people still bring bottles). But we weren't flush in those days and were desperately saving to migrate. In our social circles, it was definitely not seen as rude to ask people to pay their way

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Pomona
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# 17175

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I get that food is an expensive part of the wedding day and obviously, you're already married and can't change much now! But I would far rather just have tea and cake with my loved ones for free than expect people to have to pay to attend my wedding breakfast. Different strokes I guess - my guests being able to attend for free is more important than the food for me, I'd just rather have no 'real' food (just cake, salad etc) at all.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Uncle Pete

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I feel a real piker to report my wedding - now lost in the mists of the 70s.

We invited people to the church. It was a late afternoon wedding so we went right to supper, no faffing with pictures - it was bucketing down anyway.

Supper was at a local restaurant. We had warned people that if they came, they were on their own. I did, however, pay for my best man and his wife, the matron of honour.

Afterwards we went to my wife's sister's place, about 2 blocks away. The next day, we had an open house at my brother's place - large backyard and stuff. We made things; they made things, and I reimbursed them for their costs. All in all it cost me $500.00 plus a new suit for me which I wore for years afterwards. My wife made her own dress, which she also used for fancy for years afterward.

Neither of us could see going into a load of debt to start our marriage with. And we didn't ask our respective parents to contribute a penny.

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Even more so than I was before

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Golden Key
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
My Mum taught me that guests shoud spend approx equivalent to the cost of the wedding on their gift, as a guideline to how generous you can be.

Are you saying that the gift should cost the same as the wedding???
[Eek!]

Most people would never be able to do that. If that were instituted, the only people likely to get gifts would be those who had a civil wedding officiated by a justice of the peace.

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Blessed Gator, pray for us!
--"Oh bat bladders, do you have to bring common sense into this?" (Dragon, "Jane & the Dragon")
--"Oh, Peace Train, save this country!" (Yusuf/Cat Stevens, "Peace Train")

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
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I parsed that as meaning 'the guest's cost to the wedding' - ie the cost of their food and drink and maybe the fancy stationery.

My oft-expressed opinion is that the only really essential component is a few cases of decent champagne*.

The problem is that the social logic is that those giving the celebration should pay for it - otherwise they're just acting as salespeople for the caterers etc - but since they are spending beyond their means there is this desire for compensatory present to assuage the anxiety.

The answer of course is to have the wedding you can afford - but I think we may have to dismantle consumerist capitalism and burn down all branches of Pronuptia to enforce this.

*just discovered a left-over half case at the back of the cupboard. Goody, goody.

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angelfish
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Yes, sorry that was ambiguous, i meant to say the guideline amount to spend is what you guess they will have spent to have you there. Another problem with this is that you might turn up and find it's a lot posher or more modest than you assumed.

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"As God is my witness, I WILL kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!"

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
Yes, sorry that was ambiguous, i meant to say the guideline amount to spend is what you guess they will have spent to have you there. Another problem with this is that you might turn up and find it's a lot posher or more modest than you assumed.

Since I didn't choose the extravagance/ frugality of the wedding, why should that determine my gift? The problem with treating the whole affair as a quid-pro-quo transaction is, if I just wanted to pay to go to a fancy dinner, I'd go to a restaurant of my own choice with the music and food I like. Does Miss Manners really want to suggest that every invitee should spend precisely the same amount, regardless of their own income and regardless of their relationship to the couple? A minimum wage coworker spends the same as a wealthy close relative? Silliness.

I spend about the same amount for every wedding I'm invited to. Often I'll have a go-to present if I find something I think is particularly nice or appropriate. That may get adjusted upwards for a closer friend or relative.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... I was referring to the one which mentioned the bride having a pool party in which the gift was displayed for friends and family to laugh at, and the one which mentioned how the bride arranged the items in the basket to be photographed for the newstory, highlighting the marshmallow fluff and the candy.

Mistake #1: discussing any sensitive matter via texts or e-mails
Mistake 2: getting into an argument with a friend over a tacky fluffernutter gift basket
Mistake 3: asking the general public to take your side in an argument with a friend
Mistake 4: thinking this was ever a friendship

I understand having a misunderstanding with a friend. I understand having an argument with a friend. What I totally do not understand is giving private correspondence to the media and embarrassing my idiot friend just so I can win the argument.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Soror Magna:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
... I was referring to the one which mentioned the bride having a pool party in which the gift was displayed for friends and family to laugh at, and the one which mentioned how the bride arranged the items in the basket to be photographed for the newstory, highlighting the marshmallow fluff and the candy.

Mistake #1: discussing any sensitive matter via texts or e-mails
Mistake 2: getting into an argument with a friend over a tacky fluffernutter gift basket
Mistake 3: asking the general public to take your side in an argument with a friend
Mistake 4: thinking this was ever a friendship

I understand having a misunderstanding with a friend. I understand having an argument with a friend. What I totally do not understand is giving private correspondence to the media and embarrassing my idiot friend just so I can win the argument.

In this particular case, both sides apparently engaged in this disagreeable behavior.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
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When I was a student, and obviously on a tight budget, I was invited to the wedding of some good friends (at least I thought they were).

They had a wedding list at an expensive shop. All items on the list were in the range of hundreds of euros. This was far beyond my capabilities at the time. The cheapest item on the list was a small bowl that cost around € 60. Even that was rather expensive for me, it was far more than the presents I would buy even for close relatives at the time. But I thought what the heck, they are good friends, so I bought them that.

This couple had a van that seated 9 persons, and a large part of their families lived in different parts of the world. Since they were obviously quite busy in the final days before the wedding, they asked me to pick up their family from airports etc. For 4–5 days I drove their family to and from airports, to hotels, to touristical sites... I was more or less the family's personal driver for those days, but hey, I'm always happy to do my friends a favour, and I like driving, so it was a pleasure to do that for them.

After the wedding, the couple started a big fight with me, saying that I was cheap. They never talked with me again after that.

I guess you become a little wiser every day.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Does Miss Manners really want to suggest that every invitee should spend precisely the same amount?

Miss Manners would never suggest any such thing, as one of her greatest commandments is that no one ever notices the cost of a gift. And the second commandment is like unto it, that one always gives according to one's own taste.

Many years ago, I traveled a long distance at considerable expense to be at the wedding of a pair of dear old friends. They made it clear to me that they expected no gift, saying that my presence was gift enough. What I ended up giving them was an album of photos, taken by myself, of the ceremony plus each table of guests at the reception. Since I knew most of the guests, and so could capture them in poses that would be meaningful to the couple, my photos turned out to be far more cherished than even the best photos of the professional photographer the couple had hired.

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"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I get that food is an expensive part of the wedding day and obviously, you're already married and can't change much now! But I would far rather just have tea and cake with my loved ones for free than expect people to have to pay to attend my wedding breakfast. Different strokes I guess - my guests being able to attend for free is more important than the food for me, I'd just rather have no 'real' food (just cake, salad etc) at all.

At my previous church, a young couple without much money were married. No fancy new clothes, no expensive holiday, and of course they couldn't afford a big reception.

So the church threw them a party. We had a big potluck lunch in the church hall afterwards - the congregation all brought food, and most people chipped in a few quid for sparkling wine. The wedding guests were most of the congregation (which included the little family they had) plus a few of their friends.

It was a wonderful way to celebrate their marriage, and everyone enjoyed it.

They weren't the hosts, though - we (the church congregation) were.

Nobody would have wanted to price anyone out of attending (several of our congregation were unemployed, and couldn't afford 25 quid a head for a meal out, but were happy (although by no means required) to be able to bake a quiche or something as their contribution.

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angelfish
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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
Yes, sorry that was ambiguous, i meant to say the guideline amount to spend is what you guess they will have spent to have you there. Another problem with this is that you might turn up and find it's a lot posher or more modest than you assumed.

Since I didn't choose the extravagance/ frugality of the wedding, why should that determine my gift? The problem with treating the whole affair as a quid-pro-quo transaction is, if I just wanted to pay to go to a fancy dinner, I'd go to a restaurant of my own choice with the music and food I like. Does Miss Manners really want to suggest that every invitee should spend precisely the same amount, regardless of their own income and regardless of their relationship to the couple? A minimum wage coworker spends the same as a wealthy close relative? Silliness.

I spend about the same amount for every wedding I'm invited to. Often I'll have a go-to present if I find something I think is particularly nice or appropriate. That may get adjusted upwards for a closer friend or relative.

I dunno, maybe the guideline hails from a time/place where people tended not to socialise outside of their social class.

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"As God is my witness, I WILL kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!"

Posts: 1017 | From: England | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Belle Ringer
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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
When I was a student, and obviously on a tight budget, I was invited to the wedding of some good friends (at least I thought they were)...

After the wedding, the couple started a big fight with me, saying that I was cheap. They never talked with me again after that.

Can't say what would have happened of course, but in my life - and others have commented similarly in All Saints threads - when people marry they often cut their single friends out of their life. Not always, of course, but often. They are a couple now, they do couples things with other couples, like card games for 4 that don't have any place for a 5th person.

A wedding gift is often the last contact with that person who was once a good friend.

I.e. the separation might well have happened even if you had bought the most expensive gift on the list.

It did take me a while to figure out anyone whose friendship depends on what gift they can get from you, isn't a friend. I used to think pleasing someone with the right gift cemented friendship, but I've had too many experiences of them dropping me as soon as they got what they wanted out of me.

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LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
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quote:
Belle Ringer: I.e. the separation might well have happened even if you had bought the most expensive gift on the list.
That's possible of course, although during the fight they were quite explicit in stating the reason for breaking the friendship.

It doesn't matter much now, it's already some time ago.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

Posts: 9474 | From: Brazil / Africa | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Zacchaeus
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quote:
Originally posted by LeRoc:
quote:
Belle Ringer: I.e. the separation might well have happened even if you had bought the most expensive gift on the list.
That's possible of course, although during the fight they were quite explicit in stating the reason for breaking the friendship.

It doesn't matter much now, it's already some time ago.

Doesn't sound like they had much idea of friendship - it's more of how to use people..
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Autenrieth Road

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I would be delighted to be given a jar of marshmallow fluff. Yum, yum, yum.

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Truth

Posts: 9559 | From: starlight | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Badger Lady
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
It seems to me that its the BRIDES who need educating about wedding etiquette:


2. Weddings do not have to cost the earth and receptions can be simple - or, to quote a departed relative " Friends and the people you love will be happy with a cup of tea - a bun will be a bonus ".
.

I agree with most of your list but struggle with this one. I am getting married in (gulp) six weeks. I have family travelling from far and wide to attend. They have always been impeccable hosts to me at weddings and functions. I don't think I could do anything but a big reception and meal. I suspect by Asian standards my wedding will be low key ('only' 180-200 guests; very few sequins) but by 'English' standards it is quite a big affair.


On the point of the thread: we decided we didn't need anything. I wanted to discourage the giving of money (the traditional Asian gift). We have therefore asked for donations to a named charity for those that want to give something. We have had a lot of positive feedback and some extraordinarily generous donations.

I note that as an alternative Oxfam also do a take on the traditional wedding list which is quite fun.

Posts: 340 | From: London | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
St Deird
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# 7631

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quote:
Originally posted by Badger Lady:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
It seems to me that its the BRIDES who need educating about wedding etiquette:


2. Weddings do not have to cost the earth and receptions can be simple - or, to quote a departed relative " Friends and the people you love will be happy with a cup of tea - a bun will be a bonus ".
.

I agree with most of your list but struggle with this one. I am getting married in (gulp) six weeks. I have family travelling from far and wide to attend. They have always been impeccable hosts to me at weddings and functions. I don't think I could do anything but a big reception and meal.
*nods*

My wedding's in seven weeks. We have family taking a 10-hour drive just to be there. There's no way they'd be happy with anything less than a full sit-down meal.

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They're not hobbies; they're a robust post-apocalyptic skill-set.

Posts: 319 | From: the other side of nowhere | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jane R
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# 331

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Soror Magna said:
quote:
I understand having a misunderstanding with a friend. I understand having an argument with a friend. What I totally do not understand is giving private correspondence to the media and embarrassing my idiot friend just so I can win the argument.
This.

I can't understand people who get the media involved in ANY argument. It's like inviting a pack of wolves to your baby lamb's birthday party. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, everyone ends up being shredded.

Presumably this couple liked the person who gave the slightly bizarre gift well enough to invite her to their wedding, but after this I doubt they'll ever be able to patch things up and be friends again. And everyone else who knows all the parties concerned will be forced to choose sides. It's very sad.

Posts: 3958 | From: Jorvik | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Anselmina
Ship's barmaid
# 3032

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quote:
Originally posted by Zacchaeus:
I think a list that is given on request is one thing as it helps guide those who want it. However I have in the past received an invite with the presnt list attached - I thought that was a bit tacky.


I've had that with a few wedding invites (non work-related). I'm afraid my initial response is: they've only invited me because they want their house re-furbished. Or, more cynically, they're spending so damn much on the wedding day, they want to make the guests stump up for giving their house a make-over, instead of prioritizing their own funds.

Particularly the case when it's clear that ridiculous amounts of money have been spent on the day and the honeymoon. If that much money can be thrown away on a dress, a reception, a cake, photos, blah-blah and three weeks in a luxury hotel in Jamaica, they don't need me to buy their Wedgewood toilet seats for them. [Biased]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

Posts: 10002 | From: Scotland the Brave | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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quote:
Originally posted by Jane R:
... I can't understand people who get the media involved in ANY argument. It's like inviting a pack of wolves to your baby lamb's birthday party. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the matter, everyone ends up being shredded. ...

Well said. [Axe murder]

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
WhyNotSmile
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# 14126

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I got married 5 weeks ago, and, both being in our 30s and having moved out from parental homes quite some time ago, we both had our own houses full of stuff. We really didn't need or want anything from anyone, so we asked people just to come along to the wedding and, if they wished, to make a donation to charity in lieu of a gift.

It was amazing how many people really found themselves unable to not buy us a present - mostly friends of our parents! Our own friends gave us gifts by helping out on the day and in the run-up to the wedding.

But everything people did was appreciated - we had no expectations what anyone SHOULD do or give a particular thing. That seems like the height of rudeness.

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Come visit:
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Posts: 528 | From: Belfast | Registered: Sep 2008  |  IP: Logged
Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
In the days of fancy wedding china, a couple of plates or saucers was the semi-anonymous (in the sense no one will remember a year later who gave it) gift you gave as not a close friend of the couple.


We were setting up home, and we were very grateful for the things people chose from our list of suggestions. I can't pretend to remember what absolutely everyone gave but there are lots and lots of gifts that I think you would have down as "semi-anonymous" that I use frequently, and always thinking with love of the giver.

15 years on, and I still have a smile on my face when slipping on an apron, reaching for a pan, pouring a glass of wine, laying the table. Happy memories.

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2950 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
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quote:
Zacchaeus: Doesn't sound like they had much idea of friendship - it's more of how to use people..
Yes.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

Posts: 9474 | From: Brazil / Africa | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
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# 17175

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quote:
Originally posted by St Deird:
quote:
Originally posted by Badger Lady:
quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
It seems to me that its the BRIDES who need educating about wedding etiquette:


2. Weddings do not have to cost the earth and receptions can be simple - or, to quote a departed relative " Friends and the people you love will be happy with a cup of tea - a bun will be a bonus ".
.

I agree with most of your list but struggle with this one. I am getting married in (gulp) six weeks. I have family travelling from far and wide to attend. They have always been impeccable hosts to me at weddings and functions. I don't think I could do anything but a big reception and meal.
*nods*

My wedding's in seven weeks. We have family taking a 10-hour drive just to be there. There's no way they'd be happy with anything less than a full sit-down meal.

Well, L'Organist did say that weddings can be simple, not that weddings should be simple [Biased] I think the point was that it's not OK to have a big wedding and expect guests to make up for that cost by spending loads of money on the gift or to donate money to the honeymoon fund. If a big wedding is within your means and you would enjoy it*, go for it.

*I know plenty of introverted people who have been pressured into a big wedding they didn't enjoy themselves, sadly.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5319 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
argona
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My daughter says that if she gets married, she wants a picnic in the park [Yipee]

Thankfully, apart from next-generation family, it's likely to be all divorces from here on. Then funerals, unless I get there first.

Posts: 327 | From: Oriental dill patch? (4,7) | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged
Liopleurodon

Mighty sea creature
# 4836

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I think there's a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't issue with weddings these days. For every person saying "But it's your day! Everything should be perfect! Aren't you in love?" there's another person saying "I can't believe people spend so much money on a wedding! You can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop!" or alternatively "I can't believe you're putting off your wedding until you have more money - don't you KNOW that you can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop?" In these days of austerity I think I've heard more of the latter though.

My wedding last year cost practically nothing but that's because Mr Liopleurodon and I are hardcore introverts who hate parties so we didn't have any kind of reception and the number of guests at the ceremony was fewer than ten. I think it's important that people have the wedding that they want. This means overruling the voices of both the wedding industry vultures AND the people who tut that you could buy some nice new furniture with what you spent on that bouncy castle hire. Ours was cheap and perfect for us, but it was no better or worse because it was cheap.

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Our God is an awesome God. Much better than that ridiculous God that Desert Bluffs has. - Welcome to Night Vale

Posts: 1921 | From: Lurking under the ship | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Badger Lady
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quote:
Originally posted by Liopleurodon:
I think there's a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't issue with weddings these days. For every person saying "But it's your day! Everything should be perfect! Aren't you in love?" there's another person saying "I can't believe people spend so much money on a wedding! You can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop!" or alternatively "I can't believe you're putting off your wedding until you have more money - don't you KNOW that you can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop?"

I do agree with this. I think people think (or at least imply) that there is only one way to have a wedding: fairy tale princess; faux vintage bunting ( [Projectile] ) and mis-matched crockery or low key DIY cheap. It is easy to get defensive when your wedding is not one of these.

I think sometimes people advocating the DIY approach may not realise that they induce as much pressure/guilt as the Wedding Industry and its manufactured dreams.

Posts: 340 | From: London | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Liopleurodon:
I think there's a bit of damned if you do, damned if you don't issue with weddings these days. For every person saying "But it's your day! Everything should be perfect! Aren't you in love?" there's another person saying "I can't believe people spend so much money on a wedding! You can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop!" or alternatively "I can't believe you're putting off your wedding until you have more money - don't you KNOW that you can have a potluck and buy a dress from a charity shop?"

It's a cultural ritual designed to prepare the young couple for future parenthood, when their life will be an even higher-stakes, near continuous stream of such damned if you do, damned if you don't decisions-- cloth v. disposable? spank or time out? breast or bottle?

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
LeRoc

Famous Dutch pirate
# 3216

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quote:
cliffdweller: It's a cultural ritual designed to prepare the young couple for future parenthood, when their life will be an even higher-stakes, near continuous stream of such damned if you do, damned if you don't decisions-- cloth v. disposable? spank or time out? breast or bottle?
There is a picture of my parents' wedding day, where they quite obviously are having a fight at the entrance of the church. They told me later that the fight was over who would pick up some pans at her parents' (my late grandparents') house.

My parents have been married for decades now, and sometimes I still like to look at that picture.

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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lilBuddha
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# 14333

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
It's a cultural ritual designed to prepare the young couple for future parenthood, when their life will be an even higher-stakes, near continuous stream of such damned if you do, damned if you don't decisions-- cloth v. disposable? spank or time out? breast or bottle?

ISTM, it is a holdover trade negotiation/wealth display/community celebration and that the state of the parent's live afterwards is a relatively modern afterthought.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

Posts: 17627 | From: the round earth's imagined corners | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
It's a cultural ritual designed to prepare the young couple for future parenthood, when their life will be an even higher-stakes, near continuous stream of such damned if you do, damned if you don't decisions-- cloth v. disposable? spank or time out? breast or bottle?

ISTM, it is a holdover trade negotiation/wealth display/community celebration and that the state of the parent's live afterwards is a relatively modern afterthought.
It was a joke. Not a very funny one if I have to explain it.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
LutheranChik
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# 9826

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One of my pastorly Facebook friends who lives in rural Texas is advertising free wedding services any Sunday during the summer if the couple is willing to be married in the context of the church service.

It will be interesting to see who takes him up on this. I think that at least some couples/in-laws invested in the idea of a church wedding are still even more invested in the idea of THEIR OWN UNIQUE church wedding, and would balk at the idea of a no-frills ceremony in the middle of Sunday worship with "just anybody" in attendance. On the other hand, I suspect that many unmarried couples who aren't invested in the pomp-and-circumstance might wonder why bother anyway, especially if they don't have a connection to the church.

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Simul iustus et peccator
http://www.lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com

Posts: 6462 | From: rural Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by LutheranChik:
One of my pastorly Facebook friends who lives in rural Texas is advertising free wedding services any Sunday during the summer if the couple is willing to be married in the context of the church service.

It will be interesting to see who takes him up on this. I think that at least some couples/in-laws invested in the idea of a church wedding are still even more invested in the idea of THEIR OWN UNIQUE church wedding, and would balk at the idea of a no-frills ceremony in the middle of Sunday worship with "just anybody" in attendance. On the other hand, I suspect that many unmarried couples who aren't invested in the pomp-and-circumstance might wonder why bother anyway, especially if they don't have a connection to the church.

Even if he has no takers, he has spoken into the Industrial Wedding Culture in a powerful way, sending the message that a wedding isn't something you "wait until you can afford it". Even if all his ad does is inspire couples to think about that concept, then approach their own church about a "no frills" wedding. I know I've had similar conversations with a couple of the young couples delaying marriage (but not much else) in our congregation. Getting the word out that a no-frills church wedding is something far different from a quickie Vegas wedding, but can be a beautiful, meaningful celebration shared with the people you love without having the wait until you can bankroll a consumerist feeding frenzy by blackmailing your friends.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 11242 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged
Liopleurodon

Mighty sea creature
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I don't honestly understand the problem with waiting until you can afford the wedding you want. Is it because they're already sleeping together and shouldn't be, or what?

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Our God is an awesome God. Much better than that ridiculous God that Desert Bluffs has. - Welcome to Night Vale

Posts: 1921 | From: Lurking under the ship | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Gwai
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# 11076

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To me it's a ridiculous idea because I think that a couple who wants to be married and considers themselves so is already married in the eyes of God. To wait to declare that before humans until one has more material possessions when one has already declared it before God seems silly.

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


Posts: 11914 | From: Chicago | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
Carex
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# 9643

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We actually received 2 or 3 picnic baskets as wedding presents with various sorts of interesting food and wine in them, and enjoyed them very much. They were among the gifts that ended up in the back of the car on our honeymoon to a cabin in the forest, and we sampled much of it sitting by the fireplace there rather than braving a winter storm to drive to a restaurant.

I suppose, however, if the picnic basket in question had been intended for use during the honeymoon, the marshmallow fluff might have other implications...

We also were combining two established households and paying for the wedding ourselves. The wedding was outdoors in a garden (in winter!), we rented a club hall with room for folk dancing for the reception, and after our symbolic departure we changed clothes and returned to help sweep up the hall.

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
To me it's a ridiculous idea because I think that a couple who wants to be married and considers themselves so is already married in the eyes of God. To wait to declare that before humans until one has more material possessions when one has already declared it before God seems silly.

In these days where friends and family are spread across the globe, the logistics of getting your nearest and dearest in the same place so you can make a declaration in front of them can be challenging.

One could, I suppose, have a quiet wedding, and then have a big party and a blessing some time later when finances permit. (But then, to go back to the OP, you'd find that people don't tend to give renewal of vows presents.)

Posts: 5026 | From: USA | Registered: Feb 2013  |  IP: Logged



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