Monday, June 24, 2013

Appropriate Wedding Gift?

What would you do if you received this gift basket as a wedding gift?

wedding gift idea

Honestly, I would probably (internally) freak out.

They say it's the thought, not the gift that counts, but let's talk numbers here. You just spent about a year of your life planning the perfect wedding, saving to pay (in our case) $150 a head. You don't expect cards with a check in them, but it's often the gift given. I am planning our wedding with a $150 a head budget, and I'm not at all expecting anyone to give us a card with that "in return." I'm sticking to my budget, inviting who I can afford to pay for, and that's that.

I don't know where the concept of "pay for your plate" came from. It was established long before I was invited to weddings, and it's a custom I follow. It's a custom most people follow. You don't expect people to pay for your wedding. I know I don't. But I do expect people to bring a gift because you don't show up anywhere -- not even a backyard BBQ -- empty handed.

Come wedding time, you're high strung. Heck, I'm super high strung right now, flipping out over everything, and we're not getting married until next summer. I'm stressed, I'm stressing Pete out, and we have a ways to go. I can only imagine that the stress is going to get worse.

So wedding day comes, it's the happiest most stressful day of your life. And you get a wicker basket filled with $30 worth of junk food. There's lemon pepper dill something (eww), Sour Patch Kids, Marshmallow Fluff, and some other sugary items that will go straight to your waistline.

Great gift or party foul?

That's the debate going on right now. I was reading this article the other day about a couple who actually gave that as a gift at a wedding -- and the brides who were pretty offended by it.

I was talking about it with Pete in the car yesterday, and he was on the side of the couple that gave the gift. He agreed with the logic that you shouldn't expect someone to pay for your wedding and a gift is a gift.

And then I reminded him it was a gift for a wedding and how we got a gift at our engagement party that was borderline insulting in the same manner. And I said I would rather have had nothing than that gift. The thought counts, but how much thought was put into that gift? I mean, seriously. It kinda looks like the couple went into one store, filled half a basket with random items, and that was it especially since one half of the receiving couple said she is gluten intolerant and cannot eat the items. So it's not like a basket of her favorites or anything.

I'm not saying a couple should be greedy and expect their guests to pay for the wedding. I'm just saying a basket of Jolly Ranchers isn't an appropriate wedding gift if the wedding is at a venue that costs $100 a head (which, according to the article, it was).

If I received this gift, I would have just sent a thank you card and have been done with it. That's exactly how we handled a questionable gift we received at our party. I didn't complain, I didn't text the gift giver and throw a fit like these brides, but I was very confused by the gift (and trust me, our was a lot worse than this one). I didn't explain what appropriate gift giving was. I just let it be. But inside, I was definitely taken aback by it. So I do definitely see how the brides would have been confused by this gift. But I think their immaturity about how they handled it is appalling.

What do you think?

BRIDAL BABBLE: Great gift or party foul?


  1. Gifts are optional. This couple clearly meant well, because the card said, "Life is delicious... enjoy." Maybe they didn't have the money to "reimburse" the couple for the money the couple put out for the wedding. (I've gone to weddings of friends when I was completely flat broke; the money I gave them for their weddings in some cases literally drained my bank account. Now I'm more fortunate, but it was not always that way.) They also may not have known one part of the couple was gluten intolerant (they were co-workers, it's not like they were best friends).

    If you're getting married, you are choosing who to invite and also how much to spend on them. To expect someone to give you a gift that matches that... I don't know.

    I'm not trying to be rude, this is just my opinion. Your blog is about being a bride on a budget. Your guests are likely on a budget too.

    And how much thought does it take to buy something off of a registry? Absolutely zero. At least this couple was sort of original.

  2. At first I was thinking it wasn't a great gift but when I read the article and saw where they included a note that said Life is delicious enjoy and had some nicer items in it I thought it was a creative gift but I prefer stuff like that that I can actually use then stuff that will just sit in a closet somewhere

  3. Sorry, but I find this post more offensive than the gift. What kind of selfish people are we raising these days? You're basically saying you're inviting people to your wedding to get gifts. Not because you enjoy their company or want to share your day with them, but because you want them to give you something. THAT is what's rude, in my opinion. Far more rude than getting a "cheap gift."

    When my husband and I made our guest list for our wedding, our mind was far from gifts. We didn't even include a gift registry with our invitation. Why? Because we were focused on the people, not the gifts. The most important thing for us was to have a great time surrounded by the people we love. Some of the people there may not have brought a gift. I don't know. We didn't keep track. Every gift we received was accepted with gratitude, no matter what it was. Now that I think about it, we did get some things that would be considered "cheap gifts," but you know what? We appreciated the thought anyway, because many of our guests were young couples and families struggling to make ends meet. The fact that they were able to come up with money for a gift at all said something about how much they cared for us. If the sole purpose of your wedding is to receive gifts, then you'd better make sure you only have wealthy people on your guest list, and make it clear that that's the reason for your celebration. If that isn't the case and you truly care about the people there rather than the gift, then keep your mouth shut and be grateful they came to support you.

  4. The way I see it, weddings are very special days that you share with people you love - which means the guests at your wedding love you too. Or that is what it should mean. I think that a wedding gift should be thoughtful, and if you can't come up with something thoughtful, then go with money. I didn't have a lot of cash when my brother got married, as I was only barely out of high school. I pooled my money with my sister and we made a creative presentation for it, thereby making is seem like a proper gift even though it was *only* money. In my opinion, if you can't or don't want to give cash, come up with another gift - but something that'll last, eg a "cheap" but useful hand blender, those retail at around $30. OR, give them a great experience! Like, say, make them a romantic dinner/picknick/whatever for when they come back from their honeymoon. Come up with a creative way to surprise them. A few food items are something you give for a housewarming party, not a wedding.

  5. The brides were awful. Maybe it wasn't the best gift, but it was at least a gift. And I kinda think they put some thought into it, into their own way. Most of my husband's family didn't even bring gifts. Of course I didn't say anything and thanked them for coming to our wedding. I would never ask for a gift receipt if one wasn't offered, and they were obviously being catty. The brides were awful.- Tara

  6. I would laugh it off. It depends on who it came from though. If I got that as a gift from a good friend I would laugh it off and enjoy the treats on my honeymoon! I think the gift was very original and honestly, I would love to get it instead of some boring plates off my registry...especially since it would be a surprise upon opening instead of know what might be in the box...

  7. I thought it was a cute original gift. Sure you want nice gifts but this at least had some thought put into it.

  8. That is a gift from someone who can't stand either the bride (more likely) or the groom.

  9. I think this could potentially be a good gift, if the items had some significance or if there was peanut butter in with the fluff to symbolize the union of the two the union of the wedding. Or if Jolly Ranchers were a special candy that reminded the wedding guest of a specific funny story or happening with the bride and groom...

  10. Wow...that's crazy. I'm not sure where I side here...For me, it really comes down to 'why are you inviting anyone to your wedding (especially at $100 a plate)that you obviously either are not extremely close with or family'? I would not be offended by any gift from someone that I chose to come to my wedding. But, then again, I got married at the town clerk's window for $25 with my Mom and two brothers there. And, if they had brought me this basket, I would have been thrilled. :) lol