Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

In the News: Bride is Furious Over Guest’s “Cheap” Gift

A furious bride in Australia called one of her guests to demand more money after the guest gave her “only” $200 and a $75 “luxury” candle off her registry as a gift, saying that the presents didn’t come close enough to cover the cost of the guest and her date’s plates at the wedding. Check out the big vent the guest then posted on Facebook over the snub:

Wow, just imagine how the bride would have reacted if the guest had given her a basket to marshmallow fluff instead!

Related: “Should I ask Wedding Guests Why I Haven’t Received a Gift From Them?” and “My In-Laws Never Gave us a Wedding Gift”

23 comments… add one
  • avatar

    keyblade April 2, 2019, 12:52 pm

    I’m filled with both displeasure at the decadence and judgement of internet voyeurism and consumerism and also a shameful kind of glee that we can use the same medium to shame and make fun of bride zillas.

    I actually avoid weddings of people with considerable wealth when it’s socially possible for just this reason. A plane ticket, expensive gown or rental, and registry gift within my price range probably won’t cover my share of the Beluga, Fillet-minion, fire works, and topiary finish pieces that come with seeing family.

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    • avatar

      ArtsyGirl April 2, 2019, 1:07 pm

      I would make a distinction between the weddings of the truly wealthy and the wanna-bes who are making an active cash grab in order to finance an event they cannot afford. I worked in an art museum and was invited to a few society weddings. In one case, the couple requested that no gifts given and instead asked for donations to their favorite charities.

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      • avatar

        keyblade April 2, 2019, 1:13 pm

        Honestly, most of the expensive weddings that I’ve attended have never included a registry. But I still feel uncomfortable not following gift-giving etiquette even if I didn’t care at all at my own wedding.

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      • avatar

        csp April 2, 2019, 2:33 pm

        I totally agree. The people who freak out are not the people who could afford their wedding but the people that couldn’t. I feel the stress from this bride. I am sure she is 40K in credit card debt and didn’t get enough to cover it. I feel like so many people get caught up and wake up the day after their wedding in a panic.

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  • avatar

    ArtsyGirl April 2, 2019, 1:01 pm

    This is entitlement run amok. I cannot stand couples who expect their guests to pay for the wedding – if you hold a house party you don’t expect the guests to show up with a host gift equivalent to the price of the meal. It is on the couple to organize a wedding within their means especially since guests often foot more of a bill then just the gift. People buy new outfits, pay for travel and hotel stays, go to shower or hen/stag dos, etc. I agree with the poster that the bride should be an ex-friend since obviously her only yardstick for the friendship is how much money the poster is willing to send on her.

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  • avatar

    em April 2, 2019, 1:23 pm

    has anyone here ever experienced such a demanding bride/wedding couple? I see posts like these a lot (bc I read a lot of advice columns) but have never had an even remotely similar experience with my many married friends, some of whom had very fancy weddings. Are these all fake?

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    • avatar

      anonymousse April 2, 2019, 3:16 pm

      It sounds like your friends are probably decent people. I haven’t ever had this experience either, but I also can’t imagine anyone voting for, standing by, respecting our president…but those people exist.

      I’m sure it’s possible, but I don’t think it’s fake.

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    • avatar

      Lilly Pad April 2, 2019, 7:03 pm

      I had a 2nd cousin 2 states away who I had not spoken to in at least 10 years who sent us a family invite to their wedding. I forgot about the invite and didn’t RSVP, that we would not be attending. The night before the wedding the brides father called and yelled that we didn’t RSVP, and that he would be sending us a bill for $1,000 ($500 to cover the cost, and $500 for the expected gift that would cover our costs)if we didn’t show up. We blocked his number and threw the bill away when it came.

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  • avatar

    Poppy April 2, 2019, 2:26 pm

    I think in any culture it would be very tacky to expect a wedding gift that equalivates to the amount one spends on their wedding quest. Us poor people over here be thinking a Yankee candle is a luxury candle.

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    • avatar

      bess marvin April 2, 2019, 4:09 pm

      How would a guest even know how much the bride and groom are spending? At the least you’d have to actually get to the reception, see how many people there are and do a ballpark calculation before you could guess what the per-person cost would be. This boggles the mind.

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  • avatar

    csp April 2, 2019, 2:40 pm

    I am very much seeing a backlash to the consumerism. I feel like 10 years ago, it was all the wedding shows that just drove the culture a little crazy. Like Say yes to the dress made you think you needed a 5k wedding dress and 4 weddings made you feel like you needed to judge each other. For awhile it was all about Pinterest and Instagram. But lately you are seeing the minimalists and Marie Kondo and people pulling back from all of this. Maybe it is my group but so many people I know are doing no spend months/years or selling everything that doesn’t bring joy.

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    • avatar

      keyblade April 2, 2019, 2:57 pm

      I don’t know, I think people will always want to play within their means. The last really large wedding I attended involved being seated around people who I already had so little in common with that it just felt stressful. Especially because the family of the bride made a nasty comment about one of my own family member’s size and weight at the dinner. The speaker actually talked about meaning of “grand” gestures and displays and began dancing to the bride up there. Between tax cuts and the endless desire to see and have it all, I’m not sure people are scaling back as much as being a little more polite around it. My personal experience is that minimalists and collectors have more to do with individual taste than the current popular trend (though they do exist and influence how the average person presents their life).

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    • avatar

      anonymousse April 2, 2019, 8:51 pm

      I have been doing a “not buying facial care/makeup” since the new year. It’s really hard for me because I love products, but also…I haven’t needed to buy anything-that’s how much I have hoarded. I’m still totally stocked up.

      I am very ANTI consumerism right now. We’ve moved a lot, so we are all Kondo’d out. I’m conscious of being frugal and not throwing things out, I sell, donate or fix them. I just think consumerism has hit this fever pitch and it’s alarming.

      I grew up in a household where my mother was incredibly irresponsible with money. It was very much, “I’ll call you out of school and we’ll go shopping!” That was how she dealt with stress/showed love. It’s been a hard habit to break. Teaching my kids about money has helped me realize a lot of that.

      And I just watched the Mr. Rogers documentary and he talked about how in this country, we raise people to be good consumers. We teach people to buy. And that was filmed in black and white.

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      • avatar

        Hazel April 3, 2019, 11:31 am

        so happy to hear the backlash against mindless consumption going on right now. Really impressed by how many posts I’ve seen like this lately. Hopefully it will build until the kids have some kind of future. The best thing you can get them is no more stuff nobody needs.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie April 2, 2019, 3:06 pm

    I was thinking about how I’ve never personally been on the receiving end of such nonsense but then I realized that I don’t let those people in my life.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom April 2, 2019, 4:12 pm

    The whole concept of the guest giving a gift equal in value to their share of the wedding seems ridiculous. Your guest doesn’t choose how much you will spend on your wedding. If the guest is supposed to pay their share then they should get to say how much your wedding will cost. Maybe have a group vote.

    I always wonder how the guest is supposed to know how much their share of the wedding is supposed to be. How is the guest supposed to know how much their dinner will cost?

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    • avatar

      keyblade April 2, 2019, 4:43 pm

      The invitation, the venue, and the personal family traditions, as well as how much other people have gifted you or your own children, if they happen to be married. I should note that weddings from my father’s culture are traditionally more for the entire extended family and go on for days. My parent’s earnestly tried to balance traditional meaning, with their guests comfort, and include all people who they felt had been supportive of them in some way to the receptions they held in for their children. I think with immigrants their is also a strong desire to show the fruits of their work.

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      • avatar

        keyblade April 2, 2019, 4:48 pm

        In the circles I’m writing about guests often have an inkling based on cost of the invitations, the venues, the personal family traditions, as well as how much other people have tended to gift in the past. I should note that weddings from one of my cultures are traditionally more for the entire extended family and go on for days. My parents earnestly tried to balance traditional meaning, with their guests comfort, and include all people who they felt had been supportive of them in some way at the receptions they held for their children. I think with immigrants there is also a strong desire to show the fruits of the life efforts and to celebrate success and prosperity.

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  • avatar

    ron April 2, 2019, 5:50 pm

    The good news is that LW no longer needs to deal with this ‘friend’. What a self-entitled horse’s ass.

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  • TheLadyE

    TheLadyE April 2, 2019, 8:40 pm

    WTF. My younger cousin is getting married at the end of this month and both my sister and I are (each) giving her a gift worth $100. (I’m giving her cash; I think my sister bought her a pressure cooker or something.) I think my parents are giving cash too and it might be more than $100 but both my sister and I are single and are traveling for the wedding, giving up our PTO time and we aren’t incredibly close with this cousin now even though we did grow up with her. I’m not willing to spend any more and wouldn’t expect my cousin to spend any more on me (in fact, if/when I get married it will be such a small affair I may not even invite extended family). Just…wtf. Also who asks for a $150 candle??

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark April 2, 2019, 9:05 pm

    Bridezilla’s are SO ‘87.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant April 2, 2019, 9:43 pm

    So this is atrocious if true.

    But…I’m always skeptical of the “Oh my gosh you wouldn’t BELIEVE the unambiguously outrage behavior I just encountered!” online rants.

    Like, it’s possible, people are crazy.

    But I am also always somewhat cynical that some people are just pot stirring online for fun.

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  • avatar

    Donna April 3, 2019, 11:18 am

    For real…..ex-friend is the only thing that matters out of all of this. ♥

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