Don’t Read Posts On Weddings (Except This One)

The new craze in wedding gifts - helping to pay for the honeymoon

The new craze in wedding gifts – helping to pay for the honeymoon

As you all know, I got engaged recently. Even though many people expect me to be like Monica from “Friends” with a massive binder filled with every wedding idea I have ever had, I’m not. Surprised? You aren’t alone. I am enjoying filling the amazing wedding binder I bought from kikki k and the “wedding notes” book my lovely sister gave me. You see, while I haven’t planned everything already in my head, I have waited my whole life to plan a wedding.

This may be less impressive to some given the fact that I am only 22, but I have always found the thought of planning a wedding to be incredible. When one of my coworkers told me how relieved she felt when wedding planning was over, I couldn’t understand and thought it would be different for me. Now, I am starting to see what she means.

Everyone has an opinion on weddings. Friends, family and even strangers on the internet. They tell you that you’re only doing this once so you should go all out with no worries about the money or that it’s just ‘a day’ and you should do it on the cheap by having a picnic as your reception. Cocktail vs sit down. Outdoors vs indoors. Kids vs no kids. And then the kicker: what to do when it comes to gifts.


When Ella Legg and her now husband Adrian decided to tie the knot three years ago, they asked their wedding guests not for gifts, but for cold, hard cash to pay for their honeymoon.

Having lived together for 18 months before getting married, the couple’s need for toasters, homewares or bed linen had become redundant.

“People really liked the simplicity of transferring money into an account and that was that. Luckily, we didn’t have any adverse reactions,” said Ella Legg.

“When my sister got married, she and her husband ended up with about three juicers and four toasters. It’s hard for people to pick your tastes, let alone your needs and wants. And besides, the gift registry’s a bit dated in some circles I think.”

While once considered tacky, asking wedding guests to contribute to the cost of the honeymoon is becoming increasingly common, with 8 per cent of respondents in a survey conducted by travel and lifestyle website taking this approach.

Gen Y has particularly picked up on the trend, with 21 per cent asking for donations, compared with 10 per cent of gen X couples and only 2 per cent of baby boomers.

This isn’t what bothered me, it was seeing it reported on other websites and then reading the comments.

To point out something now: I don’t really want to have an engagement party and if I do, there will be no mention of gifts on the invite and I will tell people not to buy me a gift. I am not having a kitchen tea/bridal shower. If I do a hens night, it won’t be expensive. I am very firm that I don’t want people to have to shell out because of my life choice to get married but this isn’t saying anything against those who do; your wedding, your choice. The only thing I will be doing where there will be any mention of gifts is for the wedding itself.

I think wishing wells are nice, but not everyone agrees

I think wishing wells are nice, but not everyone agrees

I have always wanted to do a wishing well. I want to be able to buy big ticket items like lounges, furniture, fridges and a washing machine. Things that you cannot reasonably put on a registry because that is asking WAY too much money in my opinion.

The comments on the posts about this “trend” (which really, how can it be a trend when only 8% of brides do it) left me really worried. Apparently, this is rude because it’s not good manners to ask for money. You also shouldn’t be telling people what they should buy you in the form of a gift registry and be happy if you end up with five toasters, even though you already own one.

Everyone has a strong opinion about weddings. I don’t understand it. When I go to a wedding, I am happy to pay for an activity for the bride and groom to do on their honeymoon, I’m happy to contribute money to a wishing well, buy a gift from a registry or buy a gift I think they’d like if no registry is available. The way I see it, it’s not about me, it’s about them. But based on the comments, you’d think I was wrong.

So my advice? If you’re planning a wedding, DON’T read the comments on posts that pose any question about what people think of a “new wedding trend” or an age-old wedding question. It’s not worth the inner struggle of trying to figure out what will be the “least offensive”. As many people have said to me, you will end up offending someone and in the end, it’s YOUR day, not theirs.

If I do decide to go with a wishing well, I won’t be putting in a little poem, I will have a line referring to the wishing well if people decide to give a monetary gift. I don’t care how much or how little they give, if they give at all or if they buy a present instead. What I really want is for them to be there at my wedding.

Author’s Note: I have been asking for a lot of wedding advice from people and I have appreciated the input, it’s the unasked for advice that baffles me.

Did you receive much unasked for wedding advice? How did you deal with this? Any advice to me and others in the process of wedding planning? 

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  • Lucy

    I think a wishing well is a lovely idea. A friend who married her partner of 15 years last year had one at her wedding, and the idea was very well received by guests – it is less stressful to give them funds for something they will actually use rather than something they may return.

    As I was unable to afford to contribute or buy a gift, I asked whether there was anything she needed for the wedding that I could make, and as she didn’t have a ring pillow, I cross stitched one and that’s something they can keep in their memory box.

    Other friends had gifts, but they specified what they needed.

    Ultimately, it is your wedding. It’s your choice how it’s run and you’re the ones who will remember it, so do it your way. Don’t let other people’s opinion become another stressful factor you don’t need

    • Monique Fischle

      The ring pillow is a beautiful idea, that’s so special. I will be asking some of my friends to use their skills for things (for which I will be paying) but I will tell them that’s their gift to me and they don’t have to do anything else.

  • Tamsin Howse

    Weddings piss me off for this reason. Why is it so hard for people to realise it isn’t about them? The couple has no obligation to you to do it the way you think it should be done. Eloping, money, gifts, no gifts, whatever the hell they want to do it’s just not your business!

    I will never understand this attitude.

    For my wedding we decided to take a “please everyone” approach to gifts and wrote “If you would like to give a present, either money or a gift would be great. We are registered at…”

    Because in my wedding party there were those who thought money was rude, asking for gifts was rude, refusing gifts was rude, having a registry was rude and having no registry was rude.


    • Monique Fischle

      That’s so confusing! How annoying!

      I’ve toyed with the idea of a partial gift registry because I know that some people will want to buy an actual gift.

      If people are so opposed to the way we do things (wishing well/gift registry/no registry), then just don’t give us a gift.

      • Tamsin Howse

        Yeah I don’t understand why it needs to be a drama!

  • Jill

    I’m going to a wedding in the us in June and the bride has made it clear to my partner and I that airfare to make it is more than enough as a gift, besides some tim tams! My best friend who is getting married is exactly the same about gifts, she doesn’t live with her fiancé yet due to work, but it’s the whole gift thing that is stressing her out!

    • Monique Fischle

      Airfare is definitely more than enough. Travelling longer than a few hours by car to me is also your gift as you also have to find somewhere to stay.

      Gifts are so stressful, luckily I don’t have to send out invites with the gift part until the end of the year!

  • Vanessa

    I do not know why it is, maybe it is my age (over 50) but the money thing does not sit well with me. It is also a matter of how much money do you give? The last two weddings I have been to it has been a real worry because there are no guidelines(do we put a card in with it, is it anonymous, should family give more, what if everyone else gives hundreds and I only give seventy five?) at least a registry is easy to understand.
    Just a hint, if you are using a wishing well make sure you set it up well before the wedding to make sure it is going to be strong enough. The last wedding I went to, the wishing well was flimsy cardboard and it fell apart!

    • Monique Fischle

      I’m thinking of doing little anonymous envelopes so that I have no idea how much people have given so that people feel more comfortable. But at the same time, if people are concerned about how much money, they are more than welcome to buy a gift they can afford. I’m not a snob (neither is DG) and our friends and family will know that we don’t expect anything and will be happy with whatever we receive, if we receive anything at all.

  • Imogen

    I always read and never comment. But this time, I must!

    I got married in June last year and everyone had an opinion. Don’t get me wrong, some were great. But some just made me second guess myself. For example:

    “You have to have an engagement party!” No, you don’t. And I didn’t. I hate birthday parties, so why would I want to celebrate myself more than once? It’s unnecessary. Instead, my family threw us a lovely lunch for just our families and it was beautiful. It was also the first time they all met, so it was functional, too.

    “A four month engagement? Why so soon?” Because we didn’t want to wait a super long amount of time. Because we wanted a winter wedding. Because I’m such an organised freak I already had everything done in like… a week.

    “You absolutely cannot buy your dress online!” Um, yes I can, and I did. And I loved it. It was unique and nobody else has anything like it.

    “The wedding is all about the bride and what the bride wants.” Bull. A wedding is the union of two people. Two. My husband and I made every single decision together. We chose colours and venues and themes together. Made the music playlist together. It was so much fun and at the end, everyone said that it was a perfect reflection of both of us! I wanted him to have just as much fun and have just as much input as I did. We spent the entire day laughing because it was so joyful!

    “You have to have a hens night.” I didn’t want one. I never wanted one. I don’t want to prance around the city celebrating my last night of singledom. I’d rather celebrate that I’m about to enter into a twosome, not mourn the loss of my youth. Yuck – so a bunch of my friends went out on the town and had one in my honour. I had a good sleep, instead!

    “You have to have a gift registry.” You don’t have to do anything. And yes, this is the one that everyone has an opinion about. So we compromised. We wrote a silly poem that suggested that we didn’t need anything because we already have everything we needed, but just to make everyone happy, we set up a registry and a wishing well, but really just were happy with people travelling! It worked kinda well, actually. Our wishing well was stacked. Our house was stacked with gifts, both of the ‘we needed that’ variety from the registry, and really personal sentimental gifts from people who chose their own. People are so generous, I felt guilty!

    “Your wedding has to be a sit down wedding.” I hate sit down weddings. We had 200 people coming from all over Australia, (and NZ). I didn’t want to sit at a stuffy table and not get to talk to anyone. So we had it cocktail style. But we wanted to be unique… so we had a DESSERT wedding. Yup. You walked in. Desserts everywhere. Stacked on tables around the room. It was like being in a dream land. We got to mingle and talk to everyone, and then we had an open mic so anyone who wanted could do a speech. It was meaningful. It was a sugar high. And I might be biased, but it was amazing. Of course, some people had an opinion about it too. Beforehand, “Dessert wedding. Ugh I’m gonna have to eat before I come.” “Ugh, I’m on a diet.” So we had a fruit platter too.

    I have no regrets… well, except that we forgot to eat and now look at the photos and see what we missed!

    “You have to wear heels.” No, you don’t. Wore flats all day and LOVED it. So comfortable. I didn’t want to be thinking about my feet all day, I wanted to be thinking about this amazing thing that was happening! Best day of my life. And that’s what I leave with…

    My advice: Do what you both want to do. Except you should totally wear flats. Flats rock.

    • Monique Fischle

      I love this comment. I cannot love it enough.

      I’m very firm that it’s about me and DG and in everything, we consult each other. Just yesterday I was saying to him “it’s your wedding too, I want you to be happy with what we’re doing”.

      I am doing a cocktail reception because seating charts are gross. Dessert sounds amazing!!! I think I will do the partial registry, keeps everyone happy.

      I plan on wearing flats because that’s how I’m most comfortable.

      I love your advice :)

    • vanessa

      A dessert wedding is the most brilliant idea I have ever heard in my life!

      • John James

        What about a a dessert wedding on a deserted desert island?

  • Melissa Savage

    As I see it Monique, this wedding planning process is teaching you some important life skills namely learning to ignore well-meaning but unsolicited advice, and that the first rule of the Internet is: don’t read the comments.

    As to wedding planning, I too had waited my whole life to plan a wedding, but I’d been burned when an earlier relationship didn’t go that way, so when it finally came time I could scarcely believe it. I had no binder, I hated the one experience I had of a wedding fair, and I hate The Knot as much if not more than I hate women’s mags in general. But it is exhausting, and I don’t even remember why. There’s just hours devoted to ordering stuff online and finding dresses and god only knows because I can’t remember anymore.. All I know is that it took up all our time and energy, particularly in the last couple of months. It was fun, and the end result was one of the best days ever, but we were so exhausted at the end of it. And you just haemorrhage money.

    You are in the rare situation where you aren’t living together yet and you are both still at home, so I think a wishing well to help with major items and white goods makes perfect sense. It would also make sense to have a traditional registry with toasters and sheets and whatnot because you probably don’t have that stuff either. But that’s just my opinion, no doubt you and DG can figure out what the best option is for your situation.

    • Melissa Savage

      Oh yeah, and no engagement party or kitchen tea for us. The boys went a bit mad on the bucks, going to Qld, but for my hens it was local and not too pricey and there was a non-drinking daytime option for the older generation/mums and kids.

    • Monique Fischle

      It’s part of the reason I’m happy with a long engagement, gives me more time to plan without burning out.

      I think I’ll do the wishing well and partial registry. We have A LOT of kitchen stuff between the two of us, but definitely need sheets and lots of other things.

      I like your advice :)

  • carohutchison

    We had a registry that I thought would make things easier for any international guests to buy us something as it could all be done online. Surprisingly not many used it and gave us platters and things that I would have thought would be a pain to pack in a suitcase. I’m a big fan of the registry as a guest because I can be sure of getting something the couple like and want. We had a dining room table on our list, and the company we used broke the cost into shares so people could just buy part of it, which worked really well. For other bigger things, guests can always do the chip in which we’ve done a few times to buy things like BBQs.

    At the end of the day though, there are a million different ways to get married, and you’ve got to do what feels right for you. To me the words spoken in the ceremony are way more important than the presents :)

    • Monique Fischle

      That’s a good idea to try and break down the bigger items so people can contribute!

      That’s the thing that baffles me the most. It’s about the fact that we’re getting married, not anything else so I don’t understand why others really care what we do/don’t do.

  • Jessica Chapman

    I went to a wedding recently where the brides did the honeymoon registry and I thought the idea was brilliant, you got to pick a certain experience to give to them, if I remember rightly our family bought a balloon ride in Spain somewhere. I thought it was really sweet that we could give them an experience like that rather than trying to guess for a gift that they would like.

    In my opinion a lot of people can be really thingy about weddings and also a bit competitive and judgey. I think there is no one right way to do a wedding; it should be an expression of who the bride and groom are and just because that might be a little bit different to the traditional wedding doesn’t make it wrong or inferior.

    Weddings are changing with the times and what once was a large dinner party put on by the brides parents (my Grandma didn’t know most of the people at her wedding because they were her father’s business contacts) has become more of an unique expression between family and friends. And I think people who would be upset by that probably don’t deserve an invite.

    • Monique Fischle

      Balloon ride in Spain sounds gorgeous (despite my fear of heights haha).

      I really like your point of view. The main reason I don’t get why people get so up in arms about weddings is because I have never been like that.

  • John James

    I still don’t know why you’re not using My Great Big Fat Stupid (Dream) Wedding as a template? 😉

    • Monique Fischle

      Oh but I am 😉

      • John James

        Bahahhaha :)

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