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 lastminute.com 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 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?