Don't Give A Wedding Gift

By Thomas J. Kelly

I am against giving gifts at weddings.

I am not necessarily against giving gifts but I am against the social norm that requires a guest to pay for your plate at a wedding. For the most part, I don't give gifts at weddings. If I have to pay for my plate at a wedding, I'm not a guest . . . I'm a customer.

If you're looking for guests, invite me. If you're looking for customers why not sell tickets on Ticket Master.

Weddings have turned into a business replete with emotional extortion.

It's worse than emotional extortion, it's emotional terrorism. Instead of flying planes into buildings couples are taking money out of our pockets. A bride is simply Osama Bin Laden in a white frilly dress.

Wedding gifts are worse than birthday gifts or other thoughtful gestures given freely. Brides and grooms fill out registries. The couple isn't only asking you to pay for your plate but they are suggesting you give them specific gifts and they are telling you where to buy them!

I was riding the train with a recent bride who we will call "Christa" when I was editing this article. "Christa" was mad many of her guests didn't give gifts to cover their plates at their wedding. If you want people's gifts to cover their plate, then you should go to a cheaper catering hall.

I'm there for the celebration, not the dinner. I don't go to fancy restaurants on my own. Why do I want to go out for a fancy meal for your wedding? I'm there to honor you. If your wedding was just church and a buffet meal at the local Sizzler, I'd still go. Your wedding guests are going to your wedding to honor your relationship, not for a free meal.

I hate the concept of paying for a plate. I'm YOUR guest. If you can't afford to buy me a plate of food, maybe you should choose a cheaper restaurant.

I'm throwing a surprise party for my Dad where the price is $30 dollars a plate plus liquor. I'm not getting any gifts. Should people be paying me for each plate? Does my cousin with 5 kids and a husband owe me a $210 dollar gift? No! She is my guest. Her presence is a present enough.

If she gives a thoughtful card or gift, it is her own choosing and it's a sweet gesture. I'm just honored she's taking time out of her day to be a part of the celebration.

I'm not saying you shouldn't give a gift a wedding. It shouldn't be a requirement. A gift is something that is given freely. If you have to give a gift, it isn't an act of giving it fulfilling a social obligation.

I have enough social obligations in my life. My gift to the bride and groom is sharing in their special day. I will drive to the event (The US Government says driving your car costs .37 cents a mile). I will wear a suit (That's $15 dollars in dry cleaning). I might even pay for the other expenses I might incur such as tolls and a hotel at the destination.

If you invite me to your wedding, don't expect a wedding gift. My presence is enough. In return, you can stiff me at my wedding. Though let's face it, if I stiffed you at your wedding, I'm probably not inviting you to mine.
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