I noticed a Yahoo Answers question today about how much money one should spend on a wedding gift. The fact that this was even a question up for discussion suprised me – isn’t that a personal decision? But when I started reading the answers, I was laughing at first, and after a while I was just disgusted. What has happened to us? When did people begin to feel entitled to gifts? How in the world did we get to the point where someone would actually write this:
In NYC, anything under $150 for a regular size wedding per person is considered inconsiderate. For a more fancy wedding, it’s $200 per person. If it’s a good friend, it can be more. If you can, find out what the couple pays for each plate and add approximately $50- $100 on to each plate.
Have we really become such a jaded, greedy culture that we put a price tag on what’s considerate in terms of gifts? I guess I live so far at the other end of the spectrum that I assume people like this are few and far between. But in the first 25 answers posted, only two made any sense to me at all. One person pointed out that you need to look at what you can afford:
I think you should be honest with yourself on what you can afford…and spend that. Anything else your friend is not a friend if she gets offended thinking you didnt spend enough
And another person summed up exactly what I was thinking, but it was after 23 other answers that all tried to put a price tag on friendship. How is this not what most people think?
The notion that the guests are supposed to pay for the wedding is pretty silly. This “wedding as a money maker” business is getting out of control. What happened to “celebrating love”? When I got married, I was just happy to have my friends there w/ me.
A wedding is very personal. I think that most of what’s involved in a typical wedding is a huge waste of time and energy, and my husband and I stayed true to that belief when we got married. But, if having a big blowout will make you happier, then go for it. BUT DON’T EXPECT YOUR GUESTS TO PAY FOR IT!!! The very fact that people think that there is a set amount that must be spent on a wedding gift is a sign of a very sick society that we have found ourselves in. This is one of the things that bothered me the most about the idea of a wedding, and one of the deciding factors behind our elopement. I did not want anyone to feel that they had to get us a gift just because we were getting married.
I don’t have any friends who would consider a gift to be inconsiderate based on the value of the gift. I can’t imagine such a person having very many true friends at all. Friendship is based on taking care of each other, being there in good times and bad. Friendship is driving across town at midnight to sit on the couch with a friend who’s just been dumped by the guy she loved. Friendship is taking a meal to someone who’s just had a baby. And then staying for a few hours to clean the kitchen and do some laundry while the new parents squeeze in a little nap. Friendship is celebrating each others triumphs and mourning each others losses. It is so many things, but how much you spend on a gift is not one of them.