I recently read a thread on a blog that was a query for suggestions of Wedding Guest Favor Gifts. (what a terrible run-on sentence) (For lack of an alternative, I’m going with it). I’m guessing she means Wedding Gifts from the Bride and Groom to each Wedding Guest. Is this correct ? Okay, so let me get this straight; the Bridal couple gives gifts to the guests.. This is after the expensive wedding ceremony itself, with scripture, music, ‘entertainment’ and the joy of witnessing a friend get married. Then the guests are lavishly fed, along with more music and entertainment. Then wonderful, crazy, sugary treats and cake and drinks of some kind. Possibly dancing and/or a video show including babies in bathtubs, the groom’s first car, prom photos and shots of the new engagement ring. On top of all that, the guest are given gifts. This is my understanding on it.
Our Wedding Day
The writer of the thread I read said (~that rhymes) that she was getting low on funds after all the deposits and pre-wedding costs so was embarrassed to admit that she needed to cut back on the few remaining expenses. One of the areas to cut back on was the “guest gifts”. She revealed that she really needed to find something in the $40 range for gifts. That’s $40 per guest spent on a gift. I am stunned~ There are no words. Well, I’m blogging so I will find the words…
This seems like a large amount to ‘gift’ to your wedding guests. I’m probably behind times since I was married a bazillion years ago and inflation and blah-blah-blah.. Here is my unsolicited ‘take’ on that idea: Don’t do it. You invited your friends and neighbors to attend and witness the miracle of you and your beloved getting married. It is a blessed and sacred occasion. It is serious yet joyful. You should not try to “one-up” your peers. This is not an Olympic competition. This is a ceremony celebrating the new life together with your spouse. In a way, it’s “all about you”. What I mean by that is, ignore what other folks do and simply gather your friends and be grateful for the opportunity to be united in Love. You have found your blessed mate. Be thankful for that and please focus on that.
I happen to know people close to me who after surviving the wedding, lamented about the expenses more than relished in the fun. The following are actual quotes (as accurate as I can recall):
“Why did I insist on spending $700 on my dress ? I could have bought a less expensive one and put $500 towards a longer honeymoon or down-payment on a house !”
“I wish someone had told us how much gas it would take to drive down the coast. Our honeymoon was cut short so we could afford the drive home.”
“My uncle offered to take photos for us. We turned him down so we could use the photographer from my friend’s wedding. I ended up not liking the photographer (we briefly met one time before the wedding). And he was soooo expensive.”
“I felt like a puppet at the wedding and reception. Stand here; kneel. Walk this way, follow the music.. Pose here, cut the cake. Stop chatting with friends, we need another picture taken. Don’t sit down, you’ll wrinkle. Don’t eat or drink, you might spill. Hold this baby, smile this direction, hug your Aunt Lulu which you were never introduced to…Don’t loosen the tie, we need another photo. Take off the garter, don’t show your legs. Don’t kiss for real your makeup will smudge. Do another spontaneous kiss, we didn’t get that one on film. You can’t leave, we’re not done yet.”
When Rick and I got married, we chose to do things simple and rather easy. I could not find a lovely, old fashioned wedding dress that reflected “me”. My Mom timidly suggested I could use hers as she still had it packed away. I tried it on and it was just about perfect ! The modest satin and lace dress was 24 years old when I wore it. Someone had made this for my Mom.The ivory satin had aged a tad to a slightly golden, glowing patina. It was long with a train that followed me. I had 5 bridesmaids, a gift table girl, a flower girl, a guest book girl and a couple more young girls to help pass out confetti to throw. I helped them make their dresses (only a couple of us were into sewing). Rick’s number of groomsmen matched the girls and they wore handsome tuxes with tails (we provided the rental of several). No meal, we had a large tiered cake and Hershey’s Kisses (how romantic) plus green punch. It was yummy. Our reception did have some sitters but mostly people mingled and chatted, much like at church after the service :) Mostly I remember people relaxing and laughing (without alcohol~). The mood was festive but quite casual. Rick and I wandered around greeting and hugging guests. The wedding ceremony began at 8:00 pm, and we left as the church chimes were pealing 10:00 pm. Several people spontaneously helped with the clean-up, loaded gifts into my parent’s car and that was it. Weeks later, people were still coming up to us remarking on how much fun they had at our wedding and how pretty it was. They actually Thanked us for the event and for inviting them !
I would say it went without a hitch but we did get hitched and we also had a couple bloopers before and one during the wedding. (~More details in another post) Did anyone get upset, break down and cry ? No. Did my parents have to take out a loan to finance it ? No. Did Rick and I still owe after the wedding ? No. Everything from the rings to the honeymoon were fully paid for before the date. Did we have a long engagement to pull that off ? No. We announced our engagement on Valentine’s Day and were married May 12th, the same year.
I have heard wedding couples put off getting married so they could save up enough for it. Or they use credit cards and start their life together in debt. I know couples that spent more time planning their wedding than they spent on their marriage. Sadly, they did not stay married long. If couples would spend more time focusing on the marriage than the wedding, we’d have less divorces. Honestly.