Monday, June 20, 2011

Gift-Giving Rules and Other Wedding Myths

So, it's been awhile, folks! Sorry for the lag in blogging, but I've been trying to get caught up with writing ceremonies and all the paperwork that regularly invades my desk. I'm now all caught up, but not by my own accord. I had the good fortune of having a wonderful young woman offer her services as an intern. The fabulous - and organized! - Maya has been a life saver. So, thanks to Maya I'm back. Yay!

And here's what I wanted to share.....
An article in the Chicago Tribune yesterday morning caught my eye. The article, Don't Invite These Myths to Your wedding Festivities had some great points that I feel compelled to note. So, click on the article and check it out.

But, one that I feel worth mentioning is the topic of gift-giving. I'm a 1st generation American and my family's roots in the Old Country compel them to follow certain rules in social situations. One of those rules is related to gift giving. Not only do they feel that you should at least cover the cost of your dinner, the older folks also believe that your gift should not be out-done by someone else. Not that you should go overboard and be to show-offy, but you shouldn't give less than others and thus become the talk of the town. People talk, ya know.

It's hard to navigate this subtle balance, which is why a certain family member called me a few months after my wedding to see what a certain guest had given us as a gift.

It went something like this (except in German):

Her: So, what did you get from Mrs. X as a wedding gift?
Me: Why?
Her: Because we're going to her son's wedding on Saturday.
Me: So?
Her: And I want to know what they gave you.... so I have an idea.
Me: Um, I don't remember. (I really didn't remember, but wouldn't have told even if I did)
Her: I thought you wrote it on the back of the cards for when you sent thank you notes.
Me: Oh, I threw those away already. (I said this as I was looking for the cards, so I could throw them away)
Her: Really? (She suspected I was lying - imagine that)
Me: Yes, really. And I wouldn't tell you anyway, Mom.

Okay, so now you know the culprit (I assure you, she means well). But, as you can see, this topic bugs me.

My advice? Give what you can give. Give what you feel inclined to give. Give from the heart.

One of the best wedding gifts I received was a glass sculpture made by my sister-in-law. The other was a painting - a portrait of me and my husband - done by my then 6 year-old niece.

If you are a bride or groom, do not expect your wedding to be a money-making venture. The reception is a party you're throwing. Your friends and family are coming to celebrate with you.

If they bring a gift, that's the icing on the cake!