Wedding gift giving

Feb. 09, 2013 @ 07:13 PM

Fred and I decided to take our new neighbor to dinner. We chose to go to our favorite watering hole, Rolling Hills Country Club. Both of us enjoy the casual atmosphere of our club’s lounge, the food and seeing our friends. This will give us a chance to introduce our guest to more locals.

I noticed the club is advertising its upcoming Bridal Fair. This must mean the busy wedding season is not far behind.

I started thinking about wedding etiquette. What topics would be important for the bride and groom to know.           

Follow the principles of good etiquette, respect and consideration for others was the first thing on my list. If they obey these principles good manners should fall in place. 

 Just remember manners are culture specific. What is appropriate in the South may not go well in the Northeast.

One particular habit the younger generation has taken on became a thorn in my side last year.

Fred and I had been invited by the groom’s parents to a lovely wedding. Its an exciting occasion and I wanted to send a gift before the event.

I checked online to some known stores and could not find the bride and groom registered. Usually this is my way to get ideas on what the couple would like and what their taste are.

Then to my chagrin, I receive an email from the bride’s mother telling me the couple only wanted cash to fund their honeymoon. A trip to Tahiti is all they wanted.

I was referred to the online “honey fund” site. It contained varying levels of monetary giving and what the newly weds would be able to buy with each amount. 

I actually think the honey fund is an innovative and clever devise so bully for them. I really liked the concept and the site.

But to my dismay no other options or registries appeared … just cash for a trip! This I found a little rough.

 I feel compelled to pass on tips about gift giving, wedding or otherwise.

The gift, where it’s from and how much it cost, is always the choice of the person giving it.

A gift is never to be dictated by the receiver.

What to give for wedding presents use to be known by word of mouth. Department stores helped the process along by registering silver and china patterns.  

It you register, go to at least three varied stories to give your guests some choices. Have a range so that people with limited budgets can buy. Remember your Aunt Olivia might only be living on Social Security.

Don’t make the lists too long. These registries are suggestions just to give us an idea of the bride and groom’s desires. They are not definitive commands.  

One month before wedding the bride’s mother sent an email requesting all to cough up cash for the couple’s Tahiti honeymoon. This was requested in the name of love for the couple, of course.

Egad, this isn’t really happening is it? I’m invited to the union of these two and their families. Do I want to join a group who think it’s alright to tell wedding guest what to give them?

Your wedding registry is not a Christmas wish list to Santa Claus from two year olds.

It’s at the discretion of the giver no matter what’s on your lists. At no time is it the choice of the wedding couple (the takers) to dictate what a guest should give them.   

It is a normal custom to give a gift as a token of happiness for the couple who are getting married. I’m contemplating requesting this article be displayed at the upcoming February 23rd Bridal Fair at Rolling Hills.

Monroe resident Jeanne Howell teaches etiquette to business and private groups. You may reach her at