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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Wedding Gift Expectations: 'Viral' Texts All 'Fluff'? Read Entire Text Exchange Here.

Have you ever been asked to buy a specific gift for a wedding, from a gift registry? What about being a part of the 'wishing well' money contribution? Or have you decided what to buy the couple getting married?

Personally, I think any of these options is just fine. It really does depend on the financial circumstances of the guests at your wedding. They're thrilled to be invited, but maybe one of the couple is not working or the family is struggling financially, and although they want to come to the wedding and share the day, they can't contribute very much money to the 'wishing well', or the gifts left on the registry are out of their budget. I can share more about my own experiences below.

But first... this real-life text correspondence has gone viral. I first read this a few days ago on pop culture site Jezebel and happened to see the post on my iPhone Facebook feed. I could not believe my eyes as I read the whole story, then the comments below the post. All of it was scathing. Overwhelmingly, the social commentary was in support of the invitees at the wedding.

One of the focal points is... 'Fluff.' And how, a wedding present - it does NOT make. Funnily, I'd only discovered this stuff recently on a trip to my local Woolies supermarket. It's basically whipped marshmallow in a jar, from the US. I was so, er, taken, I took a snap:



And so, the viral wedding texts.

A couple were invited to the wedding of two women.

The couple decided to put together their own gift basket, filled with bits and bobs like marshmallow fluff (the jar of 'Fluff' pictured above), and Jolly Ranchers lollies. They attach a note that says: "Life is delicious... Enjoy."

Then... the following text is received from one of the brides:
Heyyy I just wanna say thanks for the gift but unfortunately I can't eat any of it lol I'm gluten intolerant. Do u maybe have a receipt
And so, the toxic wedding present texts start.

This is what happened to one Canadian wedding attendee recently, and he decided to document the whole interaction in a local newspaper, 'The Hamilton Spectator.' 

He writes: "As a gift, my girlfriend and I gave [the couple] a wicker box with a hinged lid, filled with food items, most of them PC Black Label, including: tri-color pasta, salsas, balsamic vinegar and olive, gourmet croutons, panko breading, pesto, some baking ingredients, biscuits from Godiva and a few 'fun' items like marshmallow Fluff, sour patch kids and butterscotch sauce." Here is a pic of said basket:


Pic: Hamilton Spectator
Then he received that text, above. He says he texted back to the newlyweds:
Ahh shit! Really!? We had a great time. Thank you again for allowing us to be a part of the celebration.
The man got to thinking, and that he realised that just a few short weeks earlier, he'd gifted the brides-to-be a certificate to the Italian restaurant he works at... and that the ladies had used the whole amount to eat pasta... full of gluten!

And so, below, the actual text exchange between the newlyweds and one half of the gift basket couple, the guy. It's per-retty bad. (Grammatical errors left as is):

NEWLYWEDS:
Hey it's [Bride 1's] wife Laura. I want to thank you for coming to the wedding Friday. I'm not sure if it's the first wedding you have been to, but for your next wedding... People give envelopes. I lost out on $200 covering you and your dates plate... And got fluffy whip and sour patch kids in return Just a heads up for the future :)
GIFT BASKET GUY:
Hi, I want to tell you how incredibly insulted I am in both of the messages you have sent me over the last two days. [Bride 1], I am sorry that you have intolerance to Gluten, I am sure that makes life difficult at times. However, to ask for a receipt is unfathomable. In fact it was incredibly disrespectful. It was the rudest gesture I have encountered, or even heard of. That is until you, Laura, messaged me today. Laura, the message you sent to me today was by far the most inconsiderate, immature, greedy, and asinine thing I have ever had the displeasure of seeing.
This is not even close to being the first wedding I have attended, and actually I have done a lot of research on wedding etiquette, a step in the process the two of you clearly skipped over (clearly displayed by Laura chewing gum, like a cow does hay, while walking down the aisle). Here is some help for you..just a heads up for the future.
The Bride's Etiquette Guide: Etiquette Made Easy, Second Edition. Here is the link.
Too bad you didn't read this, or any other etiquette guide prior to your "big day". In respect to this particular topic, I would turn your attention to pages 147-149. I am sure you will not bother to follow this link, so I will fill you in. Not only is it wrong to have an expectation of any sort of gift, it is the ultimate insult to your family and friends to mention a gift of monetary value at all, let alone be so boorish to message someone with your disappointment in said gift. Also, you should never host a party that you cannot afford, or expect your guests to pay for it. On that note, I seriously doubt that you had an expense of $100/plate. If you did, you were taken for a ride.
In retrospect, this is the exact style of behavior I should have expected from the two of you, when you used the gift card donated to your doe and doe for a personal date night, then had the gall to ask your server for the "friends and family discount".
I'm sure that one, or the two of you will mature, and grow into adults who will take a different, more respectful, LOVE based approach when you invite guests to your next wedding.
NEWLYWEDS:
Again... Out of 210 people at a wedding... The only I gift I got from all was yours... And fluffy whip and sour patch kids. Your Facebook message had nothing to do with the gift. Weddings are to make money for your future.. Not to pay for peoples meals. Do more research. People haven't gave gifts since like 50 years ago! You ate steak, chicken, booze, and a beautiful venue. To be exact the plates were $97 a person... But thanks again for the $30 gift basket my wife can't even eat. If anything you should be embarrassed for being so cheap and embarrassing yourself walking in with a gift basket probably re gifted cheap ass. Again.. Out of 210 people, you were the talk and laugh of the whole wedding!!!! Worst gift ever story Is being passed along to everyone!! How about you tell people what you gave as a 2 person gift to a wedding and see what normal functioning people say about it!! Do a survey with people u know... And tell me what 100% of them tell you!! Wake up dude
GIFT BASKET GUY:
It's obvious you have the etiquette of a twig, I couldn't care less of what you think about the gift you received, "normal" people would welcome anything given, you wanna have a party, you pay for it, DON'T expect me to, I don't care what you or anybody thinks, you should just be happy your sham of a marriage is legal dude!
NEWLYWEDS:
Lol. Your an idiot. Go research more on life
You should have been cut from the list.. I knew we were gunna get a bag of peanuts.. I was right
GIFT BAG DUDE:
Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. - George Carlon.
You just proved this to be true.
NEWLYWEDS:
Thanks for the fluffy whip :). Have a good day
And that's the end of the text exchange.

WHOA!

What do you think?

Heavy-handed and rude? The couple's expectations should not be voiced in that way. In fact, not voiced AT ALL. 

It is rude to have a particular expectation from a couple's wedding gift. Or any gift, for any occasion.

I have been married almost ten years, and a decade ago, at the swank Sydney harbourside venue we chose, the cost was $120 per plate. That was a lot of money ten years ago, and it still is today. I have no idea what the cost would be at the same or similar venue today, but I imagine it has edged towards the $200 per person mark.

The unspoken Italian heritage way of thinking is that, if you are giving cash, you cover the cost of what it would have cost the couple to host you at their wedding. But that's not possible for everyone. Considering we invited families of four and five, couples with one child, and boyfriend/girlfriend combos, the minimum that should have been gifted was $240 or so dollars.

This did not happen. We were okay with that. With the money that was gifted to us, we were able to buy a leather couch. All the other gifts were either from our gift registry, or whatever the couple wanted to buy. Sure, some gifts were under $50... but... I do know in particular circumstances, that's all the guests could afford.

So... was our wedding a money-making exercise? Oh, hell NO.

Do couples need to be grateful for whatever they receive? Hell, YES!

What do you think about this whole wedding text exchange?

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