About a year and a half ago I casually dated a woman named Tiffany (not her real name). We met on a dating site and then realized she is friends with some of my friends from High School. We’re both women in our mid 30’s. We met for coffee, dinner, and a few movies. Nothing serious.
After seeing each other for about 3 months, Tiffany broke up with me via a text message stating “I don’t think this is working out. But I hope we’ll still be friends.” I replied “Ok.” And that was that. There was no weeping or gnashing of teeth. No unfriending on social media.
About a year passes and the next time I hear from Tiffany is an invitation to her engagement party. She and Steve (not his real name) are having a potluck BBQ to celebrate their engagement. Everyone is invited to bring their own meat for the grill plus either a side or dessert. The hosts will provide sodas and water. The invitation also included links to gift registries at 3 different store plus the groom-to-be’s Paypal link in case people want to contribute to the honeymoon fund. The invitation requests RSVP, so I send my regrets and forget about it. Until Tiffany posts a bunch of pictures on Facebook and complains about how few people brought presents to her engagement party.
Turns out, this was the SECOND engagement party. The groom-to-be’s father had thrown an engagement party for the happy couple a month previous at a nice restaurant. But since the father had only asked Tiffany for names and addresses, the Dad’s invites to that party didn’t include the gift registry info. So the whole reason Tiffany and Steve threw this second engagement party, was to give people an opportunity to give them stuff.
Over the course of the next 6 weeks, I get invited to THREE different showers for Tiffany. Each invite includes the registry info and Steve’s Paypal info. One shower was being thrown by her sister, another by her maid of honor, and the third by one of her coworkers. I sent my regrets for all three.
Then I received a Facebook invite to a “virtual” shower. The invitation said something along the lines of, “We were so sorry you couldn’t make the wedding shower for Tiffany. So we’ve decided to host a virtual shower. Tiffany will go live during the party to open gifts. Just make sure to send a gift by X date so she can thank you live in the video!” I also declined that invitation.
About a week later I received a Facebook message from the maid of honor. It was a group message sent to about 25 women.
“Hi Ladies! I know we’re all very excited about Tiffany and Steve’s wedding this fall. All of us bridesmaids are working hard to make this the best experience possible for Tiffany. A couple of the ladies had to drop out of the wedding party so we’re looking for 3 more bridesmaids.
If you’re interested, here is the link to the dress: (link to $350 purple dress)
You’ll need to get 1.5 inch heels dyed to match. Here’s the online retailer I used: (link for $120 dyed to match shoes)
We are really excited about giving Tiffany a much needed girls weekend before the wedding.
We’re going to FLY TO VEGAS!!! It will be spa all day, party all night for an unforgettable girl’s weekend.
Here are the details on the hotel and spa:
(link to hotel offering $210 a night rate)
(link to spa with typical spa package pricing)
On Friday Night we’ll have a nice dinner and then throw a party in Tiffany’s room. This is the time for your “nice” family friendly gift because Tiffany’s mom, grandma, and sister will be there.
Saturday morning and afternoon will be all about pampering at the spa. You can pre-buy a spa package for Tiffany at the link above.
On Saturday night we’ll be hitting the Male Revue! Bring your camera and your singles! No family this night. So Saturday is the night to give your “naughty” gift!
We will all be chipping in to cover Tiffany’s hotel, spa, and drinks so she can just let loose and have fun being single for the short time she has left!
PM me if you want to step up and be a bridesmaid with us!”
To be clear: That means I, an ex-girlfriend who dated the bride to be briefly over a year ago, was invited to “step up” and be a bridesmaid. I exited the conversation without ever replying.
About a month later I received an invitation to Tiffany’s Bachelorette party at a local night club. It included links to the gift registries, Steve’s Paypal info, and instructions to bring both a “naughty” and a “nice” gift for the bride to be. I sent my regrets.
Then I received an invitation to the wedding and to the “after party”. From the invitation it was clear there would be the wedding. Then the A list would all have a reception.
And then the rest of us, who were not worth feeding at the reception, were invited to join them at a local bar for the “after party” 6 hours after the wedding. I sent my regrets.
But this whole thing made me wonder, just how many gifts are friends and family expected to give for a single wedding these days?
- 2 Engagement parties
- 3 in person showers
- 1 “virtual” shower
- 1 Out of Town weekend with 2 gifts requested
- 1 In Town Bachelorette Party with 2 gifts requested
- 1 Wedding
If someone attended all these events, that’s 11 gifts. If someone attended just one of each type (1 engagement party, 1 shower, 1 bachelorette event, and the wedding) that’s still 5 gifts since the bachelorette events asked for 2 gifts: one naughty, one nice.
One of my friends from high school attended the second engagement party, 2 of the wedding showers, the local bachelorette party, the wedding and the after party (apparently going to 4 pre wedding events didn’t get her bumped to the A list. So no reception invite for her either.) She bought Tiffany 6 gifts. One each for the engagement party and showers, two for the bachelorette party, and one for the wedding. She received a single, generic, printed thank you card that said:
“Thank you for joining us on our special day.
Mr. & Ms. Steve’s Last Name”
Even the names were printed on the card after “Sincerely”. The card was not actually signed. The only place my friend’s name appeared was on the outside of envelope. No acknowledgement of any of the gifts given. Nothing.
Meanwhile Tiffany is all over Facebook talking about how broke she and Steve are due to the wedding. How exhausting the entire process was. And, the kicker, how cheap people are.
“So many people came to events and didn’t even bring a gift! OMG! How rude!”
“We basically had to fund the whole Honeymoon ourselves. Almost no one contributed to the Honeymoon Fund!”
“People don’t understand how expensive weddings are. It is not ok to show up and then only give us a couple towels. It’s not 1954, people!”
“I was looking over our registry and all the things people didn’t buy. It made me sad. Our home would look so beautiful if people had bought us the stuff on our registry rather than just re-gifting us useless things like blenders and fondue sets. You’d think family would know better.”
I wasn’t all that sad when Tiffany broke up with me in the first place. Now I feel like I dodged a bullet.
Tiffany and Steve are in the process of looking for a house to buy. I am anxiously anticipating at least a half dozen different house warming party invitations. 1108-17
In all my years with Ehell, I don’t think I’ve ever read of an advertising campaign to recruit more bridesmaids. Warning flag!