Author Topic: BWW after a decade of living together...  (Read 11636 times)

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Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #60 on: July 22, 2013, 05:47:56 PM »
Well for example let's say a couple in their 40's are marrying for the first time, both are successful and well established in their fields.  They have a BWW with three wedding showers asking for new dishes, pots & pans, baking sets, linens, small appliances and some furniture. 

I am gonna feel like that is gimme pig grabby. 

After years of happily buying gifts for weddings and babies, I don't deserve all the hoopla just because I'm in my 40's?  I resent that double standard.  I can argue the other way: why can't the young couple save up and establish their household before getting married?  If they are old enough to marry, they are old enough to buy their own toaster.

Yes, I don't understand this at all. As someone who is over 40 and very happily just got engaged a week ago, I would be sad to think that my friends whose marriages and weddings I celebrated when we were in our 30s might think that because we are all a bit older now, my (first) wedding is less special and deserves a different level of attention and different etiquette precepts, just because I met my partner later in life than they did. Nothing about that makes sense to me.

What I think -  is that your wedding is still just as special as anyone else's!  I would also expect you to have a more mature approach to showers and wedding gifts.  If you register for new potato peelers and a crockpot, my eyebrows are going to raise.  If you register for china & higher quality linens I see a more sincere approach to your registry.  IMO it just seems less gimme pig than registering for everything you can...do you understand that? 

You are still entitled to be "showered" with gifts as is any newlywed, it's more about the presentation of the showers and the registry.  Does anyone see the difference here?       

Wait, how is it more gimme pig to register for a crock pot and potato peeler than 'higher quality linens' and china? The latter seems more expensive to me, so that's not making much sense.

Two Ravens

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #61 on: July 22, 2013, 05:51:14 PM »
I would think it a good idea to register for a crock pot and potato peeler as they're generally inexpensive. It would show that you're not expecting people to give you extravagant things.

Plus maybe they are just meat-and-potatoes-in a-crockpot kind of people. If they want to new crockpot or carrot peeler, who am I to disparage them for it?

rose red

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #62 on: July 22, 2013, 05:57:40 PM »
Anybody correct me if I'm out of line with my thinking here.

It sounds like you already made up your mind and opinion about these people since any opposite arguments get shot down.  That's fine since there is no right answer and everybody is entitled to their opinion.  But what exactly are you looking for in this thread?

The only advice I can give is to bow out of any wedding activities you don't approve of.

StarFaerie

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #63 on: July 22, 2013, 06:07:38 PM »
The question that I have is does anyone actually make a profit from a BWW? In my experience the wedding costs about 2-3 times what the gifts received cost, so if the couple were really interested in money/ gift grabby, surely it would be better for them to marry at a courthouse , spend the thousands they save buying stuff for themselves and sending out wedding announcements on the off chance that non-guests would send them stuff.

Poppea

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #64 on: July 22, 2013, 06:14:54 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one. 



Roe

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #65 on: July 22, 2013, 06:20:15 PM »
Anybody correct me if I'm out of line with my thinking here.

It sounds like you already made up your mind and opinion about these people since any opposite arguments get shot down.  That's fine since there is no right answer and everybody is entitled to their opinion.  But what exactly are you looking for in this thread?

The only advice I can give is to bow out of any wedding activities you don't approve of.

Exactly!  I'd also suggest the OP decline the invite.  I'm sure the HC would be better off in the long run than having guests who resent their choices.

Also, POD to *everything* Aeris said! 

artk2002

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2013, 06:20:50 PM »
Is it the fact that there is a long registry?  Yes, partially

There is nothing rude in a short or a long registry. A long registry just gives the givers more choices. Calling it "gift grabby" is attributing motivations for which there is no evidence; there's no obligation on you to buy more than one gift so the range of selections really isn't relevant to you at all. General advice for registries is to register for a wide range of items, from potato peelers to crock pots. When I was a student, I know I appreciated my friends who registered for lots of small items because it made it easy to put together baskets that would fit my budget.

Simply registering for items that you wouldn't register for doesn't make the couple rude. I have to say that this is the first time I've heard someone object to there being too many inexpensive items. The usual complaint is that the HC registered for too few items and those items are all big ticket.

Some of this, I think, comes from the idea that wedding gifts are supposed to be used to set up a new couple in a new household. The nature of society has changed drastically and very few people go from their parents' home to their wedded home. I think you'll be much happier if you just regard wedding gifts as simply a gift in celebration of a happy event, rather than to meet some specific societal need that no longer exists. If you don't feel comfortable giving a gift simply in celebration of a major life event, then you probably shouldn't be attending the wedding.

Some, too, comes from the (wrong) view that registries are somehow demands. The point of a registry is to help the guests choose appropriate gifts. A registry gives information about styles. It helps avoid duplicate gifts. It's a convenience for the guest because then they don't have to call up someone close to the HC and ask "what do they want/need?" Not every guest invited is going to have a close enough relationship to the HC to have intimate knowledge of their likes and wants, down to the pattern on their bath towels.

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Is it the fact that there are three showers? Yes because that seems over the top

Three showers, if the guest lists don't overlap aren't over the top at all. Three showers with overlapping guest lists are not polite. Even in that case, I wouldn't be overly critical of the HC because they may not be able to regulate all (or even any) of the guests lists. Over-enthusiastic shower hosts are not unusual.

That said, an invitation is not a summons and you are not obligated to attend more than one shower, if you attend any at all. Anybody commenting on your absence from one or all of the showers would be rude.

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.

When society was different, you would be correct in the purpose of a shower. The underlying situation has changed. You could argue that showers should then go away, since they aren't strictly necessary.

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It feels like a gift grab because it is one. 

I disagree as do others.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Yvaine

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #67 on: July 22, 2013, 06:26:21 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

But you're almost always "upgrading" the household unless both members of the couple are moving directly from their parents' to the marital household. I don't even mean cohabitation. I mean things they have from living on their own, between leaving home and starting the relationship. I imagine most couples nowadays are starting their household with two sets of (possibly cheap and/or worn-out) dishes and sheets and things. Unless we want to say registries are rude for anyone who has lived outside the parental home, I don't see how it's different based on cohabitation or not. And others have mentioned that if you don't register, people think you're grubbing for cash.

What's wrong with a long registry list? That doesn't actually obligate people to buy more than a short registry. It doesn't even request that people buy more than a short registry. It doesn't indicate that the couple wants more gifts than a short registry. The only, literally the only, thing it does is give each gift-buying-guest more options. How is that gift grabby?

This too. I'm always thrilled to see a long list. It doesn't make me think "They want too much stuff!" It makes me think "Wow, there are a lot of options here, so I can pick something that both suits my fancy and the couple's wishes, and I can choose from a variety of price points."

JoieGirl7

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #68 on: July 22, 2013, 06:30:28 PM »
So, then what is now the purpose of a shower?

Because there is giving someone a gift and giving someone a "wedding gift."

Traditionally, Christmas, Hanukkah and birthdays were straight up gift giving occasions, party or no.  Milestones anniversaries tend to attract gifts but gifts are usually declined in the invitation.

Weddings, however, were usually so that people could start their lives together.  And I could extrapolate that to people "starting" their lives together at any point in their lives, really.  I could understand that someone who had a lot of housewares that they took out of a prior divorce or even other relationships, might want something that is unique to the present relationship.

But, outside of that, what is the purpose?

Why am I obligated to give the couple a gift at all?  Isn't it enough to come and celebrate and be happy for them or am I still required to shell out?

Yvaine

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #69 on: July 22, 2013, 06:32:37 PM »
So, then what is now the purpose of a shower?

Because there is giving someone a gift and giving someone a "wedding gift."

Traditionally, Christmas, Hanukkah and birthdays were straight up gift giving occasions, party or no.  Milestones anniversaries tend to attract gifts but gifts are usually declined in the invitation.

Weddings, however, were usually so that people could start their lives together.  And I could extrapolate that to people "starting" their lives together at any point in their lives, really.  I could understand that someone who had a lot of housewares that they took out of a prior divorce or even other relationships, might want something that is unique to the present relationship.

But, outside of that, what is the purpose?

Why am I obligated to give the couple a gift at all?  Isn't it enough to come and celebrate and be happy for them or am I still required to shell out?

Well, to me, it goes kind of like "I'm happy for these people, so I want to help make their lives better." And if that means they can use fluffy new towels instead of the threadbare ones they bought for college, that's fine by me.

Edited to add: Before someone says "well, why don't they just replace their own ratty towels," it's really easy to keep plodding along with items that are beat-up but still mostly serviceable, because other things always seem more urgent than upgrading the household goods. I figure I'm giving them the gift of making their life slightly more comfortable in a way they might never get around to doing for themselves. On a smaller scale, I'm thinking the same thing when I give someone, say, a gift card to Decadent Coffee Place for their birthday. It's not that they can't buy their own coffee or that they are too irresponsible to buy their own coffee, it's that left to their own devices, they might not indulge themselves because some practical consideration seems more important, and I'm giving them a chance to do that.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 06:43:50 PM by Yvaine »

TootsNYC

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #70 on: July 22, 2013, 06:39:06 PM »

The fact that you do not feel excited for the wedding doesn't mean that the wedding is rude, having a registry is rude, etc.

I never, ever, ever said that it did.

In fact, I specifically defended the registry.


Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #71 on: July 22, 2013, 06:42:09 PM »
If I were the OP I too, would have a problem with a "shower" after 10 years, 3 kids and a house. 

The purpose of a bridal shower is to help a couple trying to establish a household, not to help upgrade one.  That why many look down on baby showers for a second or third child, the baby stuff has already been set up.

It feels like a gift grab because it is one.

So, showers are inappropriate for anyone who has lived in their own home? After all, they've already "established" their household, and anything new would merely be "upgrading" it.

What about someone who has lived on their own from 18 to 35. They've clearly 'established' their own household - no shower for them when they marry?

What if you've only lived on your own from 22 to 25? Is that enough time to 'establish' a household, such that you are no longer allowed to accept a shower someone else offers to throw you?

Aeris

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #72 on: July 22, 2013, 06:47:24 PM »
So, then what is now the purpose of a shower?

Because there is giving someone a gift and giving someone a "wedding gift."

Traditionally, Christmas, Hanukkah and birthdays were straight up gift giving occasions, party or no.  Milestones anniversaries tend to attract gifts but gifts are usually declined in the invitation.

Weddings, however, were usually so that people could start their lives together.  And I could extrapolate that to people "starting" their lives together at any point in their lives, really.  I could understand that someone who had a lot of housewares that they took out of a prior divorce or even other relationships, might want something that is unique to the present relationship.

But, outside of that, what is the purpose?

Why am I obligated to give the couple a gift at all?  Isn't it enough to come and celebrate and be happy for them or am I still required to shell out?

Well, first - you are never actually *obligated* to give a gift. If you don't feel enough good will to give one, don't. If your budget doesn't allow for it, don't. If you just disapprove altogether of [insert thing here], then don't. You aren't required.

That being said, wedding gifts are to celebrate the act of getting married. Whether that's the 2nd day two people meet or 15 years after they start a relationship, the purpose of the gift is the same: to celebrate their getting married.

That's all. It's actually quite simple.

TootsNYC

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #73 on: July 22, 2013, 06:47:44 PM »
The question that I have is does anyone actually make a profit from a BWW? In my experience the wedding costs about 2-3 times what the gifts received cost, so if the couple were really interested in money/ gift grabby, surely it would be better for them to marry at a courthouse , spend the thousands they save buying stuff for themselves and sending out wedding announcements on the off chance that non-guests would send them stuff.

This is true. I agree with you.

But I think there is such a thing as "attention-grabby." Not so much a balance-sheet ROI sort of thing, but an desire (sometimes sensible, sometime avaricious) for intangible things.

And some of that is very understandable. We all want to feel that we're important to the people around us, that our exciting milestones are viewed as exciting by the people in our lives.

I think that's actually part of my own personal problem with the big, splashy wedding after such a long, well-established life together. It's not an exciting milestone anymore. It's an important and solemn occasion--just as it is for the ingenues. But it's not a "fizzy" milestone anymore. If someone is 45 and marrying without having a decade or so of cohabitation, and children together, etc., that's pretty damned fizzy to me.

The BWW/wedding hooplah in this couple's case is just a different form, to me, of the young bride who expects everyone to show up for all their wedding-related events, etc.  It's an out-of-proportion expectation of emotional involvement.

My own personal solution would be to simply be as emotionally involved as I want to be, and no more. (Which is actually what I would do with the ingenue couple's wedding, to be honest.) And to not spend a huge amount of time thinking negatively judgmental thoughts.


(I'll also say, the three showers are being thrown by somebody who IS all "fizzy" about this wedding, and the scale of wedding celebrations are often influenced greatly by MOBs and MOGs, etc., so I'm not personally quick to assume that the couple is the factor creating all the froth. But I still wouldn't really participate in it all that terribly much.)

Lynnv

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Re: BWW after a decade of living together...
« Reply #74 on: July 22, 2013, 06:50:30 PM »
The only thing I see the HC doing wrong here is the multiple shower invitations to individuals.  The showers should not, in an ideal world, have any overlap in guests.  But that may not have been down to the HC, so I would tend to just assume it was an oversight and ignore that part of it.

Otherwise, IMO, having a BWW is fine, no matter when you choose to do so.  If a couple just turned 95 and decided to have a BWW after living together for 75 years, they are fine.  And if that means three (non-overlapping) showers, a bachelor party, registries, and buying dresses and suits so that all 40 of their grandkids and great-grandkids can be in the procession-more power to them!
Lynn

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