Author Topic: It is all about the gift!  (Read 16578 times)

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katycoo

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #45 on: July 10, 2010, 03:34:01 AM »
I broke a crystal vase when I was 8. It had been a wedding present.

I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she gathered up the shards. Not angry, just terribly, terribly sad.

I broke a crystal candle-holder when I was 43. It had also been a wedding present - mine!  :-[

My mother broke a jar from a set of three for flour/sugar etc.  It was so dated, so 70s, so ugly.  But it was a wedding gift.  She cried.

Suze

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #46 on: August 01, 2010, 02:41:37 PM »
my sister got married in the early 60's

her whole wedding cost under $100.00 -- including her dress

course it was at the local gun club for the reception and the usual "pot lucky" type of food bar.  (If I remember Mom made most of the food)

What happened? How did weddings get to be many thousands of dollars affairs?
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ddawn23

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2011, 10:19:48 PM »
For those of you wondering if part of the bar was free, the LW mentions it in the second sentence of her letter:
Quote
We had our wedding last month and dished out a delicious luncheon for 81 guests, with unlimited beer and wine.
I'm Oklahoman, so the idea of alcohol of any sort at a wedding is kind of foreign to me (and I am by no means a teetotaler).

Most brides around these parts receive Frankoma pottery as wedding gifts.  They've been around for ages and use local clay.  It's all very collectable.  My parents happened to have gotten married in 1976 when Frankoma was using a bluish clay that was in very limited supply.  Blue Frankoma pieces are worth a lot of money now, and whenever someone tells my mom she should sell what she has she asks "What would I serve dinner in?"  My parents' 35th anniversary is next week and just yesterday I cooked and served green beans in some of Mom's blue Frankoma.

mariamousie1

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2011, 11:03:25 PM »
What really bugged me was "I hope they enjoyed eating and drinking on our dime!" Um...that's kind of what a reception is supposed to be. You pay for your friends to come and celebrate with you. Nobody ever said your friends are supposed to give it back to you.

Twik

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2011, 10:27:06 AM »
my sister got married in the early 60's

her whole wedding cost under $100.00 -- including her dress

course it was at the local gun club for the reception and the usual "pot lucky" type of food bar.  (If I remember Mom made most of the food)

What happened? How did weddings get to be many thousands of dollars affairs?

A, inflation. $100 then would be close to $1000 today.

B, social mores. Society has always wobbled between two ideals - thrift, and conspicuous consumption. Presumable, your sister, in the early 60's was still affected by the idea driven into people during the depression and war years, that any unnecessary expense was not merely unwise but immoral, even unpatriotic.

Since then, we have had 50 years extolling conspicuous consumption. We are told (and unfortunately, have some good reason to believe) that people will think better of us if we spend large amounts of money on things like weddings, and poorly of us if we don't. Many people may consider us rude if we do not entertain them in the manner expected - how dare we make them invest their time and money in our event if we don't make it "worth their while" by supplying extravagant entertainment as recompense?

And, in both cases, I think there is an attitude of social standing - "I was able to have a lovely wedding on a shoestring" got you social props in 1960, while "I spent a fortune on the fanciest wedding anyone in my set ever threw" does the same in 2011.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Dindrane

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2011, 10:38:05 AM »
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.


Twik

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2011, 11:27:52 AM »
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.

Dindrane - well, it is quite likely that someone in 1960 would solve this problem by not getting food from a restaurant, not worrying about music at all, and, most importantly, by limiting the number of people who were involved in the wedding in the first place. I presume that at $1000, you're talking a significant number of people. Remember, for a 1960's wedding for a middle-class family, the wedding might be held in their living room. There would not be the larger "must invite all my third cousins" sort of wedding that we see today. And note that problems of "expensive venues" disappear when it's your parent's front room, and food costs would be just the ingredients, as you or your female relatives would cook most of the food (which would probably be a small luncheon).

I think that it's only natural as the economy started to grow after WWII that people started expanding what they were willing to spend on their weddings. It's nice to be able to invite everyone you want, not just those who fit into the room, and it's much more enjoyable to treat them to a catered dinner, instead of expecting your relations to spend days cooking for you. But the answer to "how could it be done for $100 in 1960 when it costs thousands today?" is that our expectations of what a "basic" wedding entails have grown. Trying to throw that "$100 wedding" today would be possible, probably, for under $1000, but it wouldn't be the standard to which we have grown accustomed.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Lauren

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2011, 08:11:05 AM »
Quote
Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bridestared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."

If this friend I'm thinking of wasn't married, I would think you were talking about her!

What an awesome person.

Elfmama

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #53 on: April 25, 2011, 09:00:05 AM »

I went to a wedding where a bride was given an afghan FREEDOM BLANKIE at the wedding... and promptly wrapped herself in it and wandered through the rest of the wedding snuggled down in it, with the occasonal attempot by her husband to climb under too. (Oh yeah, funniest pic from the reception was the bride and groom waddlingaround together snuggled in heir blankie.)

Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bridestared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."
And cousin didn't just go to the store and buy the same blanket that anyone could have bought.  She gave a gift of herself.  Snide guest probably didn't know the hours and hours of work that goes into something like that, every stitch made while thinking happy thoughts for the bride and groom.
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567Kate

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #54 on: April 27, 2011, 02:14:03 PM »
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.

Dindrane - well, it is quite likely that someone in 1960 would solve this problem by not getting food from a restaurant, not worrying about music at all, and, most importantly, by limiting the number of people who were involved in the wedding in the first place. I presume that at $1000, you're talking a significant number of people. Remember, for a 1960's wedding for a middle-class family, the wedding might be held in their living room. There would not be the larger "must invite all my third cousins" sort of wedding that we see today. And note that problems of "expensive venues" disappear when it's your parent's front room, and food costs would be just the ingredients, as you or your female relatives would cook most of the food (which would probably be a small luncheon).

I think that it's only natural as the economy started to grow after WWII that people started expanding what they were willing to spend on their weddings. It's nice to be able to invite everyone you want, not just those who fit into the room, and it's much more enjoyable to treat them to a catered dinner, instead of expecting your relations to spend days cooking for you. But the answer to "how could it be done for $100 in 1960 when it costs thousands today?" is that our expectations of what a "basic" wedding entails have grown. Trying to throw that "$100 wedding" today would be possible, probably, for under $1000, but it wouldn't be the standard to which we have grown accustomed.

I think the way that families have spread out is a big part of it too. When you have people flying in from across the country (or internationally), you feel obligated to put on a larger event. Cake and punch or a small luncheon can feel inadequate as a host when you know someone spent >$1000 on airfare to attend.