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!
Comments on this entry are closed.
I don’t think there is enough room on the entire internet to post my feelings on this story.
They should be ashamed of themselves!!!
Awesome story! When I’m reading the gimme stories, I’m Always so happy I live in the Netherlands, because…
– Bridal Showers are not a thing here.
– Bachelor/bachelorette parties are done, but gift giving is usually not part of them (never encountered it)
– Wedding gifts to and from friends are usually around 50 euro/usd (note: for regular people, not the rich and famous).
– Bridesmaids are not a really big thing here.
– Colleagues, extended family and not-so-much-in-touch-friends are often only invited for a reception or party. This is also not a gimme grab, if you show up with a bottle of wine and a card, you’re fine.
Bachelor/bachelorette parties are not supposed to be gift-grabs in the U.S., either, but people have made them into one in an opportunity to get more gifts.
How is that even practical? A lot of the time, bachelor and bachelorette parties happen at bars or clubs, or other outside venues, instead of at people’s homes, so wouldn’t it be a hassle to keep an eye on the gifts at the venue, and then cart them all back to the guest of honour’s house?
So, they sent a group message to 25 women to find 3 bridesmaids….what if 5 replied instead of 3? Would there of been a bidding war for the coveted position? Seriously, who could afford to have her as a friend?
Welp, I found it refreshing (!?!) that all the details were listed as to what was required to be Tiffany’s bridesmaid! Was there a contract to sign agreeing to all that?
Can’t imagine why the previous ones backed out, can you?
Yeah, I just can’t figure out why 2 of the original bridesmaids escap…I mean dropped out. Tis a mystery.
I thought it was very telling that 3 bridesmaids had to bow out. No doubt they saw where that train was headed, and got off! I wonder if they were B-listed (or completely kicked out) then?
It is funny that the sales pitch for bridesmaids included at least one person on the B-list. I always thought of the bridesmaids as people who were especially close to the bride, not just a random bunch of acquaintances who were willing to pay $XXXX.
Maybe I’m just one of those people stuck in 1954, like Tiffany said!
Ha, I was thinking the same thing – gee, I wonder why three people dropped out at once!
I can’t beleive she kept sending regrets. I would just block Tiffany after the first few signs of hysteria.
Also, are engagement parties usually gift giving situations?
No kidding! Anything after the first invite and the actual wedding is spam.
And OP wasn’t even required to RSVP to any of the summons, since they all were solicitations, not invites. You never have to RSVP to a solicitation.
Engagement parties are not gift giving occasions. They’re actually not a thing; the wedding is THE celebration of getting married. You can’t, in good taste, celebrate your upcoming celebration (wedding), which is what an engagement party really is. It’s along the lines of celebrating an upcoming baby (a baby shower) and then celebrating the actual baby with another shower, and then celebrating the showers with a shower.
And a bridal shower is a celebration of the wedding, too, and that’s already extraneous in this day and age. This doesn’t mean you can’t throw a party to celebrate a milestone, it just means that you have to be careful not to label the party in such a way as to suggest that gifts are expected. But there’s also guest fatigue – how many parties can you go to, in the name of celebrating one, single event, before you’re fed up with the whole thing?
I wonder if the MOH’s call out for more bridesmaids was worded in such a way as to make the bride look as bad as possible while still passing her sniff test. Because I can’t imagine any sane person writing that up and not seeing how awful it is. It certainly got the message across, loud and clear, just not the one the bride probably wanted.
And I absolutely agree with you, Zhaleh, I would have blocked Tiffany pretty early on. Of course, I would have missed all the fun then, too. I wonder what sort of messages are flying around the internet behind Tiffany’s back? I’ll bet they’re the best part of the show.
I don’t have an issue with engagement parties per se – IF they’re done in the traditional fashion. Normally, they were a gathering of family and extremely close friends to announce the engagement – and were NOT meant as gift giving occasions. If you want to have a larger party to announce your engagement, then just have a party and as part of it, mention the engagement.
Admittedly my family came out of the Ark, but in our socialverse an engagement party is a modest gathering in the bride-to-be’s parents’ home to introduce the bridegroom to their family and close friends, and a ditto in the bridegroom’s parent’s home. People attending these aren’t expected to bring anything except warm wishes.
Here in the UK we read with appalled amazement of the multiplication and elaboration of events around American weddings. The US concept of a ‘shower’ is just about beginning to catch on in some quarters (though none close to me, thank heavens); the ‘hen do’ for the bride’s cronies is now an established thing, alongside the traditional ‘stag do’; and the wedding itself is getting ever showier and elaborate among people who care about such things; but that’s it. Unless it’s a destination wedding, the event is strictly one day only: rehearsal dinners are unheard of.
(I have twice encountered Regency novels by American authors who blithely included a ‘rehearsal dinner’ in their story, totally unaware of the bewilderment and outrage that our ancestors would have felt on being required to rehearse a wedding!)
I’m used to rehearsal dinners, but at least in my family that’s usually a fairly casual dinner for people in the wedding party and close family members.
I’m also used to bridal showers, but here in the US they have gotten completely out of control. For one thing, family members are not supposed to host bridal showers (or baby showers) unless the party has a VERY limited guest list (as in, everyone involved is a family member). Also, shower gifts in the US are supposed to involve only token gifts – nothing lavish. After all I’ve read over the past couple of decades, I recommend the alcohol shower. A $10 bottle of wine is pretty doable, and it’ll help you get through the rest.
There is nothing wrong with rehearsing a wedding. It’s for the purpose of making sure everyone in the bridal party knows what to do, when to enter, where to stop, where they should go during the vows – if they are not required to stand, etc. There is a meal served as a form of hospitality. It’s not a gift-giving occasion. It is nothing to be appalled over.
How many thousands was this going to cost if you coughed 11 presents plus paid for the bridesmaid and weekend in Vegas package?
I’m surprised they didn’t have a destination wedding in Maui or Fiji and a three month around the world cruise for their honeymoon. I’m serious. Were there money dances, wishing well, money tree as well at one or more of these events? Did their registry include $235 sterling silver toast server and $185 each napkin rings (12 needed or forget buying?)
Sounds like a massive mess to dodge and OP was smart enough to.
about the generic TY note – I got one of those about 12 years ago, almost exactly ONE YEAR after sending a wedding gift. My jaw dropped but I understand it is now a “thing” – businesses offering it, just give them your list of names and addresses and they even mail them for you.
Oh and the TY note I got used the work “token” to describe my $400+ gift.
OK, I almost choked on my lunch here. In what universe is $400 a “token” gift – unless you’re royalty? (And by the way, royalty is usually much more appreciative of small gifts.)
As for the long wait for the thank you: I’m not sure when brides started having the mistaken idea that they have a year to send thank you notes, but I wish they’d stop. The one year timeframe applies to giving a gift – and the ONLY people who should be getting thank you notes a year after the wedding are people that wait that long to give a gift.
What?! Even if you had given a “token” gift, it seems incredibly rude to describe a gift that way!
Wow I can’t believe that bridesmaids dropped out for this event 😉 maybe they didn’t have the brinks truck parked behind their house.
Ok – Usually, in a normal run of the mill wedding here is the gift giving breakdown:
Sometimes there is an engagement party – I don’t count this as a gift giving event at all – and it is not a usual thing in my neck of the woods. If it happens, it is just a party. I wouldn’t bring a gift – if I was the bride – I wouldn’t expect to get any. They certainly aren’t invited with registry information. That’s really over the top. To have 2 engagement parties is insane and really asking too much – especially since the 2nd one you had to feed yourself.
Usually there is a shower – and in most situations there is just one. Sometimes there are more but only for different groups of people. You don’t invite somebody to all three showers – if there are 3. I had one. It is a party to give gifts – so yeah, you give a gift. If you don’t want to give – that’s fine – don’t go. I have never heard of a virtual shower but wow, that’s the way to go. You send a gift, there is no lunch, no favor, no expense and you open a bunch of gifts. It is the epitome of TACKY!!!
Sometimes there is a bachelorette party – In my day – I had a dinner with 4 close friends and we had a lovely evening. I didn’t expect to get any gifts – nor did I get any. Bachelorette parties have evolved to sometimes elaborate fly to Vegas affairs or spa weekends. Sorry, I think that is asking too much from a guest or a bridesmaid. It is already expensive to be a bridesmaid without an entire weekend trip that will cost thousands. And to ask that you give gifts for that – it’s excessive.
Then the wedding. Yeah, I usually bring a gift but it isn’t required. It is a essentially a ceremony with a party to celebrate the occasion.
Clearly, in this situation it is social media gone absolutely wild. I can’t imagine that this old girlfriend would even want the OP at any of these events – let alone a bridesmaid. You were on her friends list and invited to everything. Was there no paper invite to anything?
I googled whether engagement parties were gift giving situations and the general consensus was yes, but, of course, you don’t have to.
So, I know from reading this site that there are varied opinions on wedding registries and honeymoon registries I feel like many suggest that we all need to move with, or just accept the times.
So for the arguments I’m about to make I will just accept that these things are etiquette approved.
Although, I think it’s safe to say most happy couples would expect a guest choosing to give a gift via a registry to chose one, and not both of these options.
In the spirit of moving with the times, the Western world has been suffering from a continued unstable employment and financial “climate” as well as an unstable political environment that effects global relations. A lot of this has been brewing for quite some times, but many Westerners are just becoming alarmed now.
The East continues to suffer famine, disease and unstable government.
There is a migrant crisis beyond most humans ability to grasp.
This is what the times are now.
So when the whole world is in crisis, it seems beyond the reaches of bimbosity, to openly ask for gifts for any reason whatsoever.
In my mind, Europe is in a state similar to the after effects of WW2, and North America is hugely affected by this. Why do societal norms not change with the times?
People getting married seem to act like it’s 1950, something, I’m not quite sure what year America was really rich but really, I am so disgusted at this behaviour.
Have a lovely intimate engagement party. It’s such a nice thing to do! Why not throw a dinner, invite those closest to you, and announce the engagement? A few glasses of wine and the joy and congratulations from your loved ones are the gifts the happy couple receives.
A bridal shower has traditionally been thrown to shower the bride with gifts that would help her housekeeping become an easier task, these kinds of gifts are often affordable, (for the gifters, the bride gets a great stash) and call me old fashioned, but they continue to be necessary. Modern brides don’t like the idea, but to be honest, I’m at a loss as to what else to buy. Personally, I say bring it on. I still have to cook and clean and there no reason hubby can’t use these items either.
If you don’t like the traditional shower, (gift wise I mean, throw your bridal shower at a skating rink or a, well I can’t think of anything else) then please just let people know you don’t want a shower. And three showers? For people who most likely already live together and have a full apartment? What are they asking for? You have no more right to ask me for cash or a PlayStation 4 just because you’re getting married than you would if you weren’t.
People are happy to pitch in for a super Hoover because it’s hard for new couples to purchase all the things they need to keep a house running all at once. That’s why these showers exist. I don’t think it’s ok to say, we don’t really need anything, so we’ll throw a shower for what we want. If you want a ps4, save up for it. Is this making sense?
I just think it’s ok to expect people to buy helpful gifts that a new couple may need but struggle for, but not ok to list a plethora of non-marriage, non house related expensive gifts because you suddenly feel entitled to have everything you want.
When times are tough, people that care about you will want to contribute to make a life being started together easier. To ask and as above, expect, more than that is to be incredibly blind to the world at large.
And why does this bride need so many naughty gifts? Is the man she’s marrying unable to satisfy her? Is she unable to satisfy herself?
I feel like these people don’t appreciate it like anyone in their life. Just like anything else, throw the event you can afford. If you’ve been a good friend and family member, you’ll get plenty of gifts for your wedding, but gifts should not be included in any planning at all.
My point kind of was, in the current atmosphere, I think weddings and all things surrounding them should become much more modest. Unless, of course, the happy couple or a family member is covering it all. With the gifts not being thought of as “off setting” the cost, but instead as a show of love and care from family and friends.
Your final paragraph is right on the money (no pun intended) – you have the wedding you can afford and you DON’T expect anyone else to offset the cost – period.
I also agree that weddings should be more modest – but until people stop feeling they need to one-up each other, this sadly won’t happen.
Finally – your description of an engagement party is exactly what they were originally designed to be. Expecting gifts is a more recent corruption of a lovely idea.
Miss Manners has a lot to say about registries, none of it good. Etiquette does not condone any situation where a host/guest of honour asks for or mentions gifts. The times change but basic etiquette does not. It’s still, and always will be, rude to suggest gifts.
I don’t know what she has to say about engagement parties. But, again, etiquette does not allow these to become gift giving occasions unless a guest feels inspired to give something.
Etiquette is very clear about not hosting showers for direct family or in-laws.
In the 1950s, bachelorette parties had not been invented. I’m not sure bachelor parties were a thing then, either. Showers were modest affairs; if a bride was lucky, she may have one thrown for her. One. Just one. The rare bride might have two. Her family and in-laws would not be involved.
She would not be involved. She would not manipulate the guest list, the theme, the venue, the food, or even what gifts she wants to get. Mostly, these were surprise parties, so any faux pas on the part of the hostess could not reflect on the unknowing guest of honour.
I remember weddings in the 70s being pleasant, relaxed affairs. There were no lead-up parties with the exception of maybe a shower. As a guest, you were expected to attend a single day event. You looked forward to it, to being fed, and entertained, and hosted. You gave a modest gift in keeping with your (probably limited) income. And you received a “thank-you” on the spot, since the bride and groom opened the gifts at the end of the night. In the early 80s things started to change but still weren’t all that bad. When I got married in ’86 I was pushed to have a registry. It was an odd idea to me and my family and I couldn’t figure how that would work, since I couldn’t mention its existence to anyone. I’m glad I didn’t have one. Didn’t need it, and we were poor as church mice compared to kids today.
Etiquette just requires one to remember others’ feelings and needs, and to put those needs first when hosting. That’s all. The “ideal” modern wedding is so focussed on the bride and groom that it throws etiquette out the window every step of the way. If the bride and groom simply stop and consider their guests first then all would be well. And if guests stopped attending weddings that are clearly selfish displays of greediness then the problem would fix itself pretty quickly.
Bachelor parties date back to ancient times, but the origin of bachelorette parties in their modern form may go back as early as the ’60s, with the first known bachelorette parties occurring in the ’80s.
“A bridal shower has traditionally been thrown to shower the bride with gifts that would help her housekeeping become an easier task, these kinds of gifts are often affordable, (for the gifters, the bride gets a great stash) and call me old fashioned, but they continue to be necessary.”
I disagree that it’s necessary across the board.
Who would need the shower? A bride & groom who are are going from their parents’ home to their own home and have been out of high school only a few years (ie, not enough time to get a college degree or work enough to get a few raises), then, no, it’s not necessary.
Most couples getting married have at least one who has their own dwelling so they have been getting along as far as a household goes.
I certainly agree that in general weddings have become too much and expectations are too high.
Two tracks of muddy footprints are, metaphorically speaking, all over the clean floors of etiquette and civility- the excessive number of events and gift grabs (I was going to say requests, but they hardly seem to be that benign) and the very public complaints/ lamentations after the fact. You do seem to have dodged a bullet here. I cannot help but feel that your other friend who attended several celebrations leading up to the wedding must be regretful that she was not so fortunate.
Sometimes I find it hard to get through some of the longer submissions. Not this one!
Holy cow, is this a mess. My jaw was open when guests were expected to bring their own meat for the grill (wth?) and it stayed that way the whole time.
I really wish we knew what the response was to the bridesmaid recruiting effort!
Right? The meat, a side, and a dessert. Basically they were told to supply the entire meal. But the hosts provide water, so it’s all good! Hey, I’ve got a better idea, how about I provide my own meat, side, and dessert, and stay home with my food and my tap water! I can even throw a glass of wine in for myself, because that’s how generous I am.
And guests had to bring a side dish as well! How nice of the hosting couple to provide the drinks….
On another note, just came across a potluck funeral recently. Really?? Is this typical? I thought churches usually took care of that stuff (this one was held at a church).
It’s not uncommon for funerals to be pot-luck, but it’s usually the church ladies providing the food, not the family or guests. I don’t think the church itself provides food, it’s a service from the people, so pot-luck makes sense.
I’m always curious about the lack of self awareness that people like this have. Do they honestly not realize how they are coming off to people or do they really not care?
I vote for the second one. Everyone gets stressed out when a major life change is pending such as a wedding or birth. For a few people, it becomes less about the necessity of making a transition with wisdom, grace and gratitude and more about the pageantry that is allowed to accompany some of these occasions. Overblown expectations that others will plunder their own resources of cash, time and energy leads to all sorts of disappointment. Attempts to reason with such people usually encounter little success because there is always some sort of an “exceptions defense” to the normal rules of polite society. It can be anything from the bride having seen one too many media shows about Big White Weddings to an overindulgent group of parents and friends. About the only thing that can be done is to decline to attend/ give/ participate or support these misbegotten masquerades. They mimic the festivities that accompany a great many happy occasions and many people are deceived into thinking that if they just go along more, give more and try harder, the happy couple will be grateful. That is not often the case in these instances, I think.
Yikes. Just, yikes…
So for the recruitment of bridesmaids, what they mean is, Tiffany expects to not have to pay one cent for a hotel, food, drinks, and a spa day in Vegas, which I am guessing would have been in the $500 to $1,500 range, depending on what spa package was received and whether they stayed for one night or two, and since the remaining bridesmaids are already spending thousands of dollars on their own travel expenses, bridesmaid dresses, and multiple showers, they are looking for three more people to offset the costs and basically pay for the privilege of being in Tiffany’s wedding. That is a new one.
But a virtual shower, the expectation of two gifts per event, and an A list and B list (where the B list can drink at a bar on their own dime but still be expected to give a gift), a honeymoon fund, and Facebook rants about “cheap” people? Sadly I’ve heard those before.
all I can say is I would have de friended her and blocked her…but it is funny to read Tiffany’s rants about people what a shallow cow she is
This has got to be one of my favourite e-hell stories. Wow….
I’m guessing that a couple of the ladies having to drop out of the wedding party, may have had something to do with not wanting to buy Bridezilla a ridiculous number of gifts.
And no, where I live bachelorette parties are not gift giving events, much less being expected to give two gifts.
Happy to see that OP didn’t allow herself to be taken advantage of.
I don’t recall many bachelorette parties… it’s been a few years! But I don’t remember any where we were expected to give a gift in addition to planning/ paying for the party. I thought that WAS the gift?
Where I’m from, they are gift giving events, but for gag gifts like edible underwear.
Lkb, that was my first thought — hmmm, wonder why those bridesmaids backed out?
This is the winner, from what I can tell, for being the greediest, most expensive wedding couple in Ehell. They really need a gift from all of us — an etiquette book!
On top of all that, *IF* I were going to invite someone I’d dated to my wedding (which would be pretty unlikely unless we were really good friends apart from having dated), and they declined the invite, I would assume they weren’t comfortable attending any of the events. Especially if I was the one who initiated the breakup!
In fairness, there’s one thing to be said for Tiffany’s and Steve’s approach: they were quite upfront about the grabbery from the very beginning, and her demands on her bridesmaids were itemised, with costs! That’s a whole lot easier to sidestep gracefully than cases such as the one in Can A Wedding Get Worse Than This? on November 16, 2017, where the gimmes for presents were cranked up gradually and the fact that guests were going to have to pay for their own meals was only made plain after they had committed. I think OP had it pretty easy: it was a no-brainer to keep declining politely.
Dodge a bullet indeed! OP you’re lucky you only dated this girl for three months because just imagine the headache it would have been if the relationship had lasted longer. Though honestly even if it did last longer you probably would have dump her after seeing her true colors. Tiffany sounds like a spoiled brat and I couldn’t help but read her complaints in a whiny teenage girl’s voice.
And the complaints are just ridiculous. Tiffany and Steve are expecting everyone to take care of the wedding, honeymoon and house for them while barely putting anything in themselves. Yes people can help the cost or give gifts but the majority of the money/stuff is suppose to be taken care of by the bride and groom themselves. If they can’t afford to have an expensive wedding, or a trip to Vegas or things like that then they need to have a wedding they can afford. Same for the honeymoon. And whatever money they have left they should focus on their house, buying the furniture and all of that. They can’t expect family and friends to foot the bill for the majority of things.
The marriage doesn’t sound like it’ll be off to a great start but we’ll see how it goes.
“A couple of the ladies had to drop out of the wedding party….”
Just two? Makes you wonder if the rest are masochists.
Perhaps there were only three to start with. 🙂
:-O That wasn’t dodging a bullet, that was dodging a cruise missile.
At least they’re easier to see coming!
Ohhhh yeah. Wisely said.
“But this whole thing made me wonder, just how many gifts are friends and family expected to give for a single wedding these days?”
In general, just one. And as far as I’m concerned, if you’ve given at the bridal shower, you don’t need to give at the wedding. That’s the *point* of the bridal shower, so the gifts don’t all have to be given at that particular three-ring-circus. Especially with stories of gifts being stolen at weddings by thieves who casually cruise around hotels on Saturdays to see if there’s a nice unattended pile of gifts to help themselves to.
And honestly? The way I was raised was that you bring a gift to each party you’re invited to (though you really don’t need to have them all be expensive ones), but if you’re the honoree, you do not expect a gift from anyone, and you graciously and individually thank everyone for whatever they contributed, even if it was only their time.
I would argue zero gifts. I would much rather have your attendance without a gift, than not to attend at all.
When I married, we were two broke college students. One good older friend of mine, was a struggling author and I INSISTED that he at least come to my reception. (He had an appointment at Social Services right at the time of the wedding, I totally understood, we got county dole ourselves (commodity food) ). So he showed up rather looking trashier than usual (you always wore your worst stuff going to Social Services, he had his broken and taped glasses, etc). He was a little late but took a plateful to eat, and I came to talk to him after he got going and expressed my thanks that he made it. That was what I wanted. He made it and he got a free meal. He had no gift, not even a card, and I didn’t expect one. [my mother thought he was the janitor and I saved her from approaching him about some stuff-when I went to talk to him she realized he wasn’t who she thought he was. I explained later why he was late and looked as he did and yes he was one of my good friends and an invited guest. Oh]
Back in the Stone Age when my friends were getting married, it was normal for two gifts to be given. The shower gift was normally something not terribly expensive (cookbooks were popular, for some reason) and the actual wedding gift was something as nice as one’s budget would allow. (if you were being invited to the wedding, it was assumed you were close enough to the bride and/or groom to want to give them a really special gift.) And almost NO ONE was invited to more than one shower! (The one exception I can remember is when a longtime friend of the bride ended up working at the same place – so she was invited to both a personal shower and a work shower.)
When I married, in the 80s, it was the custom to invite the bridesmaids to all the showers (very small showers given by friends in certain groups and perhaps your mother’s friends). However, the BMs were not expected to bring a gift because everyone knew they’d be invited to all the showers.
My understanding is that you do 2 gifts traditionally. The bridal shower gift is supposed to be something personal for the bride’s trousseau for the wedding night. Then the wedding gift is supposed to be something that is for both of them for setting up their new household.
I was thinking as I read through the letter, “OP will be spammed to death if Tiffany and Steve decide to have kids or buy a house”, well sure enough, they are buying a house! OP, time to block Tiffany. Nothing personal, same as you would a sales company that continually spams your inbox. That Tiffany is your ex is certainly an extra layer of money-grabbing icing on this cake of greed! Who does this? Unbelievable.
I don’t use social media, but if I did no way would I block this gimme pig. She’s far too entertaining, in an ongoing slow motion car crash kind of way. Plus I would relish telling her nope! multiple times. Said politely, of course.
This being an etiquette site, I am not permitted to share some very very not-nice words that come to mind when I read this. The only thing I like is the Bring Your Own Meat barbecue potluck. I like those because I get to try out a steak recipe and see if other people like it.
I think it is pretty obvious why 3 bridesmaids dropped out. Definitely bullet dodged.
Three bridesmaids dropped out.
That really says it all.
That was one of the most entertaining stories I’ve read in ages – thank you for the laugh. It would have been even funnier if it weren’t probably true. It’s really hard to believe people can be that greedy, and then that ungrateful for what they do receive.
The sheer gall of it all: the multiple demands for gifts, the “bridesmaid recruitment”, and the fact she asked her EX to do all of this.
An ex girlfriend as a bridesmaid. Awkward.
I would bet that when Tiffany attends other peoples weddings, she gives stuff like two towels, and not 65″ 4k TVs.
I wonder that, too, with brides like this. When her sister or cousin or best friend gets married, will she willingly go along and attend 3 showers with 2 gifts each, an engagement party, a bachelorette party that requires flying somewhere, a spa-day where she covers some of the bride’s costs, and finally a wedding where she wears a $500 ensemble?
Or will she comment on how she can’t pay for all of that now because she’s married and they’re saving up for a house, so all she can afford to give for all events combined is a $40 toaster, and only a Bridezilla would think she should spend anything more than that?
After reading all of this, I realize how shorted I got as a bride. No engagement party, only one shower (and it was only for my nearest and dearest and oldest friends back in my hometown–I was living in Pittsburgh, PA and wedding took place in my hometown in IN, 400 miles away from Pittsburgh. If I recall there were 6 of us there), bachelorette party was at a casual restaurant after the rehearsal dinner and I think I paid my own way. I had a great time though, wedding and reception were great and still married 29 years later. And personal thank yous written as soon as we got back from the honeymoon. Who knew there was some impersonal service who would send out thank yous for “token” gifts?
I got married at a private ceremony. My dad, who has about 20 nieces/nephews that got married before me, threw me a party later so I could get some “presents”. I remember some glasses, set of 2 mugs/2 plates, towels, bottle of wine, house plants. Nicest one was a flowering crab apple tree. And some checks in the $10 to $20 range. All very modest gifts and I was happy with all of them. And wrote thank you notes very promptly.
This may top the list as the most obnoxious, unbelievable, and inappropriate gift-grab I’ve ever heard of.
The greed is strong in this couple. I bet the 3 bridesmaids had to drop out because they couldn’t afford to be in this wedding. The OP is an ex-girlfriend and got invited to all these gift-grabs. The complaining about no one contributing the honeymoon and how nice their house could have been if only people had bought off the registry – wow.
I think I would have emailed something along the lines of “unsubscribe”.
This is most definitely one of those jaw-dropping EHell stories! First a ton of gift grabs, then the shocking gall to endlessly complain about how cheap people are. Maybe they should go into the PR/marketing business because they certainly have a talent for thinking up clever reasons to get more stuff! I’m so glad to hear that their family and friends didn’t indulge their immense greed as evidenced by their childish post-wedding tantrum.
Gee, 1954 doesn’t look so bad, does it?
I really do think this wedding has to be proclaimed the New Standard against which all future wedding stories must be held. The only question is: when will it be demoted?
I really have been amazed, in reading some of the recent wedding submissions here, how it seems that young people today have come to view weddings as basically fund-raising events. Just like you would throw a party and invite people as a way to convince them to donate to a charitable cause, these couples are using their weddings and the events around them as a way to convince people to donate to their cause of choice–themselves! And many of them probably don’t even realize how tacky and entitled it is, because this is what all their friends have done when getting married. They think it’s the way things are supposed to be–we get married, you shower us in cash and prizes. It reminds me of a really bad movie I saw one time, when pair of strangers, both broke, decide to fake an engagement in order to clean up in gifts and cash.
Since it’s a etiquette site that has one day a week dedicated to weddings horror stories, if this is your only source of up to date wedding news, it looks bad. I could share at least a dozen wedding stories that would making everyone on here smile either because of the generosity of the couple towards their guests or the gratitude that was expressed to those who attended. I have an amazing collection of hand written thank you notes for presents as small as a board game (one couple registered for nothing but ‘fun’ items from a discount store and I had to request the information). I have received multiple thank you notes from one couple for their wedding (thanks for being a part of our day, thanks for the gift, and thanks for the bachelorette party). I’ve receive expensive gifts from the bride for being a member of the wedding party where I got to wear whatever I wanted as a bridesmaid. Maybe it’s the people I have befriended but I have never personally felt put upon as a guest at a wedding to which I was invited.
Hmm, three bridesmaids dropped out suddenly; what on earth could be wrong?
I still can’t stand all of the greed in some of these stories. Demanding present upon present from people? Dunning all of your friends or relatives over no gifts or insufficient gifts? Demanding they finance your honeymoon?!
I mean, if one of your relatives says, “Hey kids, I’m going to send you on a honeymoon to Barbados” or “Hey, kids, I’m going to give you a check for $100,000 at your wedding” or “I’m going to pay for up to $10,000 of your wedding costs,” I think it’s not wrong to call these relatives if they don’t follow through — that kind of thing is as much a promise as a gift.
But demanding this stuff? A whole other ball of wax.
You need to delete and block this gimmie pig!
I found it refreshing to read a submission where the OP didn’t cave to any demands! Tiffany sounds completely clueless, but OP was polite as can be while keeping her backbone firmly in place. And once again, I’m thankful no one I know is anything like the Tiffanys of the world!
LOL. I’d have stopped replying after the first invite.
This reminds me of the comic Curtis, where the running gag is that the teen title character is *always* trying to con his father into paying for expensive things, usually sneakers and the like.
In one comic, Curtis tries to con his father into buying him a laptop, claiming that he needs it for school. Father isn’t buying it, angrily informing his son that he knows what his son is trying to pull, and if notebooks, pencils, paper, etc, was good enough for his father, it’s good enough for him.
This is the worst thing I have ever read. Seriously. No words.
I’ve been to “bring your own stuff for the grill” potluck parties, but they weren’t weddings, or any sort of personal/milestone celebrations, just “I have a yard with a grill, I’d like to see some folks.”
The only potluck wedding I have ever been invited to was very informal, and involved token gifts if any: the idea was that the couple wanted lots of their friends there, and this was a way to do it (along similar lines to a mid-afternoon wedding and serving only wedding cake and tea). Some people might have called it tacky, but it wasn’t a gift grab.
Heck, I even sent hand-written thank you cards to people we didn’t get gifts from, sincerely thanking them for making the effort to share our day with us.
It blows my mind how obsessed some brides our about the amount and quality of the loot they expect — or in this case — INSIST to get.
If a person actually realizes that the main port of a wedding is getting married, and not the party behind it, yes, weddings can be cheap! All a question of knowing your priorities, budget, and sticking to both of them.
What a greedy person.