This morning after I had my morning coffee and worked through my inbox, I took a break and I was reading an article on Country Living titled "This New Wedding Gift Trend Has Guests in a Tizzy-Tacky or practical? What do you think?"
The article is about how "in true millennial fashion" many brides and grooms are now opting out of the traditional store registries and into alternative arrangements such as honeymoon funds and charity registries. The article goes on to discuss how many people are totally butthurt about this new method of gift-giving at weddings and the comments have a large amount of people all up in their feelings and being offended that they can't buy that $50 punch bowl set for their beloved niece or nephew because they obviously have taken it upon themselves to become the crusader for punch and serving drinks with a ladle.
I might seem a little agitated about this subject and that's because it is agitating. First and foremost because as someone born in (the very late cutoff of) the 80s and witnessing the internets introduction and expansion it seems to me a lot of things on the internet have just become one big "customer complaint box" where everyone goes to state their offense or distaste in something. Which, hey, it's totally cool you have every right to have emotions. But it's also everyone else's right to disagree or to not really care at all what you think. So this paragraph is dedicated to all of you internet complainers. You have every right to whine about something on the internet, but just be prepared for people to call you out on it because the internet is a big place and there will always be 1 person who disagrees with you, even if you say you love puppies and sunshine.
Secondly, as a wedding planer it hurts my head when people get so upset about outdated traditions dying away and new and improved versions that are totally relevant for the 21st century becoming popular.
Look...I get it. Hoverboards and "it's just a prank bro" and memes about famous people who are literally children are confusing and scary. Plus the fact that my 12 year old baby brother told me the other day that "facebook is for old people" when I was around before Facebook even existed is kind of depressing. We are all facing our own mortality and these little nuances the youth of today express on a daily basis only makes that more apparent. Nobody wants to get old and yeah, I'm totally bitter that I didn't get to catch pokemon IRL when I was 10 but I'm not going to hate on something just because I didn't get to experience it. I didn't get to experience that and it's ok because I'm going to be that 28 year old female running around the shopping center knocking over kids to catch that eevee because I'm bigger than them soooo jokes on you kiddos.
People that get upset about "tradition" don't actually mean the tradition of marriage. It's actually just their own self-righteous indignation like that kid that comes over to your house and rips apart your Teen Beat magazine because she doesn't have one and so no one else should (the 90s never forgets Brittany).
My point is, when people were getting married at 16, they were still (quite literally) kids. They didn't own a house or cars let alone toasters and crockpots. The traditional wedding gift was to start them off on their life together because they had quite literally nothing. So that punch bowl or china, knife set or stand mixer were super appreciated because it was stuff they didn't have and really truly needed.
Today, a lot of people are getting married much older after they have established their lives, discovered who they truly are as individuals and taken the time to properly search for the "love of their life." Obviously there is a lot of the opposite still happening and that is totally ok too! However a lot of couples I know including clients I have worked with have already bought their own home, car, coffee-maker or cow-shaped butter dish so they don't need another one. (although I'm sure if you offered to buy someone a house you wouldn't be met with much resistance). So why would you want to give someone something they already have or don't need? Isn't it terrible when you show up to the baby shower or birthday party with the same exact gift as someone else? Or when you buy something for someone as a house-warming present and they already have it sitting in their living room greeting you before they've even torn of the wrapping paper? WHY are people so desperate to give someone useless kitchen crap that they don't want!? Are these people secretly re-gifting things from their own wedding?
There have been studies that have shown that spending money on experiences, instead of stuff actually leads to more happiness. Besides, there are shows called Hoarders, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Hoarders: Family secrets, and Long Island Medium (which has nothing to do with hoarding or stuff but is horrifying and sad in it's own unique way). But there are none called, "I regret traveling and having new experiences and seeing the world and now live suffocating in the filth of my own beautiful memories".
Also, to anyone saying "well they shouldn't have spent so much money on their wedding and instead saved it up for a vacation"
People are allowed to spend however much they want on whatever they want as long as it doesn't hurt other people and no matter how emotional you get about it, it really isn't hurting you either. If that was really your argument you wouldn't believe in wedding gifts at all. "They shouldn't have spent that money on their wedding so they could afford their own damn measuring spoons, I'm not contributing to this!" Have you ever thought that maybe the wedding is the only 2 weeks they can take off from work so it's less of a budget thing and more of a scheduling thing? Last but not least, have you ever considered that it's none of your damn business how much they've spent and if you really think it's an abomination then just don't go to the wedding and contribute to the budget? Because I'll tell you something, 99% of my clients care more about their guests comfort and happiness than their own on their wedding day. They wouldn't be paying $150 a plate for you to sit in air conditioning, drink from an open bar and mock the people who the day is all about if they didn't care.
So please, grumpy people of the internet, if you can take anything away from this blog post, just put that $100 towards the couple parasailing in the Bahamas, ok? I promise you'll see pictures of that online before you see the monogrammed cheese board you opted for instead. Or donate that $100 to the charity that they have chosen, even if you hate children or animals or cancer patients, just suck it up and do that instead, ok?
Or if you really just cannot bring yourself to give them a gift other than the waffle-maker you've been saving in the basement for exactly this occasion then wrap it up and give it to them if it will otherwise create a deep, cavernous void in your life. Ok? Give them the damn waffle-maker and go on with your life but I hope you also volunteer to clean that thing after every use. Seriously, does anyone have any tips? I think I'll be eating fragments of year-old waffles for the rest of my life.