Wedding Presents

I have a few friends and a family member getting married this summer. In all three cases, they’ve been living together or there’s two of them combining their houses and they have a lot of stuff.

When Ms B and I got married, we registered at Meier and Frank and they (M&F) gave us a little scanner to walk around and scan stuff for our registry. We “had” to have plates, bowls, all that stuff. But it didn’t really mean a lot to us as we went through the process. It was just this “thing” we did. What did mean a lot to us was having one person donate a platter of sandwiches, another person paying for the flowers- another person paid for the wedding dress. We felt that people were helping us get together without plunking down a bunch of cash.

So this summer, I look at this stack of invitations and I have to wonder; does this person really want a frying pan? Where did these people get registered and what do they really want? And I don’t see these other people often enough to know what to buy them. What if I just sent them cash – and did it before the wedding, so they could use it for wedding expenses.

Is that tacky? I vaguely remember someone telling me that giving cash is tacky. But as I age and as I compare my experiences with “tacky” against what other younger people are doing, I have to ask – do I really care if it’s low-class to hand out cash? Maybe it’s “tacky” to go to a reception without a present (which is the way I presented it to a friend: do you want this cash now, or a wedding present at your reception?)

I’m the first to admit that I don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around. I want people to have a great wedding day. If that means that I help pay for some flowers, then that means a lot more to me than buying them a frying pan.

I wish all my marrying friends to find the happiness that I’ve found with Ms B. What’s the best way for me to value their wedding day?

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I'm a fairly typical stressed-out dad. I'm outnumbered three to one by the women of my household, but I still manage to hold my own.

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