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IS this now a thing for bridal showers

Calliecake

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 7, 2014
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7,862
@MamaBee, This sounds like the perfect solution for the shower.

@nala, We are friends with the grooms parents and I’ve known the groom since he was a very small child. I agree with it being a very happy time in their lives and it’s nice to celebrate these occasions with a gift.
 

Rhea

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 20, 2007
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6,369
We didn't have a shower, they weren't a thing here and hopefully still aren't. Friends had engagement parties and those are normally house parties or in a pub, and it's just a gathering of friend and maybe a token gift, it's more of a reason to see friends and celebrate than to give gifts.

I like registries, no matter what they're for, they make it easy. Friends did a honeymoon registry and it was so easy. I don't see it as different to any other registry.

We started with nothing and registered at a large, national department store but very few people wanted to buy off there. Instead we ended up unique gifts but nothing to eat off of or with. The unique gifts were given to charity shops. We had a very small 1-bed flat, no where to store these things, and what on earth were we doing to do with 6 photo albums (more than 17 year later we have 1 printed photo in our house, no albums), various crystal flutes, and fancy entertaining dishes when we didn't have a dining table and our only seating was a love seat because the flat was so small. We lived there for nearly 4 years.

I like it when a couple makes things easy. If I don't want to give a gift, I don't. If I wanted to buy something not on the registry, I would. But I love a couple who just says what they want rather than me feeling the need to buy something and it getting donated. None of our friends or family were well off and I dread to think how much they spent on gifts we guiltily stored for a couple years only to give away when enough was enough for tripping over them in our shoebox of a flat.
 

chemgirl

Ideal_Rock
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Sep 16, 2009
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2,309
I’m with you @YadaYadaYada it all sounds so grabby. Fortunately, we’ve only been to 2 weddings in the recent years, both children of our best friends. They both already had homes, so didn’t need ‘stuff’, (didn’t have ‘showers’ I don’t know if that’s a thing here yet). When their son got married, we asked if they needed anything particular, and we gave them the money for it, and when their daughter got married, they said IF people wanted to gift them anything, they’d appreciate money towards their honeymoon.

I’m sure I’m completely out of touch with the way things are today, but if we were invited to a wedding of an acquaintance and asked to pay for our food, we simply wouldn’t go.

To be fair it’s rare that a couple will explicitly ask for you to pay for your meal (I’m sure that it happens though because people can be tacky). It’s more of an etiquette thing. We mentally come up with an approximate cost per person considering the venue and meal options, and then at a minimum we cover that cost.

At the same time I’m in no position to judge etiquette and tackiness because I might be guilty of taking money out of the envelope after realizing that an acquaintance’s wedding at a ritzy venue had a cash bar.
 

maryjane04

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 21, 2013
Messages
1,228
I don't understand bridal showers...here in Aus they aren't really a thing (yet) but I've just been invited to one, and don't know what to bring, if there's an expectation to bring a gift! I bought champagne glasses, as the bride and groom have a house together already. They had an engagement party, which is pretty par for course here, and of course the wedding in 6 weeks, so I'm a bit baffled as to why another gift-giving event needs to take place. I suppose as they just aren't commonplace here, I don't get them! I never had baby showers for my kids either, I felt uncomfortable with the notion of asking people to a party and bringing gifts for the occupant of my tummy!

Omg @Dandi I feel the same way. Engagement, bridal shower/hens party, wedding. I had a close friend get married a few years ago and by the time her wedding came around I spent more than 1k on her. Even without gifts there was a cost for these activities as well.

Then babies.. gender reveal, baby shower (I think I'm missing an event somewhere here) but it's so overdone. I think there are too many gift grabbing opportunities. And with the whole covid situation I'd just like to scale back to the basics.
 

telephone89

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 29, 2014
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3,949
Add me to the "its tacky" list. Additional reasons I find it tacky:
-The websites take a cut of the $
-You don't actually get them whatever they registered for, they are cut a cheque. So no, you aren't buying them a snorkeling in the bahamas, they tricked you into that, but actually just get a cheque (less the fees).

People know money is a good gift. If you don't need "stuff", thats fine, don't register. Trying to trick people into thinking they are actually giving you something is not cool IMO. But I'm quite a stickler on that sort of thing!
 

monarch64

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 12, 2005
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18,076
My opinion on the honeymoon fund has changed dramatically over the last 15 years. I used to think it was tacky. But I’ve come to realize that my younger peers value experiences over material things. And that times have changed—people often already have been living together and have all the things they need for everyday living. China and crystal and silver will always be timeless gifts but not every couple has a formal dining room with a table that seats 12 requiring all those place settings.
I am happy to contribute towards whatever it is that makes the couple happy these days. Life is too short to remain stuck in old ways and customs just for the sake of etiquette or posterity or …whatever. So, please accept my monetary contribution towards your beautiful trip to commemorate the start of your marriage, and I look forward to seeing lots of fun pics on your socials, and less junk in the landfills in 50 years.
 

yssie

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Millenial here. Married young, year after uni. Living together in the typical “IKEA is a splurge” fashion of broke grad students. Amongst other things we registered for fine china - since we already had crystal (my side) and sterling (his side).

I’m not seeing how asking people to kindly donate several thousand dollars of tableware, kitchen frivolities, and kitschy bath linens is supposed to be less gauche than asking people to kindly donate to a married couple’s first holiday. All gift requests are grabby and tacky - seems pointless to nitpick one form of tackiness over the other!

Our grandparents were delighted to get us the china, for whatever that’s worth.
 

Jambalaya

Ideal_Rock
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Oct 2, 2014
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In my day, people did buy the couple things for the house, and I believe wedding registries evolved to avoid the six-toasters scenario. And without them, you end up with a hodge-podge of stuff. Some posters said that registries are tacky, but I think they're very practical.

I haven't been to a wedding in years, but even if a couple had a home already, I wouldn't begrudge buying them home stuff from a registry. Maybe it's a chance to get some really lovely Wedgwood china that they couldn't justify getting for themselves, or maybe some of their old stuff is getting worn.

I guess I see getting home stuff as a way of supporting their marriage. My ex-husband and I didn't live together before marriage, and we used the hell out of the things we got from our wedding registry. They made our home so much nicer than it would have been otherwise, and there was a coherence about our domestic stuff that there wouldn't have been otherwise. I still use the vast majority of it today. One of the bath towels is on its last legs and is frayed all down one side, so I think it might have to go. Fourteen years of service!

If a couple wanted a contribution toward a honeymoon, I would be fine with that. Helping give them a lovely honeymoon also supports their marriage.
 

maryjane04

Brilliant_Rock
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Nov 21, 2013
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Millenial here. Married young, year after uni. Living together in the typical “IKEA is a splurge” fashion of broke grad students. Amongst other things we registered for fine china - since we already had crystal (my side) and sterling (his side).

I’m not seeing how asking people to kindly donate several thousand dollars of tableware, kitchen frivolities, and kitschy bath linens is supposed to be less gauche than asking people to kindly donate to a married couple’s first holiday. All gift requests are grabby and tacky - seems pointless to nitpick one form of tackiness over the other!

Our grandparents were delighted to get us the china, for whatever that’s worth.

I'm all for gifting whatever the couple wishes. It's just the frequency of it that is starting to annoy me. From engagements, to bridal showers/bachelor parties and then to weddings. That's my only frustration with the number of events I'm expected to attend.
 

missy

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I'm all for gifting whatever the couple wishes. It's just the frequency of it that is starting to annoy me. From engagements, to bridal showers/bachelor parties and then to weddings. That's my only frustration with the number of events I'm expected to attend.

Same. In our social circles money is the gift one gives to weddings. We also only had one occasion where we accepted gifts. Our wedding. We threw an informal party when we got engaged but explicitly told everyone no gifts please. We didn't want every occasion to celebrate happy news to turn into a gift giving event.

I have attended bridal showers, engagement parties and weddings all for the same couple/friends and yeah it is a bit much. It does seem like a gift grab. 3 different gift occasions for one marriage all within a few months of the other? But, we can only control what we do so we did not do this.

For the record if I attend the event (bridal shower, engagement party) and gifts are requested I always give a gift they request be it cash or off their registry. Fortunately most of our friends are happily married and we don't have many weddings or showers to attend anymore. :)

Just to add I am always happy to celebrate a happy occasion. Always. And I am always happy to give the couple exactly what they want. Be it cash, contributing towards their honeymoon fund, whatever they want. A gift is for the couple receiving it. Not for the people giving it. Give what they want to receive and not what you deem appropriate to give.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2012
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Ugh, it's all too much! The weddings I've enjoyed the most, by far, have been the rare small, cozy, low key ones. For example, the type a pregnant teenager would probably have had when you were in high school or the type people used to have for their second or third weddings. Like, one bridesmaid and a house party with up to a couple dozen people, the people they are really close to. A gift registry available but no instructions from the potential giftees.

With babies, I liked the old way of a baby shower for a first baby only, again with a gift registry for the gift givers to consult or not as they choose. And no gender reveal party, additional organized event after the baby is born, "push present" discussion (kind of gross name there imo) or making me look at pictures of a fetus.

That's how I feel about it all personally but I just do whatever is asked.
 

yssie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I might be living under a rock :lol: I read about things like gender reveal parties and baby showers for number three but I’ve never been invited to such things!

I can’t do no gifts. Maybe that’s rude and presumptuous of me? But giving a newlywed couple or parents-to-be something to celebrate their new journey seems like the only appropriate thing to do. I’m not opposed to gifting unsexy things like diapers and wipes and food delivery vouchers.
 

Tarquin

Rough_Rock
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Sep 8, 2015
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68
TBH--if you are already set up in a house--why the bridal shower?
I would throw an engagement party and request no gifts--just a party.

I thought the point of bridal and baby showers was to gift people things they needed?

Yes this is the question. Bridal showers are supposed to help a couple set up their household. The entertainment at a bridal shower is supposed to be watching the bride unwrap the presents.

Asking for money at a bridal shower is just crass.
 

Tarquin

Rough_Rock
Joined
Sep 8, 2015
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Here’s my question—especially if you don’t appreciate the registry or honeymoon fund request: Would you show up to a wedding— knowing the couple spent time and effort to show you a great time— empty-handed? Wouldn’t you want to be just as considerate of the couple by giving them a gift they would actually appreciate? And not just taking a chance that they might like your “thoughtful” gift bc you have no idea what they want?
I think the idea of etiquette goes both ways. Yes not cool to request but even more uncool to give a crappy gift. It’s a given that gifts will be given so you might as well stop with the pretenses and request what you want.

To me there is a big difference in requesting cash gifts for the wedding and cash gifts for a bridal shower. I'm fine with the first, would simply decline an invite to the second.
 
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Tarquin

Rough_Rock
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Sep 8, 2015
Messages
68
I might be living under a rock :lol: I read about things like gender reveal parties and baby showers for number three but I’ve never been invited to such things!

I can’t do no gifts. Maybe that’s rude and presumptuous of me? But giving a newlywed couple or parents-to-be something to celebrate their new journey seems like the only appropriate thing to do. I’m not opposed to gifting unsexy things like diapers and wipes and food delivery vouchers.

I would never go to a shower or wedding and not bring a gift. It would be very tacky.
 

seaurchin

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 2, 2012
Messages
2,135
I think there are kinda two separate "systems" or whatever you'd call it. People no longer tend to go right from their parents' homes with nothing of their own and needing the family and community to help them get set up in life.

So one newer way is that if the couple already has their basics or means to get them, then the guests pay for whatever else the couple may want.

The other way is that if the couple is already that advanced, then they should pay for whatever they want themselves and not expect any real financial assistance with these "wants, not needs."

So depending on which way you're going with, the other way can look strange and wrong.
 
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W

westofhere

Guest
My fav niece married this summer. They’re 28, lived together in an apartment for years, and bought a house six months before the wedding.

For the bridal shower, which was for their young friends as the older generation weren’t in their town (we flew in the next week for the wedding), they did no gifts. For the wedding, they did a honeymoon fund. The young friends got them small gifts; we middle aged and elderly folks funded the honeymoon, and did so happily. The couple is solvent, proudly did the house downpayment without a dime of family help, but we all knew that’s where their disposable income will be going for the near future as they find out all the ways home ownership is spendier than one realizes before you actually go through it. The honeymoon is set for winter break, and I keep trying to convince them to go sooner, or SOMETHING will come up house-wise and that honeymoon fund will disappear!

There’s no way I could have afforded Hawaii when I was their age (I was in grad school). I was happy to help out, and glad not to be buying them useless stuff.
 
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