The florist brings the wrong flowers. The band fails to show up. The food is cold or not what you ordered. Service is erratic. These are but a few of the complaints traditionally voiced about weddings.
But a new grievance seems to be emerging. Call it Brazen Bride Syndrome. So far there are only two known cases, but a trend may be emerging that signals a new era of candor. Or incivility.
Last weekend I attended a wedding of a not-close friend with my boyfriend and as a gift we gave $100 cash. This was generous considering my financial situation. I just finished university with $40,000 in student loans, and have only found part time (12-18 hrs per week) minimum wage work. I gave as much as I could and attended to show my support.
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The guest received a written response from the bride. But instead of the customary “thank you” note, the bride sent what might be more appropriately termed a “blank you” note. Here it is, all grammatical and stylistic infelicities intact:
Hi Tanya, how are you? I just want to know is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mike’s and I wedding that both you and Phil gave 50$ each? In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn’t expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well. As I know you both live together and work, so I did not see any reason for that amount, when it comes to your wedding hopefully you’ll know what I mean. I hope for the best as from what we receive is what we will give back. Anyways, good luck on everything.
A similar exchange occurred in late June. This time the gift was a wicker basket filled with an assortment of fanciful foods. Appended to it was a card reading, “Life is delicious… Enjoy.” The bride used a little more tact this time, claiming that she was glucose-intolerant and asking for a receipt. When none was forthcoming, a second note followed, informing the giver that “people give envelopes [containing cash].” The note went on to state, “I’m not sure if it’s the first wedding you have been to, but for your next wedding… I lost out on $200 covering you and your dates [sic] plate.”
It needs to be pointed out to both brides that wedding invitations are not capital investments. You don’t — or certainly shouldn’t — invite guests based on the likelihood that they will bring expensive gifts. But maybe that’s all changing. Stay tuned.
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