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We Need to Get Rid of Wedding Gifts

Now, from looking at the title, I don’t want anyone to think I’m a hater. This blog is called 29 to Life, so I’m speaking from the perspective of a 33-year-old woman, with mostly good friends also in their 30s.

A lot of folks are getting married and I’ve been attending a bunch of weddings over the last few years, and what’s really annoying me now is grown people, not young 20s, but grown people have gone beyond wanting better new stuff as seen in their registries, but to asking people straight up to crowdfund their honeymoon.

I’ve decided registries have become the adult version of the Nickelodeon Toy Run, but the products just show up to your house instead of you running through the store.

On top of that, to make sure everyone is able to give a gift according to their budget, I’ve seen a “tiered” approach, where the bride and groom have registries at Target, then Macy’s, and then Crate and Barrel or Williams Sonoma or whatever high-end place.

So I was telling some friends that most people who have destination weddings these days don’t even ask for a gift because of the expense of the guest’s travel and lodging. And that’s cool.

But getting to my original point. I actually don’t mind younger people just getting out of school or couples seriously just starting out and trying to build their home, actually having registries. I think it’s nice to help people start off their union in their new homes in a smooth way with the items they need to make their house a home. It totally makes sense.

I’ve been reading some articles to see where all of this came from, and that was the original premise. People used to be very young when they got married, so usually the gifts were given for that purpose or it was part of a young woman’s dowry.

There were even baskets for the bride, filled with items she’d need to help keep house that she’d take with her on moving day.

Totally functional. But this exercise of giving gifts in value based on how much your plate may cost at the reception, or people telling folks they have to get items from the registry only, defeats the true purpose of gift-giving. Which truly comes from the heart.

I do have an interesting suggestion that if people wanted to give me gifts, aside from money.

I think people think of the wedding so much, people don’t think of the marriage. The mundane days. The days where you need to power through. And on those days, it wouldn’t hurt to reach into your bridal bucket for the following things:
Let’s be real. These are things I think are awesome and as a 33-year-old with too much crap anyway in my house, I’d want:

1. Housekeeping Services. For any busy couple, this would totally come in handy. Modern couples should be sharing the load, and to be able to hire a housekeeper to do the heavy lifting, that could totally kill a potential argument about a dirty dish left in the sink.

2. Babysitting Services. This one is going to go with number 3. If you’re good with kids, you may want to help the couple out when they are in need of a date night. It’s a relief, when the village of loved ones step in to help take care of the little ones.

3. Gift Certificates to Restaurants and movie theaters. Once again, busy modern couples don’t always feel like cooking, and enjoy going out every now and then. Treat the new couple to a few dinners and movies, so they can switch it up from Netflixing and chilling.

4. Subscriptions to Plated or Blue Apron. There are a lot of cool subscriptions to places that give you all of the ingredients to make great restaurant quality meals at home. Some couples really enjoy cooking together. Give them the chance to try something new without spending hours in the grocery store trying to find that one random item that doesn’t seem to be in the aisle that actually makes sense.

5. Couples Massage treatments. Now, I was irritated by couples who ask for this during their honeymoon, but I think it’s a great gift for AFTER the honeymoon is over and when the reality of life sets in.

6. Couples Therapy. You may think it’s totally personal, and bordering on rude. That’s only if you think therapy suggests folks are in trouble, rather than working on maintenance. But if there were gift certificates for that, I think it’s a cool idea, if the couple isn’t sensitive and open-minded. It may be a good idea, just like a physical or a teeth cleaning to start off with couple’s therapy to get a tune up on the goals of your marriage, to have a third-party remind you of your expectations you have of one another and to just explore ways to grow. I’m studying public health, which lives and breathes by prevention. So why not apply the same to your marriage. It’s a big deal.

7. Plane tickets to cities where out-of-town friends and family live. Now, I think this is a super dope idea. I love visiting my loved ones and it always revitalizes me. But I’m used to traveling solo, which is less costly. My sister tends to not travel as much because it’s expensive traveling with a family. There’s nothing like the gift of quality time. If it seems like you never see the couple, now they have no excuse you paid for their ticket! They just need to take the time off. (Now you know how close you are to the couple, so I don’t recommend this for everyone. LOL)

So yes, it’s time to get with the times on both ends. Older, established couples should be marrying each other and not married to the idea of antiquated registries, trying to live out their dreams of getting cool stuff that they wouldn’t buy for themselves. Instead, we should rethink our gift-giving for couples, and really give gifts that would help couples get closer and keep their sanity after this life-changing event. Houses that you don’t have to clean, will make the loving last longer… so I’m told… wink!


I’m not the only one. Check out these articles.

From Slate


From Racked.com


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One thought on “We Need to Get Rid of Wedding Gifts

  1. I completely agree.

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