Further Evidence That Greedy People Exploit Their Weddings For Material Gain

by admin on January 8, 2014

I recently received an wedding invitation in the mail, and when I saw it, I immediately thought of your site.

The invitation was pretty standard: names of the bride and groom and their parents, time, date, and address of the ceremony and reception, etc. There was a little poem one of them had written (I assume) about how they met and their courtship. All pretty normal. Then on the back there was one more little poem which read:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
We can’t wait
To spend this day with you!

We’re tyin’ the knot,
Our love is true.
We’re registered at [Store A]
And [Store B] too!

Dishes are fine,
Towels are dicey.
Anythings good,
as long as it’s pricey!

I was floored. I am not close to the couple (we were acquaintances at church, but not much more than that), so I chose not attend. Needless to say, I did not send a gift either.  1228-13

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat January 8, 2014 at 10:13 am

I give them points for their honesty. At least you know exactly why you were invited. I cannot understand why these people don’t just send you a bill and be done with it.

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Wild Irish Rose January 8, 2014 at 10:14 am

People like this don’t deserve gifts or the generosity of their friends and family. I’ll never understand why people think it’s okay to dress up demands in a cutesy form, as if that’s going to make them seem less demanding.

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Lo January 8, 2014 at 10:28 am

Don’t you love when people chose this method gift grabbing?

It’s like they’re counting on you being distracted by a cutesy poem so you won’t notice a shakedown. What a high opinion of their marks, excuse me, “guests”, they must have.

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Wild Irish Rose January 9, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Marks. Ha ha ha!

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InNM January 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

There is a comedienne who goes by the nickname Pricey (her full name is Rachel Price). I would send her a photo of Pricey in a cheap frame.
Give them what they want, right?

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NostalgicGal January 9, 2014 at 1:24 am

Love your suggestion!

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amydkw January 8, 2014 at 10:59 am

WOW!!…. that is all I can say.

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Kimstu January 8, 2014 at 11:37 am

Cripes. I thought those super tacky badly written gimme-gimme poems were only used to coyly indicate that the couple wanted cash INSTEAD of gifts. Why would anyone bother with one just to inform their guests that they have a wedding gift registry, which presumably would be everyone’s default assumption anyway?

Looking on the bright side, at least these dreadful little poems make it easy to decline an invitation without regret. They might as well be marked in bright hazard-orange with the words “WARNING: THIS EVENT WILL BE A THOROUGHLY TACKY AND SYNTHETIC WEDDING-INDUSTRY SIMULATION OF AN ACTUAL JOYOUS CELEBRATION”.

Please come to our wedding,
It’ll be quite a bash!
Don’t forget to bring presents,
or preferably cash!

Alas, it does get quite costly
to host such a fete,
Our thoughtful guests will make sure
their gift will “cover their plate”!

Our hearts filled with love
we are longing to share,
Put a bill in our wishing well
To see a kiss by the happy pair!

We hope these fun traditions
will cause no offense,
To embarrass any of our dear ones
is very far from our intents;

Only your presence, not your presents,
means more to us than we can tell you!
(And if you believe that,
then there’s a bridge we’d like to sell you.)

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Wild Irish Rose January 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm

Brilliant!

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Harley Granny January 8, 2014 at 11:38 am

While I’m one of the few that like registries, this is so way over the top. I wouldn’t send a gift either.

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Nannerdoman January 8, 2014 at 11:41 am

“Anything’s good/As long as it’s pricey”?

The gift-grabbiness is worse than the “poetry”, but not by much. Your response was absolutely correct. With any luck, it will spare you the ootsy-wootsy pwecious poem for the baby shower.

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Angel January 8, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I can’t stand gift shakedowns disguised as cute little poems. Not classy at all. Yuck!!! Although at least they are honest–it definitely makes the decision not to attend or give a gift much easier.

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Ashley January 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

At least you got a poem! I once got an invite that had a small label-similar to what you see in fortune cookies-that had printed on it “The Couple Request Gifts Cards!!!! :)”

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clairedelune January 8, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Towels are “dicey”??? I’d be tempted to give them towels just to see what would happen!

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No Wedding January 9, 2014 at 8:58 am

And really what is wrong with towels? I don’t think I’ve ever given them as a present (I’ve given fancy picture frames a lot, bet this couple would hate that too) but I’ve been given towels as a gift before. And even if you’re lukewarm about receiving them, you know you will be using those suckers at some point, unlike some of the expensive items typically on registries.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 11:40 am

I’ve given towels and got some too! I love them!

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Wild Irish Rose January 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I’ve been married almost 28 years and I need towels NOW! I’ll try to come up with a poem containing my address so you will all know where to send them . . . .

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psyche January 8, 2014 at 1:45 pm

@Cat: Simple: nobody will come if they’re blatant about it!

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Cat January 9, 2014 at 10:25 am

And this wasn’t blatant? Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink, elbow to ribs-I love being subtle.
It’s so touching when these couples make the transition from “momma’s little pumpkins” to “black hole who needs money”.

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NostalgicGal January 9, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Oh Cat, truer hasn’t been typed recently!!!!!

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June First January 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Why do people think this is a good idea?! Who is telling engaged couples that this is the way to write invitations??

Unfortunately, I have a similar story to submit about a bachelorette party invitation. I will be submitting it this week, since a reasonable amount of time has passed since I received it. (The bride and I are casual friends, but there’s really no chance she’d visit this site.)

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Anonymouse January 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Lots of people, when my husband and I were planning our wedding, his dispatcher’s wife (who we were meeting for the first time at a Christmas party) recited a similar poem to put in our invitations, as well as telling us about how she returned all their gifts for the refund. Another woman I worked with (who had started about a week before this conversation) suggested a cash bar and fees for plates, in addition to notes in the invites asking for cash.

It did not occur to either one of them that their actions would be rude or upsetting to anyone.

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InNM January 9, 2014 at 1:22 am

A fee for plates? Can no one just host a party and eat the costs anymore? What if you can’t afford the fees? Do you starve?

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Lo January 9, 2014 at 9:02 am

When I got married people who I know are not rude, who I know are not entitled, and who I know are not trying to exploit anyone were telling us left and right to make sure to mention the registry in the invitation because everyone is just dying to give you gifts and can’t wait to do so. Luckily no one mentioned a poem.

We even had people tell us when I initially didn’t want to register, “Oh good for you that way you’ll get cash!” People just DON’T KNOW anymore. They’re clueless. The mean well but they’re totally clueless.

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AthenaC January 10, 2014 at 11:19 am

“People just DON’T KNOW anymore. They’re clueless. They mean well but they’re totally clueless.”

Agree 100%. Recently my husband and I had a small celebration for our convalidation (our sacramental marriage) after being legally married for a few years. If there’s any circumstance where it should be completely obvious that WE ARE NOT EXPECTING GIFTS, this would be it I would think.

But I still had this conversation with a friend before the event:

Friend: So where are you guys registered?

Me: ??? We’re not.

Friend: So you guys want money then?

Me: ??!! No, we don’t want any gifts! We’re just using the convalidation as an excuse to get everyone together and have a fun party.

Friend: But we need to at least cover the cost of our plate – that’s common etiquette.

At that point someone interrupted the conversation, so that’s where it ended. And I was completely floored a week later when we opened a handful of cards from people and they actually gave us money. (!) I was blown away by their generosity but also felt bad thinking they felt they were expected to give us something.

On top of that, the social ringleader for our group comes from a culture where it’s NOT rude to discuss money and expectations for gifts, so I’m wondering if he had anything to do with this. At one point during the planning he tried to convince me to plan a more elaborate party than I wanted to pay for with the rationale that “people will give you money so that should offset the cost.” (!)

So on second thought, maybe it’s a combination of well-intentioned cluelessness and cultures clashing / meshing.

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Ashley January 8, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Well at least they let you know WHY you were being invited…

I hate when people try to hide selfish behavior in something cute. Oooo look, we wrote a cute poem, give us money…blah.

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La January 8, 2014 at 4:08 pm

It’s somehow more tacky than just being outright with it…

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AIP January 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Maybe they thought they were being funny?

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Tracy January 8, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Just remember, anything’s appropriate as long as it rhymes. (rolls eyes)

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cookiemonster January 8, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I got a non-invite to a wedding once. It basically said we’re sorry we can’t invite you because the venue is so small, but here’s where the couple is registered. Now, here’s the thing you don’t expect: these people were NOT wedding vultures. Both of their families were frugal, do it yourselfers,deeply religious, very hardworking, the kids were good, clean, fun people–and the wedding was all kept within their budget…right down to the bride making her own dress (a very simple dressy dress, but all told she may have spent $50 on it), the bridesmaids wore their “sunday best” dresses instead of buying new gowns, picked flowers from the backyard, and had a very simple cake/punch reception outside on the church lawn. They were not being cheap–they really had very little money and felt spending it on frivolous items was not the right thing to do. So, I finally got the courage to approach the MOG about the invite, and because we were good friends, felt comfortable enough asking her about the part of where the couple was registered and didn’t she think that telling me where they were registered was wrong when I was NOT invited to the wedding. She was speechless. She said she did not know that was wrong. She said she had always thought it was an appropriate thing to do because everyone did it and she honestly thought people would want to give presents even though they couldn’t fit them into the venue (it was one of those closed down country chapels that only had 10 pews in it). I mean, I left this woman sobbing because she had NO clue there was anything wrong. I think some people honestly don’t know because these things are so common, so it must be right. :-)

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cookiemonster January 8, 2014 at 4:57 pm

And to add to this, the MOG said that everyone had understood why they couldn’t be invited to the wedding (the building was very important to the bride and she HAD to have her wedding there) and that only very close family was invited–but they still wanted to give a present and where were they registered? So many people kept asking, so that’s why they went ahead and told everyone on the “announcements” (that’s what they called them, I called them a “non-invite”)

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NostalgicGal January 9, 2014 at 1:30 am

I’d give them a crumb of didn’t know for this but it still wasn’t the most graceful way around it. At least hold an informal backyard reception afterwards if you are putting out non-invites. Maybe a ‘we would like you to come meet the new couple’ notice… would have been less awkward.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 5:05 am

That works until they presumed people who hadn’t asked should be told – that’s when they started what I think the Admin calls ‘pulling’. People who asked were ‘pushing’ generosity, which is fine; then they went ‘pulling’ ie fishing for gifts by sending these out to other people.

And I have to say, it’s got to be a LOT more effort to have these ‘announcements’ printed and sent out than just to tell people as they ask. This just sounds like a made-up excuse to hide poor manners.

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kingsrings January 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm

I also experienced this last year with a friend who is the nicest, sweetest, most well-mannered person alive! She was getting married in a small venue (someone’s backyard) and thus couldn’t invite all of her friends to their wedding. So she invited those of us she wasn’t very close to the reception only, which was fine. But on the invite to us reception-only people, it said where they were registered in case we wanted to buy them a present. It was disheartening to see such tacky behavior from someone you would never expect that from. It just shows that bad wedding etiquette is so prevalent that even the nicest people are guilty of it.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 5:00 am

“she honestly thought people would want to give presents even though they couldn’t fit them into the venue”

Well, if they want to then they will. They don’t need to be sent a non-invite effectively asking to be bought a present, they’d just buy something of their own accord or ask.

I think these poems are so childish. They’re always written in that cute, ‘baby wants new shoes’ language, for an adult couple choosing to marry, and every time I get one now, I ignore it.

I’ve also noticed that when a couple uses a babyish little poem in their wedding invitations, the chances are much, much higher that they won’t thank anyone afterwards. Coincidence?

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Kimstu January 9, 2014 at 11:27 am

The “non-invite” itself, explicitly stating “we’re sorry we can’t invite you because the venue is so small”, is catastrophically rude even WITHOUT the gift registry information. So is telling ANYBODY about a bridal couple’s registry or gift preferences, whether they’re invited to the wedding or not, except in response to a direct request for information.

Yes, the hosts doubtless meant well, but good intentions alone don’t guarantee good manners. It is NEVER polite to draw people’s attention to the fact that you’re not inviting them to your party, even if you’re just trying to reassure them that you still like them anyway. Nor is it polite to assume that they’ll want to give you a present, even if you ARE inviting them to your party.

Furthermore, even proper printed wedding announcements without the rude “sorry you’re not invited” wording should NOT be sent to people close enough to find out about your marriage through ordinary personal contact. Announcements are for distant relatives, acquaintances, and others on or near the fringes of your holiday-card list who might be interested to know of your marriage but would be unlikely to find out unless specifically told.

It’s actually somewhat discourteous to send formal wedding announcements to friends and close family, even if they weren’t invited to the wedding, because it implies they’re relegated to the “distant contact” category. If you want to tell those people about your marriage you do so in an individual personal conversation/letter/email/phone call or however you normally keep in touch with them.

What a pity that these otherwise responsible and conscientious wedding hosts made themselves look so tacky by focusing on their own self-centered assumptions, instead of true courtesy and thoughtfulness for others.

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Wild Irish Rose January 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I would like to add that etiquette dictates invitations go out BEFORE the wedding, and announcements are sent AFTER.

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Meegs January 8, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Some people just have no shame. I am embarassed for them.

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AthenaC January 8, 2014 at 5:50 pm

…. Does this strike anyone else as a poorly-executed joke? Clearly very few people (if any) find it funny, but it just seems to me something with that tone and phrased that way is more likely to be a joke.

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Cat January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

We have seen too many of these to think it is a joke. It’s just a way of asking for lots of money or expensive gifts. One does not joke on a wedding invitation or on anything included in it.

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AthenaC January 9, 2014 at 11:26 pm

“One does not joke on a wedding invitation or on anything included in it.”

Really? Did you not see the wedding invite with the silly RSVP card?

http://living.msn.com/style-beauty/simply-chic-blog-post/?post=da258e5d-7086-498a-a7e8-6290801d178a&_p=59f67ad6-320e-4dd8-9c9c-3efbee784b68&_rp=40871576-5669-4676-add2-d3be70a8dd6b&pagebr=3

That looks like a joke to me.

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Angie January 8, 2014 at 6:11 pm

I would try to find towels that have dice on them!

Just googled. There are in fact towels that have dice on them.

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NostalgicGal January 9, 2014 at 1:31 am

Heck I have an embroidery sewing machine. If you couldn’t find towels with dice on them someone could probably embroider you up some for not much.

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Mary January 9, 2014 at 7:45 am

Then have the dice towels embroidered with their names so they can’t be regifted.

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Sarah January 9, 2014 at 7:18 pm

That is the way to do it! I think I threw up a little bit at “as long as it´s pricey” Personally I have no enormous objection to people saying that they would be happy to get cash – two households, people in their late twenties, thirties who often are home owners etc, from my side I have no shopping, wondering if they´ll like it, no wrapping an awkward present etc. However tell me that it has to be an expensive gift – no thank you! I am not sure that in my country the present is seen as unexpected – but you do give as you can afford and sometimes people cannot afford too much! My mother even regifted her own wedding presents to new couples rather than come empty handed!

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Randalf January 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

I’ll frame their invitation, circle the last line, and send it as the gift.

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Karen L January 9, 2014 at 5:09 pm

Oooh, burn!

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Marozia January 8, 2014 at 11:08 pm

Vulgar, common and disgraceful is what I say.
“Unable to attend due to prior committment” sounds very much what I would RSVP.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 5:08 am

Sadly these poems are never meant as jokes. Ever. If they were, they would not be in the wedding invitations. People who choose the jokey ones do it because they think it makes the demand inside sound less rude – they’d be horrified at writing ‘we would like money’, but they’ll use a babyish little poem with smiley faces in it (I have seen this!) asking the same thing and think it’s fine.

I have also noticed that the couples who use these poems never thank anyone. I’ve never yet had a poem where I also got a thank you, which is about 4 times now. Coincidence?

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Alie January 9, 2014 at 8:08 am

Why do people think
that if they write their
rudeness like this
that it is somehow
more socially acceptable?

I mean, you come up with three rhyming pairs and suddenly it’s okay?

This seems to be an affront to both poetry and etiquette.

We could think up a number of catty poetic responses:

This is just to Say

I am declining
the invitation
that you mailed
to my house

and which
you probably
hoped would
get you a gift

Forgive me [not really]
it was tacky
so badly done
and so rude.

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JackieJormpJomp January 9, 2014 at 9:41 am

You’re a freaking genius.

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Kirsten January 9, 2014 at 10:21 am

This sounds like the Gertrude Stein rejection letter from an editor bored of her experimental writing style:
http://www.openculture.com/2013/06/gertrude_stein_a_snarky_rejection_letter_from_publisher_1912.html

‘Only one look, one look is enough. Hardly one copy would sell here. Hardly one. Hardly one.”

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Serena January 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

Maybe its just me–especially since I do not know them– but it seems more or less like a quirky joke to me, not a plea for luxury gifts. But I don’t know, you can always look at the registry which would reveal if it was a joke or not.

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Kimstu January 9, 2014 at 11:38 am

The “anything’s good as long as it’s pricey” part was probably meant to be a joke, sure. But it’s still based on the implication “we expect you to give us a present”, which is and always will be fundamentally rude, not lighthearted fun. Greed is not funny except when you’re laughing AT the greedy person, rather than WITH them.

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AS January 9, 2014 at 1:04 pm

@Serena – these type of jokes are sometimes acceptable only with people who know you very well. And that too, sometimes acceptable. And a church acquaintance, with whom you don’t socialize outside (which is what OP was to the couple) is not someone you’d consider would know you well.

If my husband and I had sent any “poems” like this, our parents might have disowned us! And they surely know us very well!

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Cora January 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm

How about this for an RSVP:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Gift requests is tacky
So we bid you adieu.

We regret we will be unable to attend.

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NostalgicGal January 9, 2014 at 11:02 pm

[like] There, made my own button

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Jade January 16, 2014 at 12:25 am

Tremendous!

Although I would replace ‘is’ with ‘are’ in the third line. (Grammar nitpick – sorry)

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Wendy January 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

This is making me think and not in a good way. Getting married in April our invites are already out as we have interstate and international guests. Prior to sending invites I had several people ask me what I wanted/where i was registered when I said just your company/nowhere I was told flat out by several people they either wanted the registry info or a couple said you have to have a wishing well then for the money. We ended up registering with karma currency where gifts are to charity eg research for cancer or toys for shelter dogs/cats no one but our own personal information is shared and all money goes to the charity. We had a brief argument over wether to put it on the invitation or not ( I didn’t want to) we reached a compromise it went on the back of the invite with the accommodation information and a link for song requests ( I agreed to this if he agreed to send invites out early at least to our away guests) it was something like We need nothing and the pleasure of your company is all we ask for, if you feel a gift is necessary please consider supporting these charities close to our hearts ( I can’t remember the full wording but this is close) with the address for the registry. The items range from $1 to $250 most are under $100 only very few are above that even more are below $50. Have I been unforgivably rude, would you all boycott our wedding?

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Kimstu January 12, 2014 at 7:31 pm

@Wendy, it was very generous of you and your fiance to earmark your bridal registry for donations to charity, and I understand that your fiance was just helpfully trying to make things simpler and more convenient by putting the registry information on your invitations.

But your instinct is correct that this was intrinsically a rude thing to do. It is ALWAYS impolite to state or imply that you’re assuming people will want to give you presents. Even if you surround that assumption with disclaimers that you aren’t expecting anything and nobody should feel obliged to give anything and etc. etc. etc., it’s still a form of “pushing” your registry information on others rather than allowing them to “pull” it from you.

This is one of the situations where courtesy trumps efficiency. Etiquette requires that you never say a word about whether or how you want other people to give you presents (even if what you want is for them to give you NO presents!), unless they explicitly ask you about it. Then you could say something like “Oh that’s so sweet of you, in fact we are registered at Karma Currency, but all we really want is your company on our big day!” Even if you had to repeat a variant of that statement separately to every. single. guest, that’s what you should do.

That said, your faux pas is substantially mitigated by the fact that the only “gifts” you were “pushing” for were charitable contributions, and your request definitely didn’t come across as greedy! You are clearly a well-meaning and caring couple, and only an uptight prissypants on your guest list would actually try to chastise you for sending them such a request, much less invoke the nuclear option of boycotting your wedding.

File away the “never initiate any information exchange about presents for oneself” rule for future reference, but don’t waste another minute fretting about the invitation wording. Congratulations on your upcoming marriage and have a wonderful time at the wedding!!

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Wren January 11, 2014 at 10:22 am

The only time I’ve been invited to anything via one of those awful poems is to a baby shower. And I didn’t really receive the invitation personally, it was posted on the church bulletin board. The poem essentially said that the parents needed everything, but that we should give money, and money only, because it would travel so much better to where the parents were going to be moving. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

It’s true that many people do not know that some things commonly done these days are simply rude and offensive. “Everyone” is doing it so it must be okay, right? Ugh. But some people cannot be told. My daughter will be marrying in a couple of years and I have already put my foot down that we will not have a cash bar, a dollar dance or any kind of activity that would make a guest get out his or her billfold. I will not host a shower for her and she has already said she doesn’t really want one because she has an apartment full of possessions already. But try telling any of that to my husband, who is riding shotgun on the “But Everyone Does It” stagecoach to etiquette hell.

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Stacey Frith-Smith January 11, 2014 at 1:24 pm

I don’t know if the HC took leave of their senses due to a feeling of self-importance (we’re getting married!) or due to the mistaken impression that heavy handed “charm” covers a multitude of sins. In any case- take leave of them they did.

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JC January 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

Hey everyone, OP here. I’m glad everyone thinks the poem was as awful as I thought it was. Just because I was curious, I decided to look up this couple’s registries. They weren’t too bad: most items were pretty reasonable and under $30. I did have to laugh at the seven different sets of dishes, four different sets of sheets, and three or four different comforters they registered for. Oh, and the towels. Lots and lots of towels.

I guess towels weren’t that dicey after all.

Thankfully, they are moving to another state for the groom’s grad school, so I will probably never see them again. :)

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David January 12, 2014 at 5:47 am

@Wendy;

I would not boycott your wedding. Best wishes to both you and your husband-to-be.

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kingsrings January 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The sense of entitlement that some engaged couples have these days is so disheartening. So many think they’re entitled to guests covering their plates or buying them expensive gifts because they spent so much money and time planning the wedding. We even hear about angry correspondence sent to guests by the couple afterwards about gifts that don’t meet their grand expectations! And with poems like these, the couple is basically admitting they’re being rude, so they’re writing a poem to try to charm their way out of it.

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jill January 26, 2014 at 11:01 pm

When there’s nothing on the registry I can afford, I get something cheaper! If they don’t like it, they won’t invite me to their next weddings.

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Enna February 8, 2014 at 9:28 am

How tackey is that! Very off putting.

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MaudieZ February 25, 2014 at 9:10 am

OMG! I can’t believe how tacky some people can be! Absolutely outrageous!

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