by Mark Kingsdorf, Master Bridal Consultant


I thought today, July 4th – was the perfect day to address this issue.

The Declaration of Independence insures certain unalienable rights, Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It says NOTHING about Wedding Gifts!

Recently in the news there have been several situations where brides called out wedding guests – on FACEBOOK because they didn’t like the wedding gifts they received.


In each case the bride called out the acquaintance {both cases claimed not to be very close} because they didn’t like the gift – one was a gift basket and the other a check for $100.

Both felt that in light of the relationship with the couple and their own personal, financial situation – which they felt the bride and groom were not aware of – they gave what was appropriate and what they could afford.

In each case the bride told them they the gift didn’t pay for the value of the meal they served and it cost them money to have them as a guest; that they were going to be in debt because of their lack of generosity.


I’m sitting here, jaw hanging open. Shaking. My. Head.

This is just wrong on so many levels.

In no particular order….

Everyone keeps sighting that etiquette dictates that a gift be on the value of the meal served – WRONG. A gift is a gift. It’s given out of love, based on what the couple can afford and to some extent the closeness of the relationship {because we all feel we HAVE TO give more when we are related}.

In my parent’s day, people gauged how much cash to give by the approximate cost of the meal – I get it, everyone lived in the same neighborhood where they grew up. Aunts, uncles, cousins all stayed within a few blocks, all attended the wedding and the reception was in the neighborhood – church basement, fire hall or local banquet room – and the reception cost $25 a person!

Fast forward: the honor of attending the wedding of an acquaintance could be 3,000 miles away and require airfare for two, hotel rooms, renting a car, meals, a baby sitter and a gift.

We get that the reception could be expensive. But it’s a party to celebrate your new relationship – {ideally hosted for you not by you!} NOT a money making proposition!

 If it is try selling 50/50 tickets at the reception and see how that goes. OR print the cost of the entrée on the RSVP and see how many friends and family choose to attend. {SARCASM}

You should only invite those people you really want at the wedding, because you love them and want them to be part of your special occasion…not because you expect a gift of a certain monetary value.

And it is NEVER appropriate to call out someone because you didn’t like the gift or value of the gift they gave to you.