Is it ever reasonable to demand a bigger wedding present?

Nope, nope, nope, definitely not

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By Caroline O'Donoghue on

It is an assertion that is both horribly sexist and unfortunately true that some (some – not all) women get a bit crazy around their wedding day. 

We can ponder long and hard about why this might be the case. You may, for example, be spending £300 on chair ribbons because society has told you that your wedding is the pinnacle of human achievement and a part of you has internalised that. You may be spending your weekends putting Jordan almonds into tiny velvet bags because of the anxiety Instagram has taught you to have around party favours.

What I'm saying is there are any number of totally batshit things you can do in the name of your wedding and I will not judge you for it. 

Here is where I draw the line: if you expect anyone outside of you and your partner to contribute to the financial cost of the wedding, you are garbage. Accepting a cash gift willingly given is one thing and, if your parents want to contribute, that is wonderful. But, if you get to a place where you expect somebody else to pay for a thing that is for you, when you make your own money, you need to put the phone down. You need to go outside. You need to unwrap your £150 bridal lingerie and throw it into the nearest well. You need to delete Instagram and you need to check your goddamn privilege. 

I bring this up in the wake of the latest pearl that has been thrown up by the Mumsnet sea. The following was posted on May 6: 

Who is this woman? I demand to know. Most women I know will accept a half-eaten jar of jam as a wedding present and then beat themselves up when, six months later, they still haven't sent a thank-you card. Who is this person, who is sending crisp, elegantly worded emails to her guests (her GUESTS!) about how much money she deems appropriate to be gifted in return for getting married? I am a mix of uniquely horrified and deeply impressed, the way you are when you watch a serial-killer documentary.  

Not that I need to remind anyone reading this, but the act of attending a wedding can often be as expensive and stressful as throwing it. Particularly when you consider just how many people are having "destination weddings", the destination usually being some place where they shot the sunny bits in Game Of Thrones and only has one weekly flight out of Luton airport. If anyone – parent, guest, kindly passing millionaire – decides to give you a cash gift on top of the expense they are already taking up to attend your wedding, that person is on the top of your Nice List for ever, regardless of how much money they gave you. In this highly changeable world of internet politics, this is one issue I am happy to nail my colours to the mast on. 

Interestingly, The Telegraph ran the following poll on their site:

Find that one per cent, my friends, and you've found the key to cracking this whole case. The Case Of The Woman Who Asked Her Wedding Guests For More Money.


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