Almost 9 years and a Supreme Court ruling later, my partner and I are finally getting married. That still sounds so weird to actually write/say…”we’re getting married.” Those just aren’t words I ever expected to use – at least not in a truly legal sense.
Nonetheless, we’re putting a ring on it and threatening each other with genital mutilation should somehow these rings and marriage certificate begin to change things, which seems to happen in many relationships these days. Considering the fact that I want to live forever and my genitals are still fairly important to me (they have at least 20 good years left to them) we’re willing to work through whatever issues arise regardless of how serious they may get.
The whole marriage ceremony process was never really important to us. Meaning, we never had grand dreams of a Cinderella-like evening, surrounded by hundreds of people gazing at and enamored by our intense love as we danced under the stars to Frank Sinatra’s “The Way You Look Tonight.” In all honesty, neither of us expected it to be an option in our lifetime. Neither of us has thousands of dollars just sitting around without a purpose nor did either of us enter this relationship with rich parents who have been saving up our entire lives for the opportunity to drop the cost of a new car on an elaborate wedding for us. The decision was obvious – we are going to the courthouse and “gettin’ hitched.”
It was also pretty easy for us to decide not to have any sort of formal reception. Unless we wanted to tell our friends to meet us at the park for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and tap water our ability to offer our friends and family a fancy meal, decent liquor and a righteous party to celebrate our courthouse nuptials just wasn’t going to be in the cards.
So, a momentous event that normally costs a couple and their families more than a blonde hair/blue-eyed child on the black market is only going to cost us $100 and a half day off work. From our perspective, we’re doing our friends and family a huge favor. We’re eliminating the need for them to get dressed up on a weekend night and spend an evening around a bunch of people they don’t know (or care to know) for some forgettable food, cheap liquor and a DJ stuck in the 90’s. We’re eliminating the need for our families to drive hundreds of miles, find babysitters, pay for hotel rooms and interact with each other. We’re eliminating anyone feeling obligated to host bachelor parties and/or groom showers (not that anyone has offered or suggested). We’re eliminating any need to rent a tux, buy clothes they will never wear again or spend money on getting their hair “did” – because while that dress may be two sizes too small and look like two pigs fighting under a blanket can’t nobody say that hair wasn’t teased up/out and sprayed stiff for days. We’re eliminating any work inconveniences – no one has to make a decision on their own for more than 4 hours on the day we get married, which should calm the hearts and minds of many people at the office. And, most importantly, we’re eliminating any worry about embarrassing wedding photos or videos popping up on Facebook or SnapChat because there won’t be any.
It seems to us that everyone in our lives should be thanking us since we’ve eliminated any expectation of or any responsibility on them. How very considerate and gallant of us.
This leads me to my question for all of you.
Considering all of the above, would it be rude and/or inappropriate for us to send out a post-wedding announcement sharing the news and include at the bottom in fine print a statement saying something like, “For those wishing to send a gift, while certainly not necessary or expected, we are registered at the following locations _________________________.”
I’ve already been well-versed on how Emily Post would respond to this question. For all my proper, mannered friends, Ms. Post feels that the provision of a wedding gift really isn’t a “gift.” Instead, the wedding gift is more like an exchange of goods with similar value. Better stated – I invite you to my wedding and you expect to attend a reception with food, drink and entertainment. Your wedding gift to me is in exchange for the cost I absorbed to feed you, get you drunk, show you a good time and allow you to get as sloppy/messy as you like, thereby providing me with a lifetime of horrible memories associated with one of my most important days. In fact, Ms. Post believes that if you don’t attend the wedding you’re not obligated to send a gift, because why would you? You weren’t there and you have no reason to “pay me back” for anything I’ve made available to my guests. I suppose I’m not as cultured as I thought I was, because I never understood this to be the rules associated with purchasing wedding gifts. I’ve clearly been robbed of thousands of dollars over the last 20+ years for gifts I sent to friends/family getting married when I wasn’t able to attend the actual event.
Regardless of Ms. Post’s 1910 views on wedding gift etiquette would it be wrong, tacky and classless for us to register anywhere and allow our friends and family who “may” want to give us a gift without any strings attached know where to go and what to buy — should they so choose? This “special” event has already been diluted to a utilitarian task for a plethora of reasons including, but not solely limited to, financial. Is it out of the question to expect some form of “give a damn” about something very emotionally important for me and my partner from friends and family even if that expression is via a purchased gift?
Perhaps it is and if so, my sincere apologies for the offensive, Emily Post dissing question. I defer to my readers advice and guidance. Thanks, in advance, for your honest feedback.