Ask Amy: Wedding guests are put off by cash grab
Dear Amy: The son of a friend is getting married in March.
He and his fiancée have lived together for several years.
Both are 30-ish and employed.
They are planning an expensive wedding, followed by an expensive honeymoon to Thailand, and have established a registry asking for funding for their honeymoon or future home.
As we are not interested in contributing to these expenses, would it be appropriate to make a contribution to a charity in honor of their nuptials?
Under the circumstances, we plan to save our money by declining the wedding invitation, afraid that a kitty jar might be passed to pay for the ceremony.
Dear Perplexed: If this couple registered for a slow cooker from Crate and Barrel, would you decline to give it to them, believing that because they are employed and living together -- they don't actually deserve to receive something specifically because they've asked for it?
My point is that the idea behind registries has always been to try to give the couple something that they actually want and will use.
Even though you balk at the idea of contributing money to a prosperous couple, in some cultures, after a wedding -- regardless of the social status of the couple -- people place money in an envelope and hand it directly to the bride, who places the envelope in a special purse. Others use "money trees" on their gift table, and some guests pin cash onto a metal tree for the couple to use to defray expenses.