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Brides and grooms publicly shame wedding guests over gift lists and dress codes.

Brides and grooms publicly shame wedding guests over gift lists and dress codes.
Brides and grooms publicly shame wedding guests over gift lists and dress codes.


Thanks to social media, the bar for major life events like getting married or welcoming a baby is higher than ever.

The desires for perfect weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, or baby showers have led to skyrocketing costs and increased planning stress for new parents or engaged couples. But now customers are feeling the pressure, too.

Recently, brides and grooms and parents-to-be have become more specific about what they would like their guests to wear and what gifts they would be happy to receive, and they are increasingly demanding about their expectations on their day special.

To take it a step further, some also publicly shame their guests on forums like TikTok and Reddit.

Returning a Disrespectful $100 Venmo

A bride chastised a guest for sending her $100 on Venmo days after the wedding, saying it seemed a little disrespectful, according to a Reddit thread, which also indicated that the guest was late to the wedding. Disappointed, the bride returned the money, saying she expected more. Similarly, another bride took Reddit after emailing eight of her wedding guests, who had only given the couple one combined gift of $50.

Customers also push back against higher expectations, leading to tension. A bride asked her guests to dress in fantasy and Renaissance themed clothing for her wedding and took Reddit to ask users if she was wrong to do so. She and her partner had met at a Renaissance fair and wanted it to be part of their wedding. So they included an addendum to their invitation detailing the types of clothing they wanted people to wear. This included photos, descriptions, [and] budget categories, which upset many of its guests.

I contacted them after their names were mentioned and they said I was ruining what is supposed to be. [a] have a nice day demanding that people dress up like idiots, the bride wrote in the post. They said everyone should be allowed to dress in whatever way makes them comfortable and I'm very controlling.

Another couple faced backlash for including a QR code to the bride and groom's Venmo account in their wedding invitations, while another groom was roasted on social media for including a 14-point list of rules for their wedding day with their invitations. Additionally, moms-to-be have also started publicly shaming their friends and family for not purchasing gifts in their baby shower registries.

When people don't buy from your registry, you can't give them credit for other things you need on your registry, a TikTok user complained. If you are attending a baby shower in the future, just purchase from a registry. Several recently married couples also took to social media with similar complaints about guests purchasing gifts that weren't on their list.

All of these events and more have sparked debate about proper event etiquette. Fortune I spoke with wedding planners and etiquette experts to find out whether their requests were justified and what was the appropriate way for guests to respond to seemingly controlling requests.

Registry rules

Marriage registries have evolved, particularly over the last 10 years, Bryce Carsonevents director with Roberts & Co. Eventstell Fortune. Gone are the days of the traditional gift registry where couples would randomly request fine china and kitchenware; these include cash gifts such as honeymoon funds and first home funds. In fact, cash is the most popular gift brides and grooms sign up for, with 74% of registry creators including cash on their wish list, according to The Knots 2023. Study of the register.

This is probably because couples are getting married a little later in life. They're already consolidating their homes, Carson said. They don't need two sets of everything, so we see it less as a financial drain and more as an opportunity for couples to make their transition to married life as easy as possible.

Now that wedding registries are largely online, it's also easier to split big-ticket items among multiple guests instead of relying on a rich aunt or uncle to buy the high-end cookware or outdoor grill that the couple wanted. And even though wedding lists have changed, that's no excuse to buy rogue gifts that aren't on the requested list, Carson says.

The etiquette has been and always will be that you must purchase off-register as a guest, he says. You don't know what they have in their house or their houses combined. The registry is there to guide you and avoid any duplication or prevent them from getting something they don't need.

If there are few options left on the registry when a guest decides to purchase a gift, one thing guests can do to stay on budget is to include a nice card and gift card to the store where the couple is saved, Lisa Laffertyluxury wedding planner, tells Fortune.

This way, the couple can choose something they actually need or want, Lafferty says.

Ultimately, experts agree that brides and grooms should be grateful and express gratitude for any gifts they receive, even if they weren't on their registry.

A gift is a gift given without payment, Lisa Mirza Cavesa certified etiquette expert with 25 years of experience, tells Fortune. If the bride and groom take this inconsiderate approach to their friends and family, this change stands in stark contrast to the reason for celebrating a wedding: love, community, [and] commitment.

Wedding guests also sometimes struggle to know proper gift-giving etiquette if they are invited to multiple events such as a bridal shower or bachelor/bachelorette party. It may hurt your wallet, but wedding party attendees or people invited to multiple pre-wedding events are expected to buy gifts for each.

Although some couples may take into account the expenses wedding members incur for dresses, grooming and other preparations, it can still be considered thoughtful and courteous to give a small gift for both occasions, says Lafferty . This gesture recognizes the generosity of the couple and contributes to the spirit of the events.

When it comes to the average cost guests incur to attend a wedding, including travel, attire, gifts and other expenses such as childcare, Carson says to expect to spend at least four figures and spend at least the value of the wedding meal on a gift. Today, most wedding meals cost three figures per guest, Carson says.

What not to wear

While it has long been customary for brides and grooms to request cocktail or evening wear at a wedding, more and more couples have begun asking their guests to dress according to a theme or color palette. colors. This trend has sparked backlash from wedding attendees who think the requests are unreasonable and couples who are unhappy with guests who don't follow their rules.

It's definitely a trend that the Internet is pushing more and more toward, as couples try to view their event as a fashion event and as something they want to photograph for social media, Carson says.

However, brides and grooms need to recognize that guests will go rogue and wear clothes outside of the guidelines, because attending a wedding is already very expensive these days, he adds. Asking for an extra outfit is definitely a big request, Carson says.

On the other hand, some couples say that a dress code can actually be helpful to wedding guests.

By creating guidelines for registries and dress codes, the couple is trying to ease this burden, allowing guests to focus more on fun and less on pre-wedding stress. Hannah Nowackeditor-in-chief at The knota wedding sellers' market, says Fortune. She's seen everything from asking attendees to dress in cool tones like blue and green to a kitsch, glitzy, Vegas, camp clothing wardrobe request where flowing summer dresses and linen suits were encouraged.

This type of change allows the couple to showcase their personalities and priorities while guests can have fun while breaking from the traditional wedding mold, says Nowack.




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