A few weeks ago we read in the local paper a feature article on the growing trend of couples so to be married not registering at the local silversmith shop but on line where guests and regretters can chose to fund pieces of their honeymoon. Although this trend has been trending for a while, we are somewhat uncertain as to how we feel about it. There was a time not too long ago when a couple who didn’t want gifts included “No Gifts Please” on their invitations. A few guests felt then, and a few probably still feel now, that bringing a gift was their obligation and brought one anyway. Virtually everyone else who attended would instead bring a card stuffed with money, gift cards, or trade secrets. Apparently cash isn’t considered a gift by giver or receiver.
But today, no gifts means “we’re on a budget and if we want to make those reservations at Emeril’s we need to know if we’re going to be able to afford it. Since we know we can’t on our own, we’re looking for someone to pony up the bucks for if for us so we can book our table now.”
As we perused deeper into that article we read of a couple that was opting for the honeymoon registry because they will be doing a destination wedding and couldn’t afford both trips. It was here that we stopped and decided we didn’t like either idea.
The destination wedding has been around for generations. It used to be called elopement. Two people wanted to be married with little pomp given whatever their circumstance and fled the hometown, returning a weekend later ready to have people over to ooh and aah at the rings. Now, either due to remarkable greed or extraordinary selfishness, couples are deciding that just because they’ve always wanted to get married on the beach, or the mountaintop, or the canopy of a rain forest, they don’t want to give up 200 of their closest friends and the accompanying gifts. So they just move the wedding elsewhere and hope the most prosperous follow and the rest send checks with their regrets.
We love celebrating friends’ life changes. Only a nw baby can be a bigger change than a new marriage. And as such we hate to ever have to consider sending regrets. But if two people were to tell us that in order to celebrate with them we have to give up our vacation time and savings to go where we hadn’t planned, we’d be quite regretful. If those same people then said, “While you’re figuring out how to come up with the time and money to get to our wedding, go take a look at our website and see what parts of our honeymoon you’d like to finance,” we’d say, “Ummm, really sorry.”
Our gift is given to provide pleasure to the receiver and to make them think of the special connection between us, not to make them think of how many more pledges they need for the snorkel package. Destination weddings and honeymoon registries? It might be a little old fashioned but we’re beginning to think that if a couple doesn’t want to get married at home among friends and family and doesn’t want gifts at the reception afterwards, maybe they should consider eloping.
Now, that’s what we think. Really. How ‘bout you?