70 Minutes, $50, 2 Women, and a Garlic Holder

by Kristina on April 19, 2011 · 4 comments

This past week I went to a major department store with my friend to buy a bridal gift for the upcoming bridal shower of a co-worker.  I know that I am not married to my boyfriend Nick, and I know that I have always been complaining about the fact that we are not yet married.  However, my recent traumatisation of shopping for a bridal gift has changed my mind. I called my boyfriend Nick and told him that I am going to stop pressuring him into marriage, simply because I don’t want my friends to have to shop for my bridal gift.

Both my friend and I are university educated.  I have two additional diplomas and my friend has a post graduate degree.  We are educated women and neither of us could figure out the bridal registry. We were also both completely outraged at the cost of a bridal registry gift. 

As a rule I rarely shop at department stores because I find them impersonal and very expensive.  I can think of 10 other ways that I would rather pass my time and spend my money other than shopping for a bridal gift at a major department store.

What was on your Bridal Registry?

If you are married what did you have on your bridal registry? Last week I shopped for expensively overpriced kitchen items for a young couple who don’t even cook.  Both the Bride and the Groom are coming into this marriage from their parent’s house.   I know that people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, because I am definitely not the next Iron Chef.  However, I would also never register for expensive items that I don’t need or will never use, just because I was getting married.  I would rather order delivery than cook a meal any day, and this is the exact reason why I would never register for a $12.99 spachala for my kitchen. 

Yes, that’s right. Last week I spent over an hour shopping for bridal gifts that included $15.99 for a set of two Tea Towels, a $24.99 measuring cup, and a ridiculous garlic holder in the shape of a garlic clove that wasn’t even the size of my fist.  As I browsed through the aisles of the kitchen linens department I started thinking, would my co worker have spent her own money on these items? If you are married, did you register for things that you would buy with your own money? 

My friend ending up buying our co worker two tea towels and two place mats along with the garlic holder for $50.  It was definitely not money that was well spent, however it wasn’t my money.  I can also think of 10 other things that I would rather do with $50 than spend it on place mats, tea towels, and a garlic holder that isn’t even big enough to hold my garlic.

How much would you spend on a Bridal Gift?

My friend wanted to stay within a $50 limit for the bridal gift because she still has to buy a gift for the bachelorette party as well as the wedding.  With the gifts, her outfit, and the transportation this wedding is going to cost my friend almost $350 and she isn’t even in the bridal party. 

As a DINK I don’t understand the expensive gifts to furnish a lavish kitchen.  In my opinion these are items that should be bought by suburban housewives whose sole purpose in life is to cook for their families.  However, that is just my opinion.  People should live together before they get married, this will allow them to accumulate household furnishings over time.  It also eliminates their friends and co workers from having to spend their hard earned money on outrageously priced decorative items.  I don’t mind spending money on functional items if someone really needs them, but who really needs a garlic holder? Just put your garlic on a bowl on the counter and call it a day!

Photo by Mullica



{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric April 19, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Kristina–what do you think about giving cash as bridal gifts? Is it not kosher to ask for money from your wedding guests? I was recently the Best Man at a friend’s wedding in which the couple asked for money for a downpayment on a house. Although my girlfriend and I are in a similar position as you, we are thinking that when we do get married we’d like to do something similar–$50 cash seems a lot better than placemats, tea towels and garlic holders.

2 Jessica April 19, 2011 at 5:22 pm

As half of a young married DINKs, I feel a little offended about the suburban housewife line. I think the real problem here is registering for over-priced versions of things you know you won’t use, especially if its because you think that is “just what you do when you get married”
My husband and I are childless, urban, and career-minded, but we also LOVE to cook. Our kitchen is the only living area we have that is stocked with good quality items that get used every day. We registered for expensive knives and pots…but everything we bought ourselves has come from Restaurant supply stores.
I agree a registry at a department store feels impersonal – thats why I often give wine, or go off the registry. Just remember that the registry is a godsend for distant relatives who don’t know the couple well or people who cant get out to a boutique.

3 Kristina April 25, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I think money is a great wedding gift, but for some reason brides like to open presents during their bridal shower. I usually get a gift for the bridal shower, and give money as the gift at the wedding.

4 Steph/seenonflickr May 18, 2011 at 12:38 pm

We said ‘no gifts’ and had not intended to register for our mid-summer wedding but enough people were bothered by this – they wanted to get us something, and many wanted to get us something “traditional” for the house. (Dishes, kitchen stuff, towels, etc.)

We pointed out that we could buy this stuff ourselves but they convinced us.

We are also letting people know that if they want to contribute to our honeymoon trip fund, that would be lovely.

For the shower (again, something we were talked into) we are saying firmly NO GIFTS but bring a family recipe and if you want to put in (maximum $10) we will donate it to charity.

I usually give cash at weddings – $100-$150 a head for myself and my fiance.

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