Solving the Problem of Wedding Gifts
By Elton Camp
How I sympathize with the dilemma of a couple planning a wedding! The stinginess of some who are invited is simply incredible. They seem to think that some worthless gift or small amount of cash is perfectly acceptable. Do they not realize how expensive weddings have become! At the very least, each guest should pay his or her pro rata share of the cost of the wedding and reception. To do less is not only rude, but is stealing from the newly-married couple, especially since the marriage may not last and each will have the expense all over again the next time.
The bare minimum should be a gift costing over $300 or the equivalent amount in cash. If both husband and wife attend, the expected minimum goes to $500. If the guest finds money short, there are payday loan establishments aplenty and a cash advance on one's credit card is another viable option. In the case of older persons, their Social Security check can be endorsed and presented to the couple. If a boxed gift is given, it should come only from the bridal registry. "It's the thought that counts," is an outdated idea.
Making matters unacceptably awkward for the couple is not knowing what each one will give until it is too late to do anything about it. By the time they see a paltry thirty dollar gift, the parasite has already eaten their food and taken up a seat that could have been occupied with more profit by another person. Accordingly, I recommend for adoption a new way of dealing with this delicate matter.
Admission to a wedding should be only by tickets paid in advance by each guest. To accommodate the financial limitations that some may claim, the tickets should be priced in increments, beginning with $300 and then in $50 steps after that. The ticket will be mailed to the guest, already attached to a lanyard for hanging around the neck with the attendees' name and the amount paid prominently displayed. Then seating at the ceremony and at the reception should be front-to-back with the tightwads receiving the most remote seats and being served last at the reception if anything is left after the more courteous guests have been tended to. This is entirely reasonable and fair to all concerned.
Another advantage of this arrangement is that the ticket can serve as a "thank you" note, eliminating much trouble to the couple and effectively shutting the mouths of those who carp about not receiving them.
Lest I be accused of mercenary motives in making this proposal, let me make it clear that I am already married and have no prospects for profiting from its adoption.