The “ungrateful” brides vs the “cheap” guests – What are your thoughts?

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Have you been following the story on the Internet about the “ungrateful” brides and the “cheap” wedding guests? I’m using the terms “ungrateful” and “cheap” because I don’t want to truly label anyone.

In a nutshell a woman and her boyfriend were invited to a co-workers wedding. As a wedding gift they gave them a wicker basket filled with goodies – Tri-color pasta, salsas, Balsamic vinegar and Olive oil, Gourmet croutons, Panko Breading, Pesto, some baking ingredients, Biscuits from Godiva. They also included other goodies such as Sour Patch Kids, Butterscotch sauce and Marshmallow Fluff. The note on the gift read “Life is delicious….Enjoy“.

One of the brides (it was a same-sex marriage) texted the gift giver asking for the receipt for the gift because her spouse couldn’t have glutten. The guest pointed out that just a week or so before they were all together at a restaurant, eating pasta, and there was never any mention of gluten. He apologized because he was unaware of a gluten issue and dug the receipt out of the garbage.

The next day he gets a text from the other bride, lecturing him on “wedding etiquette”, and informing him that they spent $100 per plate per guest and that they should have given them cash, or at least a gift worth that amount. To quote the bride  “Weddings are to make money for your future. Not to pay for peoples meals.”

The gift giver pointed out that weddings are a celebration, not a way to make money.

They went back and forth with each other via text messages and Facebook messages. The argument eventually made it’s way to the local paper (online). You can read more about it here and here.

My husband and I eloped. Sometimes I miss not having the fancy wedding and beautiful dress. Other times I am grateful that we did to avoid all the headaches, drama and expenses.


My husband and I are humble people. We don’t have a lot of money and we live below our means. When we give each other gifts it’s gifts from the heart, not $$$$ gifts. For example, one Christmas all I was able to get my husband was a Matchbox/Hot Wheels type car (I can’t remember which one it was). He used to talk about his favorite toy car when he was a little boy. It was the same car from the Smokey and the Bandit movies. After doing much research and looking around I found the exact toy car he had and bought it for him. It cost me around $12 but it’s one of the best gifts he’s ever received, as per my husband.

This past Christmas I got him a plush teddy bear. Not just any teddy bear. It’s Ted E. Bear from the Christmas special The Bear Who Slept Through Christmas. It’s one of his favorite holiday specials. He loved it and proudly displayed it on the back of our couch.

My husband has given me gifts from the heart too such as a poem he wrote me that he had printed on a sweatshirt. When our daughter was an infant I needed a new diaper bag because the one I had was falling apart and he gave me a new one. Was it an exciting or expensive gift? No. But he knew it was something I wanted and needed.

If I had a fancy, $$$$$$$$$, wedding I wouldn’t expect all my guests to compensate me in cash or gifts for the amount of money it cost me to feed them. That is a horrible thing to expect. I know that people have budget issues. I wouldn’t expect a family member or friend who can barely get by to shell out hundreds in cash just to attend my wedding. I would want that family member or friend to be a guest at my wedding to celebrate the day with me.

My husband was in the wedding party for his best friend. We knew we would have to buy them an expensive gift only because he was a member of the bridal party. His friend told him he did not want a gift from us. All he wanted was for my husband to take a sip of champagne. My husband is 45 years old and has never, ever tasted alcohol. He has no interest in it. His friend on the other hand loves to drink and all he wanted was for my husband to take ONE SIP of champagne in lieu of a gift. My husband opted for a gift.

His wedding cost about $100 per person, but all we could afford was $150 in cash. I doubt his friend would have complained. After all, he didn’t want a gift he just wanted my hubby to sip some champagne.

They spent over $50,000+ on the wedding AND bought a (then) $250,000+ house. He cheated on his wife and two years later they were divorced. Sigh…


My husband and I haven’t gone to many weddings because of the pressure to give expensive gifts. I even get stressed out at bridal showers and baby showers because I feel it’s a competition to see who can give the biggest, best and most expensive gift and that the little gifts are pushed aside.

For my cousin’s bridal shower I got her things to bake and cook with. Since she LOVES to cook and bake I also gave her a cookbook personally autographed by Chef Bobby Flay. The products I purchased didn’t cost a lot (around $50) but I thought the autographed cookbook would have been something special. She loved it. 🙂

We didn’t attend her wedding because my husband couldn’t afford a suit, I had nothing special to wear and we couldn’t bring out kids. The wedding was out of state and we would have been gone all day and couldn’t leave our kids home for that long. I regret not going to that wedding. Her husband died unexpectedly three months after they got married. To this day I regret not being able to go. 🙁

Someone on one of the articles (linked above) made the suggestion of putting on the invitations that “we expect guests to give us $$$ to attend our wedding” so people know whether or not they can afford it.

Did you know that the average wedding guest shells out over $500 to attend a wedding between the gift, clothing, hotel stay and so forth. Ouch! That is a lot of $$$.

What do you think about the situation? If it was your wedding and you received such a gift, would you complain and ask for the receipt? Or would you humbly accept it and if you didn’t need/want it donate it to a local charity?

Do you think the guests were being “cheap” by giving the gift basket, or just creative (I like the “Life is delicious” part)?

Are the brides “ungrateful” or the guests “cheap”?



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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.


  1. Ungrateful brides. If you want me to repay my cost of attendance at your wedding, I am not sure why you invited me. Don’t have more wedding than you can afford, period.

  2. A gift is a gift, period. You say thank you. Actually you should send a thank you card but at the bare minimum you say thank you. If you’re inviting people to your wedding to get expensive gifts you really need to look inside your heart and try to figure out why you’re such a selfish jerk.

  3. Stephanie Hodges says:

    I agree with Hedy@Penny formythoughts. If someone pointed out to me “well, your plate was such and such cost” I would point it out it was their decision to have such an expensive meal planned/catered and they are the ones who have the decision of their attending party’s body count. The gift has seem it lost its value of love and appreciation and instead placed with the value of what is on the price tag. There was one girl who refused to shop at anything but high end stores. A dress she wanted was out of her budget and her cousin found it at a discount store (I want to say it was similar to a Goodwill kind of store). The bridge refused. Even though it was the same dress, same size and nothing wrong (just needed dry cleaned the most), she said no because it was used and in that store. People have a loss of sight now when it comes to weddings and marriages or gifts in general. We didn’t get much for our baby (never got a shower) and we eloped (didn’t get bridle showers etc). But the little we did get randomly, we kept and was very appreciative. That goody basket that was sent for that wedding, I would have been ever so happy to get.

  4. Rachael says:

    Oh SOOOOO ungrateful!!
    These women really need to examine their priorities. I read the same story, with slightly more detail, in which one of the brides is quoted saying, “People get married so other’s will give them lots of money for starting their lives!”
    People get married, hopefully, because they love each other/are having a family/want to be together/have similar concerns…and why should ANYONE feel obligated to give the marrying couple money for anything? OR GIFTS AT ALL? Most invitations are about inviting you to “share this blessed event”, etc etc

  5. Janet W. says:

    What a crazy story! Weddings are out of control these days in my opinion. It should be about celebrating the love between two people and not how much you spent just to show off in front of others.

  6. Sandy Cain says:

    The texting bride needs to have her head examined. I feel sorry for her wife!

  7. I have 2 small children. Do you know what I tell them? I tell them no matter what the gift is you say THANK YOU even if you already have it or don’t love it. Then I am teaching them to send Thank You cards. They write them out themselves with huge crooked lettering and my friends and family love it. Then I usually get the response, did you know so and so never told me they got the gift. So I feel I am doing the right thing by raising gentleman. Where are their manners. These women are rude and ungrateful. Personally I would love a basket like that.

  8. Like you, my husband and I eloped. At the time, we didn’t have the money to have a lavish wedding so we went to our local town hall one day and got married. I would never expect to get back what I spent on my own wedding. Some people are crazy and ungrateful! If that’s how most people think, I’ll think twice before I attend a wedding now.

  9. First of all, I have never had a wedding (married 2x’s). The first time was a choice to go to the court house and “elope”, and I thought it would be fun. It wasn’t :D, and I wish I had a wedding. The second time I had three kids, he had one kid, we shared one kid=five kids. We just didn’t have the finances, so we went to the courthouse and then took the kids for a fun Mexican dinner complete with yummy drinks and fried ice cream which was their idea of heaven. However, if I had $10k to spare, I wouldn’t expect gifts because we have everything we need, and to expect money seems a bit greedy and brat-like to me.

    That being said, I don’t think a basket of random food goodies is appropriate for a wedding present, but you have to consider a MAN did the selecting and he has no idea about china patterns, great crystal, and fancy pretties for the home. I think she should be lucky he even understood to take a wedding gift since my husband would be totally clueless as the caveman he is. I personally have always given some fabulous piece of crystal, and I had absolutely no idea that this was no longer acceptable and that $200+ is supposedly the norm now? Honestly, if this is the case, as a SAHM, I simply can’t afford to attend any weddings. Thankfully, I haven’t gone to one in 10 years so I haven’t committed a faux paux!

  10. Denise B. says:

    These two are definitely most ungrateful. What they spend on their wedding is their problem. The attitude that a wedding is to make money is most arrogant. It’s also arrogant to expect something from anyone. They should simply be happy with those invited attending and sharing in the day without any expectations.

  11. Karen Glatt says:

    This is so rude to read about a co-worker chewing out this couple for the gift they gave them. It is not anyone’s fault on how much a wedding costs today. If a couple want to spend a lot of money on their wedding then that is their prerogative. But to scold someone for their gift, and humiliate them is awful and I would never have anything to do with these people! People give what they can afford. When family members or friends love someone, they do not put pressure on them to buy something more than they can afford! This couple are showing their true colors that they only invited people not that they cared about them! But they invited people to get presents!! Awful!

  12. I eloped, too, and I’m glad I did. I know couples who have a wedding with expectations of making big money and spending big money on it, and then don’t. Too much pressure on everyone. The happiest strategy would be if you can afford a big wedding and don’t need to break even or make money on it, then no problem. But if you (or the parents) can only afford something more humble, everyone will still have a good time and be happy!

  13. katherine says:

    The brides are extremely ungrateful. A wedding is a celebration not a time to recoup your losses. IT should be about sharing with your big day with people you love. Also, I think that gift is adorable and well thought out.

  14. Amanda S. says:

    Oh my gosh, I had no idea weddings were so out of control! I haven’t been to one in years and years, and mine was a tiny backyard wedding. My niece is getting married this summer out of state and I just attended her bridal shower. I bought something off of her registry, but it wasn’t very expensive (we are on a tight budget) and now I feel kind of embarrassed. What I had planned to give her for her wedding seems like not enough now. I am driving with my kids (10+ hours) and staying a couple of nights at a hotel, so it is already blowing the budget. Wow, makes me not want to go. 🙁 I know she wouldn’t ever say anything about a gift not being “good enough”, but I never realized you were supposed to give such big gifts.

  15. Kate F. says:

    I can’t believe those brides had the nerve to complain about the gift a co-worker gave them! I think it’s fine if a couple wants to spend a lot of money on their wedding, but they shouldn’t expect their guests to match that with their wedding gifts.

  16. courtney b says:

    very ungrateful! any gift whether cheap or expensive or even free is something thoughtful and should be appreciated!

  17. Betsy Barnes says:

    The brides are ungrateful! This is exactly why I don’t attend weddings, seems like its a competition to see who gave the best gift. I was thrilled with every wedding gift we received and thankful that ppeople cared. 🙂

  18. Michelle P says:

    I saw that post on Jezebel and I have to say that those two brides need a good kick in the pants. My mother raised me to be grateful for whatever I receive – these women obviously missed that lesson. It saddens me that there are people like that out there.

  19. I don’t know what ever happened to ‘class’ and graciousness …and manners. The “brides” (please) were ungrateful and terribly rude. The gift was very appropriate. There’s a lot to be said for being humble and realizing the value of the simple things.

  20. The brides are ungrateful. They were lucky to get a gift at all. I got so many invitations for weddings and showers when I worket it was ridiculous. I just worked with these people. We weren’t friends.