Q: I received a used wedding gift. The gift was two games on our Amazon registry, intended to be purchased with the game console, a Nintendo 3DS. A friend gifted the games (without the console being purchased) used off of eBay. The games new are about $35 each, and used start at $5 on eBay. One of the used games did not even come in the packaging and was taped onto the other game package, which was dirty and clearly used.
I honestly would not be as offended on the value of the gift if the gifts were new, even though this gift was from her and her plus one, and I had given her an appropriate gift amount for their wedding. I do not even care that we do not have the gaming system if they were given new. But, the fact that she gave me used items is insulting, in addition to their value when other guests averaged $100+. This is New Jersey and the average per person plate is $150+. I honestly would have rather received no gift than being disrespected with a used gift. I am not sure if she is aware that this is very poor taste, and I want to confront her about it as a friend that she should not be giving used gifts, especially used gifts that add up to maybe $20 when she is eating, drinking, and enjoying entertainment for two people all night.
—Anonymous Angry Bride
A: Dear AAB,
Let me make sure I’m clear: You and your spouse registered for a Nintendo 3DS, and games for the system, but separately on your registry? And you are upset that you received said games, but not the console, and that the gift value was not enough compared to other guests/per plate cost to host them? And now you want to confront the guest who gave you the gift?
Whew chillay! So much to talk about and unpack here girl, so have a seat.
Let’s start with just weddings and gifts in general—they aren’t a requirement. Are they nice? Yes. Will most guests give a newly wedded couple some type of gift? Yes. Should you have specific expectations about the gifts you receive? No. Would it be great if we could all afford to buy our friends wedding gifts without concern for cost? Sure, but that’s not an option for a lot of us. Weddings cost money even if you’re a guest—you may need new attire, you may need to travel, you may need to pay for a babysitter for the evening, etc. Sometimes one’s budget does not allow them to spring for the fancy Instapot that you put on your registry, and they have to go for the $5 ramekins, or use a coupon, or some other means to bring the cost down. Does that make their gift any less valuable? No. As they say, “It’s the thought that counts,” and they thought enough of you to attend your wedding and bring you a gift, and one that you actually registered for! Were you also upset if someone just bought one place setting of china or silverware?
The fact that the average per person plate cost in New Jersey is $150+ is immaterial—whether you paid that or not. A wedding gift is not a reimbursement for a seat at a wedding. If you host a wedding, that means you host your guests and provide them with food, drinks, and fun with no expectation of a check or gift of equal value at the end of the night.
As for the “confrontation” with the friend… I’d caution against that, for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. I get feeling disappointed about the gift; we’re all human and sometimes we’re disappointed by things. I remember feeling disappointed when I realized that a few guests did not give a gift, but I quickly put it aside by reminding myself that I didn’t get married and host a wedding to get gifts from people. Ask yourself—is the friendship more important than the gift? For all of our sakes, I hope it is.
—Jareesa Tucker McClure
Got a question for Jareesa? Send it to nope [at] apracticalwedding [dot] com!