PF Weekly Grab A Brew #27: Wedding money gift was not enough

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

Celebrate Your Love With No Expectations 

You might need to grab a brew or two for this one because weddings are meant to celebrate not be used as a money-making venture to pay for the day. I read a recent article online about a bride who was upset because a guest and her date only left a $100 wedding gift.

It made me wonder how many newlyweds think that they should get more than they do as gifts from their guests? The article was originally featured on the Huffington Post and I hope that other brides and grooms who think that their guests need to give them a certain amount of money come back down to earth.

Wedding gifts

Wedding gift etiquette for most is given as a gesture of appreciation to the bride and groom for the invitation. Expectations should not exist because not everyone on your wedding list is made of money. I don’t know many people who are these days to be honest with you.

I fail to understand why people invite guests to weddings, parties, baby showers, birthdays etc, if they hardly know someone or have not talked in many years. I’d rather not go at all, buy a case of beer and make homemade pizza with my wife and friends. Best part, I don’t expect them to bring anything to be in our presence and I’d pay for the pizza and beer because I invited them to the party. If they do bring something that’s great, and if they don’t that’s still great.

Below is the Facebook message left by the bride to her guest Tanya who gifted her $100 as a wedding gift which clearly upset her. Best of it is the guest is fresh out of University and having to pay down $40,000 in school loans and only working part-time. You don’t even want to know what I’d say to the bride for sending me this message. Yes you do, I’d tell her to take a hike and let her talk behind your back all she wants because that’s where she belongs. I would just shut the door and move on if I were Tanya. Don’t waste your time, it’s worth money after all and you don’t want to waste another cent on her. Below is the exact quote.

Hi Tanya, how are you? I just want to know is there any reason or dissatisfaction of Mike’s and I wedding that both you and Phil gave 50$ each? In terms of the amount we got from you both was very unexpected as a result we were very much short on paying off the reception because just for the cocktail + reception alone the plate per person is 200$ (as per a normal wedding range with open bar is about) and Mike and I both have already paid for everything else including decor, photography, attire etc and didn’t expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well. As I know you both live together and work, so I did not see any reason for that amount, when it comes to your wedding hopefully you’ll know what I mean. I hope for the best as from what we receive is what we will give back. Anyways, good luck on everything.

Budget wedding

Weddings happen all year-long and for some reason we hear of couples like the above who believe they are entitled to lavish affairs that they can’t even afford. Sure mom and dad might offer some cash to pay all or a portion of the bill but if you can’t afford it yourselves, don’t have it.

At our wedding all we worried about was having the people we love celebrate our wedding day with us. If you are counting the money in the envelopes in your head instead of enjoying your first moments as husband and wife you clearly have your priorities mixed up. When we got engaged we knew we weren’t going to have a big wedding so we created a wedding budget and spent the money accordingly. We still had a fairy tale wedding because the two most important people were there, us. If the plan was to have a lavish wedding there would have been no rush and we could have waited and saved more money. I wasn’t going to run away because we didn’t have a piece of paper saying we were married.

Too many people who don’t have the funds available put too big an emphasis on the wedding, honeymoon and rings including the engagement ring but it doesn’t have to be that way. Going into debt for love is not a good way to start a relationship, so take your time and do it right. That’s my opinion, maybe not yours and that’s fine because we are all entitled to our own financial dealings in life. Not everyone can have a royal wedding so stop pretending you are a Prince and Princess spending more than you can afford unless you have the funds to back up your role-playing dream all the way to the altar. (unless of course you actually are a Prince and Princess)

Life is precious

I don’t know how much more it will take to teach people you can’t spend more than you earn, although I don’t plan to stop now. If you still think that money grows on trees please tell me when you find that tree because my green thumb is itching to get planting.Then again, we are still struggling for those to grasp that speeding in your vehicle and/or talking on a cell phone while driving can cause an accident and can kill. That’s not all either. What about the people who think it’s fine leaving a child or any other person and/or pet in a hot car with the windows up. You shouldn’t have to question it, just don’t do it, ever. If we can’t even take a moment to protect our own lives how will we ever protect our finances?

What would you do if all your guests bought you a toaster and towels instead of an envelope stuffed with $100 bills? No one should judge you if you don’t have the best of the best at your wedding, heck I could care less if my mates didn’t have seat covers or fine china. All I care about is that they are happy.

This was a comment I read when Yahoo ran the post yesterday and the commenter does get to the point. With over 506 thumbs up at my time of reading I can only assume the masses agree. Below is the exact quote.

First of all Brides and Grooms out there. It is YOUR wedding, not your guests, and it is not your guests responsibility to cover the cost of it. Just because you decide to spend $40,000 on decor and food etc…to make YOUR day special, do not expect your guests to foot the bill for it. That is the first thing people need to know when having a wedding. Second of all, chances are I don’t even WANT to come to your wedding, but have been made to feel obligated in some way (friends, family etc…), I can get drunk for cheap at home, and my fridge has lots of food in it, so I don’t need your dried out chicken breast supreme and cheap champagne. If you want to party, you pay for it. I give what I can afford to help the couple get a good start in their marriage, but if I can only afford $50 bucks, well then, that’s it. If YOU can’t afford a $40,000 wedding, DON’T HAVE ONE. These people are so freakin selfish and it is disturbing to see this kind of reaction, YOU invited ME, I did not ask for a “ticket” to your “show”, my gift is a “gift” not a “fee for admission”. Get it right folks

Take time to investigate what is right for the both of you and what you know you can handle financially. I’d be happy with my wife, a bucket of popcorn, beer and a DJ spinning some tunes after the ceremony to celebrate our union as husband and wife with our guests. Clearly, I’m being sarcastic but my point is to keep it simple if simple is all you can afford. We’ve been to a few simple weddings and had a blast.

After a few years couples in major debt they can’t handle may start to blame each other, blame others, fight about money and then potentially get divorced. Not always the case but buckle up if you think money and life is easy because it’s going to be a bumpy ride. There are so many ways to cut costs for a wedding or better yet, just budget the money. Live the life you want by making smart financial decisions first.

How did you pay for your wedding? Did you have expectations of your guests for a wedding gift? Has anything like this happened to you before? Share your comments below.

Top Recipe


If you haven’t had a chance to check out my new Facebook page The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web.

Today the top recipe goes to A Cup of Mascarpone for sharing this gorgeous Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake with a Lemon Lavender Glaze. You have to go and check out the photos and recipe as there are no words to describe the beauty of this cake.

Don’t forget to pass by my Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page every Sunday for Frugal Food Sunday to share a blog recipe so I can share it with my over 5900 fans. We get closer to the 6000 fan goal every day.

PF weekly reading line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week from around the web. I didn’t get a chance to read and comment much this past week as I took a couple of days off from the blog.

Top story: Why you should take care of your stuff- 2 Copper Coins

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my Personal Finance Weekly Grab a Brew #27.


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  1. Wedding gifts, whether it’s for newly weds or for wedding anniversaries, should be a gift that’s chosen from the heart. Don’t just give them money gifts, a special and meaningful gift will surely be remembered long by the happy couple. Find a unique wedding present for the couple, wedding gift for your bride, or a surprise wedding gift for your groom that truly expresses what you feel. You can also find gift ideas for bridal registry, bridesmaids, groomsmen and bonbonniere gifts for your guests here. If you don’t know what to get, please don’t hesitate to contact us for gift suggestions that suit your budget. We also give discounts for order with quantity of 6 or more.

  2. I’m starting to wonder if some of these ridiculous bad manners post wedding gift stories are plants. There just seem to be so many lately that either people are forgetting what it means to be a gracious host or there’s something else going on. Are people really that rude to those they consider their nearest and dearest?

    1. I was wondering the same thing. I thought I wonder if they are planting these stories to see how much attention they can get. I think we should do something just to test that theory, are you in? 🙂

  3. I just got married not too long ago and let’s just say weddings and expectations are crazy. We were fortunate enough that my husband’s parents helped us with some of the bill, but in a way not because they had a lot of demands. Either way though, help or no help, they probably would’ve asked the same things.

    In the end we were really happy with being able to see everyone at our wedding enjoy themselves. We were surprised at the generousity of our guests and was happy to receive gifts of all denominations. We were upset though, at people who had rsvped and did not tell us that they could’nt come until the day of. One couple, that we had known for quite a while, did come, but didn’t even give a gift at all. Not even a card.

    1. I think at least a card is mandatory even a homemade one if need be. There are many people who go to weddings and bring nothing because that’s what they would expect at their own or they can’t afford it but feel their presence is wanted, so they go. If it happened to me I’d just smile and move on. There is so much more to worry about in a marriage then that and heck, if the day went off without any problems you’re ahead of the game, right? The RSVP is important yes because that is wasted money when they don’t show. Did you have to pay then for the empty seats?

  4. Oh boy, CBB! I love this! Our wedding was very simple. We really did want to have it in a backyard in t-shirts, but we did compromise and have it in a chapel. The venue was very inexpensive ($10 – $15 per plate depending on what the guest ordered). We didn’t have a cake but an Italian dessert table which came with the price of the plate. Everyone loved it. We hired a college student to photograph our wedding, put the pics in albums ourselves, and my wedding dress cost $250. If my memory serves me correctly, the grand total (attire, flowers, reception, etc.) back in 1997 was less than $5,000. We paid for a good chunk of it ourselves and appreciated every gift and didn’t keep a tally on who gave us one or not.

    In fact, if you and Mrs. CBB renew your vows, we would like to bring the beer, and CJ has a great mix on iTunes – perhaps even 100 songs! He will also compose and play a classical guitar piece for Mrs. CBB as she walks up the aisle just as he did when I walked down the aisle almost 16 years ago.

  5. As someone who recently got married (6 months ago) we paid for the entire wedding ourselves. We did much of it ourselves on a tight budget (what we could afford to spend) and looking back I wouldn’t change a thing. The wedding was a celebration of our love not a party just for the gifts. We were lucky that many of our guests were very generous not just with gifts and money but also with their time. Many family and friends helped decorate the hall and cook the meal. We couldn’t of done it without them. We were not expecting anything as we have lived together for years and didn’t need much, however, the cash helped boost our home down payment fund.

    I cannot imagine someone being so rude as the bride mentioned in the article.

  6. When my husband I got married we decided that we only had a small amount of money we could afford for the wedding. After some thought, we asked our guests to contribute the meal ala a potluck dinner. My adult daughter baked all the desserts. I guess because it was a wedding everyone went all out with their potluck contributions. No way could a single kitchen have put on this feast. And we all had a great time! Best party I ever threw.

    Not for the same reasons, but I can understand being ‘upset’ when someone gives what you consider a small gift. My mother gave us a cheque for $50. She could have easily afforded more so I assumed that she couldn’t find it in herself to really celebrate our wedding. No idea why. We weren’t expecting anything, received some wonderful handmade pottery and other gifts. We weren’t kids (our kids were grown) but we were both starting out again so everything we received was put to good use and appreciated.

    I have since helped 3 other couples (young ones too) create a home-made potluck wedding and all of them were fantastic. The biggest challenge is finding a venue that doesn’t insist on you using THEIR caterer. If I had the money for a lavish wedding, I would use it for a downpayment on a house.

    1. I think too much emphasis is being put on gifts. The day is about a union and even though it costs money then the bride and groom needs to save for it. The minute the bride and groom depend on the guests is the minute they start running into potential problems. I think the potluck is a great idea. Did you make a list for the guests so each one brought something different?

  7. I am completely shocked at that rude bride! While I have always tried to gift what I assume my plate costs at a wedding, it’s impossible for some people. We had many different price ranges at our wedding, from $25.00 all the way to $500.00.

    The only guests we were unhappy with at our wedding were the ones who blatantly ignored the fact that we had requested no children at the wedding. They brought their two children, even after we had told them twice that we would not be having children at the reception for financial reasons. This caused some problems with people whose children had not been included.

    1. There always seems to be someone we can upset if we start adding exclusions to the wedding day but you know what, it’s your day. If they can’t find a babysitter then they don’t come. Did those that brought kids have an excuse?

  8. We paid for everything, and it’s not because we’re rich. We were both very happy that some of our family and friends came to celebrate our commitment to each other. We told everyone, “no presents, just presence.” It was a beautiful simple celebration and we are very grateful for the priceless memories we have now.

  9. I heard about this I think, or someone very close to it…. My daughter was in two weddings a while back, one as Maid of Honour for her best friend since they were little, and a bridesmaid for a girl she worked with for a time. The first one I was invited as I knew the bride just as long. We went together on the gift, my daughter bought a couple of nice things she thought they would like and I added a handmade crocheted afghan in the colours of their livingroom…. They were thrilled with the gift and the afghan!! The other girl was something of a bridezilla, expensive taste and all. As a single Mom my daughter couldn’t’t afford a really expensive gift but she got a really nice picnic set with a bottle of good wine tucked in and some other goodies for a super picnic…. I thought it was a lovely gift for someone who already had it all and very creative of our daughter to think of something like that…. Miss Bridezilla was not so impressed and made it quite clear she wasn’t impressed. Needless to say when invited to a baby shower a few months later for this one our daughter didn’t ask me to make something for the baby gift, she did however look over the baby gift register for something on the lower end of the price list. Her best friend, however got a sweater set, afghan, and a couple of flannel blankets from me at her baby shower……. All handmade with love….and much appreciated.
    A wedding should be a celebration of love for two people starting out in life…….. Not a contest to see who can blow the most money on a big do then recover the costs from the suckers/friends that come for the occasion……. My opinion anyway….

  10. That is so rude, it looks like people invite guests in hopes to make more than the plate’s price! I usually give at least for the food but if you decide on super expensive wedding things don’t blame me for not giving you $500!

  11. Holy smokes!! See why I’m not married? Lol that’s crazy! I’m with the BBQ in the back yard crowd!

  12. Thanks for the post Mr CBB!

    Hubby and I were lucky enough to receive $5,000 for our wedding from my father and that covered all the clothing for the entire wedding party (that I made), pearl earrings as gifts for each of our attendants, flowers, leis, professional photos and a video, the preacher, a wedding reception including a beautiful wedding cake with an orchid on top, a full sit down dinner in a private dining room, non-alcoholic sparkling grape juice for the toasts, the marriage license, and a 2 week honeymoon!

    Hubby and I could have covered all the costs but it was very much appreciated by us that we didn’t have to spend our reserves & could keep the funds as an emergency fund. We had no expectations regarding gifts from other but I must admit I was a little sad that some of our family chose not to be there and didn’t even send a card with their well wishes. I think on the most exciting day of our new life together, all we really wanted was to know that you wished us well. 😀

  13. It seems like these crazy bridezillas and groomzillas keep popping up. A wedding isn’t so that you can make money. If you can’t afford it, then don’t have it! Easy as that.

  14. Um, I’d be over the moon happy with $100 wedding gift. What an ungrateful *@!#&. We’re in the process of planning our wedding and we’re cutting down everywhere we can because we have a tight budget. WE have a tight budget; not our guests. It’s not their responsibility and anything they choose to give us is unexpected and extremely generous.

  15. Frankly, I’m gobsmacked by the wedding discussion. Really?? I’ve never enjoyed attending weddings and, consequently, chose to keep mine (both first and second) very simple. It’s ridiculous to throw that kind of money at a single celebration when it could so much better be used for important stuff…like living.

    Thanks for the reading list. Good stuff there as always Mr. CBB. Just want you to know how much I appreciate all the work do for all of us who are your FB friends.

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