Sunday, July 7, 2013

A word about weddings and registries

We are in the middle of wedding season and many of my classmates from high school have decided to get married this year. Excellent. Wonderful. Wish you all a lifetime of happiness.

Ok, pleasantries are over. I feel compelled to comment on what I believe to be simply insane requests found on these wedding registries. Firstly, more and more individuals in my generation believe cohabitation with their significant other is a good idea. In fact, the number has increased to over 1500%. This nytimes piece has also stated that "couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not." Take from that what you will, but what I want to address is the fact that wedding registries used to be for items that neither person owns and will need when the couple starts their lives together--moving into a new house after marriage. Since most of these couples are already living together, this renders the question of whether the things found on these registries are actually needed. I have a minimalist friend who put this wonderfully: "registries have become a place for couples to upgrade to much nicer stuff." I'm sorry, but do you really need Vera Wang wine glasses-12 requested at $45 in three different styles amounts to over $1600 worth of wine glasses you most-likely already have and will probably never use???? (I have another friend that requested 3 sets of 12 Baccarat crystal goblets at $110.00. Having guests spend close to 4k on stemware is nuts.) When the case is made that cohabitation is necessary and helpful to minimize costs (or more crassly put-it's a good way to split the bills) why on earth are guests expected to shell out $125 for a crystal sugar dispenser when you feel the need to split a $70.00 cable bill with the apple of your eye?

I guess it is ok to purchase those things for yourself. It is quite another ordeal to request those things so shamelessly from your guests in this economy. There was a recent TIME magazine article that asserts that my generation has grown up to become more narcissistic than previous generations. I think these registries alone prove that fact. I'm not immune to this affliction of over-indulgence either, but I think my awareness of it enables me to correct the attitude and transform it into one where service to others is most important. I don't think I'd be writing this if any of the registries had included a donation to the Gates foundation or any other charitable organization.

I'll close this post by saying that not all my friends have displayed such gluttony in its finest form.  Another close friend of mine is getting married soon and has requested that no boxed gifts be sent because she will be moving to London afterwards. Perhaps the choice was more logistical, but I know her quite well and even if she were staying in the States I doubt she'd find a need to make her guests spend astronomical amounts on designer frilly bed covers and pillows. Just some food for thought while you munch on some canap├ęs  at the next wedding you attend.

No comments:

Post a Comment