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Bridal showers for the old and rich (rant)


Katy
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Okay, so I know this is petty of me, but I just got a bridal shower invitation for a couple in their mid 30's with a combined income of something in the realm of $250K.  Her family doesn't live near here so I RSVP'd yes even though I barely know either of them, mostly out of sympathy for being so far from family.

 

Then I looked at the registry. There are multiple $500 items on it!   A handful of random $20 kitchen items, but seriously.  Most of the cheaper things are already marked purchased.  All of the $150 per place setting every day china is purchased.

 

This couple bought a house together more than a year ago, and both owned separate houses prior.  It seems like their wedding is just an excuse to upgrade to their stuff and get professional grade KitchenAid stand mixers.  Yes, plural.  Because apparently when she bakes, she really bakes.  Or perhaps she's planning on selling the extras on eBay for cash.

 

Shouldn't showers be for....  I don't know, people who need things?   It seems like a greedy gift grab.  I have never been so tempted to start buying up crafts at church bazaars and packaging unwanted things as gifts before.

 

 

I'm thinking with later and later weddings, we should change things around, and do "graduation" showers instead.  Or "Congratulations, you're an adult who is finally moving out of the dorms AND your parents' house.  Here's some stuff you might need!"  showers.

 

Please tell me I'm not alone in resenting this trend.

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I tend to go off registry when it's like that. :)  I find something small and personal for the couple, maybe handmade so it's one of a kind.  But goodness, it does irk me a little when I do see such extravagance on a wishlist.  It seems to show a couple of things to me - the couple isn't actually considering their own needs, or a long term relationship for that matter.  Most often when tastes run that high and sense runs that low, financial troubles and eventual divorce are down the road.

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Mid 30s is not old and a combined income of $250k is middle class income :lol:

 

Showers are an excuse to party and for friends to catch up. You can just give a gift card instead of getting something off the registry.

 

I had friends who marry in their 40s and have accrued assets through decades of working. Its still fun to attend their engagement parties, showers and weddings. I don't think they care if I show up with a cheap gift card.

 

ETA:

My parents wedding wish list for family had many big ticket items that are norm in our family culture regardless how late you marry. I didn't have a wish list or registry but received big cash gifts to get what I want.

Maybe the registry was for everyone including relatives or is this for friends only?

Edited by Arcadia
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If you know and like the couple, get something off registry that is personal that you like. And if it's something you don't want to go to, don't. That's what I would do. I know exactly what you are saying. The past few weddings I have been to/been involved with have been for people truly setting up house, and that makes it really fun to get just the right thing off the registry. But the ones like you describe...I dunno...I kind of feel the same way.

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Personally, I don't see a problem with having a shower, as long as you don't throw it for yourself, but I also think that it's rude not to have plenty of reasonably priced items on your registry.

 

Faced with a situation like you describe, I'd probably go to Williams Sonoma and come up with some clever combo.  They have awesome copper cookie cutters that are pretty enough to display on a wall or window sill but are functional also.  And they have awesome albeit overpriced sauces and such.  I might get an ice cream scoop and a jar of chocolate fudge sauce.  Maybe an assortment of colored sugar sprinkles and possibly a cookie cook book.  Maybe an unusual cake mold, or a gingerbread house mold with some decorations.  Maybe odd measuring cups or spoons--amounts like 2 tsp or 1 1/2 cups that are frequently called for in recipes but that most measurement sets don't have. 

 

Locally I might go to a winery that I know of and buy some Vino Del Mocha, AKA kissing wine.  Or some chocolates filled with it, or both. 

 

Or a lemon/lime juicer from Cost Plus (they have the best one I've tried) and a bottle of good tequila.

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Sometimes people register for things they don't expect to receive as gifts, because the store gives a 15% or so discount on anything that is on there but you don't receive after the wedding.  

 

But generally, I try to find something I really am glad to have, or I think really suits the couple, and don't worry about the $$ of it.

 

 

Edited by Incognito
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Registry is a guide. The shower is a celebration.

 

I'd look at the registry and if there was nothing I could afford, I'd get something that goes with stuff on the registry. For example maybe there are small serving dishes or bowls that go with the China pattern. Or rather than a whole place setting get a dish.

 

If you want to get something purchase in your price range and give the couple a gift receipt so they can return.

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I understand what you are saying. If I could afford to buy the things I needed/wanted, I would have people bring things to donate to a good cause (toys for a children's charity, food for a food bank, clothes for a homeless shelter).

 

Some people at DH's work threw us a baby shower for our second son, when we already had a lot of stuff from our first son. They went all out and spent way too much money. I still feel guilty about that, it just didn't feel right to me.

 

I personally wouldn't go if I don't know someone very well. I definitely would not spend that much on them!

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Yeah, they're not old.  But they are not 22 and setting up their first, or even second or third homes either.  Both of them moved out into apartments, not dorms, at 18.

 

The idea to get wine and chocolate, or chocolate sauce is a good one.  Something romantic.  Maybe a couple of bottles of my favorite wine.  Thanks everyone.

 

 

ETA:  oooh, the registry discount!  I wonder if the plan is to buy several, to get for their friends who are getting married soon...  That makes more sense than multiple stand mixers.

Edited by Katy
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I don't think showers are about helping a new couple get on their feet. Maybe it used to be. But when I had my first kid young, and then I got married young, no one threw me a shower and I didn't have the space or money to host one (plus it's kind of looked down on to throw your own). Most showers I have been to are extravagant affairs for people in their late twenties/early thirties, probably because they have the income to throw a big party. It's definitely worth celebrating! Get them a gift that's not on their registry. Think of it more like a birthday present.

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I think showers are not an entitlement, no matter what your income level.  However if someone wants to throw you one, that's reason enough to have one. 

 

That said, if you barely know them, I'd have NO problem declining and not sending a gift.  I have done the same.  My weekends are often tight and scheduled and even if I'm not busy (rare), I enjoy having one open now and again.  If you do want to go and there's really nothing on the registry, get them your favorite cookbook or something along those lines.  Or maybe some consumables - nice  spice set, high end olive oil, etc.

 

I think it's fine to have a range of prices on your registry.  If her family is wealthy, they may get some of those more expensive items.  But there should be plenty of small stuff for a shower.  I agree mid 30's isn't super old.  I married at 29 and DH was 37.  Most of our stuff was thrift/hand me down stuff even though people would have called our dual income high at the time. 

Edited by WoolySocks
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showers are for people who are entering into a phase of life they haven't been in before.

 

it's also an opportunity to gather and celebrate.  hopefully, they are marrying for the right reason, and not what you are attributing to avarice. it's perfectly gracious and polite to give something NOT on the registry - those were started by dept stores as "suggestions" for gift-giving (and the stores made money too. . . . ).   you do not have to give something expensive.  (one's who truly care about you, do not worry about how much a gift costs.  i've a friend whose brother does quite well for himself - she gives him homemade divinity candy for christmas and he looks forward to it every year.)

 

My dd (one  of the most down to earth people you'll ever meet) had multiple KA  stand mixers on her amazon registry - NOT becasue she was expecting  two. - but they are different, and she didn't know what someone would want to purchase. 

incidentally - dsil put NERF guns on their registry.  they were very popular . . . . even though he'd previously owned a condo (in another state), he had very little kitchen equipment. he  did have extensive sporting goods. .. dd has been correcting that.

 

eta: attendance at showers is not required.  if you don't want to go, or don't want to give a gift for whatever reasons, don't go.

Edited by gardenmom5
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Yeah, they're not old.  But they are not 22 and setting up their first, or even second or third homes either.  Both of them moved out into apartments, not dorms, at 18.

 

The idea to get wine and chocolate, or chocolate sauce is a good one.  Something romantic.  Maybe a couple of bottles of my favorite wine.  Thanks everyone.

 

 

ETA:  oooh, the registry discount!  I wonder if the plan is to buy several, to get for their friends who are getting married soon...  That makes more sense than multiple stand mixers.

 

you sound very bitter and resentful.  are you jealous they're getting "stuff"?  (just becasue it's on the registry doens't mean it will be purchased.)

 

My dd got married a year ago.  she was 29 (dsil was 32.).  while she's lived on her own, she owned only the most basic of items.   dsil had a condo in a different  state.

by your reckoning - they were "old".  should they have not had showers?

or 1dd - who owns her own (family - not 'starter') home in a high COLA - by your reckoning, does that mean she shouldn't have a shower if/when she gets married?  or register for wedding gifts?

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We didn't have any showers before DH and I got married or before the boys were born.

 

(1) We're both introverts and the very idea of having a shower wasn't pleasant.

 

(2) We were 27 and 30 when we got married, both of us had good jobs and both of us already owned fully furnished, stocked homes. We truly didn't need anything.

 

(3) When it was time for a baby shower it was a few years later. We both still had the good jobs and were down to one home. I felt like we could afford to buy what we needed much easier than it would have been for many of the people we would have invited to a baby shower to work a gift into their budget. Also see (1).

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Yeah, they're not old.  But they are not 22 and setting up their first, or even second or third homes either.  Both of them moved out into apartments, not dorms, at 18.

 

The idea to get wine and chocolate, or chocolate sauce is a good one.  Something romantic.  Maybe a couple of bottles of my favorite wine.  Thanks everyone.

 

 

ETA:  oooh, the registry discount!  I wonder if the plan is to buy several, to get for their friends who are getting married soon...  That makes more sense than multiple stand mixers.

 

Or there are several different colors/models they like and they don't care which one they get?

Edited by vonfirmath
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I was in my late 30s when I got married, but my friends still had a shower for me.  :-)    

 

But I have seen registries that are filled with high-end things and nothing affordable for me.   As already suggested:  spices!  A nice gift box from Penzey's is so much fun.  

 

ETA: If they drink, a fun thing could be a "cookbook" for cocktails and some accessories.  I got my husband this book (link to Amazon) for Christmas and he's enjoying it.   Suddenly there were 4 new bottles of bitters in the pantry.  Makes for fun experimenting.

Edited by marbel
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The irritation for me comes when I get that same invitation for a couple where both were previously married, owned houses themselves, have established careers, AND include the registry in the invitation. That is definitely horrible etiquette in my opinion, but I don't even think a lot of people know what the word means, much less have cracked open Emily Post. The proper thing in that place would be to have a party with "no gifts please" written within the invitation. And for the love of all that is holy no evites for a shower!

 

In your case I can see being annoyed. I heartily disagree that 250k is middle class. But, if it's their first marriage and they come from money on either side, their item prices aren't necessarily out of line. I would simply choose to do as others have suggested and buy something off registry in the price which you feel appropriate, or heck, donate to some charity in their name. The donation thing is my go to for people with horrible manners when it comes to gifts. The last invitation to a wedding I received had written IN THE INVITATION "cash gifts preferred". They had a tree planted in their name and I declined to attend the wedding.

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My brother and his wife had a ton of stuff on their registry so they could get the discount on whatever people didn't buy. Some of it was not stuff traditionally given for weddings at all, it was kinda funny but the registry was mostly for family and we knew why stuff was on there :)

Edited by maize
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The irritation for me comes when I get that same invitation for a couple where both were previously married, owned houses themselves, have established careers, AND include the registry in the invitation. That is definitely horrible etiquette in my opinion, but I don't even think a lot of people know what the word means, much less have cracked open Emily Post. The proper thing in that place would be to have a party with "no gifts please" written within the invitation. And for the love of all that is holy no evites for a shower!

 

Yep, I don't believe that a divorcee should have a shower unless it's a truly unusual situation like a domestic abuse survivor. You had your chance for a shower the first time around the block.

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According to the IRS, the top 5% of household 2014 incomes started at $206,000. So in my view, they are wealthy and nowhere near middle class. I would be irritated at such an extravagant list and look for something off registry.

Edited by ErinE
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 I have thrown moving into your first apartment parties.  THey are fun!  I do invitations with mops/buckets and soap bubbles on the front and cute inside along the lines of "He's adulting! Let's help him do it right! or something along those lines depending on the kid.  We do registries at a couple of places and have on it things like mops/buckets,brooms, all sorts of household crap that you have to have  to run a house but never think about until you need it.  (remember the first time you needed Windex and realized you  had to buy it because there was no parent who kept it stocked? Or bleach   Dear God when you need bleach..... )  And then everybody runs to Walmart LOL!  

There  is always somebody who brings a detailed grocery list made up with multiple copies, a recipe basics of how not to starve and eat something that didn't come out of box, how to clean and when!   Maybe my group of peeps are just weird  but it always comes out funny and done in a way that keeps everyone howling.  The parents and close friends usually provide better gifts like the Kitchen aid mixers or really nice kitchen stuff (just because it is the first place doesn't mean they have to start off with crap.  Good tools make the job so much easier.)  

 

I love to throw moving out of mom and dad's house parties!

 

 

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<gingerly> What's wrong with evites for a shower?

 

I guess if it's a low key shower, I wouldn't have a problem with it. But for weddings and showers with high end registries, I find them tacky. Partly because they require no effort on the senders part. I'm probably just old school- I was beaten oven the head with etiquette books by my grandmother, mother and stepmother from an early age. But I feel like most showers as described by OP and weddings in all instances, should include a printed invitation. They don't have to be engraved, they can be home printed- but I think certain occasions command a certain formality, particularly when guests are asked to travel and/or provide extravagant gifts. Likewise thank you notes appear to be becoming a lost art. A thank you text for a wedding gift is just ridiculous in my opinion, but that's an off topic rant on my part! Edited by texasmom33
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Yep, I don't believe that a divorcee should have a shower unless it's a truly unusual situation like a domestic abuse survivor. You had your chance for a shower the first time around the block.

 

Whoa.  Do you know how mean and petty that sounds?

 

I was married at 22 and divorced by the time I was 25.  I would not consider myself an abuse survivor but my husband did not live up to our marriage vows if you know what I mean.   I left that marriage with a car, a few pieces of furniture, some stock in the company I worked for, and credit card debt.  I moved into a dumpy apartment which was so damp I had to throw out my mattress, my books, and all my bedding when I moved out a year later.

 

14 long years later I remarried.  My coworkers (who knew I'd been married before) wanted to give me a party to celebrate.   Do you really think there was something wrong with that? If you had been my coworker then, would you have said that to me when you received your invitation?  Or to the people who organized it?  

Edited by marbel
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I could see being annoyed if this were their 4th marriage or something.  Just because they have plenty of "stuff" and aren't 22 doesn't mean they don't want to celebrate and partake in the typical rituals. 

 

And people who have plenty of money often have higher expectations in terms of life style.  So they may too need a boost to get to that point. That might seem kinda silly, but hey maybe other people would call us silly for having 10 different appliances that chop vegetables ten different ways.  It's relative.

 

 

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Sometimes people register for things they don't expect to receive as gifts, because the store gives a 15% or so discount on anything that is on there but you don't receive after the wedding.  ...snip...

 

I did not know this.  Thank you.

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It seems like the reasons for showers have evolved over the years. . . 

 

I see what you mean, but maybe they've been using thrift store stuff, hand-me-downs, etc., and while there is nothing wrong with that, I can see why it'd be nice to have some nicer stuff that will last longer.  Maybe they work with wealthy people who will want to spend a lot of money.  I would feel slightly embarrassed not to be able to afford the more expensive gifts, but I'd probably just shrug and buy something less expensive from the registry, plus a little something to go with it.

 

I do love the idea of a first apartment shower, though, for those who aren't getting married right away!

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Whoa. Do you know how mean and petty that sounds?

 

I was married at 22 and divorced by the time I was 25. I would not consider myself an abuse survivor but my husband did not live up to our marriage vows if you know what I mean. I left that marriage with a car, a few pieces of furniture, some stock in the company I worked for, and credit card debt. I moved into a dumpy apartment which was so damp I had to throw out my mattress, my books, and all my bedding when I moved out a year later.

 

14 long years later I remarried. My coworkers (who knew I'd been married before) wanted to give me a party to celebrate. Do you really think there was something wrong with that?

No, but your experience has not been what I have seen in my circle. I have seen couples in their late 30's. Both divorced. Making a combined income of well over $500k, who own a house together and have lived together for years before getting married. That's a completely different circumstance, and most people you know well enough to invite to a shower are going to know the difference between your circumstance and the one I describe above.

 

Here's a good example of how the system is abused and can cause some hostility in some of us- I had a coworker who was a Director level. She made well over 200k. She had an affair with our VP who was also married, with two small children. She left her husband, and her three little kids for our VP, who then also left his wife alone with their two adopted special needs kids. The homewrecker then had the nerve to invite the entire company to her "get back on my feet" shower, which she had the secretary throw for her IN THE OFFICE. And yep. I sent her a copy of Emily Post, which I recognize could be construed as petty- but some people really are so self centered they do see things like this as nothing more than gifts owed them.

 

Showers have moved far from the standard first marriage affairs, or like your case where there was an ACTUAL need involved, like they were in the past. I am tired of having wedding invites from children of coworkers I have never met, or relatives' children I have never met. I am tired of requests to help the couple pay for their honey moon by saying "cash preferred", or of someone on their fourth marriage sending me a link to their wedding registry in the wedding invite. It just pushes you past a point of irritation at a certain place, where it's no longer about celebrations. It's about gifts, which can make one feel rather exploited, particularly when you're perceived as a person with money and that they are owed something for having made your acquaintance.

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I'm increasingly feeling like giving "Fifth Wedding Anniversary" presents.  

 

My mom made a complete set of pottery dishes, we gave a complete set of living room tables (coffee, end, tv-stand) to my BIL when he got married and the bride split and took it all 2 years later.  Never heard from her again.   Meanwhile, my BIL had no dishes, let alone the sentimental ones my mom made, no furniture...well, you get it.  

 

Maybe I'll start a new tradition.  :0)  (OXYMORON alert!!!)

 

 

 

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No, but your experience has not been what I have seen in my circle. I have seen couples in their late 30's. Both divorced. Making a combined income of well over $500k, who own a house together and have lived together for years before getting married. That's a completely different circumstance, and most people you know well enough to invite to a shower are going to know the difference between your circumstance and the one I describe above.

 

Here's a good example of how the system is abused and can cause some hostility in some of us- I had a coworker who was a Director level. She made well over 200k. She had an affair with our VP who was also married, with two small children. She left her husband, and her three little kids for our VP, who then also left his wife alone with their two adopted special needs kids. The homewrecker then had the nerve to invite the entire company to her "get back on my feet" shower, which she had the secretary throw for her IN THE OFFICE. And yep. I sent her a copy of Emily Post, which I recognize could be construed as petty- but some people really are so self centered they do see things like this as nothing more than gifts owed them.

 

Showers have moved far from the standard first marriage affairs, or like your case where there was an ACTUAL need involved, like they were in the past. I am tired of having wedding invites from children of coworkers I have never met, or relatives' children I have never met. I am tired of requests to help the couple pay for their honey moon by saying "cash preferred", or of someone on their fourth marriage sending me a link to their wedding registry in the wedding invite. It just pushes you past a point of irritation at a certain place, where it's no longer about celebrations. It's about gifts, which can make one feel rather exploited, particularly when you're perceived as a person with money and that they are owed something for having made your acquaintance.

 

I get you, but I was specifically responding to Crimson Wife's mean-spirited comment about someone having  had her chance 'the first time around the block.'

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OP I understand your frustrations but I would just either not attend or attend but bring something you picked out yourself. Who cares about the registry?  You don't even know them that well. 

 

As for me...

 

1.  If someone wants to throw someone else a shower (or throw themselves a shower), I really don't care how many marriages they have had or what their income is, if I like them, I have been invited and I am able to attend, I will happily do so.  If they have a registry I will look at that registry and see if there is something I would like to give them that I can afford.  If not, I will give them something I pick out on my own.  If I don't like them, I don't want to attend or whatever then I don't.  No biggie.  I am not responsible for someone else's life choices.

 

2.  If someone has items on their registry that are really high end/pricey that's their business.  I really don't care.  Maybe family members are planning on pooling resources to get them that big ticket item and it is on the registry for a discount or something.  Or they plan to buy it themselves but want the discount.  Or whatever.  Their registry.  Not mine.  Don't care.  I am not legally bound to buy them anything, on or off that registry.

 

3.  If someone gets pissy because people didn't get them stuff off the registry or because they didn't get everything they registered for, that would irritate me more than the other stuff.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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The irritation for me comes when I get that same invitation for a couple where both were previously married, owned houses themselves, have established careers, AND include the registry in the invitation. That is definitely horrible etiquette in my opinion, but I don't even think a lot of people know what the word means, much less have cracked open Emily Post. The proper thing in that place would be to have a party with "no gifts please" written within the invitation. And for the love of all that is holy no evites for a shower!

 

In your case I can see being annoyed. I heartily disagree that 250k is middle class. But, if it's their first marriage and they come from money on either side, their item prices aren't necessarily out of line. I would simply choose to do as others have suggested and buy something off registry in the price which you feel appropriate, or heck, donate to some charity in their name. The donation thing is my go to for people with horrible manners when it comes to gifts. The last invitation to a wedding I received had written IN THE INVITATION "cash gifts preferred". They had a tree planted in their name and I declined to attend the wedding.

 

This wasn't quite my situation, but close. I had never been married but DH had, and we both had good careers (though did not own any homes yet, we both rented small apartments). His family didn't throw me a wedding shower nor any baby showers. This was very hurtful to me. They used to give us gifts for birthdays and holidays, but now give a card or a donation in our name while giving material and monetary gifts to his sisters for every occasion. My family threw me a shower, so I got to experience the fun/celebration with them at least (DH's family out of town so didn't attend). To this day, it upsets me that perhaps because we had careers and it was his second marriage, we weren't deserving of a shower in their eyes. 

Edited by magnificent_baby
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 I have thrown moving into your first apartment parties.  THey are fun!  I do invitations with mops/buckets and soap bubbles on the front and cute inside along the lines of "He's adulting! Let's help him do it right! or something along those lines depending on the kid.  We do registries at a couple of places and have on it things like mops/buckets,brooms, all sorts of household crap that you have to have  to run a house but never think about until you need it.  (remember the first time you needed Windex and realized you  had to buy it because there was no parent who kept it stocked? Or bleach   Dear God when you need bleach..... )  And then everybody runs to Walmart LOL!  

There  is always somebody who brings a detailed grocery list made up with multiple copies, a recipe basics of how not to starve and eat something that didn't come out of box, how to clean and when!   Maybe my group of peeps are just weird  but it always comes out funny and done in a way that keeps everyone howling.  The parents and close friends usually provide better gifts like the Kitchen aid mixers or really nice kitchen stuff (just because it is the first place doesn't mean they have to start off with crap.  Good tools make the job so much easier.)  

 

I love to throw moving out of mom and dad's house parties!

 

sounds good to me!!!!!

I'm increasingly feeling like giving "Fifth Wedding Anniversary" presents.  

 

My mom made a complete set of pottery dishes, we gave a complete set of living room tables (coffee, end, tv-stand) to my BIL when he got married and the bride split and took it all 2 years later.  Never heard from her again.   Meanwhile, my BIL had no dishes, let alone the sentimental ones my mom made, no furniture...well, you get it.  

 

Maybe I'll start a new tradition.  :0)  (OXYMORON alert!!!)

my mother gave me her sterling.  I eventually gave it to my brother and his now ex-wife when they'd been married for at least 15 years.  (he had her china and crystal).  while they were separated - she sold it.

I didn't particularly like the pattern (and was working on building my own pattern) but I had grown up with it and it had sentimental value.  my brother had to come to me for  a detailed list of what the set included to be able to submit a claim in their divorce proceedings.

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Reading this thread made me realize that we didn't do a shower for either of my older girls. Oops! They were both set up in their apartments, so I guess they didn't need anything. Because of military commitments, both real weddings were a bit rushed, but Navy girl's celebration wedding (they'd actually married a year before) wasn't a huge do. Both the bride and groom brought full apartments to their new house, so again, guess they really didn't need anything. I'm a really bad mom, I guess!

 

I don't think mom is supposed to give a shower anyway, so I think you're OK.    :-)

 

Sisters, cousins, friends, yes.  Mom, no.

 

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Reading this thread made me realize that we didn't do a shower for either of my older girls. Oops! They were both set up in their apartments, so I guess they didn't need anything. Because of military commitments, both real weddings were a bit rushed, but Navy girl's celebration wedding (they'd actually married a year before) wasn't a huge do. Both the bride and groom brought full apartments to their new house, so again, guess they really didn't need anything. I'm a really bad mom, I guess!

Well, since I'm playing the role of Miss Manners today you actually are in the right. Immediate family isn't technically supposed to throw the shower. Friends are. :)

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This wasn't quite my situation, but close. I had never been married by DH had, and we both had good careers (though did not own any homes yet, we both rented small apartments). His family didn't throw me a wedding shower nor any baby showers. This was very hurtful to me. They used to give us gifts for birthdays and holidays, but now give a card or a donation in our name while giving material and monetary gifts to his sisters for every occasion. My family threw me a shower, so I got to experience the fun/celebration with them at least (DH's family out of town so didn't attend). To this day, it upsets me that perhaps because we had careers and it was his second marriage, we weren't deserving of a shower in their eyes. 

:grouphug:

 

This is where I am coming from.  To me, it doesn't matter so much about the gifts as it is about showing support for a change in someone's life.  If they are just starting out and desperately need stuff, then sure the gifts are probably important, too, but mainly I just want people I care about to know that I care and I am happy for them.  If I don't care and/or I'm not happy for them, then maybe I don't attend/buy a gift but in that case I probably don't really care what they registered for, either.

 

And invitations are frequently sent out because people don't want to insult anyone by not inviting them, not because they are seeking to get gifts from everybody.  The registry info is often just included in the invite as a courtesy.

 

Are there people out there just trying to get lots of gifts?  Yes.  That's life.  Different people have different priorities.  As long as I am not legally obligated to buy something expensive for them, I choose how much it will affect me, if at all.

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I say celebrate with them and then give them a commemorative thing that they would not yet own. My go to for situations like this (usually family or close relatives because we stopped going to ones for acquaintances, church members we do not know well, and dh's work colleagues since we were getting so many it was ridiculously paralyzing our schedule and our finances) is a First Christmas Together ornament or name ornaments or a wedding cake christmas ornament with the year of their marriage on it. Something like that. It's pretty easy for me since i live about 35 minutes from Frankenmuth with its huge Christmas store, Bronners, and can for a reasonable price get customized ornaments.

 

Things remembered is a good mall store for things like this. 

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This wasn't quite my situation, but close. I had never been married but DH had, and we both had good careers (though did not own any homes yet, we both rented small apartments). His family didn't throw me a wedding shower nor any baby showers. This was very hurtful to me. They used to give us gifts for birthdays and holidays, but now give a card or a donation in our name while giving material and monetary gifts to his sisters for every occasion. My family threw me a shower, so I got to experience the fun/celebration with them at least (DH's family out of town so didn't attend). To this day, it upsets me that perhaps because we had careers and it was his second marriage, we weren't deserving of a shower in their eyes.

I wouldn't hold you in the same circle as these people- not even close. You hadn't been married. He had, but what dude ends up with the good kitchen stuff in a divorce? Not any that I've known. Showers are typically for women, not for men and most guys don't give a whit about their dishes. It's usually the women who are the makers of the home to be a home and not a house. ( And yes I am aware there are some exceptions so no one please quote me with a list of exceptions of men who care about China patterns!)

 

I think you weren't out of line to want a shower and I wish your friends had thrown one for you. I also don't think baby showers should be limited to the first baby only. It seems like your dh's family has some preconceived notions either about his divorce or maybe their views of sons versus daughters, but whatever it is they aren't treating you fairly and that's no okay. I'm sorry.

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sounds good to me!!!!!

my mother gave me her sterling.  I eventually gave it to my brother and his now ex-wife when they'd been married for at least 15 years.  (he had her china and crystal).  while they were separated - she sold it.

I didn't particularly like the pattern (and was working on building my own pattern) but I had grown up with it and it had sentimental value.  my brother had to come to me for  a detailed list of what the set included to be able to submit a claim in their divorce proceedings.

Well, that's not nice...but often times, divorce doesn't bring out the best in people.  I wish they had offered to return it to you.  

 

I had a friend who divorced; his engagement ring for his bride had been in his family for decades.  As they had no children, there was no one to "pass it on to."  I felt so much warmth to the woman who gave it back to him, and that he received it as part of the settlement...because of the sentimental attachments.  

 

I might sell my own silverware at some point, but I don't have too much emotional attachment to  it...I chose it, and it's only been in my use.  It's not got the generational sentimentality.  

 

The pottery my mom made...that was months of work...and she never even met the bride.  That was what burned her bacon.  It was really a gift to them both but THROUGH the relationship with the BIL.  :0/

 

And I know that at some point this is pettiness.  

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