Posted by Bridezilla on 14 Jul, 2009
Being bridezilla, the certified (and maybe certifiable) wedding expert, I get a lot of letters pleading for advice. My inbox is full of inquiries on everything from what to do with a pregnant bridesmaid to where to find plus-sized wedding gowns.
I decided to post them so readers can learn from other bridezillas. Today’s question comes from a young (and apparently broke) man in Seattle, WA.
Got a wedding question for bridezilla? Send it in to email@example.com and you might be featured in an upcoming issue of Ask Bridezilla.
Q: Does the Thought Really Count?
I have some longtime friends getting married soon, and I’m on the scramble for the big wedding gift. After looking over their registry last night, I noticed one of the only gifts that’s left is the request for the All-Clad Stainless Steel 10-Piece Cookware Set for $639.99. I love these two … but six hundred bucks is a little steep for any young recent college grad.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the scenario – a group of people are supposed to go halfsies on the gift, or there is some hope that a wealthy family member to step up and be a hero. There is a good possibility that this cookware set just happened to be the most expensive set in Macys that day.
Since bridezillas are gorgeous, young women who know what they want, it’s a great guess that they’re going to want the best. Hell, I’m a dude, and I have no reason to turn down a top of the line kitchen set.
After doing some research, I came across an article on nytimes.com called A No-Frills Kitchen Still Cooks. The article fully defends the notion that you can supply an entire kitchen for less than $300, and rejects any claim that the expensive set from the big box store is at all justified.
In fact, the only time you see the high-end cookware is on TV. Otherwise, most pros in the fanciest of kitchens don’t use the $600 sets because even they feel it’s not worth it.
The crossroads of wedding gift giving is that it’s so easy to keep score on how much people love you by how much they’re willing to spend. Hey, it’s not like I’m being cheap. My gift would still be from the heart, and I can do a cost/benefit analysis that will blow your socks off. Is it a good move to gather some decent cookware from a restaurant supply house, or am I just being an ass for not footing the bill for gift they actually asked for?
Do you think I’ll have a fire-breathing bridezilla on my hands?
Bridezilla’s A: Shop off the Registry, but Beware
A gift is a gift. While shopping off the registry leaves you susceptible to giving a gift the couple will get from someone else, it’s a wedding gift. If a bridezilla doesn’t like your taste in cookware, she’ll just return it for sweet, sweet cash. I don’t think you’re “being an ass” for shopping off the registry and not adhering to the couple’s every wedding whim.
However, off-registry gifts should be bought with caution. Only shop off the registry if you are 100% sure the gift is going to be a hit. If they registered for $600 cookware, don’t get the couple WalMart pans and hope for the best.
There’s a chance that some wealthy relative will waltz in and buy the luxe set for them and your cheap cookware will be promptly returned. I think splitting the gift expense between a few friends (no more than five) is your best option. No fire-breathing bridezilla; no saving the receipt. It’s money well spent!
When in doubt, give cash. Or a cappuccino machine.
Ps. Bridezillas, feel free to comment with your own advice!