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10 years later, brides still mad at lack of gifts

After a decade, some brides still hold grudges.

By Kristin Wong Aug 27, 2013 3:46PM

The New York Times recently profiled a series of women who, 10 years after their weddings, can't forget the gifts they didn't get. Etiquette expert Jodi R.R. Smith told the paper:

“You could talk to a 98-year-old woman and she won’t be able to tell you what song she danced to at her wedding, but she can tell you who didn’t give her a gift."

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Wendy Kaufman, for example, married in 2004. Three hundred guests attended her wedding, and she still remembers the three people who didn't bring a gift. One of the no-gifting guests was the son of her college sweetheart, another was her parents' rich friend who "drank her face off at the wedding," and finally, there was a colleague:

"When I see her at events I want to blurt out: ‘You cheap jerk. How can you sit here and have a conversation with me?’" Kaufman told the paper.

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Smith says gifts can be symbolic of the guest's relationship with the bride and groom.

“It’s hurtful if this is someone I really cared about, who I thought was a great friend, who made the cut to come to my wedding, and she doesn’t do the right thing."

What do you think of brides who hold grudges — is it understandable or just plain petty?

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Photo: Art Montes De Oca/Getty Images
Sep 4, 2013 8:41PM
Me,  me, me, me! It's all about ME! Never about the person who hired a baby sitter, spent hundreds to travel, gave up a lucrative opportunity, to wish her friend well on the important day. To say nothing of the person who suddenly needed their savings for a family emergency! Get real! What's next -- damning the person who only spent $25 on a gift???
Sep 4, 2013 8:23PM
I invited over 200 people, and 30 came. 20 were family from both sides. I wasn't upset that we didn't get gifts. I had pretty much accumulated most items myself. It was fun to read all the cards we received. But what hurt was the people whom I thought were special enough to come that I invited didn't even bother to show when they said they would come. My MIL stole several of our wedding gifts, and she gossiped at our wedding to my guests that we wouldn't last more than 6 months. She couldn't even wear a nice dress to the event, buy her children something nice to wear for the wedding, and she promised her son he had $6,000 in savings for when he got married and then spent it on junk for herself. They didn't gift at the wedding, but they should have gifted us with not even showing up to the wedding. It was a huge disaster. And to top it off The Marine Corps couldn't even give my new husband time off so we could have a honeymoon. So now 13 years later I am still slightly bitter at the in-laws for being such jerks.
Sep 4, 2013 7:51PM

She needs to get over it and stop being petty and selfish!She would of been just as mad if she invited themm and they hadn't showed up.Maybe the college person was broke,etc...


Sep 4, 2013 7:42PM
How pathetic!  First, to obsess over such a thing and to give the sad people who do this kind of attention.

I remember who was at my wedding, and I am grateful for the gifts I received, but the greatest gift was having my friends and family there with me to celebrate.

If these individuals measure friendship in dollar signs, well then the non-gifters are better off without the burden of their "friendship".  There could be so many factors behind the non-gift - the guest was having a financial crisis, the gift they gave was lost or stolen, any number of things.
Sep 4, 2013 7:38PM
I think Wendy Kaufman is the big jerk. Her whole statement is self serving. Who does she think she is??????????
Sep 4, 2013 7:24PM
I cannot believe this is actually important to people! 

I thought couples invited people to their weddings for the pleasure of sharing their joy in one of the most special events in their lives.
Boy.....I have been sorely mistaken all this time, I guess.
(and, yes, I do give gifts to people I care about, whether or NOT I got an invite to their wedding).

Sep 4, 2013 7:02PM

I don't remember the song nor if anyone didn't bring a gift, but I do remember some people showing up uninvited. It was a couple with a small child my husband barely knew and I'd never met... Yes, they actually came with a 2-year old to 'wedding crash'.


As far as thank you notes go: thank you notes are actually sent in a very few cultures. Before coming to the US I've never heard of thank you notes and find them outdated. I recall how I received a thank-you-note for a baby gift in the lines of "we'll use this every day etc." only to find out the couple had returned the items for money (I could see on my online account they had been returned). I'd say save the paper for something else.


However, I've never heard of anyone showing up to a wedding without a gift either. If you cannot bring a gift for whatever reason, just don't go.

Sep 4, 2013 6:59PM
Ahhh yes, greed is alive and well. After hearing some of the petty garbage of these spoiled brats gimme gimme gimme, nope, not from my wallet. I will send "regrets" which do NOT require a gift. If I choose to give a bride and groom a gift, I will do so even if I don't get an invitation, and I do not attend showers either, they are just asking for one more gift. Hub & I got married by the JP, no guests, no "attendants", a private moment between us not the rest of the world, no gift grab with the hand out, now how many decades later I would do it again (with the same guy of course). Marriage is about commitment to each other, but if people don't get that concept no wonder the divorce lawyers smile all the way to the bank.
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