June Brides

We have several weddings in the next month. Tis the season.

Not just for us, either. A friend IM’d me today to ask what I thought was an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift, given the particular relationship with the bride. And yes, I’m intentionally referring only to the bride, because this seems like a female system of balances to me.

Even if the groom helps with the registry, the suggested gifts tend to be household items. In some cases I’ve seen wedding registries that are clearly more male-influenced (read: lots of camping gear), or that reflect that a more mature couple has already acquired all the kitchen appliances they could ever use (read: extensive presence of techno-toys). However, even in our liberated era, I know the percentages of who is looking up the wedding registry and choosing the gift.

Yeah, this is almost always a girl thing.

Thus, for David’s nephew’s wedding this summer, it was me who called the bride to find out where she is registered. She didn’t know who I was at first. Not surprising since we’ve met only at family events and have never talked on the phone. She right away said she didn’t want us to feel obligated to send a gift. Which was absolutely the right thing to say. Then she said she hadn’t registered anywhere, but maybe should because I wasn’t the first person to ask. But she hadn’t had time to drive to the next town to do it. Obviously I’m not a close relation or friend, but I felt compelled to tell her she should get online and register. David’s sister was looking for the registry, too. I told the bride that the family wanted to give them gifts, to get them started in their new lives. I brushed away her protestations that they have everything they need, since I know perfectly well it’s not so. They’re in their mid-twenties, going to college and have a little girl. I stopped short of telling her this was part of the point of getting married. By the end of the conversation she was convinced and I felt like the militant aunt.

We’ll get them a nice gift. “We” as in David and I will split the cost and I will pick it out. We give nicer (read: more expensive) gifts to the poorer couples. For another young friend’s wedding we went a little higher than usual, because they need it. Not like women in Africa need medical care, but nonetheless.

I counseled my friend on IM to go lower in price, which turned out to meet her own sense of what she should send. It’s funny, how we talk to each other to work it out. To make sure we’re doing the appropriately supportive thing.

Now I have to go look and see if the nephew’s bride followed my advice and registered.