As "gay marriage" becomes the norm in more and more countries, states, and municipalities around the world, many more questions may be discussed. "What WAS she wearing?" "I wonder which is the bride?"and "Why did the open bar run out of liquor?!" are all questions likely to be discussed after gay matrimonial events.
For years, Emily Post, and later, Miss Manners Judith Martin, were the "go-to gals" for all things wedding... the tastemakers, the trend spotters, the problem solvers. However, the all-new world of gay marriage comes with its own set of predicaments, and our own Miss Ginger Grant is all too happy to step in and guide the uncouth masses in the tasteful and gracious way to consummate gay matrimony.
Case in point: Houston personal trainer and bod-about-town Eric Turner is soon to be wed to his beloved uber hunk, some foreign guy Miss Ginger has yet to meet. Anyho, Eric and Hunky have chosen to be married in South Africa, since it is legal there, and hunky's parents live there, and it is more exotic than, say, Delaware.
So far, the story is straightforward (gayforward?!) but it quickly goes awry. Internet checkpoint Gawker picked up a story that Eric had started a "gofundme.com" account to raise funds to fly his parents to South Africa for the nuptials. The boys realize that all of their friends can't make it to South Africa, so they have planned 3 additional events "around the globe for friends and family to celebrate" their union. This was all stated on the "gofundme.come" page, along with the plea to help Eric's parents attend "their favorite son's" wedding.
Now, Miss Ginger doesn't know Eric other than facebook friendship, though she must admit he did catch her eye at her recent appearance at the Mint Julep shindig in August. You may recognize his
The question brought up by gawker, in a nutshell, is "is it tacky to ask for specific gifts from your wedding guests?" And should one expect and anticipate gifts at all?
Traditionally, department stores and better gift stores have offered registries for a bride's selection of china, crystal, and silver, both to ensure the bride received a usable assortment of the above, and to help the store ensure the correct patterns were in stock at the time of her wedding. Later, the bride was encouraged to register for all sorts of things to help her make a gracious new home, and registry helped to prevent duplicated gifts and to enable easier exchanges. More recently, the groom has been involved, and registries have expanded from department stores and gift emporiums to places as common as the Home Depot and Target. Why not give a young couple, just starting out, the items they will need to make a new house into their home. For most, it is sensible and expected.
The world's largest store, recognizing that brides exchange a large portion of the gifts they receive, has started offering a "dream fund", which is essentially an open-ended gift card, the value of which is increased by generous wedding guests who don't want to make a decision about which item they want to give. This eliminates the need for exchanges altogether, and makes things easier for the guest and the bride.
So, the idea of a "gofundme" site for an engaged couple is not far from the same concept. There are, however, a couple of subtle nuances that can make the idea seem much more gracious. Here are a few ideas Miss Ginger would like to foster.
First, it should never be assumed that the couple will receive gifts from any specific person. A registry is okay, because it lists, in general terms, a brides preferences for things she made need or want, but puts no specific expectation on who will buy them. In small towns with only one or 2 stores, there is no need to for a bride to publicize that she is registered, as guests can usually figure it out. In larger cities, with so many options available, a bride often includes a card in her announcement or invitation that reveals where she has registered. As long as it is worded and viewed as a convenience to the recipient of the invitation, and not an expectation on the part of the bride, this practice is usually appreciated by all parties.
On the flip side, registries should never be publicized to people who aren't invited to the wedding. To send a registry card, or in modern times, email or other online posts, to people who aren't invited to the wedding is just plain tacky. If they think enough of you to give you a gift, you should think enough of them to invite them to the wedding. Non-negotiable.
In the case of multiple celebrations, which happen frequently in this age of "destination" weddings, people invited to one celebration should not be expected to enhance the experience of guests at another event. Case in point: Eric's guests at a "reception" in Houston should not be expected to provide funding for his parent to attend an event in South Africa. If a card or email were sent to only the South Africa guests explaining the "gofundme" post, it is probably just as tasteful as any other registry announcement. If the request went to anyone else: tacky.
For the record, the gofundme site mentioned in this article has been closed and deleted.
What say ye, GingerSnaps?! Tasteful or tacky?