"My best friend's requesting an absurd amount of presents for her wedding. I'm refusing to oblige."​

When my friend’s bridal shower invitation showed up in the post, I let out an audible groan.

Not because I am not very excited to celebrate the fact she has found the love of her life and is marrying a very decent man, but because when I opened the invitation, I saw it explicitly expressed that gifts were very much welcome.

Another gift.

Another. Bloody. Gift.

For this particular couple, I have contributed an engagement present, am paying for an overnight hens stay plus a small gift for that, a wedding gift and now a bridal shower gift too?


Since when did weddings become a chance for people to absolutely milk their friends and family for money and gifts?

Traditionally, giving a gift to a newly engaged couple would go towards their future home, which I am happy to do, but where’s the line? How many gifts is too many for one couple’s celebration?

I don’t want to be a wedding Grinch, but I’m a little… annoyed.

Watch: Mamamia asked around to see just how everyone contributes to a wedding wishing well. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia

I’ve thought about it a lot, and right now I think I am going to pass on buying a bridal shower present. I’m apprehensive about this – as a naturally very anxious person, I’m terrified at the thought of conflict – but I just can’t see why so many gifts are necessary.

I’ve thought about how her feelings may be hurt (a big concern), how I may be embarrassed if she decides to open the presents in front of everyone – or is that just baby showers? – and how I may look cheap, but I just don’t agree with the lavish bestowing of gifts on people.

Two gifts, one for the engagement and one for the wedding, is enough (and maybe already one too many), at least in my opinion.

Finding a partner and getting married should not be about receiving gifts, holidays and a ridiculous amount of toasters – it is about committing to another person and celebrating the love you both share. I know, I know, corny as.

wedding dress cost
Watching two people proclaim their love for each other can cost a bloody fortune. Image: Getty Images.

Despite my resentment,  I couldn't help but think perhaps I was just being a bit of a cheapskate and should just cough up the extra present.

Unsure as to whether I was being scummy or not, I reached out to several other women to see what the general consensus is around gift-giving for engaged couples, and as it turns out, many shared my... hesitations.

Here's what they said:

  • "I think there should be one wedding present and it should be whatever that person can afford/would like to give you. End of. I don't think an engagement gift is acceptable, a card yes, not a gift. We made my friend a photo book for her hens. Something like that is nice, but not a full-on expensive gift."
  • "I usually do a small or group gift for an engagement, or even just flowers. Bridal shower gifts just seem so unnecessary, particularly if people are spending a lot of money on the hens. Obvi wedding gift though!!"
  • "I always give a small gift at the engagement party and obviously a wedding gift. But I've never grabbed a gift for a hens or bridal shower."
  • "I think engagement and wedding is acceptable. Anything more is too much."
  • "All I had was a hens and my wedding. I don't feel like getting engaged is an achievement that I deserved a gift for. And I have no idea what a bridal shower is. And a kitchen tea, who TF wants to spend an afternoon folding tea towels and speed-peeling carrots?"

An additional interesting point was raised in our discussion: What about single people? Why do they not get gifts?

And it's so true.

We've come to celebrate finding love by giving presents, but if you don't find love, are you supposed to pay for all your new house appliances by yourself? That seems... harsh.

I reckon at this rate I'll be gifting $500 per wedding, and that's hardly fair on singletons.

But the thing is... despite my whining, despite the argument that singletons deserve recognition too, despite the fact I will 100 per cent be there for my friend on her big day, genuinely celebrating with her at all the pre-wedding events and am buying her two gifts, I still feel guilty about not buying a bridal shower gift.

I feel guilty because it would mean I am not meeting my friend's expectations, and would potentially let her down. Something I never want to do.

So what do I do?

Lay down the law that she's requesting too many presents? Or suck it up and splash out on a new kettle?

I'm inclined to brush the bridal shower present under the rug, but if you have a diplomatic solution, I'm all ears.

Feature Image: Unsplash.

How many presents do you think is enough for one engaged couple? Tell us in the comments below.