I’m not a huge fan of wishing wells at the best of times, I prefer to purchase a gift for a newly married couple, but each to their own. They want it, I’ll do it. However over the weekend, I discovered something about my wishing well habits that has left me slightly red faced. I’ve discovered that I am an accidental tight arse.
Here’s the scene. I’m sitting with my girlfriends chatting over coffee. We’re talking about a wedding we have coming up over the weekend. The topic of gifts came up and one friend reminded us all that it’s a wishing well set up. “Great”, I said “I’ll just chuck a hundred in an envelope”.
Cue awkward silence.
Luckily I have known these girls for a long time and there is no backwards in coming forwards, if you know what I mean. “A hundred”, asks one friend “don’t be a tight arse”.
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Naturally I questioned what other people were handing out when it came to wishing wells. Apparently the figure is actually more like $200 per couple, $250-300 if you’re feeling generous.
How was I to know?
The wishing well thing is a bit secretive and guests don’t really talk about it amongst themselves. You just pop your card in the well and move on. I guess I just gave what I thought I would spend on a gift which would usually be around $100-$150, or $200 for a really good friend maybe.
With a wishing well everyone has to be your good friend, otherwise they know what you really think of them.
I was told by my friend that she thought the idea behind wishing wells is that you usually give the cost of covering your dinner at the reception.
I have some issues with that.
If that was the case I should give more to the friend who opts for an extravagant affair than to the one who opts for a backyard wedding.
I also find it awkward that I should be paying for someone’s wedding day. If you can’t afford it, perhaps you shouldn’t have the day with the fancy cars, the huge venue.
But that’s neither here nor there, just my personal opinion. The bottom line is that I’m afraid I’ve been offending my friends for years without even knowing it.
I picture them sitting together after the wedding opening cards from the wishing well. I imagine them reading well wishes and putting the money to the side, making note of who gave what in order to thank guests later. Then I see them get to my card and think "Oh".
Maybe this is an etiquette thing I didn't get the memo about. I'm not sure. What I do know is that I'm sorry for any friends who have recently got married and thought I was being a tight arse. I just didn't know!