Ask a Grown Man: Vol. VII (Wedding Edition)

29 Jul

I’m shocked that I actually got guys to ask wedding questions!  Nice job, gentlemen.  Let’s do this…

Dear Non Man-child,

I am a grown man of 30 and so is my fiancée to be (30 yrs old, not a man), and we are wondering what the most appropriate way of telling future wedding guest, we would rather have cash instead of gifts?  We both have more than enough toasters, pans, plates etc and would rather take the money and run (due to age and stage).  Is there a nice and easy way to accomplish this without pissing people off and making me look like a D-bag?  Or am I going to have to spend the first six months of marriage making Target returns?

Love and hugs,
Luke

Cash Money Millionaire,

Oh Lord, you’re so ungrateful!  “I’m Luke, I don’t want my grandma to get me a punch bowl – my 40-year-old (male) fiance and I already have 50 zillion punch bowls! We don’t have time to return this stuff – we’re upwardly mobile 30-somethings that simply must be at every indie movie premier!”

Just messing with you, Mr. Skywalker. You’ve asked a solid question that I bet a lot of couples are afraid to ask, and I’m happy to answer it.

Cash as a wedding gift is likely the most logical present.  Really, it’s a win-win for both parties involved.  You and the Mr. can use it to buy whatever you may need, and you don’t have to fuss with non-registry duds, duplicates, or as you said, “six-months of Target returns.”  Additionally, the giver can simply stuff an envelope and save an exhausting trip to commerce hell.  Everybody wins, right? Well, kinda.

Giving a gift at a wedding is really for the giver.  People want to know that they’re supporting you and your spouse in your new endeavor.  While you could clearly accomplish the same means with cash, people get a vibe that maybe they’re just chipping in on that month’s rent – which lacks the sentimentality.  I fully understand why you and your husband-to-be don’t want another toaster, as it’s quite difficult to get Sandals Jamaica to accept a Cuisinart for your couples massage.  However, you may have to meet in the middle. Here are some options:

a) Register at a place that’s fantastic at returning merchandise (like Bed Bath & Beyond, not like Target – they’re literally the worst).  Then, when people inevitably don’t get excited about giving you money and insist on buying dip trays, at least you’ll be guaranteed cash for the return.

b) Spread the word among your family and wedding party that cash would be rad-tastic.  They’ll understand and, in turn, tell others. At the end of the day, the cash discussion is probably best served (and the least tacky) by having face-to-face discussions.  I really don’t think it’s good manners to put it in the invitation.

c) Register at a bank.

d) All of the above.

Luke, you’re in a hard spot that I bet a ton of people find themselves in.  You’ve got everything you need (“toasters, pans, plates, etc.”) but wouldn’t mind some start-up funding on your new enterprise.  And while I wish it was totally acceptable to go all cash, especially for folks like you and your groom (I’m not dropping this joke) who are well established enough as individuals that you don’t require most of what’s considered a wedding gift, we’re just not there as a society and I think you’re going to have to make some returns. Hopefully though, getting the cash conversation out there and registering with generous businesses will alleviate some of the burden.

Good luck to you and your lovely fiance! I’m sure she’s wonderful.

All about the Benjamin’s,
GM

I’ve got a question for you, GM.

I asked my best friend to be the best man in my wedding – because he’s been my best friend.  Now that the wedding is approaching, he seems unsupportive and I don’t think he likes my fiancée.  How would you handle the situation in a classy way?  Is this something I should have asked him about before asking him, or should he have declined to be my best man?  I just feel that the person who is my best man should also be supportive of the wedding itself.

Kind sir,

This is one crappy situation.  I can’t imagine struggling with your friend and trying to honor your fiancée at the same time – I’m really sorry you’re having to deal with this junk during a time that should be anything but dramatic.

That being said, your friend must be politely taken to the woodshed.  I don’t know the back story of why he could possibly dislike your fiancée, but in the final analysis, you owe it to her to take care of this.  The final sentence of your question was spot-on.  The best man should indeed be supportive and have your back completely as you stand there with your bride – no exceptions.

Grown Fiancé, the classy way to handle the situation is do what, I presume, you already know you have to do – have “the talk” with your best man.  There’s nothing harder than taking a situation like this head on, but there’s also nothing more effective.  He needs to know how you feel, he needs to be given the opportunity to share his side, and at the end of the day, you need to both move forward in honoring your bride-to-be by making sure that this guy is 100% on board.  If you can’t see eye-to-eye and get him to a place where he’s supportive, then he’s effectively voided his best man contract and needs to be uninvited. You simply can’t allow that tension to be a part of your wedding.

I know you’ve got it in you to do the right thing. I’m sorry you have to do it but appreciate you making the first of many bold moves to fiercely defend and respect your wife.

Good luck,
GM

That is all, Grown Men.  Until next Thursday, keep asking those great questions…

8 Responses to “Ask a Grown Man: Vol. VII (Wedding Edition)”

  1. Steve 29 July 2010 at 7:44 pm #

    You can also register for websites that allow guests to help pay for part of the honeymoon, such as http://www.honeyfund.com/. Makes it easier for those of us that don’t want to buy a toaster, but don’t want to give cash since it does lack the sentimentality.

    Also, I was asked to emcee a wedding reception, any tips on that one?

    • You're a Grown Man 29 July 2010 at 8:00 pm #

      Oh man, that’s an awesome site and a fantastic idea – good one, Steve!

      As far as emcee duties go, here’s what comes to mind: 1- Don’t curse 2-Don’t get drunk 3-Practice the names of the wedding party 5-6 million times before you have to announce them. 4-Don’t go more than 5 minutes without saying “AWWWWW YEAH, BOYYYYYYYYY!” into the mic. loud enough so that everyone knows you mean freaking business.

      Good luck, Steve. Let us know how it goes

      • Steve 29 July 2010 at 8:06 pm #

        2-Don’t get drunk

        What if the bride and groom specifically asked me because of my “personality” when I drink?

        And I’ll definitely have to remember #4, sounds like a total winner winner, chicken dinner to me.

  2. Jameson 29 July 2010 at 7:50 pm #

    Great answers, GM.

    I would like to interject, for the man looking to get cash instead of physical presents. My fiancée and I had a similar problem. We solved the problem by using a travel website – like http://www.travelersjoy.com. The givers can pick out specific parts of your trip to pay for (elephant rides in Bali, tickets to a monkey forest, etc.) so they still get the sentimental experience. But in the end, you just get a huge check from the travel website, that you can use to spend on your trip.

    This does only work, however, if you like to travel.

    • You're a Grown Man 31 July 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      Brilliant! I hope Luke’s reading this.

      Thanks so much, Jameson. And thank you for taking the time to read and comment!

  3. whywecantbebros 30 July 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Happy 5 year marriage anniversary, Grown Man. In honor of your 5 years and my gift to you, my last post was dedicated to you two. May you have many more.

    Respects,

    Your Bro

    • You're a Grown Man 31 July 2010 at 2:52 pm #

      A post dedicated to me? You’re fantastic, thanks “Your Bro”…you’re a good man.

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