No-one needs an $80 bin

MY cousin is getting married, and while I’m incredibly happy for her and her husband-to-be, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed at the task in front of me.

I’m looking longingly at my wallet and wondering how I can protect it from this whole ordeal.

The thing is, weddings are expensive. We all know they’re very expensive for the happy couple, but these days they’re also expensive for the guests.


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It started when my cousin sent me her gift registry a few months back… for her engagement party. Call me naïve, but don’t you normally save the gift grab, I mean, gift registry for the big day?

Scanning through the list I saw some pretty reasonable items: Sheets, kettle, pedal bin, etc.

Then I looked at the prices.

Sheet set: $269.

Kettle: $139.

Pedal Bin: $79.

Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I sent a silent apology to my cousin; she wouldn’t be receiving any beautiful pre-selected gifts from me. Honestly, an $80 bin? No-one needs that.

I thought everyone knew the rules of gift registries. You’ve got to include at least a dozen items under $50 so your not-so-close relatives (hello!) can give you something useful yet affordable. To bypass this rule is just poor form.

And let’s not forget: this is the registry for the engagement party. I thought they were kind of present-optional, because it’s the first of a string of pricey events that will include gifts and chip-ins (the kitchen tea, the hen’s night and the wedding itself). Can see why I’m being a little reserved with my money?

I don’t want to feel this way; I want to be unreservedly excited for my cousin.

But, quite frankly, I sleep on $40 Target sheets and I use a $39 Kambrook kettle because that’s all I can afford. I find it a little unfair that I’m expected to fork out for big brand versions of the same for her!

Anyway, I ended up going the easy, boring route for the engagement – cash in a card.

Then today, I received the invitation to the wedding. There’s no gift registry this time; there’s going to be a time-honoured wishing well, communicated via a traditional cheesy poem requesting cash not trash (perhaps the wording wasn’t quite so crass, but I tend to tune out after the first line).

And also? It’s going to be a dry wedding.

Any chance I can just send them cash in a card and skip it altogether?

Or would that be considered poor form?

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