Wedding Reception/Party: is this a thing?

My daughter and her then-fiance eloped a few months ago, getting married without having to deal with COVID stuff. After the wedding they closed on a house and have moved in. They wanted to have a combination housewarming party/wedding party/excuse to have fun, and that is coming up soon. Everyone attending is fully vaccinated; this might be the first event we’ve attended where this is the case!

They set up a gift registry, because although they’ve lived together through college, medical school, etc, they wanted to replace all the patchwork dishes/cutlery/etc that they’ve been using. My daughter’s plan was to include everything they need/want in the gift registry, then use it as a shopping list to purchase whatever they do not get.

I’ve been watching the registry. My plan was to purchase a few of the more expensive items, plus give them some cash. Last night I went through all that was left and loaded it all into my online shopping cart. It was a little more than I’d planned to give, but what-the-heck, so I paid for it all after seeing that everyone else was done shopping.

Is doing this a thing? As I was checking out I wondered whether other parents have done this.


My son and his wife eloped last year. My wife and I along with his two sisters attended and had small family dinner to celebrate. A few months later they moved about 400 miles and moved in with us. They never told her family or his mother or their close friends that they eloped.

They both got jobs in our community, have been saving money living with us for the last 9 months. They just recently got their own apartment and are planning their “official” wedding here in a couple of months. Wedding will have about 125 guests in a big church followed by a sit down dinner reception with open bar and DJ. They are registering for gifts as many couples traditionally do. My wife and I are paying for the wedding and the reception. We will get them a nice gift, but I doubt that we will buy everything that’s not purchased in their registry.

Congratulations on your daughter’s marriage!

And congratulations on your son’s marriage! Cheers!

Budget and finances have a lot to do with this. It is incredibly sweet for kayaker to swoop in and get all the leftovers, so that the couple need not get any of it themselves.

But it seems to me that this is above and beyond the call of duty. If this were to become “a thing”, it could backfire in all sorts of ways, with hurt feelings all over the place: Some couples will add all sorts of frills to the registry, knowing that Mom and Dad will make sure everything is taken care of. And other couples will keep the registry list as small as possible so as not to impose on them.

It’s always best when everyone is free to spend as much or as little money as is appropriate to their situation, and it is fantastic how that worked out for kayaker and kids. Congratulations!

One thing to know about registries: it is common for stores to offer a discount on anything left unpurchased from the registry after the event. So it’s not uncommon for people to put things on the registry that they don’t really expect anyone to buy for them, because then they can buy it themselves later for 5-10% off.

Now you tell me! :grin:

One possible reason for you not to swoop in and clear out the gift registry is that you’re leaving nothing for anyone who hasn’t yet bought them something.

That was my concern as well. That was why I waited till the last possible moment. I looked at the registry and was going to shop as soon as I had the link and nothing had yet been taken, but decided to wait.

A former coworker and his now wife are both from Korea. When they got engaged, he was either a naturalized citizen or at least permanent resident, I’m not sure which. She was here on a student visa, if I remember correctly, or some other sort of temporary visa. They got married in the legal sense at city hall before her visa expired so she could legally remain in the US, and then had the formal wedding ceremony and reception for friends and family a few months later.

Kayaker and Omar Little, congrats and good on you both!

I’m sure family economics plays into it. But it is a really nice gesture and a way of “giving an inheritance” when the new couple is just starting out. And I am sure it’s a lot more useful than waiting for y’all to kick the bucket and leave some money when it’s just a rounding error. :rofl:

(I not only paid for my wedding, I also paid for my parents to come to Hong Kong for a week to attend. It was expensive but not crippling for me financially, but would have been a lot more useful/meaningful to have gotten $10k then instead of when they passed and the formal inheritance happened.)

A wedding reception at a time separate to the actual wedding isn’t uncommon IME, even pre-covid. I’ve only been to two but people I know have mentioned others that they’ve been to.

The ones I went to didn’t have a gift registry, but they were adults who already had their own home and just didn’t expect gifts. Maybe some people bought them gifts anyway, but there was no expectation of it. For your daughter it’s a bit different - and taking a gift to a housewarming isn’t unusual either.

It all sounds totally reasonable and sensible to me.

The party was Saturday, and it was a blast. My brother came from Michigan and stayed with us for the weekend. I’m just now sobering up.

Two crazy things happened. My gf knew many of the women who I did not know, from the shower party. So, women were coming up to us all day and if I didn’t recognize them, I’d tell my gf, “hey, here comes one of your friends”. I did this at one point when I needed to refresh my drink, “hey, here comes some lady you know”, and walked away to the bar. When I returned everyone was laughing at me. The lady was my ex-wife. My daughter is so cool. Although she didn’t mention her mom was attending, she did seat her far away from all the cool people, back in a dark corner.

The second thing was that although I had spent a lot on the registry, I also wrote a “big” check and put it in the card. I didn’t tell my gf this. At the party she tracked down someone in management. She arranged to pay the bill for the party via credit card. Once the bar shut down she went back and did the paperwork.

So, we were driving home and she told me what she’d done. I told her about the check I put in with the card. We should have discussed all of this, but hell, I only have one daughter and she is special to me. :heart:

Not making a moral judgment but rather obviously, buying every single thing on their wishlist is pretty extravagant. But it sounds like you got money to burn so what the heck. Most people don’t, so no it’s not a “thing”.

I do not. I’m 63, which is older than I ever thought I’d live to see. I’m gambling on not being around too damn long.

If you think you’re going to die soon, everyone has money to burn.

And sorry, your privilege kinda smells. Don’t sit there and type you bought every damn leftover on the gift registry and tell us you don’t have conspicuously extra money. You insult people who actually need to budget their money. Gross.

It wasn’t a fortune, really, and it was less than other fathers I’ve talked with have spent on their daughter’s weddings. I was lucky, their eloping saved me a bunch.

How much was it?

What happened to “not making a moral judgment”?

You don’t think that a statement of a rather obvious nature? What do you disagree with?

Eta: ok, “gross” is judgy. Mea culpa. But do really think “you got money to burn” is really off?