Today I received a wedding invitation in the post. It is a very fine invitation.
Modern, edgy but with strong traditional font, and very, very elegant. Included is an accept or decline return slip (complete with space for dietary requirements) and a gift registry tag with dot.com address and registration number.
The marriage is in a beautiful old church. Following the wedding at a beautiful park close by, is ‘the cutting of the cake and celebratory toast’. Then, some 5 1/2 hours later in a winery, 25 kilometers away and on the other side of the city, is the reception. (Dress: Lounge Suit. I can’t help but consider a sofa in black tie and tails.)
Now, I do love these people. I love them very much, and totally respect their choices and am sure they will have a wonderful, wonderful day. But the invitation got me to thinking.
I was married in the 80′s. Big white wedding, billowing dress, bridesmaids in flying saucer hats. 3 tier wedding cake, Church priest bellowing fire and brimstone to the poor guests, 4 course meal at the reception. Wine, champagne, dancing. Dolls on the cake. The arch of friendship. Shoes and pots tied to the getaway car. Wedding night in a swanky hotel in the City. (Groom and groomsmen in grey suits with pink ties. I did say it was the 80′s).
There was no registry back then. Sure, we had heard of them – posh, rich or wanky swanky families used those – usually with gifts listed that amounted into high end of 3 figures. No, we trusted the guests with their gift of choice. Their own choosing. I recall a toaster, some towels, some crockery, a crock pot (I still have that, although the husband has gone the way of the old arcoroc plates). An upright top loading washing machine was the star, alongside some Rodd silver cutlery, gifted from parents of the groom, and parents of the bride respectively. (I still have the cutlery. And the Crystal. One of the glasses is now chipped rendering the set imperfect. I know how it feels.)
I have had a look at the gift registry wish list included in my invitation. As I thought, they have good taste. (Good, expensive taste – but very good). It includes, not surprisingly, top shelf items that I have had to wait for, 20 years after my marriage, to be able to put in my kitchen – or my home. (Or not have at all as yet).
Starting out for us, was with whatever we had. No 9 piece Esteele saucepan set. We had mum’s old ones and some that I had saved for myself as a teenager. No country Road executive size towels. I had some from my ‘glory box’ (remember those, girls? Do people still have them?) and some from mum’s old castoffs. No Stanley Rodgers flatware, or Le Crueset cookware. Just whatever people had gifted us or we could find. After all, back then, starting out meant just that – the idea was to build a life together (ooops, flunked that), work hard, and in time, the good things in life are appreciated, because the value of relationships, people and things – mere material objects – are truly recognised as the years advance.
So – what’s your opinion on gift registries? Experiences? Is this a commonplace inclusion of the noughties? Did you start out with everything, nothing – or somewhere in between?