Dear Snarky I Went to a Fundraiser Disguised as a Wedding

Dear Snarky,

I’m sure I just got robbed. My friend got married last weekend and it was a joke. She had 4 bridal showers where I had to pony up a present and then I go to her wedding for 200 people and it’s an outdoor ceremony in a field off the interstate. If that doesn’t suck enough for you the reception consisted of 2 picnic tables with lemonade, ice tea, something called a popcorn bar and a doughnut cake.

Then the happy couple had the nerve to ask for donations to help pay for their honeymoon and they passed around a basket.

I’m all for people not going into debt to get married, but I feel like I’ve been scammed. I dropped like $500 on shower gifts and a wedding present and all I get in return is popcorn, a doughnut hole and mosquito bites. Am I wrong to feel taken advantage of?

Signed, Majorly Ticked Off

Dear Ticked Off,

There is no wedding math where the number of showers you attend creates an algorithm about how fancy a wedding should be. For example, attending four showers doesn’t equal a wedding reception with an open bar and a sit-down dinner.

That said, I think a bride and groom hosting a wedding for 200 people should be thinking, just a little, about their guest’s comfort and experience. I’m not going to lie popcorn and a donut hole sounds grim. But, back in the day people got married and the reception consisted of cake, punch and for some reason always Jordan almonds. (Just why on that? Please someone tell me.)

In fact, I was almost going to give the couple a pass, but then I got to the part in the letter where you mentioned that the bride and groomed asked for honeymoon donations and I was aghast. A wedding is not your own personal fundraiser and this couple’s character sounds a little gift grabby.

So, based on that I’m going to say you go right ahead and feel justified wallowing in your anger while you scratch those mosquito bites.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude 😉 – email me at or PM on my Snarky FB page.

11 thoughts on “Dear Snarky I Went to a Fundraiser Disguised as a Wedding

  1. Alyce says:

    Both the wedding guest and the bride and groom are in the wrong. The guest shouldn’t expect her wedding experience to equal the amount she paid in gifts and the bride and groom shouldn’t have a wedding for 200 people and only offer ice tea, lemonade, popcorn and donuts. In my opinion that is shameful!

  2. Alex says:

    I love an offbeat wedding. But the key to that is communication before the event of what to expect. If you’re gonna have 10 people in a park then pay-your-own-way at a restaurant, great! But tell guests beforehand. And 200 people in a random field + donation requests does sound a like a money grab, independent of the shower situation.

  3. Jeanine says:

    If I were at a wedding and scratching mosquito bites, I’d probably scratch that “friend” off my friend list.

    You have been taken advantage of. But, then, you did attend all the showers. One shower, maybe two, then it’s “Thank you for the invitation, but I already have plans.” Or, “I’ve already attended a shower for the bride, but thank you.”

    And, you know, you may have been invited to all four because those giving the shower didn’t want you to feel left out of any wedding “doings”.

  4. Kristie says:

    A friend that I reconnected with about 15yrs out of HS got married a few years back. I was invited to 4 different showers: 2 different bridal showers, a couples shower, and a stock he house shower. This girl is well off, and at close to 40 didn’t need all of the stuff. She claimed that many of her friends wanted to throw showers for her b/c she’d been responsible for throwing bridal/wedding showers, baby showers, and other parties for them over the years. I get it, but at the same time felt it was over the top, especially since gifts were obviously expected at all events (based on the links to registries that were provided). I chose to attend the formal bridal shower and begged off the remaining events. That said, there was no “offering basket” passed around at the reception, and it was a very nice indoor event, so at least I didn’t get hosed in that regard.

    I definitely would have refrained from contributing to the honeymoon basket, and she is completely in her right to complain about it. Very tacky to be hit up for cash like that…

      • Kristie says:

        Maybe it was a “stock the kitchen” party. Heck. I don’t know. Something about buying stuff for some room of the house. Since that was the 4th party, I didn’t go or buy another gift…

  5. Stephanie says:

    I certainly don’t think wedding guests should expect to receive a wedding experience equivalent to the amount they spent on gifts. It is perfectly in your right to spend as much or as little as you want on gifts. And the couple should NOT be required to have a fancy dinner, no matter how many guests are invited. (I’m not sure exactly when cake, nuts and punch went out the door in favor of sit down dinners.) But the couple should have NEVER passed a hat around for honeymoon donations! Tacky tacky tacky!

  6. justabitofpeace says:

    Those almonds have a long history of life, happiness and all that good stuff. We had mints at our wedding, since it wasn’t traditional to do the almonds in my day. I have been telling my daughter that people are showing a lack of class many times when inviting the same people to repeated showers, showers given by family instead of friends, etc. Perhaps it is time to let old customs go, but I wouldn’t want her to feel like she ever needs to go to more than one shower. I for one will just be glad when people quit planning weddings in random fields and if you can’t afford a nice cake and some punch, just have a few people in your backyard.

  7. CrankyB says:

    My husband was invited to his cousin’s third wedding then informed the day before that the actual wedding was for immediate family only and that he was really invited to the afternoon “reception” to be held at the groom’s home. Wearing a navy blazer/khakis/collared shirt/tie, he arrived after a 3-hour drive and discovered that almost every guest was in t-shirts and jeans/shorts. The main dish served was Walmart fried chicken straight out of the boxes the chicken was sold in. Classy. The gift table and card basket were very prominently placed in the buggy backyard. Glad I missed that particular fundraising hillbilly-fest.

  8. Donnadon says:

    This is almost as tacky as the wedding guest that got a bill from the bride and groom because the value of their gift didn’t match the per person cost of the reception. I’m a very crafty person and I like giving a handmade gift from the heart. I stopped that when the last gift I gave (to a special cousin who was a bridesmaid) was barely acknowledged. (I received a shower and wedding gift thank you on the same card.)

    Another time I made two quilts for a baby shower. My friend turned her nose up at them at the shower.

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