Gifts for Weddings in Argentina
Cash is King
It seemed odd to me, that for the several weddings I have been to in Argentina people asked for cash as their wedding gift. I have always been taught that cash—while extremely useful and certainly an appropriate gift from an uncle or grandparent—constitutes a quite tacky gift between peers. Yet every couple whose wedding I have attended in Argentina has asked for money. So this led to several heated discussions between my girlfriend and I over whether money is an appropriate wedding gift to ASK FOR.…
Times are changing, Lourdes (my girlfriend) would argue. People don’t get married then go to live together, they go to live together and then they get married. Thus the old adage of newlyweds “building a house” together doesn’t really apply, because most newlyweds will have already done most of that. So blenders and dishes and furniture are no longer gifts of preference because many couples already have that. This I understand.
What I have trouble wrapping my brain around, though, is the idea that the wedding costs a lot of money and that therefore I should, in essence, make a donation to the cause. This has been an argument used to justify cash gifts. The problem, though, is that I didn’t decide to put on the wedding in the first place. Many couples elope and decide to do things on their own or with small groups of more intimate friends and family at a very low cost. Cost, therefore, is all up to the people putting on the wedding and if they cannot afford it, they shouldn’t do it (although many a politician might disagree with that). Also, I didn’t decide what to spend the money on for the wedding. I don’t even know if I’m going to like the food (which I didn’t at any of them save one) let alone the ceremony. So what I feel basically is that I’m being asked to attend a ceremony by a friend (or acquaintance) of mine, that will be catered to their tastes and that I should give them money to use for their honeymoon or bill paying or for the wedding and reception itself.
I have thrown many a party in my life and I have never asked for people to pay to come in the door. There might have been a couple of parties I attended in college where some drunken guy with a baseball hat on backwards was asking for 5 bucks for a plastic cup at the keg but besides that I have not heard of asking for cash as a wedding gift. But maybe I’m in the dark. Maybe this phenomenon is all too common and I just haven’t paid enough attention. I wonder, though, is it common in both the US and Argentina? What about other countries in the world?
I await your feedback…