You didn’t want a big wedding, but with your massive, close-knit family, that was out of the question. And then you didn’t want a bridal shower, but your aunts and mom’s friends absolutely insisted upon it—and admit it, you had a great time and left with a KitchenAid mixer. But now you’re considering bucking another wedding tradition and actually sticking to it this time: No gifts. Seriously, no gifts.
You can see all of your mom’s friends raising an eyebrow and chatting amongst themselves:
“It’s just the way these millennials talk—she wants gifts.”
“But there’s a wedding registry, right?”
“Well, I’m still commissioning a wall-sized painting from this woman I met at the art fair who takes baby pictures of the bride and groom and blends them together into one big baby.”
But here’s the truth behind this gift-less wedding trend: The couple really doesn’t need anything. As more and more couples live together before they make it official, they start building their homes with the items they might’ve registered for had they been doing this whole dance a couple decades ago. Why register for plates when you already have plates?
And it’s not just that they don’t need things, but they also don’t need the cash. According to the 2018 U.S. Census, the median age of marriage for women (28 years) and men (30 years) is the highest it’s ever been. People are getting married when they’re a little older, wiser and probably a little more financially stable than they were back in even 1990, when the median age was 24 and 26, respectively. So, when engaged couples say, “No gifts,” they probably really mean it.
Tradition is hard to refuse. And since people know their guests still want to give something, many no-gift couples suggest that in lieu of presents, to please donate to a specific charity or cause. Nice, right? But if that’s still too hard a pill to swallow, what couple wouldn’t want a wall-sized baby portrait? (On second thought, just write that check to the ACLU.)