Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Most Regifted Wedding Present Ever: The Crystal Vase




I think more than 70% of all the crystal vases given to newlyweds each year is a re-gift. It's that dirty little secret that happens at weddings every year. No one talks about it, but everyone knows it's happening.

To the newlywed couple, receiving a crystal vase is at first a thrill. The fragility and the luxuriousness of it all makes you feel like you're finally a grown-up and a real "married" person. No more 7/11 Big Gulp cups posing for vases for you my friend, you've got crystal in the house now. I remember clearly, receiving 35 different kinds of vases at my wedding. At first I thought, wow, how generous, and then after I opened the 10th box of yet another crystal vase, it dawned on me, what am I going to do with all this crystal? We didn't even a have a showcase or enough ledges in the apartment to hold all of these.

I put up what I could on any flat surface I could find, the window sill, the dining table, even the corner of the bathroom sink. I even remember buying a small table from The Bombay Company just to display some of the crystal vases. The rest of the vases that were unopened were gradually re-gifted to unsuspecting couples who married after us. I had no use for them, and I'm sure the new couple would realize that they had no use for them either, but I had to get rid of those vases. I felt a little guilty at first, re-gifting something so impractical, but after a couple of times, I got over the guilt. First of all, I knew that I wouldn't be the only person giving them a crystal vase, and secondly, I knew that within a few years, the couple would eventually re-gift it to someone else. Passing it around like a hot potato. That's what married people do with crystal vases.

I don't know where the tradition of gifting newlyweds crystal vases came from, but I think a more practical idea for a gift would be cookware, flatware, bedding, or honestly, a gift card to Bed Bad and Beyond. Very rarely do newlyweds buy themselves a crystal vase, they are more likely to buy a toaster oven.

17 comments:

Sadaf Trimarchi said...

I so have to comment on this.

This crystal vase thing is a nasty little desi habit that seriously has to be nipped in the bud. And please don't kid yourself that these crystal vases are all that expensive either. I can't tell you how many cheapie boxes of Mikasa crystal I've stumbled across at Amazing Savings, Odd Lot or whatever. I had no idea desis were this awful about regifting this crap, it was a big shocker when I got married.

And seriously, the non-desi people we invited did not give us gifts like this. They sensibly stuck to our registry (now there's a crazy idea) or just gave a check.

Honestly, I would rather not get a wedding present at all than have to write a freakin thank you note for a gift like this. And I wrote a whole bunch of them, forcing myself to creatively describe my gratitude for such a wonderful present!

We saved two vases that were clearly nice ones and put the rest out at the very first garage sale we held.

Please let me be the first to call a moratorium on this crystal vase/crystal picture frame/ crystal serving platter crap unless it is specifically requested by the couple on their wedding registry.

PLEASE!!!

Chic Mommy said...

haha! I love you Sadaf! Right on. And much respect to you that you chose to sell yours instead of regifting it. I didn't think anyone would want to buy stuff like this so I did the typical desi thing and regifted the bitch. I swear, I think the same crystal vase changes hands every six months.

Ash said...

ha ha, i have seen crystal vases in £1 shops too, so i know exacty what you are talking about.

I wasn't too upset when i received one of these cheap crystal vases on my wedding, as it was only one of the 5 gifts that we received from my husbands side of the family.

We invited the same couple over for dinner and even though we were not expecting anything they got us 4 crystal glasses!

A cheap bunch of flowers would do but even then, the flowers would probably cost more. he he

Elyria said...

At least you can use a vase. What do you do when you end up with 4 silver tea sets?! Over a decade later and I still am stuck with 2.

Aisha said...

For my wedding we requested "no boxed gifts" because it seems that desis dont know how to use bridal registeries for the most part and will say "oh we can find the same thing cheaper at walmart" and go off your registery. We used the money to buy furniture and set us up.

Aisha said...

oh man, I had to share a funny regift story though, we friends bought a silly mikasa thing and we put into the regifting stream wondering if it would end up reaching us someday. We marked it in a place on the box no one would notice. Sure enough in less than two months I got it from a friend. I found it hilarious because we were able to trace its arrival through the regifting chain.

Viv said...

TGFCL-- Thank God for Craig's List. That's what we plan to do with our weirdo wedding gifts.

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August Sunshine said...

I have an elderly friend (over 70), a retired lawyer in FL, who tried to get a sense for what sort of gift we might want for our wedding. She said crystal is traditional, and I thought, "Hmmm, really? Is that why Macy's has a huge section full of items made in crystal?" I of course knew that it was a heavily regifted item as well, at least in South Asian circles.

I definitely didn't want it. We were going to be moving, and then moving again when I would start law school.

I don't remember the rest of the conversation, but my friend is so hip and cool. She got us a portable DVD player. :-)

August Sunshine said...

Btw, Chic, I got the BR shoes but when I tried them on, I realized why they hadn't worked the first time. It all seemed familiar, I had tried them on at a BR store.

They reveal my toes, so the overall look is not very attractive on me. Sucks.

Safa said...

Funny enough...thinking back to my own wedding...I didn't get even ONE crystal vase.....funny! And I know that over the years, I have bought some to give as gifts.....strange!

What I did receive was about 10 boxes of dinnerware sets, serving 8. I remember opening 3 of them, and setting them up in my house, when my husband came home and was like...OMG WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

LOL...I was opening the ones that I liked. But he explained to me that these were recyclable gifts, that we really had no use for. SIGH! Never thought about marking boxes tho.....for the longest time, I had boxes of stuff in the front door closets...with all the jackets and the shoes....

Prachi Junankar-Gokhale said...

It's been 6 years since our wedding and I finally got rid of my 16 crystal vases last weekend at a garage sale. The buyers? Little old ladies.
Desis are dreadful regifters. I remember some of the horrible gifts we got. Shudder. Thankfully, most people either stuck to cash or the registry.

Morag said...

I'm so sorry to say it's not just you. Not only did I get an assortment of crystal vases, but I got this big honking crystal flower that must be about 2.5 feet wide. I have NO idea what to do with it. The world's largest loose change collector?

Ashini said...

Oh, Mikasa into su casa because it don't belong in mi casa!

toycannon said...

What arrogant spoiled little brats. I love crystal, it's beautiful and I cherished every piece I received, I would rather not get you babies anything, you have forgotten the whole concept of it all. Grow up!

Rael said...

... But its the blessing in disguise! Think: there could be some antique crystal hiding behind the trimmings... literally!

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