MSN presents the Worst wedding gifts ever

By Miles Stiverson

With the summer in full swing, chances are good you'll be attending a wedding -- or maybe a few -- and as a guest, you'll be faced with the age-old question: What should you give? If you're thinking about anything that appears on the list below, please reconsider. Brides told us the worst wedding gifts they received.

Highlights include dollar store junk, empty gift cards, broken kitchenware, Why Men Love Bitches, and, naturally, Febreeze.


Get in my matrimonial belly!

Who hates those stale Jordan almonds that are often stuffed into net bags and scattered around wedding receptions by wedding planners hoping to send some business to their brother the dentist? Raise your hands along with me. Come on...an unsuspecting guest could crap their teeth on those. I see it as warfare. Nothing but agression set upon singles and old folks by the bride and groom.

Why can't they have something like what we see here: Delicious little handfuls of Jelly Belly jelly beans in color coordinated little bags specially stuffed for your wedding. They even have a handy equation on their Web site to help brides and grooms to be calculate how many beans they will need to make their special day even sweeter. Never teh Bride really, really likes this idea.


There must be something in the air

In the past few days, it seems that my circle of comrades has been hit with wedding fever. An old friend from high school wrote me an e-mail to announce that she and her beau are shopping for a ring. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it is more fun to let the ring be a surprise. Then I found out that a fellow I have know for something like four years got married last autumn and is "absolutely loving it." And then I received a note from a pseudocoworker that stated he wouldn't be around much in the next few weeks because he will be embarking upon matrimonial bliss!

The others, who have all been mentioned before, are knee deep in wedding plans and picking out colors, venues, and cake toppers. Meanwhile, I'm getting snubbed by my paternal grandmother because I'm simply taking too long to tie the knot. Thanks, grandma!

So did I not receive the memo? More importantly, did The Beard not receive the memo?


The Beard versus The Greys

Ack, ack, ack!

Yesterday, Never teh Bride found another grey hair. And, the day before that, still another. That makes four since The Beard's birthday. Four! I showed them to The Beard, hoping to help him understand the reality of the situation and the impending fall of my youthfulness, but he simply looked at me and said, "Are you having a quarter-life crisis? I got my first grey hair when I was 20." Oh, woe.

I'm feeling decidedly old.



No offense to this cake's designer, who was doing a lovely job until he vomited up his alfredo sauce while pushing in what appear to be real yellow and red roses, but this cake sucks. It's as boring as some of today's reception decorations are boring. Think of the last few weddings you have attended. I bet I can describe at least some of their elements. Unisized tables, all round, with square white tablecloths draped over square unicolored tablecloths. There was a definite theme color that perhaps did not vary much in hue from the wedding party's theme. There were uncomfy, dentist's convention chairs or the ones made to look like tropical wood but really aren't.

I know chairs are going to be uncomfortable. Halls most often have only a single size and shape of table. And wedding cakes are heinously expensive. But come on, take a tip from this IN-FORUM article, Something old, something new...:

Square tables are 'in' and round tables are 'out.' Receptions are asking for a combination of sizes of tables. Monochromatic color schemes for tables and for decorations [are out].
Catering trends have stayed similar to last year with receptions going away from sit-down formal meals to cocktail-themed parties. Martini bars have become a part of many wedding receptions as well as different entrees such as salmon and tilapia. Vegetarian entrees are very popular with many guests as well as dessert receptions instead of dinner. The trend here seems to be "anything but chicken!"

See? This ain't your mother's wedding, honey. The Finger Ribboners may be serving a traditional turkey dinner at their wedding reception. I think this is HAWT. Another couple known to me will be having their reception catered by the worlds best diner. Yes, diner. And I heartily approve.

I'm not sure I even want my outdoor, beachy keen wedding/reception catered. Considering my wedding will be somewhat informal (in terms of location, not dress, mind you), I see no reason not to have the festivities commence buffet style, with a nice ham, and all sorts of other picnicky outdoorsy sorts of foods.


Almost great wedding tips for the guys.

I say almost great because this handy guide makes some assumptions that don't apply to everyone, though they do probably apply to most people. Concerning the ring, I know many ladies who would be happy with a simple promise ring as their engagement ring. I somewhat believe that I would be unjustified in expecting an engagement ring from The Beard because once married, I wouldn't wear it. Yes, Never teh Bride is a big fan of the traditional, simple gold band like the one you see here and no doubling up, thank you very much.

On the other hand, the aforementioned guide doesn't do what so many other guides do and imply that men are stupid neanderthals who ought to stay as far away from the wedding planning process as is possible. I do think men can and ought to be part of the budgetting and planning process, even if it's the bride's parents paying for it all. I firmly believe he ought to pick his own tuxedo and have a say in the wedding party colors. He should pick half the music and be responsible for finding the names and addresses of those he wants to invite. And, if he's a nice one, he could offer to help put together the invitations.

Personally, I think the wedding band making classes they used to offer, or perhaps still do, at the Attleboro Area Industrial Museum would be the best way to procure the future couple's wedding bands. I have always loved do it yourself projects.


The bride or the cake?

Just look at that frosting. No, seriously. Here we see a dress to chock full of flims and flounse to make it worthy of the wealthiest king's table during feast times. It's like spun sugar. Cream cake. Cotton freaking candy. When I saw this dress for sale, I seriously wished that it would be someone's dream dress, if only to spare the feelings of its orgininal occupant. Becuase, really now, who bought this and why? And when? For some reason, I keep seeing it gracing the curvaceous form of a young Delta Burke in some fictional marriage to a pickup loving construction worker named Bubba.


Another grey hair

Yeah. Never teh Bride found another grey hair this morning when putting up her locks in her usual pre-wash matronly bun. This was, of course, a total bummer, particular as it closely followed a marriage-related discussion with The Beard in which no minds were changed.

To the left, you can see an artist's rendering of myself and The Beard in wedding attire. I'm kidding, I'm sure you knew. I would never have a flower half the size of my head incorporated into my hairdo. And I'm no fan of carnation corsages, either. Seriously, though, folks, during our conversation, The Beard admitted to thinking about a marriage that involved both of us. I was careful to ask whether he thought about it with anxiety or excitement.

He said excitement, but also noted that he simply doesn't feel ready for marriage because he is still a student (he is a late bloomer) and doesn't have a steady job (he's a sometimes bartender with a trust fund).

The Beard also brought up something that he has said in the past: that he doesn't want to commit to marriage until he feels he would be able to care for me, financially. Yes, his intentions are noble. Distressing, but noble.

I, in turn, told him of my fears that I would get to be past my prime before he felt he was ready to take the plunge and then would choose a younger mate. And that he might not take a new mate, but my uterus would be tired and shrivelled and unusable. I also discussed how living in the liberal northeast has lowered my chances of getting hitched and given me all sorts of friends that believe marriage is just a piece of paper, etc. Hey, guys, I support you in your unmarried bliss! It just isn't the lifestyle for Never teh Bride!

When I told him that I wasn't really trying to pressure him (after all, a man tricked or cajoled into marriage wouldn't make a very good husband!), he answered that he wasn't uncomfortable with my discussing marriage when I felt like it. Apparently, in whatever ways I feel like it. I even went so far as to admit that living together without being married makes me a little uncomfortable sometimes.

And then I found a grey hair. You can draw your own conclusions as to how I'm feeling.