yeah ... ok.
I'm not arguing here about whether the community is right or not. I'm just stating the facts - this is what it's like out there. Like it or not. Sure, a person would like to break the cycle and make a modest wedding - but in doing so, he will inevitably be perceived badly and feel badly. About his own wedding - something that happens only once (hopefully) in his life. He will also upset his bride. And cause shame to the family - whether it's justified or not.
And I'm not passing judgement on the guests or requiring them to give gifts. No one is requiring anyone to do anything. All the guests are welcomed and appreciated. My point is that the guests should themselves realize that the wedding costs money, there is no such thing as a free lunch, that the couple did pay alot of $$$ for it out of their own pocket, and that it will only be befitting to help them offset these costs. That's all.
I'm a different animal, I guess. I'd kinda love to throw the shockingly modest wedding in a community that had absurd standards. I might enjoy it too much ... do things tastefully, but almost poking fun at the comunity. Centerpieces would be stalks of leaves in a cleaned out and delabeled gefilte fish jar. Dinner would be PB&J sandwiches. And when the comunity tossed their shame and judgment at me, it would hit them back 10x. Because I'd be proud of my event.
But that's just me and whoever's with me. Fight the insanity!