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and i'll once again offer my somewhat tongue-in-cheek idea as to how we should handle gifts: don't bring them, but pay for the catering. couples could charge $25/head. you don't have to worry about what to get, and the couple doesn't start their new life together with a multi-thousand dollar wedding bill. everyone's happy!....;^)

You may be surprised to learn that in certain parts of France, this is tradition (in other parts, it's considered heresy)!

What you do is make up your guest list of close family and friends to invite to the dinner. Everyone else is invited to the ceremony, the dessert plus champagne,and a night at the ball. On these invitations is the price of the dinner, and you RSVP with your willingness to attend the whole shebang or none of the above. I guess you could go to just the ceremony and dessert, but that's kind of missing the point, I think. It sure takes the headache out of buying wedding presents!

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