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Quiz: Money and the marriage ceremony

Money and the marriage ceremony

For better or worse, it's money and marriage that go together like a horse and carriage. And we're not just talking about the institution of marriage -- we speak specifically of the ceremony itself, steeped as it is in money mores. Whether you're the one tying the knot or tossing the rice -- are you well-versed in the ways of wampum and weddings? Our quiz will reveal if you have a connubial clue.

  1. It's the big hoo-ha, the centerpiece, as it were -- the grand kahuna of wedding-related costs for the vast majority of couples. We speak, of course, of:

    The videographer, the artiste in residence who can make or your break your beautiful memories -- like his fee doesn't reflect he knows that all too well.
    The flowers -- between table arrangements, corsages, boutonnieres ... oy, don't ask.
    Food and booze -- unless you're going the cupcakes and Kool-Aid, or Ho Hos and no hooch, route.
  2. Ah, the cake. Now, the cake is in a category by itself, being both food and entertainment: Nothing says loving like the bride smooshing the groom's big, fat face in it, as he attempts to nibble the lovingly proffered first slice -- and he returning the favor, to general hilarity. Being so important as both a comestible and a custom, the average wedding cake costs:

    $1 per slice.
    $2 per slice.
    $50 for a two-layer cake; $75 for a three-layer.
  3. Is it OK to give cash as a wedding gift?

    More than OK, in many cases.
    Not OK -- which doesn't stop clods from doing it nonetheless.
  4. Is it OK for you to ask for money as a wedding gift -- especially if you're already up to your eyeballs in blenders and bowls?

    Absolutely -- people will admire your candor and be relieved of the gift-choosing chore.
    Sure -- as long as you confine your asking to nonbusiness associates.
  5. If a bride lets it be known she's signed up with a store gift registry -- which lists, and of course stocks, the specific gifts said bride would like -- is it all right to buy her something else, either at that store or at another of your choosing?

    Well, no. Not once she's announced she's registered -- that's the whole purpose of registering.
    Why not?
  6. How long does one have after one has attended the blessed event to send a gift -- well, to fine-point this more, how long before the bride and groom can, with some legitimacy, start bad-mouthing you?

    There's no acceptable time frame afterward -- gifts are ''due'' prior to or at the reception.
    One month.
    One year.
  7. The brand-new pristine white wedding gown or dress -- how far does that custom go back?

    The early 17th century.
    The mid-1800s.
    To ancient Rome.
  8. What's a money tree?

    British slang for a ''good catch'' -- i.e., a man who's so rich, he supplies a never-ending source of money for the gold-digger…er, gal lucky enough to snag him.
    A ''tree'' set up at wedding reception areas, the ''leaves'' of which are made up of guests' checks and other promissory notes.
    A clever new gift item from the Ronco company, popularized on late-night infomercials.
  9. Which one of the following is traditionally the financial obligation of the groom or groom's family?

    Bride's bouquet.
    His wedding ring.
  10. An increasingly popular form of professional, the wedding consultant:

    Is really a sensible option only for those planning major weddings -- and who have major bucks.
    Is a prime example of how lazy and self-indulgent we've become as a society.
    Can be a common-sense choice for many looking to tie the knot.

-- Updated: May 15, 2003


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