My wedding was last weekend and it was wonderful - we are so happy with how it all came together. We aren't taking a honeymoon until spring, so we were planning on starting our thank you notes in the next few days. However........
My family's "thing" is crafts, most are artsy and my cousin even has an Etsy shop. She volunteered immediately after we got engaged to do decor for my wedding since she knows I don't have an artistic bone in my body. I was hesitant to accept after lurking here, plus, I don't care about decor and was planning to cut most from my budget anyway. However, it really is what my family loves doing and they've done it for all the other recent family weddings. My cousin seemed sad when I hesitated, so I caved and said sure!
Before the wedding I emailed my cousin (who refused to be paid for the work) and offered to pay for a spa day for the two of us as a thank you, since she wouldn't let me pay her. She sent back the loveliest email, basically refusing the spa day because this was her gift and she didn't need anything from me for repayment. OK, I thought, I tried! The decor looked gorgeous on the day and I was super happy with it.
So today my mom forwards me an email from Cousin. Cousin states in the email that she wanted to make sure I knew all the work she and my family had done for my wedding, and proceeds to lay out a loooong list of stuff (she even lists the electricity used at my Uncle's house when they were crafting there..??) And basically ends the email saying, you know, make sure that I know this. My mom forward me the email and says we should get everyone presents for what they did (even for my Uncle, who didn't help but did lend his electricity..?) I have a big family so in total all these gifts would be about $500. Which obviously wasn't budgeted for, and certainly is more than I was planning on spending on decor in the first place.
Sorry this is so long. I wrote my mom back and let her know that while we were so, so grateful, and the decor was gorgeous, we feel bad now for putting everyone out, and that $500 isn't something we have lying around to spend. I suggested more modest gifts to fewer people. Her email back was short and clearly mad.
Guidance here? I may have messed up. I will feel so bad if I messed up. I guess I will pony up the money, if I did. And maybe, if nothing else, let this serve as another one of those warnings: don't let your friends and family work at your wedding.