I think buck and doe are mostly Canadian. I experienced them when I lived there but when I moved back here it was back to the normal numerous bridal showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties. My question with my last debacle to people I knew was when did you become obligated to provide gifts for every single party the bride chooses to have including the wedding? Prior to this one my experience was if you attend the shower then you do a gift (other than buck and doe where it was tickets and money) and then a wedding gift.
Sometimes I'll get the gist of what the happy couple wants from the registry and deviate from it in the same strand because I know I can get something neato from elsewhere that fits the theme but only if I know the people well. It kind of fried my cookies with a wedding when I looked through the registry only to find expensive gifts and to discover at the shower it was because the brides mom bought all the cheap gifts already and gave them in one fell swoop at the party. I deviated from the list then too because frankly if I can't afford it I'm not going into debt for it for a gift.
I've seen the purse thing too with the money and thought it was neat. I just have a hard time buying "starting out" appliances for people who have been co-habitating for many years. Seems a little obnoxious to me. I also only buy gifts for the first marriage of a person. The second time comes around I just cut a check because I'm not going buy the same stuff for the same person every time they turn over a marriage. Honestly, I weigh out how successful I think a marriage is going to be as well before either buying a gift or cutting a check. Sometimes you can just see the train wreck about to happen and don't want to invest too much into it. I know that's tacky and totally opposed to etiquette.
I don't know. I just find some of this wedding stuff to be getting a little out of control at times.