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Old lesson101
 
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Quote this post and reply to it Post#1 @ 09-30-02 , 09:02 PM


hi everyone!

i was just curious. I have about 3 weddings to attend this year. All are weddings of good friends (but not close friends). What are the rules for gift giving? i know it depends on your relationship and how much the bride and groom pays per head. Ideally, as a guest, the gift etiquette is to spend at least what the bride and groom spends per head, right? (and then spend more depending on the closeness of your relationship. although, if it was an extravagant wedding costing an arm and leg, this rule would probably not apply. =)

I usually gift cash as a gift just because i know it would be used and appreciated.

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#2 @ 09-30-02 , 10:27 PM


I think it's more varied than any of the guidelines you stated, and also variable based on culture. I had never heard the suggestion that one's gift needed to approximately match the $/person spent on the reception, until I started reading this board, and an Asian poster said that. Many others here were surprised by that, too. For me, pretty much WASP, though not the P, gift giving is based on what the giver can afford, and their closeness with the bride/groom. I would be aghast if one of my struggling friends gave me any gift they could not afford.

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#3 @ 10-01-02 , 02:39 AM


The gifts we got were all over the map, from a $10 kitchen implement from an impoverished friend to a $200 bookstore gift certificate PLUS a very lovely cocktail set from a guy we're very fond of but almost never see (we'd never even met his wife). Great Aunt Sophia gave us $25; she's 98 and probably was remembering what money used to be worth. Uncle Lou, who's about fifteen years younger, gave us $250. So did our neighbors, who are also our landlords.

Have your friends registered anywhere? YOu can maybe get a sense of what they're expecting by seeing the prices on the stuff they're asking for.

Money is great but anonymous. If you really know your friends' taste, a personal gift can be even better. Just avoid the unreturnable, faceless crystal bowls! Include the receipts if you must give one.

Another kind of difficult present is the hideous heirloom--you know, Grandma's china centerpiece with the chipped corners and the baked-in candle wax. You can't give it to Cousin A, who really covets it, because you don't want to hurt Cousin B, who gave it to you, and you can't just give it to the Goodwill and pretend it's packed away safe, because Cousin B's heart would break if it went out of the family.

We're having a glass bonzai problem in my household. I seem to have ended up with Grandma's collection of SEVEN of them.

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the "cost per head thing"
Quote this post and reply to it Post#4 @ 10-01-02 , 09:34 AM


bothers me. I never heard that until I moved to New England from the South. I felt really awkward when friends seemed to be pumping me for info about how much we spent per head so that they could gauge their gifts. I did not tell anyone what we spent, because I feel strongly that as the hosts for the event, it's not anyone's business. I kinda feel the same way about favors--I don't like them. I'd rather see the money put into the overall event, especially now that I'm in a region where I hear "don't forget to include the cost of the favor in your gift." We just had some mints in wrappers that said "Thanks for Sharing Our Day". I saw them as more a part of the meal than a gift.

We received every kind of gift you can imagine from a scented candle to large checks to family heirlooms to travelling a LONG way to attend, and I love them all!

When I give, I like to choose something from the registry that will be around for a while--china, crystal, flatware, linens. This tendency really comes from my Southern heritage, I think. The amount I spend really depends on how close I am to that person.

dd

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#5 @ 10-01-02 , 10:36 AM


A long-ago co-worker had a wedding, and then actually had the gall to COMPLAIN afterward about the cash amount that was enclosed in a few of her wedding cards..."We spent blah blah blah per person, and can you BELIEVE that So-and-So only gave us blah blah BLAH amount??!?!??!?" I told her that whenever *I* receive a gift, I say "Thank You". (What a concept!!)

Another acquaintence of mine had an engagement party (we gave a gift), a shower (we gave a gift), then the wedding itself (we gave a gift), and then a housewarming party (we gave a gift). I don't know...I would be completely embarrassed to be given all these gifts; I found it ludicrous.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#6 @ 10-01-02 , 11:40 AM


I’ve never heard of the $/head gift thing. I’m from the west coast, but my parents are from the Midwest and very conservative. I had to buy that horrible but funny Emily Post’s Etiquette book. Did you guys know there is one centered on WEDDINGS only?? I read a lot in that century old book and didn’t see that little rule. Perhaps I missed it, but I don’t think so. As for people asking you what you are spending, that is not appropriate either. It’s no ones business.

I would strongly suggest getting something from their registry. I’ve known a lot of folks that got things that were not on their registry, and let’s just say, I’d stick to the registry. After all, the bride and/or groom did go through the time and effort to get them selves registered. How much to spend is a very personal decision. I think the thought of the gift itself is what is important, not how much was spent. Spend with in your budget.

As to yogimel’s co-worker that was disappointed in his/her gifts, I’ve heard similar stories before. They should have just bought the “things” themselves and spared every one the wedding. I would never suggest to do the big wedding just to get the gifts. I think the wedding should be done because you want to share your big day with the important people in your life.

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#7 @ 10-01-02 , 12:15 PM


One of the best ideas I ever heard of was what my friend's brother and his wife did for wedding gifts... They were in their mid-30s and living together when they married, ergo they didn't need any toasters or towels.

So they requested that their guests make a donation in the couple's name to their favourite charity, and then let the bride and groom know what charity. That way the guests got tax deductions, the bridal couple got warm fuzzies, and the charities got the much needed help!


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#8 @ 10-01-02 , 01:50 PM


I also hate the cost per head expectation. Tacky, tacky, tacky. What does the bride do, send an email to all the guests informing them how much they spent per head? Yuck. A wedding is suppose to be a celebration. If they expect to get the same amount as they spent, they might as well charge admission at the door.

The problem, though, if you do cash, is that you can't give a lesser amount without seeming cheap. A $40 gift can be very nice. A $40 check, as least where I live, unless it's known that the giver has a limited income, doesn't look all that good.

Personally, I do really give depending on my relationship with the person. Less if I'm not close to them, anywhere from $80-90 to "the sky's the limit" for close friends and family. I'd say, if you're not a poor grad student, $80 is a good starting point, unless you live in an area where $80 is a lot of money.

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Tough Question
Quote this post and reply to it Post#9 @ 10-01-02 , 02:28 PM


Here's my thoughts on the cost per head - It's definitely not the way to figure out how much to spend - BUT, it is nice when this number is achieved.

Having been in 5 weddings last year and now preparing everything for my own - I have definitely thought about this question. Five weddings are tough for anyone, but when you're in them, there's the added expense of the tux, bachelor parties & engagement parties if they're held. By the time the weddings rolled around, I had already spent way too much.

Still, I could not see giving a gift that did not cover my friends' expenses. This is not based on an admission price or expectation - just my desire to cover their costs. I don't think anyone would have been insulted or thought any less of me if I had given less, but I just wanted to make sure they didn't lose money paying for me. After all, I would have been hurt if they decided not to invite me - because it was too expensive for them. I’m just trying to minimize their loss.

As I plan my own wedding, I am pretty much convinced that I will be spending a ton of money that I will not recover anytime soon. This is fine with me, but also an unfortunate reality of getting married today – It’s just damn expensive! So YES – IT IS GREAT when someone does cover the per person cost. Do I expect it – NO – but appreciate it yes. The most important thing is that everyone has fun & we get to have ALL those who are important to celebrate the wedding.

So, if at all possible & within your budget, I think it is appropriate to cover whatever the Bride & Groom paid to have you there - If it’s not in the budget, no big deal. Just realize that the couple getting married is doing their best to get all their family and friends together & it just happens to be VERY expensive (at least where I live).

And I can anticipate some people thinking that, “If a couple can’t afford that type of wedding – don’t have it!” – My answer to this is that it is family and couple specific. Some people MUST have big weddings while others can elope. In my case, we’ll have about 180 people – and I wouldn’t want a single person to not be there. And while we have cut corners in several areas, prices are still SKY HIGH. We are by no accounts having a “budget” wedding, but we are attempting to be responsible with overall planning. The way I’m looking at is the more we end up getting in gifts (I am counting on nothing) the less we’ll be in the hole after the wedding.


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Re: Tough Question
Quote this post and reply to it Post#10 @ 10-01-02 , 03:58 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by Mike12175
The way I’m looking at is the more we end up getting in gifts (I am counting on nothing) the less we’ll be in the hole after the wedding.


You know I disagree. And actually this is totally not true unless you expect to get cash or gifts that you can return for cash. Otherwise, no gift will help pay your credit card bill or keep you from economizing to cover your earlier expenditures. You'll just have more stuff in the house. And don't say it's stuff you'd buy anyway, 'cause if you're facing a massive CC bill you'll find a way to make do or buy a cheaper toaster.

I considered it an honor to have all of my guests there and the money we spent was a token of appreciation for their love and support over the years. If we couldn't have afforded it we would have spent less. If someone can't afford a lavish wedding but holds one anyway, then they're too foolish to have my sympathies.

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different POV
Quote this post and reply to it Post#11 @ 10-01-02 , 04:30 PM


Mike,

I just don't see the wedding costs as something to be "re-couped.". It's a cost for an event that I want to have, so I'm prepared to pay it. I don't see the gifts as putting me in the black at the end of it all.

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#12 @ 10-01-02 , 05:15 PM


You all raise very good points and your feedback is very well appreciated. When i was a struggling college student and was invited to acquaintances and friends' weddings, the average that i usually spent was around $50. I didn't know whether this was appropriate or not, but i hoped that the bride and groom would take my financial situation into consideration when opening my gift. When i became a young professional, I was able to be generous and spend more on wedding gifts based on my relationship with the couple. However, now that i am a struggling student (this time a graduate student) i am presented with financial limitations yet again. But now that i'm older and understand how expensive weddings can be, i make sure to give at least what the cost per head is estimated to be (unless, as i mentioned earlier, the wedding cost an arm and a leg or the couple is VERY well off and money is no object). Whether we admit it or not, when we are planning our own wedding, we do have certain expectations of guests, and in effect, our own etiquette and views about gift giving begins to shift (i guess because we can empathize now).

I agree that gift giving should be made on a personal basis. But essentially, isn't the main reason for having gift registries to ensure that the couple receive something that they will enjoy and use? Some would argue that giving cash is impersonal and lacks sentiment, but that sentiment and personality is already somewhat lost due to gift registries. We would essentially be giving the couple what they want and ask for via the gift registries. How sentimental and personal is that?

So, the reason i would opt for cash as opposed to a personal gift is because i'm assuming that after the wedding, the cash would come in handy (i.e., wedding expenses, for a his/her massage, the honeymoon, or whatever). For a good friend, I would just make sure to add in something sentimental like a hand-made card, a collage of the couple in a nice frame, or a videotape of our close friends giving their sentiments and blessings to the bride and groom.

Not to contradict myself, but even though i have gift giving expectations for myself when i attend weddings, I try not to place these same standards on others. I would hate it if i knew a friend had to bend over backwards to give us a nice and "appropriate" gift. For my own wedding next year, I am inviting several friends who I know are financially struggling. In lieu of gifts and cash, I plan to ask them to contribute their talents into the wedding instead... a song, a speech, their decorative style, and their taste for photography.

Did i just answer my own question for this thread? =D Any more comments will be well appreciated..

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I expected to get slammed much worse than that...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#13 @ 10-01-02 , 05:31 PM


First - Hess,

I have no intention of returning any gifts I might receive from my wedding. I think you missed my point - My wedding is in NO WAY a fundraiser. It is an event that my fiancé and I have planned in hopes of having a wonderful celebration with all our family and friends. We have cut costs where it could be done (special arrangement - $1500 DJ for $500, Limo 1/3 off, March Wedding - $10 off Per person - just to name a few). Still the fact remains that a wedding costs money!

Therefore, try the following formula:

1) if a wedding costs money (which it does)
2) and guests give you some money (which they will to some extent)
3) that money can be applied to paying off debt OR getting you back toward your starting point.

That's ALL I am saying. I am having a wedding that I feel is appropriate for all my friends and family. I am fully prepared to pay the final cost - and do not expect anyone to turn up with a certain amount of money or a certain value of a gift. I am simply pointing out that is nice when a person's gift covers the cost of having them at the wedding.

Like it or not, the truth is that money that is given to you at a wedding will be used in this manner - TO HELP PAY OFF the wedding or get back to where you were before the wedding. That is unless you were fortunate enough to have family take care of the costs.

I completely agree that having my guests at my wedding is an honor and the money I'm spending IS a token of my appreciation. That does not replace the fact that I'm spending money & will have less money after the wedding than I have now. I guess what I'm trying to do here is point out the difference between the emotional side & logical side of this argument. Emotionally, I'm with you - this is about having fun with family and friends. Logically, the money has to come from somewhere. Furthermore, any money you do receive goes right back in your pocket - whether you consider it offsetting your wedding expenses or not. Money leaves your pocket & then money comes back in.

My opinion that covering cost per head with a gift is based on my experiences at friends weddings. I have had wonderful times over the years with my friends & when I attend their weddings I realize that the whole day/night costs them money. Therefore I choose to give them enough so that they could at least break even. It in not a set rule that anyone needs to follow, but just my opinion that it makes sense. I care about my friends and don't want them to go into any great deal of debt OR pay out too much money for my enjoyment. Now that said, if one of my friends went out and had $200 per head wedding - I'd be shocked. But, within reason, I don't see any problem with helping to cover the cost of a wedding.

Second - DD – I think I already addressed your point in this. It doesn’t really matter what you consider the money out of pocket and the money returned through gifts to be – It is still money. The only real difference is when a Bride & Groom are not paying for the wedding. In that case, they would have nothing out of pocket & everything they received would be positive income.

If I spent a total of $10,000 to have 100 guests at my wedding – and then I received $50 a person in gifts – That would net out to a $5000 wedding expense. I never said anything about having a goal of re-cooping my expenses – I’m just identifying that there is a difference between money spent and money returned. I expect to spend quite a bit of money that will not be returned for my wedding & am happy to do so. But, the money we do get from the wedding will go back into my bank account and replace some of the money that was spent on the wedding. I could call it different, nicer things like “honeymoon money” or “a down payment for a house” – but it’s still money coming from the same LIMITED fund I started with.


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I expected to get slammed much worse than that...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#14 @ 10-01-02 , 05:46 PM


First - Hess,

I have no intention of returning any gifts I might receive from my wedding. I think you missed my point - My wedding is in NO WAY a fundraiser. It is an event that my fiancé and I have planned in hopes of having a wonderful celebration with all our family and friends. We have cut costs where it could be done (special arrangement - $1500 DJ for $500, Limo 1/3 off, March Wedding - $10 off Per person - just to name a few). Still the fact remains that a wedding costs money!

Therefore, try the following formula:

1) if a wedding costs money (which it does)
2) and guests give you some money (which they will to some extent)
3) that money can be applied to paying off debt OR getting you back toward your starting point.

That's ALL I am saying. I am having a wedding that I feel is appropriate for all my friends and family. I am fully prepared to pay the final cost - and do not expect anyone to turn up with a certain amount of money or a certain value of a gift. I am simply pointing out that is nice when a person's gift covers the cost of having them at the wedding.

Like it or not, the truth is that money that is given to you at a wedding will be used in this manner - TO HELP PAY OFF the wedding or get back to where you were before the wedding. That is unless you were fortunate enough to have family take care of the costs.

I completely agree that having my guests at my wedding is an honor and the money I'm spending IS a token of my appreciation. That does not replace the fact that I'm spending money & will have less money after the wedding than I have now. I guess what I'm trying to do here is point out the difference between the emotional side & logical side of this argument. Emotionally, I'm with you - this is about having fun with family and friends. Logically, the money has to come from somewhere. Furthermore, any money you do receive goes right back in your pocket - whether you consider it offsetting your wedding expenses or not. Money leaves your pocket & then money comes back in.

My opinion that covering cost per head with a gift is based on my experiences at friends weddings. I have had wonderful times over the years with my friends & when I attend their weddings I realize that the whole day/night costs them money. Therefore I choose to give them enough so that they could at least break even. It in not a set rule that anyone needs to follow, but just my opinion that it makes sense. I care about my friends and don't want them to go into any great deal of debt OR pay out too much money for my enjoyment. Now that said, if one of my friends went out and had $200 per head wedding - I'd be shocked. But, within reason, I don't see any problem with helping to cover the cost of a wedding.

Second - DD – I think I already addressed your point in this. It doesn’t really matter what you consider the money out of pocket and the money returned through gifts to be – It is still money. The only real difference is when a Bride & Groom are not paying for the wedding. In that case, they would have nothing out of pocket & everything they received would be positive income.

If I spent a total of $10,000 to have 100 guests at my wedding – and then I received $50 a person in gifts – That would net out to a $5000 wedding expense. I never said anything about having a goal of re-cooping my expenses – I’m just identifying that there is a difference between money spent and money returned. I expect to spend quite a bit of money that will not be returned for my wedding & am happy to do so. But, the money we do get from the wedding will go back into my bank account and replace some of the money that was spent on the wedding. I could call it different, nicer things like “honeymoon money” or “a down payment for a house” – but it’s still money coming from the same LIMITED fund I started with.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#15 @ 10-01-02 , 06:19 PM


Mike, I don't think I misunderstood you. I never doubted that you would take that attitude yourself and I certainly understand the logic vs. sentiment thing. Believe me, I appreciated the cash gifts we got immensely. I'd just hate for someone to read it and then think that it was okay to expect guests to essentially pay for the wedding, and if you've been on the any of the wedding sites you'll see comments from horrid brides who say exactly that.

It's especially annoying because there is no other occasion where guest can be expected to pay for a party. Guests at even the most lavish birthday are never criticized if their gift doesn't equal the per head costs. The tradition of gifts was partly meant for older couples to help new couples start their household. Now, though, the tradition has been turned on its head as an excuse for all sorts of misbegotten expectations from some brides and grooms. So, your post really hit a sore spot with me.

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Re: RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#16 @ 10-01-02 , 07:26 PM


Quote:
Originally posted by lesson101
Whether we admit it or not, when we are planning our own wedding, we do have certain expectations of guests....

I am planning a wedding. I (vehemently) disagree with the generalization. I am probably in a minority of first-time brides/grooms, though. I am 34, nearly 8 years out of grad school, and well established. My Fi and I are marrying in 5/03. I am trying to figure out a tactful way of encouraging our guests NOT to give us any gifts. We will not be registering, and truly don't need the things many first-time B/G's do. We just want to get married, have our families and friends share that with us, and have a great party afterward. Yes, we are footing the bill. I would be saddened to think that even *most* brides and grooms think the way you do, with those kinds of expectations on their guests....

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#17 @ 10-01-02 , 07:39 PM


T2, in thinking about CNG and I's wedding, I also don't want people to give gifts. This is part of the reason I really don't want to invite anyone who attended my first wedding to this one. I don't want them to feel obligated to give gifts, and I think some of my distant family may see it that way if I invite them (even though they have invited us to second weddings and expected gifts). I want to make it absolutely clear to people who are invited that their presence is requested, not their presents.

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#18 @ 10-01-02 , 07:51 PM


The tradition of wedding gifts is a funny business to begin with. As Hest said, it was originally meant to help young couples set up a household with all the things they needed--a bed, a cooking pot, a pillow, a cow, and so on. There's also an element of ritual exchange, showing & creating status by throwing an expensive wedding (ALL weddings are expensive, even the cheapest possible ones, by comparison to any other party you ever have) & by giving a substantial gift. Here in North America you have different cultures coming together that measure the requirements slightly differently, so it's sometimes hard to gauge exactly what's expected.

However, it's VERY hard to make people not give you a gift, even if you ask them not to. They feel very uncomfortable about it. Like they left the bathroom without washing their hands or went to a business meeting in their pajamas.

My advice is, register even if you don't want any gifts. That way at least you'll end up with things you like or can use. You WILL get presents--do you want them to be a dozen hideous crystal bowls?

One of our very favorite presents was a book of poems for children, published in the 1960s, that one of our friends hunted high and low for. It can't have cost her more than $15, if that. It exactly expresses the sense of humor the three of us share. Far better than any check!

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Cass...
Quote this post and reply to it Post#19 @ 10-01-02 , 07:57 PM


We seriously thought about the "Your presence is the only gift we need" tact for our wedding as well, but then all the etiquette books say you're not suppose to mention gifts at all---because you're not suppose to be soliciting them. Not that we followed all the etiquette, of course. ;-) So, I suppose you could say that on your invitations. *Or* just the way registry info is supposed to be disseminated, you could make it word of mouth and make sure your parents and his know that when relatives ask what presents you want they can tell them that you've requested no gifts.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#20 @ 10-01-02 , 08:08 PM


>>I completely agree that having my guests at my wedding is an honor and the money I'm spending IS a token of my appreciation. <<

But Mike, you are leaving out an important element. The money spent is not just in appreciation of your guests, it is more for you and your future wife, for the type of wedding that you will always remember as "our wedding day." You can have punch & cake at the church hall. Or you can go all out. Guests like me would give you the same gift regardless of what your reception was (and whether or not it was even attended) and that gift would be based on the relationship to you, not on the reception at all.

I would feel wildly uncomfortable giving a couple that I did not know very well a $300 gift just because I could surmise that the cost per head was around $100. ($100 X 2 people for meal + $100 "gift") The converse being that a couple should feel uncomfortable receiving a $300 gift from people they are not close to.

So, does that mean that people who can afford a $100/head wedding have no right to invite people they are friendly with but not necessarily close with to their wedding? But people who are having a $25/head wedding can invite everyone they want?

In my book, no, because the gift has nothing at all to do with the splendor of the reception and everything to do with the relationship to the happy couple.

Also, wedding receptions are not just expensive "now." They have always been expensive if the couple so chose.

Maria D

Last edited by Maria-D : 10-01-02 at 08:22 PM.
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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#21 @ 10-01-02 , 08:16 PM


on not wanting gifts...

please don't try to get your guests to not give gifts. I would find this, well almost insulting in a way. Maybe that's too strong a word... Even if a couple is absolutely loaded (and I'm certainly not) I would *want* to give a gift -- want them to have something from me -- and enjoy the appreciation they express for that gift.

What I would do is not register and if and only if people start asking why you didn't register or what is it that you would like, let it be known (through intermediaries) that you are not expecting any big ticket items because you are already established but will appreciate all thoughtful gifts.

Maria D

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RE : wedding gift etiquette.. how much to give?
Quote this post and reply to it Post#22 @ 10-01-02 , 08:19 PM


I have to agree with thingiespoo...

When I started this whole wedding thing, I didn't care either way about the gifts. Most everyone I told about my idea of not requiring a gift HORRIFIED them. They thought that I was being ungrateful to their generosity. I come from a large family and close knit community and that simply isn't the way things are done!

As most people realise we are flying across the country for our wedding and that we are going to also be finishing the renovations and selling our house soon, material gifts might not be a good option. They would have to be flown back across the country, stored, and then moved overseas. Not too practical. We are going to register at one store, not for many things, and people are slowly spreading the word to give cash as a gift. As to how much, they can devise their own formula and give what they want. I do not expect a minimum sum. I am still not overly comfortable with it but it would help us out and make everyone happier than if we didn't do any presents at all.

Nat

Edited because I just wanted to add that we are very lucky to have our parents footing almost the entire bill. I don't know if I am going to get flamed for saying this or not. I'm not bragging. I just wanted to give our parents a very big nod for being so generous and not making the gift thing as difficult a choice.

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Quote this post and reply to it Post#23 @ 10-01-02 , 08:55 PM


Hi...
This is an interesting thread. I really have not heard of guests giving a gift to cover the cost of their meal. I think the amount spent on a gift ranges due to where you live and how close you are to the bride and groom. What I think should be taken into account is if a person has traveled a great distance to attend a wedding. The travel costs, hotel, food, and gift can easily add up to break your budget.

I was in a wedding about 3 years ago in California. I was a student (still am) and I had no job. The cost of traveling there, the hotel, food, and outfit totalled over $1500.00. Since I had spent so much getting to the wedding, I hardly had anything left over to give the bride and groom. I recently saw this friend and she commented on what she thought was an appropriate wedding gift and it made me wonder what she thought of my gift. Even though my circumstances have changed since my friend's wedding, at that time, I gave her what I could afford.

I am going to be getting married next year and I would be happy with getting whatever amount someone wants to give. I want the person's company, not his/her gift. If I register, I plan on registering for items in every price range. I never want to make someone feel how I did after my friend made her comments.

Give what you can afford. Your friends will (or should) appreciate having you there.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#24 @ 10-02-02 , 04:33 AM


This gift-giving issue is rather subjective. There's all kinds of etiquette and personal rules.

Personally, for weddings gifts, I give a minimum of $50 per invitation. If I'm going solo, my gift would be at least $50. If I bring a date (like my husband), our gift would be at least $100 because we're both attending. Weddings are high occasions, so personally, I would always bear gifts.

Personally (again), I don't necessarily spend more if the relationship is closer. My family appreciates handmade gifts/crafts, and homemade goodies. With all my close friends and family, we given each other crocheted scarves, afghans, cross-stitched samplers, etc. The materials are inexpensive, but we consider these gifts very valuable because they were handmade (and usually with the intended in mind). One year for Christmas, my sister and I apologized to each for giving each other store-bought gifts because we didn't have time to make anything for each other. In our minds, handmade gifts are nicer than store-bought gifts no matter how much money was spent.


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Quote this post and reply to it Post#25 @ 10-02-02 , 07:26 AM


A lot of this is region-specific and perhaps even culture-specific. For example, here are a few things I never heard of until I moved to the east coast (most if not all of which would horrify my family and close friends from my home area)
-covering the cost of a meal with a "gift"
-having a cash bar at a wedding
-dollar dance (even if the money were donated to charity, I have visions of my Dad dragging me off the dance floor whispering, "Do you two need money? You should have told me if you needed help! How much do you need?")
-those strange fundraiser stag-party type things they have in small towns around here where the "proceeds" go to the couple getting married
-so many people not sending an RSVP (ok, so that probably happens everywhere, but I do find it pretty horrifying)

Are you getting the idea? I guess what I am saying is that you aren't necessarily "wrong" in your thinking, but your opinion has been created by what you know. Where I am from, we are socialized never to think of a wedding as anything but a party where we treat our beloved family and guests to the best party we want/can afford at the time. If I posted about how terribly "wrong" I consider the dollar dance, I am certain I would receive flames and lengthy decriptions of this ritual's cultural origins. Whatever. Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to.

You think "cost per head" when giving gifts and I think, "What special gift could I give this couple for their important day?" Sometimes it's cash. Sometimes it's a case or two of specially chosen wine with customized labels from a local winery. Sometimes it's art. Sometimes it's something else. I consider gifts important, and choose them carefully. I am that person who would give a gift anyway even if you had requested none. I am also that person who brings *something* when you invite me over for dinner.

Ack, didn't mean to say so much, but I just think we have to be careful an duse judgement. That etiquette article Gilbert posted mentioned that RSVP cards are in poor taste. Please. If I sent an invite out without those, most people wouldn't realize they are supposed to call or write, they'd just wonder what to do. Then they'd all call each other and feel sorry for me for being a flake and forgetting to enclose the RSVP cards.

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