Going to A wedding this Month! Gift Ideas?

Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Culturally in the USA the norm yes- is a gift not a payback. And you, slyvia3, sound so angry that anyone else would think differently. But they do- in many, many cultures. To them it is more than both- no English word that I could translate into this essence, offhand.

We do think of it as more than just a gift- as a start of a shared LONG life. As the starting block of a whole new building/family that forms what is "us".

Wouldn't you want to be generous for something so important to a person who you love and cherish! We also only do this once. If remarriage occurs, we don't have formal weddings. I can't think of an exception. And in fact, I am the only one related to me- and there are probably at least a hundred, that has ever been divorced. And it doesn't make me feel disconnected. The disconnection came with my ex's change to a "me" mentality.

And most families were like mine, until the last century. Marriage was far, far more important and central to an individual's entire life than it is today.

I am not saying that the other ways are wrong, but I am curious that so many seem to "dis" something that has worked. We also go to pre-Cana and counsel together for long periods of time before marriage- and it is not just the reception to us or a party per se.

There used to be a way of thinking that was in a "we" for most physical communities, a set (to translate it into math terms) but now it is a "me" set. So the "payback" if that's what you want to call it- is our way of stressing to those we love that the "we" is there- still.

And here today gone2Maui, I still have a couple of great Italian looking nephews left but they are going fast!
JJ5 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:31 PM
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According to the link that Scarlett referenced there is no rule on wedding gifts.

For someone to turn their nose up on a $25 wedding gift or any gift for that matter is a snob and truly shows a lack of class. I agree with Sylvia and Ronkala that it is a gift and not a payback.

At the same time, I have no problem with Frankie spending $250+, if that is what she is comfortable with.

I wanted the guests at my wedding to share in my happiness. I wasn't concerned with them "covering their plate". I have never heard a more pathetic phrase. I would be horrified if a guest would have skipped my wedding because they could "only" give me $25. I didn't invite them so I could haul in the goods and cash. If the bride, groom or parents have this philosophy they really need to take a look at their priorities, because it isn't about sharing their happiness with friends and family.
wtm003 is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:36 PM
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Well said, Sylvia (and Emily Post). Hope to see you around on the boards.
bardo1 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:50 PM
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I can be wrong but I am still worry to not to be a freeloader at someone's expence and YES I would decline invitation if I can't cover my plate.
So am I a bad person because of that?
I've heard of empty envelopes in the gift box...so are those people better then me if they came emty handed? I am not making any point just discussing interesting issue with all of you, so don't jump...lol
Ziana is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Frankie, you should give whatever gift in whatever amount makes you happy and comfortable. The income of your niece, the cost of the wedding, etc. should have no effect on your gift.
A wedding is a rite between two people. A reception is a party to celebrate that rite. Whoever is hosting the celebration should spend what they feel they can afford. Certainly gracious hosts never expect their invited guests to cover their expenses and time.
shaz60 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Our daughter got married about a year ago and NEVER did we (or she and her husband) expect people to cover their plate with the size of their gift. She invited friends and family that she and her husband love and wanted there for their special day. We always taught her that not everyone has the same amount to spend as others and we are proud that she totally understands that. We have always had many friends and family in different socio-economic categories and we love them all and they are all welcome at our home, parties and weddings. I do understand that some cultures do expect large cash gifts to cover the cost of the wedding (my daughter has a friend who expected her whole wedding and honeymoon to be covered by cash gifts - custom in her native country) and I would not attend if I flet I could not or did not want to give that large a gift. We live in Southern CA and go to lots of weddings and I say spend what you can afford. They will love whatever they get and if not, they aren't friends you need.
Cali is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:23 PM
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Never did I mention "expect". It just is.

You all sound so angry that others would think differently. Maybe you are not as open-minded as you believe you are.

And people do come and give much less without censure. It's just that I myself and many like me, want to gift that person starting far beyond what they have already given me. It's a concept not easily understood. These people are true friends, and marriages LAST. You are being very judgmental who can only see it your way, be it Emily Post or whatever.

JJ5 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:45 PM
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JJ5 and Ziana - Has wedding etiquette changed in the last few years? People turning down invitations because they can't afford a gift?? Brides and grooms hoping to "make back" what they spent? There's a "minimum gift" value?

This is really a sad state of affairs. People are under NO obligation to give a gift of a certain amount or even a gift, at all.

Gifts should be accepted and given with no strings attached.
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:48 PM
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Ziana, I can see where you are coming from but in many situations it doesn't fly.

Think about this, the bride asks her close relatives; Aunt, Uncle, and three cousins to attend the wedding and the wedding costs $75 per person.

Your reasoning is that if the family gift isn't worth $375 the close relatives should boycott the wedding?
Jan 3rd, 2006, 01:56 PM
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Close relatives should bring more, GoTravel...(I am smiling)
I admire people who can throw wedding and invite everyone to join them for soda and chips but I just can't picture myself doing it. Honestly I would attend this kind of wedding and have no problems (few laughs with JJ5 but no problems)...But wouldn't that be smarter for the couple to NOT to throw chips and soda party at all and go spend weekends somewhere in a cozy place? My uncle tought me if you can't afford the gun why buy the bullets?
Ziana is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:00 PM
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This is actually a wonderfull link that shows how important is it to give a gift as 'affection' to a couple.
It says a lot about importancy of a gift and nothing about 'skip' option
Ziana is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:04 PM
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wow -- thanks so much for all the replies. We are close to the parents, not the daughter, and they've been good to us (including financially) in the past, and I did think of $250 as a minimum. It will be at an expensive place and I'm sure dinner will cost them around $70 pperson at least, and our 2 teens will be coming along. Now I'm thinking $250 will not be enough...
oh, dear!
Boy, this all can get so complicated! It should be a gift, but you do want to at least cover the cost of your dinner!
Little_Man is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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I'm curious how you "cover your plate" if you have no idea just how simple or extravagant the affair might be beforehand?

I had a very extravagant wedding and never even noticed who did and did not give a gift, not to mention how much a gift was worth, nor did I care. From my wedding invitations I don't see how anyone would have known whether we were having just cake and punch or a full fledged sit down dinner with open bar and a band.

Does that mean that if you arrive at a wedding and realize that you haven't covered your plate, you should get in the car and go back home? I've just never thought of it that way and honestly don't peronsally know anyone who does.

So, I'm curious how one is supposed to know how much their plate would be? I'm not trying to stir the pot....I'm honestly curious.
Statia is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Ziana - your link says to consider your affection for the couple AND your budget for the gift. There is nothing saying the amount of your gift shows the amount of love you have for a couple.
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:12 PM
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statia, I would hope the people whose wedding I'm attending would have your attitude! Unfortunately, not everyone does!
Little_Man is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:16 PM
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you as a bride shouldn't have to worry about it...those who should - did and I am sure your wedding was splendid. Dear, people know these things, no one run back to the car...do you remember what attire code was on your invitation? It is pretty much says it all.
And Frankie, don't freak out, you are on the right track, it is your niece after all. And teens do eat so $300 for 4 with 2 kids will be ok gift. No worry.
Ziana is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:20 PM
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I couldn't resist coming back to read this thread, and was very gratified (thanks, ronkala et al.!) to see that many people still think that a wedding is supposed to be a celebratory ceremony, not a social event with price minimums. Would anyone invite guests only on the basis of what they would bring as a gift? Or not invite a poor college-student cousin because they could not afford a good enough gift (or worse, try to save their feelings because they weren't able to contribute the proper amount of gift equatable to the cover charge?!) I'm thinking that frankie is still a little unclear on the concept--maybe you should just go and then decide on a gift after the wedding; after all, Emily Post says you have a whole year to do it!
sylvia3 is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:20 PM
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JJ5 - You seem to be the only person on here so far who appears angry. In many customs, the idea of "covering your plate" as a requirement is attrocious! To think that someone you invited to your wedding might not come because they can't afford a nice enough gift would be heartbreaking for many couples who just want to celebrate with their friends and family, money not even entering the picture.

But, no one that I've seen has said that in cultures where this is the norm it's wrong and shouldn't be done. Just that it's not the norm everywhere, and shouldn't be expected of everyone.

And Ziana - how could you possibly come to the conclusion that people would think you're "bad" for choosing to "cover your plate"? What you choose to give is personal - more or less than the food costs, and no one else should care at all.

I think that's the bottom line - everyone should give what they are comfortable with. In some cultures/areas there are social norms, but even if one doesn't follow them, they should be welcomed to the wedding and reception with open arms. If this doesn't happen, I think something is wrong, regardless of whatever expectations might have existed by some parties up front.
jlm_mi is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Boycott the wedding? That's your take on a decline? If you were a true or close friend it wouldn't even be an issue. $25- jeeeez

Parents expecting to make money? You don't understand.

I could go to a VFW hall reception, one in a Baptist Church basement or whatever and give the same present/gift or whatever you want to call it that I gave at a downtown Chicago hotel. Also have a good time regardless. I, myself, am not pro for sporting a big or fancy show wedding reception. But you would go to one and give $25 nowadays?
How friendly and loving of you.

And come on now, with the travel you all do and shopping threads, you couldn't afford to give more than $25?Traveling to a destination wedding is far, far more expensive than giving the couple (not their parents) to use your language a "payback" gift. And almost universally the couple is paying for the reception themselves in my neck of the woods. We aren't gifted with weddings like in "The Father of the Bride" tradition. We're actually working class people who don't get gifted a wedding reception, nor a college education either, for the most part.

And I DIDN'T go that route or get "paidback" for any of my kids' weddings, nor were any of them similar to each other, except for getting married in Church.

And $25 is hardly a birthday gift anymore, let alone a wedding gift.

Zania, I love the gun/bullets metaphor. I sure would like to meet your uncle.
JJ5 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:35 PM
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JJ5 - your thinking is still skewed. I really wouldn't care what the couple/parents spent on the wedding and don't care how fancy a place it is. That has NO bearing on how much I give.

If you can't afford to give an expensive wedding and expect lots of paybacks, you have no business giving an expensive wedding. Period.

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