Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette Hell Classics => Topic started by: bo on December 11, 2009, 05:38:37 PM

Title: It is all about the gift!
Post by: bo on December 11, 2009, 05:38:37 PM
Is it ever appropriate to attend a wedding reception (catered, per plate affair) with no gift? We had our wedding last month and dished out a delicious luncheon for 81 guests, with unlimited beer and wine. Cost about $60.00 per person. Out of all those people, 3 couples show up with no card or gift. One couple gave an empty card. This upset me, but I blew it off as them not being able to afford a gift. Until I later found out this couple was purchasing expensive mixed drinks all afternoon.

I cannot believe that people will have the audacity to show up to a wedding with no gift. Especially when they know you are paying per plate. If you cannot afford to contribute a small token of appreciation for being invited, then stay home or let your financial situation be known first to the bride and groom.

One couple “forgot” their card and said they would mail it (3 weeks ago). My husband’s own parents came with no card or gift, stating that they paid for our dog to go to the vet months before so a gift was not needed (even though they spent 60k on their daughters wedding and refused to contribute a cent to ours).

CRIVINS! is wrong with people? Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!   1114-09

Etiquette is very much about reciprocal obligations and it is true that if invited to a wedding, a guest should bring a wedding gift. *However*, the flip side of that is that the bride and groom are to have no expectation of receiving gifts so they are not tempted to direct their guests in what to give them or become embittered when gifts do not match their expectations.

Wedding gifts are not to be construed as any sort of payment in kind for a reception meal.  I see far too many brides, grooms and parents who believe that guests are somehow supposed to ascertain by psychic means how much was spent per person on the wedding and give a gift that correlates in value.  A wedding is merely a much larger extension of your personal entertaining and hospitality and since it is highly unlikely you would expect your friends and family to fork over money or a gift for attending a dinner party or BBQ at your home, it follows that you do not expect these same friends and family to pay for your reception.

You invite people to your wedding because they are family, close friends and people you love enough to want to share in your happy day.  You then extend hospitality to them with food because they are your invited guests.   Your comment that you wished that non-gifting bearing guests should stay home indicates to me an inhospitable attitude and a prioritization of gifts being much more important to than you than the people you invited to witness your wedding.   So, in your case, the greater etiquette faux pas is yours.



I think this letter writer is very rude and a pet peeve of mine. I think a wedding should be about wanting people close to you to celebrate a joyous occasion, NOT a way to rake it in
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: HushHush on December 11, 2009, 06:33:36 PM
You know, I don't think I could have told you who didn't bring a gift to my wedding.  I do remember my aunt gave me some of my grandmother's handkerchiefs and my cousin gave us a wall board with our last name on it and my ex-brother in law gave us a crock pot and I could go on and on.  Because the gifts were a surprise to me and I was touched people even came especially considering it was a desitination wedding for many of them and not a first wedding for either of us.

It speaks very poorly about the bride that she paid that much attention to who brought gifts and who didn't.  The parents saying the vet payment was their gift was a little off but did she actually ask the couple who forgot their card where their gift was?  :o 
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: MasterofSquirrels on December 11, 2009, 09:05:43 PM
i remember a couple of odd gifts from my wedding.. (it was only 2 years ago) but:
a-one was presented  oddly
b-were odd for a wedding as opposed to shower gift
and c-because my dad made a big deal out of one of them
 
a-my DH's grandmother forgot the card.. but not the monetary gift.. scrawled on the outside of an envelope was "WEDDING $100" in large letters.. i found it funny.. so i remember. i remember the amount of the gift because it was written on the envelope.. she did not put her name on the envelope.. i just knew her handwriting.
b- a guest gave me and DH a hamper set that i had registered for.. it was a large gift.. and odd that it was brought to the wedding itsself.. most appreciated.. but it was like "huh? will that fit in the car?"
c- my auntie knitted us a blanket.. it's lovely and warm.. niether her nor my uncle included a monetary gift.. my dad asked me about it.. and he was rather upset that they didn't "contribute" as he was able to give a "substantial" (his words) gift to my cousin's when they got married. i am not at all upset that my aunt and uncle didn't give me money. ihave a hand knitted blanket. it's awesome.  :D

other than that.. i have no idea. people brought gifts.. or they gave money.. or they didn't. DH and i made out well.. our wedding was awesome.. it was fun. casual. and amazing. that was my gift. my friends and family enjoying themselves.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on December 11, 2009, 11:10:01 PM
I *would* send the in-laws to e-Hell - not for not showing up with a gift, but for attempting to pass off an earlier favour as their gift. At least don't try to get credit for what was not really a gift in the first place - just don't mention gifts at all!
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Two Ravens on December 11, 2009, 11:23:26 PM
I believe "proper etiquette" is not to bring a gift to the reception at all, as there is a chance it may become lost or stolen.  Aren't you supposed to send it to the home of the bride.  Also don't you have a year to give a gift after the wedding?

I would have no idea who didn't bring a gift to my wedding either...
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 12, 2009, 07:22:04 AM
I believe "proper etiquette" is not to bring a gift to the reception at all, as there is a chance it may become lost or stolen.

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: greenleafmountain on December 12, 2009, 08:45:39 AM
I think the LW is rude yes, but I'm also put off by the in-laws.  I know that gifts aren't required, but who doesn't give their own child a gift for his wedding?  Unless there's some serious family history there or a sudden bankruptcy or something, then I just don't get it.  I can understand why a son and daughter-in-law who felt they had a good relationship with the son's parents would be hurt by their actions.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: kareng57 on December 12, 2009, 05:25:36 PM
Also, it is completely appropriate to send or give (in person) a gift after the wedding.  The letter-writer had only been married for a month!  Regarding the ILs - well, of course we don't know whether the conversation was exactly as quoted, but in my experience parents often wait until after the wedding to give the gift.

Going by etiquette-rules, wedding guests have a year after the wedding to send a gift, though it's true that I've never heard of anyone who waited anywhere near that long.  Of course, way too many HCs turn that "rule" around and think that it means they have a year to send the thank-you notes.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: iridaceae on December 13, 2009, 01:33:22 AM
And jiminy, doesn't she understand that some people may not be in the financial situation to give a great big gift or even a smaller gift? I certainly wouldn't want any friend to go into debt for me or anything.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: katycoo on December 13, 2009, 05:40:27 AM
I did happen to notice one of my guest couples did not give us a gift - I only noticed because I worried that it may have been stolen.  It just seemed unlikely.
I have since had opportunity to clarify that no, there was no gift.  I didn't ask but conversation just sort of happened where she told me that she hadn't been able to afford a gift at the time but was going to get us one soon and she even had something in mind.
I wish she hadn't said that.  It's been 3 years and they have travelled internationally twice.  I wouldn't have cared but now I feel a little hurt.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: bo on December 13, 2009, 08:03:09 AM
A few years ago a couple in our circle of friends got married. One friend that was invited was basically living from paycheck to paycheck and instead of admitting he couldn't afford a gift he said he forgot his card and would get the couple the gift.t when they got back from their honeymoon.

Now I don't know if said friend was rude, but the groom's reaction was very rude. Right after the wedding he basically bad mouthed friend to everyone saying he was a scumbag and loser. Friend was so offended that he never got the groom a gift.

Maybe friend should have talked to the groom or maybe just gave what he could afford, but after the reaction of the groom I don't know if anything would have made the groom happy. He basically made it obvious he only invited friends for the gift.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on December 13, 2009, 01:18:22 PM
bo - that's appalling! Certainly if anyone told me their friend was a loser because they had (due to financial hardship or forgetfulness) promised a gift after the honeymoon rather than before, I'd know who the *real* loser was.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: the Wyffe on December 14, 2009, 03:32:46 AM

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 14, 2009, 05:13:12 AM

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).

From my experience, gifts have always gone to the reception (both my wedding and those I have attended).  I see your point though - I'd forgotten about wedding lists you can have in shops nowadays.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on June 27, 2010, 07:10:57 PM

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).

From my experience, gifts have always gone to the reception (both my wedding and those I have attended).  I see your point though - I'd forgotten about wedding lists you can have in shops nowadays.

I know I'm late to reply, but most anglo-Australian weddings (ones I have been to anyway) have a specific table at the reception for gifts.

For my 2006 wedding I think we had one gift delivered, and that was from my family (Grandmonther, aunts, uncle and cousins) living a 2 hour drive away who went in on a combined gift of a vacuum cleaner plus pther small gifts.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Mopsy428 on June 27, 2010, 08:26:58 PM
The LW belongs in EH because she's so ungracious and sounds like a gimme pig.

The in-laws belong in E-hell because you just don't say, "You know that thing we bought you X months ago? Yeah, that was your wedding gift!"

I'm very suspicious of the couple who said that they forgot the card and would mail it. Yes, you have a bit of time after the wedding to send a gift, but this particular couple "forgot" their card, which means that presumably, the card was all ready put together and ready to go. So all this couple had to do was address it, put a stamp in it, and put it in the mail. And 3 weeks later, the HC hasn't received the card? Hmmm...I've seen this done before. At a friend's wedding, a couple told the HC that the couple had the gift in their car, and would give them to the HC before the reception ended. Well, the HC came back from the honeymoon, wrote out their thank you notes, and could not find the gift from the couple. Long story short, my friend and her husband couldn't find the gift because the couple never actually got them one.  ::)
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: GradKitty on June 27, 2010, 09:00:53 PM
Funny story about gifts/vs. no gift guests. My parents threw themselves a small wedding in 1980 for close friends and family. One of their friends brought a small, wooden, curio box, about 1 inch X 1 inch X 2 inches--the kind you get at a dollar store, but no card or household gift. My mom and dad thanked him graciously, and have remained quite close with him ever since. When an aunt of mine whined about a relative who attended her daughter's wedding failing to bring a gift, my mother cited this example and always said that they would have missed a great friendship had they written their friend off for not bringing a wedding gift and that the relationship was more important than any item.

Fast forward to 2005, my college graduation party. The same friend gives me a small, wooden curio box. I'm fooling around with the box and discover that it has a false bottom; inside is $200 cash! My parents had sold theirs in a garage sale several years before :). Goes to show you that you just never know!
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: ghost on June 28, 2010, 11:30:35 AM
Fast forward to 2005, my college graduation party. The same friend gives me a small, wooden curio box. I'm fooling around with the box and discover that it has a false bottom; inside is $200 cash! My parents had sold theirs in a garage sale several years before :). Goes to show you that you just never know!

I used to collect these, and would often buy them at thrift stores and rummage sales - I've found money in three of them through the years. I wonder if maybe I bought one from your parents!  ;D

Two were purchased from rummage sales, and I went back to return the money. One person was very grateful, and let me keep some of the money; the other person just let me keep the whole sum, saying that I found it, so I earned it. The third was purchased at a thrift store, out of town, and it was only 10 dollars, so I kept it.

Anyway, the moral of the story is this - check your belongings before you sell or donate them. I've also found money tucked into the pages of books and in the pockets of clothing. Once, in the interior pocket of a purse, I found a necklace with a small diamond pendant. I had purchased it at a thrift store, and called them to see if we could find the owner. No such luck, so I gave the necklace to my mom since she hated the purse!  ;D
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: kingsrings on June 28, 2010, 11:47:52 AM
It would also seem to me that gift givers should be wary of ‘hiding’ money in the gifts. Sure, it’s clever, amusing, and fun to do so, but only if the receiver finds the $$! Not everyone is going to think to look in all the nooks and crannies of gifts for money, because they’re probably not expecting it to be there, unless they know the giver does that sometimes. That’s a lot of money wasted, or ending up in the hands of people who weren’t supposed to get it.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: hyzenthlay on June 28, 2010, 12:12:14 PM
We invited one couple to our wedding (close friends of my FIL) who we knew could give us very little, and would almost certainly bring at least to of there adult children with them, who we knew would give us nothing.

It's one of the reason's we decided on a buffet, we knew we wouldn't have an accurate head count.

And they did as we expected, and it just wasn't that big a deal. Maybe because we expected it. I can sympathize with not getting a gift from close family, but from anyone else . . . if I'm close enough to be hurt by it, I should have known you well enough to expect it.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: TylerBelle on June 28, 2010, 03:00:43 PM
I know it'd be tacky to do so, though if like the LW of the story if one is that focused on gifts and what the guests can reciprocate to the festivities, then there should be no beating around the bush on the matter. If you don't want to put right up front on the invitations that X amount is being spent on each person and if that can't be met, surpassed or at least come pretty close,  the guest is encouraged to decline, then do so by word-of-mouth. That way your wedding has a better chance of being how you envisioned, free of cheapskates and deadbeats ::).

If you cannot see yourself doing something like that, enjoy the wedding and don't worry about what so and so's getting you. With the exception of the taking the dogs to the vet *gift* from the ILs. It was not very nice to use it as such.



It would also seem to me that gift givers should be wary of ‘hiding’ money in the gifts. Sure, it’s clever, amusing, and fun to do so, but only if the receiver finds the $$! Not everyone is going to think to look in all the nooks and crannies of gifts for money, because they’re probably not expecting it to be there, unless they know the giver does that sometimes. That’s a lot of money wasted, or ending up in the hands of people who weren’t supposed to get it.

I agree with the hiding of money is not the best idea. I always think of that story I've heard many times (not sure if real or like an urban legend) where a son was graduating from high school and for a gift, he'd wanted a car. So he and his dad went to shop around and look at different ones, and the son found the one he liked. On graduation day, for his gift, his dad gave his son  a Bible. In his disappointment, he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house not to return and he and his father didn't speak for years. I think it was the dad died and the son came back and while going through his dad's things, found the Bible and opened it. And there inside was  money in the exact amount of the car they'd chosen  long before.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Yvaine on June 28, 2010, 03:06:24 PM
It would also seem to me that gift givers should be wary of ‘hiding’ money in the gifts. Sure, it’s clever, amusing, and fun to do so, but only if the receiver finds the $$! Not everyone is going to think to look in all the nooks and crannies of gifts for money, because they’re probably not expecting it to be there, unless they know the giver does that sometimes. That’s a lot of money wasted, or ending up in the hands of people who weren’t supposed to get it.

I agree with the hiding of money is not the best idea. I always think of that story I've heard many times (not sure if real or like an urban legend) where a son was graduating from high school and for a gift, he'd wanted a car. So he and his dad went to shop around and look at different ones, and the son found the one he liked. On graduation day, for his gift, his dad gave his son  a Bible. In his disappointment, he threw the Bible down and stormed out of the house not to return and he and his father didn't speak for years. I think it was the dad died and the son came back and while going through his dad's things, found the Bible and opened it. And there inside was  money in the exact amount of the car they'd chosen  long before.

I first encountered that story in a Chicken Soup book and it broke my heart, and I only learned later that it was probably an urban legend. I agree, it's best not to hide the $$$ unless it's well-known that this family/circle of friends/etc. does that. My family usually hides a token amount of money ($10 or less) when giving a gift of a purse or wallet. But we all know we do this, so we all know to check.

Then again, we're also a "recycle the box no matter how absurd" family. We had a Lite Brite box that made the rounds for years. If we didn't open boxes to check, one might think we were constantly giving each other granola bars, shoes in the wrong size, and Cheerios as presents.  ;)
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: TheBardess on June 28, 2010, 09:29:35 PM
then stay home or let your financial situation be known first to the bride and groom.

Wow. Nice to know that my "presents" would be more important than my "presence." And I'm sure great-aunt Doris, who lives on a fixed income, would just be thrilled to know that her beloved niece would rather she stay at home than give some paltry sum that doesn't live up to the fabulousness of the Super-Special couple and their wedding.  ::)

Oh, and my financial situation is NONE of your business AT. ALL. This bride sounds like a real piece of work. It's not often you see such brazen and unashamed greed and entitlement.


Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: TootsNYC on June 29, 2010, 08:05:12 AM
And jiminy, doesn't she understand that some people may not be in the financial situation to give a great big gift or even a smaller gift? I certainly wouldn't want any friend to go into debt for me or anything.

That said, I might be a bit hurt if for some reason I knew that a friend didn't get us a wedding present but was buying lots of expensive mixed drinks. The "I'll treat myself at a party, but I won't treat you to anything on the occasion of your marriage" vibe might occasionally be noticeable.

There would have to be other things going on for me to actually notice, though.

(I will say that if you use your guest list a checklist to be sure you didn't miss anyone when you are wrirting your thank-you notes, which is *often* advised, you are going to notice if someone has no "gift / thank-you" info by their name. I can't imagine myself mind it, unless there was some other sort of selfish vibe about the person, though. And then it wouldn't be so much the gift as it is "one more piece of evidence.")


(ooh, did you notice? a cash bar!)
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Jolie_kitten on June 29, 2010, 11:14:49 AM
I think bringing neither a gift nor a card is rude; a card(or even a nice letter/note) or flowers if for whatever reason you can't bring a gift is ok. A very small token gift is ok. That's how I see it... It's the gesture that counts.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Jocelyn on June 30, 2010, 10:37:26 AM
Re: money in books

I've heard of it being the custom in certain doctoral programs, to hide some cash in your dissertation after it's been processed and is placed on the shelves in the library, as a little gift for the first person who actually reads it. :)

I've thought about doing this...but now that disserations are available online, it doesn't work so well.
I also heard of a PhD who went back for his 25th class reunion, checked his dissertation...and the $20 was still there.  :o
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: kingsrings on June 30, 2010, 11:09:10 AM
Oh man, that's a real self-esteem downer! LOL.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Amasi on July 04, 2010, 05:00:03 AM
If you cannot afford to contribute a small token of appreciation for being invited...

This is the bit that really gets me. If I were having a wedding, I think that my attitude would be that my guests were doing me a favour by showing up to support me, not that I was doing them a favour by graciously allowing them to attend my performance.

On the subject of wedding gifts, my grandmother has recently been clearing out her house in preparation to move into a rest home. She offered me a small green vase (green is my favorite colour), saying it was a wedding gift from her aunt. My first thought was "Gosh, that's really small for a wedding gift". Then I realised that my grandma had not only kept for 40 or 50 years (not sure when she got married) but also remembered exactly who gave it to her.

I think I might put it on prominent display in my home as a reminder to be humble and grateful for what I receive  :)
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: camlan on July 04, 2010, 07:29:09 AM
If you cannot afford to contribute a small token of appreciation for being invited...

This is the bit that really gets me. If I were having a wedding, I think that my attitude would be that my guests were doing me a favour by showing up to support me, not that I was doing them a favour by graciously allowing them to attend my performance.

On the subject of wedding gifts, my grandmother has recently been clearing out her house in preparation to move into a rest home. She offered me a small green vase (green is my favorite colour), saying it was a wedding gift from her aunt. My first thought was "Gosh, that's really small for a wedding gift". Then I realised that my grandma had not only kept for 40 or 50 years (not sure when she got married) but also remembered exactly who gave it to her.

I think I might put it on prominent display in my home as a reminder to be humble and grateful for what I receive  :)

The list of my mother's wedding presents from her 1950 wedding includes several such small gifts, like a set of nylon dresser scarves, a can opener and an address book. My dad's aunt gave them a check for $10. Close family did give larger gifts, like a place setting of their silver. There were several checks, all in the $25 to $50 range. (I wish I knew what that would be in today's dollars.) But overall, most of the gifts were pretty modest, especially from their friends, who were only a year or two out of college.

And my mother remembered exactly who gave her which gift. Every holiday, when we took out the good silver, she'd tell me which friend gave her the silver butter dish, which one the crystal salt & pepper shakers, which one the pickle fork. 
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: DangerMouth on July 04, 2010, 09:04:16 AM
"Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!"

Ummm. Isn't that the purpose of inviting people to enjoy your hospitality in celebration of your wedding?  ??? ::) ???
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Allie003 on July 04, 2010, 02:48:22 PM
It would also seem to me that gift givers should be wary of ‘hiding’ money in the gifts. Sure, it’s clever, amusing, and fun to do so, but only if the receiver finds the $$! Not everyone is going to think to look in all the nooks and crannies of gifts for money, because they’re probably not expecting it to be there, unless they know the giver does that sometimes. That’s a lot of money wasted, or ending up in the hands of people who weren’t supposed to get it.

When I was in college I spent a long weekend at my grandmother's, and brought along several books I was using for a paper I had checked out from the college library. A couple of months later I got note in my mailbox saying I needed to speak to the head librarian. The next person who checked out one of the books I had taken with me I had found $50 between the pages. My grandmother had done it as a suprise. Thank goodness for honest people!
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: whiterose on July 04, 2010, 06:47:39 PM
This happened to me once.

A friend (not particularly close, though) was getting married. She was good friends with one of my good friends. He told me when was the wedding, so I went to the ceremony with no intentions whatsoever of attending the reception.

After the ceremony ended, the happy couple announced that everybody present at the ceremony was welcome to attend the reception.

Not only did I attend the reception...but there was so much cake left over, that the bride told me to take it home, since I knew I lived with my parents, brother, and two dogs.

So I do not know how many faux passes did I end up committing, albeit unintentionally.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on July 05, 2010, 08:39:42 AM
whiterose - what possibly faux pas? You were invited to the reception - certainly not in a traditional way, but if the HC gives such an oral invitation at the ceremony, one is entitled to believe they mean it.

Perhaps they realized a day or so early that they had way too much food ordered, and had decided this was a nice way of wasting less of it?

And it's not rude to take something that someone offers. If they didn't want you to have the cake, they shouldn't have mentioned it to you.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Dindrane on July 05, 2010, 09:43:40 AM
There were several checks, all in the $25 to $50 range. (I wish I knew what that would be in today's dollars.)

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl), $50 in 1950 had the same buying power as $452.64 now.  $25 in 1950 is equivalent to $226.33 now.  Even $10 then is equivalent to about $90 now.

So I'd say that a $25 or $50 check in 1950 was quite a substantial present.

Also, even though I'd guess that the price of silver has gone up since the 1950s, buying a place setting of silver now is no small gift.  You could easily spend a few hundred dollars to get a five piece place setting.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on July 05, 2010, 03:54:57 PM
I broke a crystal vase when I was 8. It had been a wedding present.

I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she gathered up the shards. Not angry, just terribly, terribly sad.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: MyFamily on July 06, 2010, 11:27:33 AM
One couple gave an empty card. This upset me, but I blew it off as them not being able to afford a gift. Until I later found out this couple was purchasing expensive mixed drinks all afternoon.

Haven't people posted here that if they showed up at a wedding with a cash bar they'd just take the money out of the envelope that they'd planned on giving to the HC to pay for their drinks?
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Kimblee on July 06, 2010, 11:48:02 AM
i remember a couple of odd gifts from my wedding.. (it was only 2 years ago) but:
a-one was presented  oddly
b-were odd for a wedding as opposed to shower gift
and c-because my dad made a big deal out of one of them
 
a-my DH's grandmother forgot the card.. but not the monetary gift.. scrawled on the outside of an envelope was "WEDDING $100" in large letters.. i found it funny.. so i remember. i remember the amount of the gift because it was written on the envelope.. she did not put her name on the envelope.. i just knew her handwriting.
b- a guest gave me and DH a hamper set that i had registered for.. it was a large gift.. and odd that it was brought to the wedding itsself.. most appreciated.. but it was like "huh? will that fit in the car?"
c- my auntie knitted us a blanket.. it's lovely and warm.. niether her nor my uncle included a monetary gift.. my dad asked me about it.. and he was rather upset that they didn't "contribute" as he was able to give a "substantial" (his words) gift to my cousin's when they got married. i am not at all upset that my aunt and uncle didn't give me money. ihave a hand knitted blanket. it's awesome.  :D

other than that.. i have no idea. people brought gifts.. or they gave money.. or they didn't. DH and i made out well.. our wedding was awesome.. it was fun. casual. and amazing. that was my gift. my friends and family enjoying themselves.

I went to a wedding where a bride was given an afghan FREEDOM BLANKIE at the wedding... and promptly wrapped herself in it and wandered through the rest of the wedding snuggled down in it, with the occasonal attempot by her husband to climb under too. (Oh yeah, funniest pic from the reception was the bride and groom waddlingaround together snuggled in heir blankie.)

Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bridestared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: artk2002 on July 06, 2010, 01:21:35 PM
I went to a wedding where a bride was given an afghan FREEDOM BLANKIE at the wedding... and promptly wrapped herself in it and wandered through the rest of the wedding snuggled down in it, with the occasonal attempot by her husband to climb under too. (Oh yeah, funniest pic from the reception was the bride and groom waddlingaround together snuggled in heir blankie.)

Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bride stared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."

Reminds me of the lines from Hello Dolly:
Quote
And on those cold winter nights, Horace...
You can snuggle up to your cash register.
It`s a little lumpy, but it rings!
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Sharnita on July 06, 2010, 05:47:06 PM
"Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!"

Ummm. Isn't that the purpose of inviting people to enjoy your hospitality in celebration of your wedding?  ??? ::) ???

Didn't the LW say that they Knew the first couple could have afforded a gift because they kept buying expensive mixed drinks at the reception.  If that is the case it indicates to me a cash bar which means that they weren't "and drinking on our dime".
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: TheBardess on July 06, 2010, 09:33:05 PM
I wonder if the LW has seen this, either here or on the blog, and if so, what she thinks of it. Something tells me she'd take none of what we're saying to heart..
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: RingTailedLemur on July 09, 2010, 12:47:40 PM
"Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!"

Ummm. Isn't that the purpose of inviting people to enjoy your hospitality in celebration of your wedding?  ??? ::) ???

Didn't the LW say that they Knew the first couple could have afforded a gift because they kept buying expensive mixed drinks at the reception.  If that is the case it indicates to me a cash bar which means that they weren't "and drinking on our dime".

They might have had some drinks free to guests?
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: TheBardess on July 09, 2010, 04:08:31 PM
"Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!"

Ummm. Isn't that the purpose of inviting people to enjoy your hospitality in celebration of your wedding?  ??? ::) ???

Didn't the LW say that they Knew the first couple could have afforded a gift because they kept buying expensive mixed drinks at the reception.  If that is the case it indicates to me a cash bar which means that they weren't "and drinking on our dime".

They might have had some drinks free to guests?

True. It could have been a partial-cash bar, with things like beer and wine free, but less "standard" things (such as mixed drinks) for a fee.

Incidentally, what is the etiquette on such a bar? I know completely cash bars are generally frowned upon, but what about a partially-cash setup like I just described?
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Hushabye on July 09, 2010, 04:15:48 PM
TheBardess, there are several threads on that topic over in the wedding etiquette folder.  You might try a search over there (I can't think of the names of any off the top of my head).  I can't remember if there has been a consensus reached on the topic.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Brentwood on July 09, 2010, 04:21:58 PM
If you cannot afford to contribute a small token of appreciation for being invited...

This is the bit that really gets me. If I were having a wedding, I think that my attitude would be that my guests were doing me a favour by showing up to support me, not that I was doing them a favour by graciously allowing them to attend my performance.

On the subject of wedding gifts, my grandmother has recently been clearing out her house in preparation to move into a rest home. She offered me a small green vase (green is my favorite colour), saying it was a wedding gift from her aunt. My first thought was "Gosh, that's really small for a wedding gift". Then I realised that my grandma had not only kept for 40 or 50 years (not sure when she got married) but also remembered exactly who gave it to her.

I think I might put it on prominent display in my home as a reminder to be humble and grateful for what I receive  :)

The list of my mother's wedding presents from her 1950 wedding includes several such small gifts, like a set of nylon dresser scarves, a can opener and an address book. My dad's aunt gave them a check for $10. Close family did give larger gifts, like a place setting of their silver. There were several checks, all in the $25 to $50 range. (I wish I knew what that would be in today's dollars.) But overall, most of the gifts were pretty modest, especially from their friends, who were only a year or two out of college.

And my mother remembered exactly who gave her which gift. Every holiday, when we took out the good silver, she'd tell me which friend gave her the silver butter dish, which one the crystal salt & pepper shakers, which one the pickle fork. 

$25 to $50 would have been very generous gifts in 1950. My parents were married in 1959 and received several monetary gifts, the largest of which was $10.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Brentwood on July 09, 2010, 04:24:04 PM
I broke a crystal vase when I was 8. It had been a wedding present.

I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she gathered up the shards. Not angry, just terribly, terribly sad.

I broke a crystal candle-holder when I was 43. It had also been a wedding present - mine!  :-[
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: katycoo on July 10, 2010, 02:34:01 AM
I broke a crystal vase when I was 8. It had been a wedding present.

I'll never forget the look on my mother's face as she gathered up the shards. Not angry, just terribly, terribly sad.

I broke a crystal candle-holder when I was 43. It had also been a wedding present - mine!  :-[

My mother broke a jar from a set of three for flour/sugar etc.  It was so dated, so 70s, so ugly.  But it was a wedding gift.  She cried.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Suze on August 01, 2010, 01:41:37 PM
my sister got married in the early 60's

her whole wedding cost under $100.00 -- including her dress

course it was at the local gun club for the reception and the usual "pot lucky" type of food bar.  (If I remember Mom made most of the food)

What happened? How did weddings get to be many thousands of dollars affairs?
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: ddawn23 on January 11, 2011, 09:19:48 PM
For those of you wondering if part of the bar was free, the LW mentions it in the second sentence of her letter:
Quote
We had our wedding last month and dished out a delicious luncheon for 81 guests, with unlimited beer and wine.
I'm Oklahoman, so the idea of alcohol of any sort at a wedding is kind of foreign to me (and I am by no means a teetotaler).

Most brides around these parts receive Frankoma pottery as wedding gifts.  They've been around for ages and use local clay.  It's all very collectable.  My parents happened to have gotten married in 1976 when Frankoma was using a bluish clay that was in very limited supply.  Blue Frankoma pieces are worth a lot of money now, and whenever someone tells my mom she should sell what she has she asks "What would I serve dinner in?"  My parents' 35th anniversary is next week and just yesterday I cooked and served green beans in some of Mom's blue Frankoma.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: mariamousie1 on February 20, 2011, 10:03:25 PM
What really bugged me was "I hope they enjoyed eating and drinking on our dime!" Um...that's kind of what a reception is supposed to be. You pay for your friends to come and celebrate with you. Nobody ever said your friends are supposed to give it back to you.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on February 21, 2011, 09:27:06 AM
my sister got married in the early 60's

her whole wedding cost under $100.00 -- including her dress

course it was at the local gun club for the reception and the usual "pot lucky" type of food bar.  (If I remember Mom made most of the food)

What happened? How did weddings get to be many thousands of dollars affairs?

A, inflation. $100 then would be close to $1000 today.

B, social mores. Society has always wobbled between two ideals - thrift, and conspicuous consumption. Presumable, your sister, in the early 60's was still affected by the idea driven into people during the depression and war years, that any unnecessary expense was not merely unwise but immoral, even unpatriotic.

Since then, we have had 50 years extolling conspicuous consumption. We are told (and unfortunately, have some good reason to believe) that people will think better of us if we spend large amounts of money on things like weddings, and poorly of us if we don't. Many people may consider us rude if we do not entertain them in the manner expected - how dare we make them invest their time and money in our event if we don't make it "worth their while" by supplying extravagant entertainment as recompense?

And, in both cases, I think there is an attitude of social standing - "I was able to have a lovely wedding on a shoestring" got you social props in 1960, while "I spent a fortune on the fanciest wedding anyone in my set ever threw" does the same in 2011.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Dindrane on February 21, 2011, 09:38:05 AM
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Twik on February 21, 2011, 10:27:52 AM
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.

Dindrane - well, it is quite likely that someone in 1960 would solve this problem by not getting food from a restaurant, not worrying about music at all, and, most importantly, by limiting the number of people who were involved in the wedding in the first place. I presume that at $1000, you're talking a significant number of people. Remember, for a 1960's wedding for a middle-class family, the wedding might be held in their living room. There would not be the larger "must invite all my third cousins" sort of wedding that we see today. And note that problems of "expensive venues" disappear when it's your parent's front room, and food costs would be just the ingredients, as you or your female relatives would cook most of the food (which would probably be a small luncheon).

I think that it's only natural as the economy started to grow after WWII that people started expanding what they were willing to spend on their weddings. It's nice to be able to invite everyone you want, not just those who fit into the room, and it's much more enjoyable to treat them to a catered dinner, instead of expecting your relations to spend days cooking for you. But the answer to "how could it be done for $100 in 1960 when it costs thousands today?" is that our expectations of what a "basic" wedding entails have grown. Trying to throw that "$100 wedding" today would be possible, probably, for under $1000, but it wouldn't be the standard to which we have grown accustomed.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Lauren on April 17, 2011, 07:11:05 AM
Quote
Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bridestared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."

If this friend I'm thinking of wasn't married, I would think you were talking about her!

What an awesome person.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: Elfmama on April 25, 2011, 08:00:05 AM

I went to a wedding where a bride was given an afghan FREEDOM BLANKIE at the wedding... and promptly wrapped herself in it and wandered through the rest of the wedding snuggled down in it, with the occasonal attempot by her husband to climb under too. (Oh yeah, funniest pic from the reception was the bride and groom waddlingaround together snuggled in heir blankie.)

Someone made a loud, snide commet about how REAL family gives money, and the bridestared at them, and in a slow tone (like you use with a pre schooler.) "Cousin gav me a blanket. ITS WARM."
And cousin didn't just go to the store and buy the same blanket that anyone could have bought.  She gave a gift of herself.  Snide guest probably didn't know the hours and hours of work that goes into something like that, every stitch made while thinking happy thoughts for the bride and groom.
Title: Re: It is all about the gift!
Post by: 567Kate on April 27, 2011, 01:14:03 PM
I don't even know that conspicuous consumption has all that much to do with it, for a lot of people.  I am not conspicuously consuming for my wedding (and have, in fact, tried to cut a lot of corners).  There are some things I've spent money on that I maybe didn't have to, but the vast majority of those things has been with the idea of providing better hospitality for my guests.

The reason why my wedding is costing several thousand dollars is simply because that's just what it costs.  It's in a large city, in one of the most urban parts of that city, and things are just expensive there.  Half the budget, easily, is food.  Actually, at this point (because it's looking like it may cost less than we thought), it may be more like 2/3 catering expenses.

Even my rehearsal dinner (which includes almost as many people as the wedding) is going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1000.  And that's as bare bones as it can possibly get -- food from inexpensive restaurants in metal pans, plastic table clothes, paper plates, and an iPod for music.

Dindrane - well, it is quite likely that someone in 1960 would solve this problem by not getting food from a restaurant, not worrying about music at all, and, most importantly, by limiting the number of people who were involved in the wedding in the first place. I presume that at $1000, you're talking a significant number of people. Remember, for a 1960's wedding for a middle-class family, the wedding might be held in their living room. There would not be the larger "must invite all my third cousins" sort of wedding that we see today. And note that problems of "expensive venues" disappear when it's your parent's front room, and food costs would be just the ingredients, as you or your female relatives would cook most of the food (which would probably be a small luncheon).

I think that it's only natural as the economy started to grow after WWII that people started expanding what they were willing to spend on their weddings. It's nice to be able to invite everyone you want, not just those who fit into the room, and it's much more enjoyable to treat them to a catered dinner, instead of expecting your relations to spend days cooking for you. But the answer to "how could it be done for $100 in 1960 when it costs thousands today?" is that our expectations of what a "basic" wedding entails have grown. Trying to throw that "$100 wedding" today would be possible, probably, for under $1000, but it wouldn't be the standard to which we have grown accustomed.

I think the way that families have spread out is a big part of it too. When you have people flying in from across the country (or internationally), you feel obligated to put on a larger event. Cake and punch or a small luncheon can feel inadequate as a host when you know someone spent >$1000 on airfare to attend.