Author Topic: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?  (Read 5093 times)

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LadyL

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Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« on: September 24, 2012, 04:23:12 PM »
LordL and I met with his parents to catch up as well as to get their help putting together our wedding guest list,  to make sure he gets current information (addresses, etc.) for all the family friends and people we'd like to invite. As we were going down the list his mom provided info on some of the people, such as "Oh, your great aunt Alice isn't likely to come although she'd love to - she isn't in great health and hasn't flown in years, but she'd love to receive an invite." We put a special mark to indicate that those people were unlikely to be able to attend but should be invited more as a gesture than anything else. As we kept going down the list his mom kept saying things like "Yes, they won't come, but invite them anyhow - they'll probably send you a card." In the case of people with health problems I understood but those I wasn't sure what to make of, and figured I'd just talk to LordL about it later. Finally we got to one name and his mom says "Oh, your second cousin Lucy - definitely invite her! She lives all the way across the country and she'll never come, but she's rich so she'll probably write you a big check! She used to buy all her friends brand new cars, but since the economy tanked she isn't THAT rich - but she'll still send you a nice gift if you invite her!"

Inside I was all  :o  :o  :o but outside I just put on my best "everything is fine"  :) 

So, ehell, I really have no intention of inviting people to my wedding just for the gifts. I am pretty sure that is the very definition of "gift grab" yes? And therefore terribly rude, correct? My MIL's argument is that some of these people would just be pleased to get an invite and know that we thought of them and it's more about the gesture, and that they might respond in kind with the gesture of a gift and that makes it a reciprocal situation. I can see that argument in the case of an elderly relative who you actually would want to come if they were able to (i.e. if their medical situation were to improve) but not for people who you have no actual expectation of actually showing up to the wedding. I only plan on issuing "genuine" invitations if that makes sense. If we invite 20 extra obscure/far flung/etc. relatives as a "gesture" (ignoring the tacky gift expectation) what happens if they decide it's a great opportunity for a family reunion and all RSVP yes? Seems like a terrible ploy to me.

Am I being too harsh on my MIL here? Do people actually do this? I seriously have no idea since I've never had to plan out a guest list for this type of event. My strategy was originally just to invite the people who we actually want to be there as it seemed like the sensible way to do it.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2012, 04:29:37 PM »
I can see both sides of this.  I can see your side of feeling like it's a gift grab, especially with the way your MIL was wording it.

On the other hand, though, some people might appreciate the invite and see it as "Wish you were here!" kinda card.
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leafeater

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2012, 04:32:28 PM »
Honestly, even KNOWING the standard e-hell response that this is a gift grab, i think if it was me I'd be glad to get the invite. 

But here's the acid test.  Imagine they decide to actually show up.  Are you happy to see them or disappointed they didn't just stay away and send a gift?  If it's the first, you're totally clear to invite them.

bah12

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2012, 04:34:30 PM »
If the only reason you'd consider inviting someone is for the gift, then yes, it's rude.

But, if what your MIL says is true, and the person would actually love to get the invite and you, in turn, would love it if they were able to overcome whatever obstacle prevents them from coming and see them at your wedding, then it's not rude to invite them.


Sterling

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2012, 04:36:34 PM »
I invited abut 20 people I knew would not come the wedding.  I included them in my budget in case they did show and we did tell people no gifts (I know not exactly correct but we did it).  We invited them because they are people we care about and wanted them to feel like they were a part of things even though we knew there was no way they would make it.  But the test really is how would you feel if they actually made it?  If you would be excited they came invite them.  If you wouldn't be don't invite them.
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Cat-Fu

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2012, 04:38:12 PM »
Imagine they decide to actually show up.  Are you happy to see them or disappointed they didn't just stay away and send a gift?  If it's the first, you're totally clear to invite them.

This, exactly. If you genuinely want them to come, then invite them. Let them decide if they will be able to make it, (meaning, don't assume they won't be coming, even if it's unlikely), and don't involve gifts in your thought process at all. Your FMIL sounds very excited about the wedding, I would let her comments pass.
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Talley

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2012, 04:41:01 PM »
My strategy was originally just to invite the people who we actually want to be there as it seemed like the sensible way to do it.
This was basically what, but this included a few people where we knew in advance that they would not be able to attend. These were actually people we were close to. There were several in my family, who were in poor health (like my grandmother and a cousin of my father's) who we would have loved to have at the wedding but who could not travel. The received an invitation anyway, not because we wanted them to send us gifts - their presence would have been a far better gift than anything else - but because we wanted to include them in this tiny way.


CLE_Girl

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 04:42:33 PM »
My parents did this too me.  They put feelers out with their friends and family about a year before our wedding.  Almost all said they wouldn't come (the drive from Chicago to Cleveland wasn't worth it, but that's another story).  Still when it came to sending out the invites my parents INSISTED that I invite everyone anyway.

Someone else said that if you would be happy to have them if they can make it, then invite them.

NyaChan

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 04:47:33 PM »
Honestly, even KNOWING the standard e-hell response that this is a gift grab, i think if it was me I'd be glad to get the invite. 

But here's the acid test. Imagine they decide to actually show up.  Are you happy to see them or disappointed they didn't just stay away and send a gift?  If it's the first, you're totally clear to invite them.

Exactly.

Girlie

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 04:57:39 PM »
This isn't a difficult question at all.

If you are sending the card because you actually WOULD (or WILL) miss their presence at the wedding (even knowing beforehand that they can't come), then absolutely do invite them.

If you (or your parents, or whoever else you are inviting on behalf of) couldn't really care two figs as to whether or not they come, then don't invite.

And yes, I really do think it's a gift grab to send an invite to someone if your only expectation is that you will benefit by way of a gift.
When I got married, I sent out several invitations to people I knew couldn't come because it was a courtesy (for example, my DH's very sick great-aunt who lives across the country) on behalf of my MIL, who would have loved having her there and knew that her aunt would treasure the invite anyway. However, no one expected - and we didn't get - anything from her, and none of us was bothered by that fact.

Nuts&Makeup

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 05:01:16 PM »
Are wedding announcements no longer done? Thirty years ago when I got married, we had to have a small guest list. Those friends and family that didn't make the invite list received wedding announcements (very similar to the invites) that I had addressed and ready to go for my mother to mail the day after the wedding.

jmarvellous

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2012, 05:08:55 PM »
In my family -- at least in earlier generations (I'm the eldest of this one so there's not a precedent -- there's an expectation that everyone receives an invitation. By everyone I mean anyone you know you're related to or any friends of your parents who know you. Many of these folks won't attend, but it's hard to know.

So it's hard to know what to say in a family where it's not expected, but I think I'd err on the side of sending an invitation.

artk2002

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2012, 06:12:52 PM »
Honestly, even KNOWING the standard e-hell response that this is a gift grab, i think if it was me I'd be glad to get the invite. 

But here's the acid test.  Imagine they decide to actually show up.  Are you happy to see them or disappointed they didn't just stay away and send a gift?  If it's the first, you're totally clear to invite them.

This is the important part here. It's a mistake to assume "Aunt Marge won't make it so that invitation won't really count." If you invite someone, you hope (expect) that they will come.  People will surprise you. Even though Aunt Marge hasn't left her home in 20 years, she may decide that your wedding is the event of the decade and, dadgummit, she's coming.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Sharnita

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2012, 06:15:37 PM »
I think when she says that kind of thing I might say "We might be a little too transparent if we did that - wouldn't want people to think we are greedy"

PastryGoddess

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Re: Sending a wedding invite just so they'll send a gift - rude?
« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2012, 06:40:01 PM »
Are wedding announcements no longer done? Thirty years ago when I got married, we had to have a small guest list. Those friends and family that didn't make the invite list received wedding announcements (very similar to the invites) that I had addressed and ready to go for my mother to mail the day after the wedding.

I'm glad someone asked this before I did :)  You don't have to invite everyone, but doing wedding announcements would work.  That way if MIL asks you can honestly say that you let those people know you were getting married.  She doesn't have to know that they were not invited.

And yes, make sure to send them after the wedding, not before.
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