General Etiquette > Life...in general

Are wedding presents obligatory?

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Phoebe:

--- Quote from: MorgnsGrl on January 17, 2013, 06:40:47 PM ---My thoughts on this matter are conflicting. I think the wedding couple should not feel that their guests are obliged to give them a gift, but I feel that wedding guests are obliged to bring one. I think the gift could be a nice card with a promise that a material gift will be delivered in the near future, though.

--- End quote ---

I know that the general consensus is that attending a wedding obligates one to give a gift, but honestly I'd be crushed if a friend felt she/he couldn't attend my wedding because they couldn't afford a gift. 

TootsNYC:

--- Quote from: Phoebe on January 17, 2013, 06:46:16 PM ---
--- Quote from: MorgnsGrl on January 17, 2013, 06:40:47 PM ---My thoughts on this matter are conflicting. I think the wedding couple should not feel that their guests are obliged to give them a gift, but I feel that wedding guests are obliged to bring one. I think the gift could be a nice card with a promise that a material gift will be delivered in the near future, though.

--- End quote ---

I know that the general consensus is that attending a wedding obligates one to give a gift, but honestly I'd be crushed if a friend felt she/he couldn't attend my wedding because they couldn't afford a gift.

--- End quote ---
i agree in both places.

So my suggestion to you would be, go.
If your friends have any "quality" to them, it'll matter more than you know; and they'd rather have your presence than a present.

Think of something small to give them as a wedding present--a bottle of wine that's $7 but has a label you think they'd like, or a $15 cookbook that has some recipes that you *know* will taste great. A $5 gadget that you happen to *know* they don't have and truly believe they will find useful.

In ANY of these (or whatever you choose), include a personal note explaining why this is a useful/valuable/tasty/specific-to-them item.

Then if you think you want to give them a more valuable present, give it months later when your finances have recovered.

But you may find that your gift and the a note may be something they really treasure, and your gift-giving urge (and obligation) may be satisfied.

My rule is: "Never attend someone's wedding unless you feel an irresistible urge to give them a wedding present."

buvezdevin:

--- Quote from: TootsNYC on January 17, 2013, 07:24:34 PM ---
--- Quote from: Phoebe on January 17, 2013, 06:46:16 PM ---
--- Quote from: MorgnsGrl on January 17, 2013, 06:40:47 PM ---My thoughts on this matter are conflicting. I think the wedding couple should not feel that their guests are obliged to give them a gift, but I feel that wedding guests are obliged to bring one. I think the gift could be a nice card with a promise that a material gift will be delivered in the near future, though.

--- End quote ---

I know that the general consensus is that attending a wedding obligates one to give a gift, but honestly I'd be crushed if a friend felt she/he couldn't attend my wedding because they couldn't afford a gift.

--- End quote ---
i agree in both places.

So my suggestion to you would be, go.
If your friends have any "quality" to them, it'll matter more than you know; and they'd rather have your presence than a present.

Think of something small to give them as a wedding present--a bottle of wine that's $7 but has a label you think they'd like, or a $15 cookbook that has some recipes that you *know* will taste great. A $5 gadget that you happen to *know* they don't have and truly believe they will find useful.

In ANY of these (or whatever you choose), include a personal note explaining why this is a useful/valuable/tasty/specific-to-them item.

Then if you think you want to give them a more valuable present, give it months later when your finances have recovered.

But you may find that your gift and the a note may be something they really treasure, and your gift-giving urge (and obligation) may be satisfied.

My rule is: "Never attend someone's wedding unless you feel an irresistible urge to give them a wedding present."

--- End quote ---

POD.  When I was married, way back, one friend we invited to the wedding - and were delighted to have there - was in grad school at the time.  We were used to socializing with him in ways that were inexpensive, knew he had a tight budget, and certainly did not expect him to give a wedding gift of significant cost.  But, I remember well being delighted with a ceramic container he gave us labelled "Coffee" - it was kept on our kitchen counter holding coffee beans and was a lovely daily reminder of him.  I'd guess a similar item could now be found for around or under $10. 

We would have still wanted him at the wedding without a gift.  Just offering the above as an example of an inexpensive wedding gift that was cherished.  Also to note that if you are close to the happy couple, they may already understand that your current finances are not such that a more expensive wedding gift is not feasible.

SamiHami:
Agree with the PPs who say attending a wedding does obligate you to getting them a gift-but only one within your means. And if you send them a gift a few months after the wedding, that's perfectly acceptable as well.

Surianne:
I've had friends tell me (when I was crazy broke) they'd much rather have me at their wedding than worry about a gift.  I think that's pretty normal: it's more important to see you there.  They'll be receiving a lot of gifts; one more won't make a significant difference.

I think the previous posters have some great ideas about inexpensive gifts.  Don't feel you have to meet some imagined cover-your-plate amount.  $10 is fine, if it's meaningful.  If you can't manage even that and still attend their wedding, I think a card with a sincere, personal message in it would be fine too.

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