Author Topic: Give a gift/sign a card for wedding you're not invited to because you're female?  (Read 3483 times)

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lowspark

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A woman in our office is getting married in a couple of weeks. Just a few minutes ago, an envelope landed on my desk with a note on the outside saying "Suzy" is getting married and if you want to contribute to a gift, slip money into the envelope. Either way, (money or not), feel free to sign the card.

Really?
First, I'm not invited to the wedding. I didn't expect to be, don't get me wrong. I know her to chat casually to in the office but we're not friends. Some people in the office with whom she is friends are invited and that's perfectly appropriate.

The thing is, if I were invited to the wedding, I'd already be giving a gift. So clearly the implication is that those of us who aren't invited should still want to give her a gift. And really, it's not unheard of to give a gift in this situation, it's just being asked to do so is pretty forward, I think.

But here's the real kicker. The distribution list on the envelope includes only women.
What?

She's definitely not the first person, male or female in this office to get married while working here but this is definitely the first time I've seen this sort of thing done. (In fact, another woman in the office just got married in December!)

I guess it is sort of following along the lines of a shower -- like the multiple baby showers we've had. But it's just different for a wedding to which the majority aren't invited. At least the baby showers are hosted events with food & drink.

Is it just me or is this really obnoxious?

Side note: I doubt  the bride had anything to do with this - she probably doesn't even know it is being done. If I were her though, I'd be totally embarrassed that people who are not invited to my wedding were asked to contribute to a gift.

What do you think about this? Am I overreacting? Is it no big deal, especially since it's all anonymous and no one knows who put money in and who didn't? Or is it incredibly gauche, especially considering that the guys weren't asked to participate?

Katana_Geldar

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People do give a gift if they're not attending a wedding. My husbands work gave us a gift from our registry and only one person from his work attended. We also got gifts from relatives who didn't attend as they wanted to wish us well.

The female only list? That's something else entirely.

There's nothing wrong with giving someone a wedding gift if you're not invited.

lissybug

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I really hate this sort of thing. Chances are if you were good enough friends with this woman that you felt you wanted to give a gift or card (regardless of whether you were invited), you would, without someone else pestering you. And then if you hardly know this person, it just makes it awkward for you.

lissybug

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I forgot!

And the woman only thing is just offensive.

lowspark

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Right Katana. I said as much in my post:

"And really, it's not unheard of to give a gift in this situation, it's just being asked to do so is pretty forward, I think."

If a several people in the office wanted to get together and go in on a gift, even if not invited, as I'm guessing happened with your husband's work, then fine. It's the idea of someone on the other side of the office, with whom I also have just a passing rel@tionship, passing around an envelope asking for contributions that strikes me as off.

Calistoga

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My automatic thought was that it was women only because women are more likely to feel obligated to give something then men are. Weddings are still very much a female oriented affair.

TootsNYC

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I have always given a gift to coworkers I know who are getting married. But not one single time was I invited to the wedding. Often I like to go in on something with other people because then my $5 or $25 or $40 translates into something with more oomph.

And I can totally see the organizer of this deciding to simply include everyone so as not to be in the position of trying to remember or judge whether people are close enough to donate. And to decide that it would be easiest to combine the money with the "sign a card to wish her well." It's not like you have to give money, right? Nobody really "directly asked" so much as "offered you the opportunity." Because the note specifically says, "you don't have to put any money in."

I don't get the "women only" thing--but maybe the organizer is thinking of this as a "bridal shower" and has "only girls at bridal showers" stuck in her head. (I'm assuming it's a "her" organizing this.)

I might write on the distribution list "Are the guys signing a different card?" or something. Or ask a guy that I know interacts w/ Susie a lot whether he'd like to sign the card or donate, and then hand him the folder for him to write his name in and then check himself off.

I can't complain about this at all--I've had it done to me, and I've done something similar.

heartmug

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If you know who started/organized this, I would flat out ask them "Why only women?"
The trouble is not that the world is full of fools, it's just that lightening isn't distributed right.  - Mark Twain

Aeris

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The fact that the list is female only is bizarre, antiquated and...just icky.

But the fact that a card is going around for someone getting married isn't any of those things. This is really quite common. Lots of people like to chip in a few bucks for a group office gift for someone getting married as a friendly camaraderie move, even when they aren't invited to the coworkers wedding (as they often aren't). This is really no different from the 'office shower', which is a notable exception to the rule that only people invited to the wedding can be invited to a shower. Office showers involve everyone in the office/dept/team, whether invited or not, and usually have one single group gift (such that each person's contribution is *substantially* smaller than a typical shower or wedding gift.)

So, yes, I think you're overreacting about everything here except for the fact that the list is just women.

Aeris

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Right Katana. I said as much in my post:

"And really, it's not unheard of to give a gift in this situation, it's just being asked to do so is pretty forward, I think."

If a several people in the office wanted to get together and go in on a gift, even if not invited, as I'm guessing happened with your husband's work, then fine. It's the idea of someone on the other side of the office, with whom I also have just a passing rel@tionship, passing around an envelope asking for contributions that strikes me as off.

In a lot of offices, sending around a card with a note is the best way to find out if anyone IS interested in going in together on a gift. Other choices would be a mass email, or trying to randomly catch people in the hallway, which just sounds like a mess.

Katana_Geldar

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Right Katana. I said as much in my post:

"And really, it's not unheard of to give a gift in this situation, it's just being asked to do so is pretty forward, I think."

If a several people in the office wanted to get together and go in on a gift, even if not invited, as I'm guessing happened with your husband's work, then fine. It's the idea of someone on the other side of the office, with whom I also have just a passing rel@tionship, passing around an envelope asking for contributions that strikes me as off.

No, it was actually his work paying for it. The guest picked it out the same day as his own gift. The CEO is just a nice guy. They got us a nice steak pan.

Lynn2000

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I think it's weird that it's only the women, if it's a contribution for a gift to be sent to the bride and not, say, for an office bridal shower that only the women might be interested in (still an assumption on the part of the organizer, but less interesting). But, it could be a simple case of not thinking things through, more than a considered plot--it's a bit silly, too, because the more people who contribute money, the bigger the gift. If I knew the organizer I might mention it to him/her from this perspective--could just have been an oversight.

Although it can be a bit eye-rolly to get asked for money for a co-worker if you happen to not be close to them, I think it's a usual thing. Don't add any money if you don't want to--that's the sort of thing that really leads to resentment, IMO. Just pass it on to the next person. Maybe sign the card with a nice "Congratulations!" or something if you want.
~Lynn2000

Oh Joy

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(shrugs)

I wouldn't get worked up about it.  Someone probably meant well.  "Gee, let's get her a card from all of us gals at the office.  If anyone wants to put money in, they can."  Sure it was unbalanced and clumsy, but I assume it was with the best of intentions and is limited in any potential damage.

I'd sign it and move on, not giving it another moment of my energy.

Best wishes.

NotTheNarcissist

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Giving toward a group gift & I'm not invited: in an office situation, I am fine with this. I vote not rude.

Female only: indicative of a throwback to showers like you mentioned. Not sure I would call it rude or worth getting upset about, just narrow-minded.

katycoo

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IME its common for a workplace to chip in for a wedding gift for a colleague.  It encouraged for people to sign the card whether they contribute or not so people aren't excluded, and often the company itself puts some money in.  So that in itself doesn't bother me.

I've never seen one which is female only though - I think that's a bit weird.