Author Topic: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"  (Read 4151 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2013, 03:14:52 PM »
Get a nice card and give your congratulations to the happy couple (incidentally, asking for donations is an etiquette faux pas).  Donate to the cause or not, as you wish.

I do have to say - what wouldn't be a faux pas in the situation where the couple doesn't want gifts?  Do you just have to accept them no matter what?  I've seen "word-of-mouth" proposed, but given that the invites are spread across most of the U.S. and several foreign countries somehow I doubt that would work.

YES!

I can think of nothing ruder than not accepting a gift. I mean, what would possibly acceptable? Handing it back? Incredibly rude.

When someone is given a gift that they don't want, they simply say "thank you" graciously. And then they do whatever they want with the gift, later, when the giver can't see them donate it or sell it or give it away or toss it.

There is an incredibly narrow window in which it is appropriate to refuse a gift.


As for directing people to charities--Prince William got away with it because he didn't put it in his invitation to his actual guests. It was a press release to the public, who weren't actually invited.

I wasn't saying that you wouldn't accept gifts that were offered, or be rude about them, of course!  But this is another one of those situations where it seems that etiquette would dictate a situation that is undesirable to all parties involved.  I'd much rather donate to charity than waste my money on a gift that won't be used by the couple - but if the invitation doesn't say anything about gifts, I'm going to buy a gift.  Had the same thing come up in my family gifts thread - I'd rather not have a situation go on where one person buys nice things for another person that the other person can't enjoy, even if that's what correct etiquette requires.

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6950
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2013, 04:16:21 PM »
Get a nice card and give your congratulations to the happy couple (incidentally, asking for donations is an etiquette faux pas).  Donate to the cause or not, as you wish.

I do have to say - what wouldn't be a faux pas in the situation where the couple doesn't want gifts?  Do you just have to accept them no matter what?  I've seen "word-of-mouth" proposed, but given that the invites are spread across most of the U.S. and several foreign countries somehow I doubt that would work.

YES!

I can think of nothing ruder than not accepting a gift. I mean, what would possibly acceptable? Handing it back? Incredibly rude.

When someone is given a gift that they don't want, they simply say "thank you" graciously. And then they do whatever they want with the gift, later, when the giver can't see them donate it or sell it or give it away or toss it.

There is an incredibly narrow window in which it is appropriate to refuse a gift.


As for directing people to charities--Prince William got away with it because he didn't put it in his invitation to his actual guests. It was a press release to the public, who weren't actually invited.

I wasn't saying that you wouldn't accept gifts that were offered, or be rude about them, of course!  But this is another one of those situations where it seems that etiquette would dictate a situation that is undesirable to all parties involved.  I'd much rather donate to charity than waste my money on a gift that won't be used by the couple - but if the invitation doesn't say anything about gifts, I'm going to buy a gift.  Had the same thing come up in my family gifts thread - I'd rather not have a situation go on where one person buys nice things for another person that the other person can't enjoy, even if that's what correct etiquette requires.

I'd dispute the assertion that its not possible to express this through word of mouth or for the guests to "pull" this info from the HC.
A wedding website with "donations in lie of.." in the registration section directly. Ask the HC about the registry. Aks more specifically what the HC wants to anyone... the bride/groom either of their siblings , parents , the best man or maid of honor.  Even if you don't asked a 3rd party may "push " the info to you........ brides mom tells cousin Sue(when asked) , cousin Sue unsolicited tells her kids and cousins Bob and Mary ect.    But, lets assume the none of this happens and the HC wanted only every red items as gifts ,  if they don't communicant in anyway and no one asks they will be very unlikely to only get reds gifts , should they put that on the invite?

The purpose of a gift isn't to get exactly what you want or even to give EXACTLY what the HC wants but to express warm wishes

JeseC

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 339
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2013, 06:52:32 PM »
Honestly, I'd never really considered the idea of a wedding website.  That was always something I thought a bit tacky myself - I always heard it associated with people who were putting their wedding out there for people who weren't invited.  I remember having the expectation that the invitation should contain everything the invitees would need or want to know.  So this whole bit about not putting anything about gifts seems a bit...odd.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2013, 07:19:04 PM »
There is no way an invitation can contain all the information guests might want to have. Sure officially it has, or gives clues to, all the info a guest should have, but with people being so scattered, and reading the nuances of invitations isn't as easy as it might have been in days past. Things like dress code - traditionally the formality of the invite would tell the guest how to dress. But these days, that's not always a clue. Also traditionally one would ask the friends, family or wedding party of the HC about gifts and registries, but these days its very possible many guests don't know or have contact info for any of the friends, family or wedding party.

I think many modern engaged couples do wedding websites. I can't imagine how the website is "putting their wedding out there for people who weren't invited" - I've never known anyone to publicize the web address to anyone except invited guests. Its a great way to get random info out to guests. My wedding website let people know my ceremony would be outside on a rooftop and asked they plan for windy weather (it was warm, but windy). I also listed the hotel we'd booked a block of discounted rooms at, and that we would provide free transportation to/from the hotel and wedding. I gave people some suggestions about fun things to do in the area, and I mentioned the history of the building the wedding was in. There was also a photo of the outside of my location, which was handy for people driving - even with directions its always useful to know what you looking for.

Either way its always been, and IMO always should be, considered bad etiquette to mention what one wants on or in one's invitation. I am of the personal opinion "no gifts" or some variation is ok but not any mention of getting gifts (no asking for donations, cash in lieu of stuff, mentioning registries, etc). The only exception is for showers where the guest of honor is not the one issuing the invites, and the sole purpose of the party is to shower the GOH with gifts.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30533
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2013, 08:04:31 PM »
One thing about "getting them exactly what they want"--one of the wonderful things about gift is that often the gift *IS* "just what they want" but didn't KNOW they wanted it.

I can list for you wedding and bridal-shower presents I received that were picked out by the giver that are incredibly treasured 23 years later. (I had a VERY limited registry and burdened my MIL by asking her to transmit general info.)
  Of course there were some duds, but I treasured the thought and found them another home. (One of the duplicates, the coffee maker, even gave me the most-fun-to-read thank-you note I've ever written.)

Every time I give someone a gift, I'm gambling on whether they'll like it or not. I might lose.

I have some sympathy with people who don't want to risk a large chunk of change. That's why I personally thing registries are OK. (However, every time I've purchased something that was not "just another placesetting" from someone's registry, I've seen someone else giving the same gift.)

I don't often use them, however. Even when it is a sizable gift. I just decide I don't care if they don't like it; I usually include the gift receipt; or I buy something particularly individual that I hope they'll find meaningful.

My absolute favorite wedding gift is a "kissing couple" sculpture given to us by a close friend. I would never have registered for it.

peaches

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 793
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2013, 12:31:28 AM »
One more question: if one is doing something associated with the charity but not giving a cash donation, would it be appropriate to enclose a photo in the card?

I wouldn't. That looks suspiciously like trying to get out of giving a gift. (After all, you were doing the volunteer work whether your friends got married or not.)

You obviously are in sympathy with the work of the organization. Why not make a gift in their names? (A small one, if that's what you can afford. The groups I've donated to don't reveal the amounts given.)


Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1429
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2013, 12:32:57 AM »
Honestly, I'd never really considered the idea of a wedding website.  That was always something I thought a bit tacky myself - I always heard it associated with people who were putting their wedding out there for people who weren't invited.  I remember having the expectation that the invitation should contain everything the invitees would need or want to know.  So this whole bit about not putting anything about gifts seems a bit...odd.

I will confess to having a webpage for DS2 & DIL.  There were a lot of moving parts and issues.  Not only people coming from different points in the US, but information changing because of the Army's changing dates, and the largest tornado outbreak ever recorded hitting our county and surrounding counties three weeks before the wedding.  With wonky phone service I had one reliable method to get info out--the webpage. 

Gifts weren't mentioned, just wedding details. 

I used to sneer at Facebook until DS1 was best man for a friend's wedding on the other side of the US.  The bride and groom are in the Army and some members of the wedding party were just returning from Iraq.  Family coming from multiple points.  The HC kept everyone informed via a Facebook page.  I learned the benefits of using social as the electronic word of mouth.

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2163
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #22 on: June 11, 2013, 03:22:52 PM »
I, too, would like to see the rule against "no gifts, please" die a peaceful death.

I don't mind requests for charitable donations in lieu of gifts.  I do think it is best to do it in a form something like, "In lieu of gifts, please make a contribution to your favorite charity.  Ours are the ABC Fund and the XYZ Center."  Then I have the information if I want to send to their favorite, but I'm not pushed to do so or in an awkward position if I choose another one (although I'd try to choose one they'd like, too). 

I understand it is an etiquette violation.  But as someone else posted, it's about as nice a one as there is!

I would write the couple a note of congratulations and mention that I was delighted to send a gift to the XYZ Center in their honor.  If you don't want to get on a list and don't care about the tax deduction, then send a check to the couple "for the XYZ Fund."

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 30533
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2013, 03:27:45 PM »
The only thing is, a donation to MY favorite charity is not a gift to THEM.


Ms_Cellany

  • The Queen of Squee
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5747
  • Big white goggie? No. Hasn't seen him.
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #24 on: June 11, 2013, 03:40:08 PM »

My husband donated for a charity for a funeral, per request in lieu of flowers for a co-worker.  We received a copy of the letter sent to his co-worker. (His father passed).  Now, we are always receiving items from said charity.

I donated to a fund after my aunt died, and started getting a stream of solicitation letters from them (pre-Web). I wrote to them that it was a one-time memorial gift, and every time they sent me a pitch it just reminded me that my aunt was dead.

They stopped the mailings.

I play dirty.
Current fosters: Boojum (F, adult);  Balrog (M); Magpie (M); Zuul (F); Nazgul (F)

cwm

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2427
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2013, 03:56:29 PM »
The only thing is, a donation to MY favorite charity is not a gift to THEM.

Yes, but look at it this way. Perhaps they don't want any gifts, they've got enough "stuff" in their lives. But they want to make an impact in the world. They know some of their friends support XYZ charity, some support ABC, and some support QRS. They don't have any particularly strong stance themselves, so long as good gets done in their name. If you donate to whatever charity YOU feel strongly about, it's honoring their wishes that good gets done in the world, while still not going into the minefield of dictating charities to donate to.

That being said, I still think it's terrible etiquette. I wouldn't do it. But I can see why someone else might.

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2163
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #26 on: June 11, 2013, 10:06:30 PM »
The only thing is, a donation to MY favorite charity is not a gift to THEM.

Yes, but look at it this way. Perhaps they don't want any gifts, they've got enough "stuff" in their lives. But they want to make an impact in the world. They know some of their friends support XYZ charity, some support ABC, and some support QRS. They don't have any particularly strong stance themselves, so long as good gets done in their name. If you donate to whatever charity YOU feel strongly about, it's honoring their wishes that good gets done in the world, while still not going into the minefield of dictating charities to donate to.


Well put.  That is how I feel.  Anyway, that's why it's "in lieu" of a gift.  But to me it does feel like a gift to me, that good is being done in my honor.  Charitable donations are very common as gifts, or I guess as commemorations if not exactly gifts, in my community.  I can't remember anyone ever making one to a cause I wouldn't support.  In fact, I have sometimes been touched at the choices people made that reflect thoughtfulness about what would mean something to us.  And at least once I've learned about a very worthy and interesting new charity that way.

Usually even if you don't know their favorite cause, you can think of something like their child's school or camp, an animal welfare fund for your pet lover friend, a research fund for an ailment you know someone in their family suffers from, etc.  If you really have no clue, a local food pantry or arts organization is usually a pretty safe bet.  Even if they aren't crazy about that particular organization for some reason, it's unlikely to be offensive.  They will understand your good intentions.

Or you could always send them a check with a note asking them to donate it to the charity of their choice.

Cami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1307
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #27 on: June 11, 2013, 10:12:04 PM »
I would get them a card regardless congratulating them on their wedding.

If you wish to donate to the charity of their choice, when you make your donation, you state it is for so and so.  They will usually receive a letter in the mail from that charity sharing the donation.  I don't know if they share the amount, but they do let them know there was a donation.  Of course, then you are constantly getting notices from said charity!

My husband donated for a charity for a funeral, per request in lieu of flowers for a co-worker.  We received a copy of the letter sent to his co-worker. (His father passed).  Now, we are always receiving items from said charity.

If it is not a charity of your choice, I would either get the couple a gift or give them a cash gift.
That happened to us as well. And once you've given to an organization, they have the legal right to keep pestering you for as long as they want. We no longer give charitable contributions for weddings/funerals for that reason.

If a HC wants charitable contributions, I just give them money. They can make the donation themselves.

Isometric

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 717
Re: One more wedding question - "In lieu of gifts, please donate"
« Reply #28 on: June 11, 2013, 10:38:02 PM »
Yes, still get a card! What a thoughtful couple.

I really have no problem with no gifts please/charity donations/honeymoon registries etc. My main priority is getting the b&g what they would like to start their married life together.

Of all the weddings I've been to, only one has had no registry info in it. Just the way it's done where I live I think. (Or in my circles anyway.)