Author Topic: Wedding Gift Spat- Should Cultural Traditions Be Considered in Gift Giving?  (Read 24667 times)

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kareng57

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Maybe not in your circle.  It would be just fine in mine.  It certainly isn't thoughtless.  Those baskets can take a lot of time, money, and effort to put together. 

It certainly would be a very appropriate gift in my family and circle.


In my circle, too.

Overall, weddings should not be taken as an opportunity to "teach" others etiquette rules re gifts.  In some ethnic circles - cash is the norm (sometimes, showers are where tangible gifts are given).  Naturally the HC should graciously receive any gift, that goes without saying.  But, if the giver knows that the preferred gift is cash - then he/she is pretty rude to insist on giving a toaster or coffee maker.  Or, if hearing that the cash-gift is preferred in multiples of 20 (I'm being hypothetical) then it would be pretty nasty to give a gift of $130 (as opposed to $120 or $140) just to prove a point.

Again, I wish to emphasise that these are cases where the guests are well aware of the norms of the particular culture.

I am certain there was a lot more thought put into that gift basket than it takes to hit "click" and purchase something off of someone's registry and have Amazon.com send it to them.

The expectations surrounding wedding gifts these days .... it's almost enough to make me hope I never receive another wedding invitation.

Twik

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There's no guarantee that any gift (even from the registry) will absolutely delight the recipient. You do the best you can.

It sounds like the guest in this story chose the sort of gift they would like themselves. It obviously wasn't to the receivers' taste, but the receiver should not have an expectation that all gifts will be exactly what they would have ordered from a personal shopper.

One acts grateful for all gifts, unless they have clearly been chosen to be insulting or obnoxious (such as a fur coat given to a well-known anti-fur activist).
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Winterlight

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If I can find it, I get the HC a container off of their registry, and then I fill it with bars of my homemade stuff like soap, bath bombs, etc.  A lot of personal time and effort goes into making that stuff, so if someone doesn't like it and it doesn't cover the "cost" of my plate, they can go spit.

I think this is a lovely idea. I've also done things like a basket with two mugs and specialty coffees/teas/hot chocolates- I did this for a cousin's wedding and she was delighted.

The brides were incredibly rude and nasty. Even if they didn't like the gift, there was no call to send such tasteless texts.
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rigs32

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But, if the giver knows that the preferred gift is cash - then he/she is pretty rude to insist on giving a toaster or coffee maker.  Or, if hearing that the cash-gift is preferred in multiples of 20 (I'm being hypothetical) then it would be pretty nasty to give a gift of $130 (as opposed to $120 or $140) just to prove a point.

If this is true, then wouldn't a honeymoon registry be acceptable?  I believe they are considered by most to be rude. 

How would this preference be communicated?  By putting a note on the invitations?  That's also rude.

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They would have been scandalized by one of my wedding gifts.... a hard hat, ear plugs, and a large hammer.

It was from a friend in college who said that the ear plugs were for when my husband wanted to tune me out (not meant offensively), the hammer was to knock sense into my husband and the hat was to protect him from too much damage.  >:D
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jibby

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Its not an appropriate wedding gift.  There are a lot of events for which is would be fine but not  a wedding.

I think as a guest you do need to do some math.   Yes, you are going because you are happy for the couple and not simply to get a nice dinner.  But, you are suppose to be considering what this coupe needs for getting their lives started and a basket of edibles really doesn't fit the bill.

I know that people here can come up with a million exceptions but that is not the point.  Marriage is a relatively permanent thing, you don't celebrate it by giving people something they will consume ina few days.  You try to give them something more permanent or money to buy those things that will be more permanent.

And I think it is rude because its a rather thoughtless gift given the circumstances.  Perhaps it conveys the gift givers' philosphy of marriage which is also not appropriate, and the message.  not OK.  You say congratulations or happy for you, not To enjoy life.  That is too general and in this situation kind of condescending even.

Ok wow don't know where to start with that.

First off when people are getting married in their 30s you generally are not giving gifts to "set them up" in life because they already are.  As for permanent I can assure you the vase, picture frame or other such "serious" item will end up in the yard sale or donation bin.  It won't be some family heirloom passed down to their kids with a story of how they received it on their wedding day.  Especially not when dealing with people as rude as the couple in this story.

And I can't imagine anyone thinking "Enjoy life" as condescending. If they do it says more about their joyless life than it does the person who nicely gave their good wishes to couple.  And to imply that giving a consumable gift shows that the giver thinks marriage is just as temporary as candy is really over the top.

I agree.  The bolded is one of the most crass things I have ever read, and I've been reading eHell stories since the Delphooey days.  I would be mortified and heartbroken if a friend declined my wedding invitation because they couldn't cover their plate.

RebeccainGA

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Its not an appropriate wedding gift.  There are a lot of events for which is would be fine but not  a wedding.

I think as a guest you do need to do some math.   Yes, you are going because you are happy for the couple and not simply to get a nice dinner.  But, you are suppose to be considering what this coupe needs for getting their lives started and a basket of edibles really doesn't fit the bill.

I know that people here can come up with a million exceptions but that is not the point.  Marriage is a relatively permanent thing, you don't celebrate it by giving people something they will consume ina few days.  You try to give them something more permanent or money to buy those things that will be more permanent.

And I think it is rude because its a rather thoughtless gift given the circumstances.  Perhaps it conveys the gift givers' philosphy of marriage which is also not appropriate, and the message.  not OK.  You say congratulations or happy for you, not To enjoy life.  That is too general and in this situation kind of condescending even.

Ok wow don't know where to start with that.

First off when people are getting married in their 30s you generally are not giving gifts to "set them up" in life because they already are.  As for permanent I can assure you the vase, picture frame or other such "serious" item will end up in the yard sale or donation bin.  It won't be some family heirloom passed down to their kids with a story of how they received it on their wedding day.  Especially not when dealing with people as rude as the couple in this story.

And I can't imagine anyone thinking "Enjoy life" as condescending. If they do it says more about their joyless life than it does the person who nicely gave their good wishes to couple.  And to imply that giving a consumable gift shows that the giver thinks marriage is just as temporary as candy is really over the top.

I agree.  The bolded is one of the most crass things I have ever read, and I've been reading eHell stories since the Delphooey days.  I would be mortified and heartbroken if a friend declined my wedding invitation because they couldn't cover their plate.
Agreed. When we got married, yes, we got a very few lovely things (90% of the people that came to our wedding didn't give a gift or a card). The fancy cheese plate and matching spreader? Never used. The fancy candle holders? Never used. But the lady that made us up a lovely picnic basket with a gift card to a local grocery store to get the perishables to go with the crackers, condiments, bottle of champagne and chocolates? She will be remembered forever, because she thought about US. Not 'the wedding', but the people in it. And the lady who didn't give a card or a gift, but rolled up her sleeves and helped me get the wedding cake set up and insisted that I go sit down and she'd finish up the closing down of our church hall afterwards? An angel.

zyrs

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I have read all the stories in the archives and I remember many of them being about people who put stuff on their registry just so they could return it to the store and get the cash.  Which is just tacky.

mbbored

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If I can find it, I get the HC a container off of their registry, and then I fill it with bars of my homemade stuff like soap, bath bombs, etc.  A lot of personal time and effort goes into making that stuff, so if someone doesn't like it and it doesn't cover the "cost" of my plate, they can go spit.

What a lovely, thoughtful, and *personalized* gift. I would be so touched to receive something like that!

It is a lovely gift, but it's hardly personalized if you make the same thing for everybody. Personally if I don't know the couple well enough to say whether or not they have food or scent allergies or the way they decorate their home, I find it safer to buy off the registry. Yes, people should be grateful for gifts, but from my point of view part of the process is that the giver should take into consideration what the recipient would enjoy.

I'm not knocking homemade or off the registry gifts at all. Twice last summer I gave newlyweds a basket filled with kitchen towels and a variety of jams and sauces I canned myself. But I knew they enjoyed homemade items and cooking. I went to two other weddings, one for a coworker and one for a friend from a club, but I've never particularly discussed food or entertaining with them. Since I didn't know if they would use home-canned food, I bought them gifts off their registry figuring that way I was guaranteed to give people I like something they would enjoy.

Yvaine

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If I can find it, I get the HC a container off of their registry, and then I fill it with bars of my homemade stuff like soap, bath bombs, etc.  A lot of personal time and effort goes into making that stuff, so if someone doesn't like it and it doesn't cover the "cost" of my plate, they can go spit.

What a lovely, thoughtful, and *personalized* gift. I would be so touched to receive something like that!

It is a lovely gift, but it's hardly personalized if you make the same thing for everybody. Personally if I don't know the couple well enough to say whether or not they have food or scent allergies or the way they decorate their home, I find it safer to buy off the registry. Yes, people should be grateful for gifts, but from my point of view part of the process is that the giver should take into consideration what the recipient would enjoy.

What she's saying, if I read it right, is that she buys something off the particular couple's registry (like if they registered for, I don't know, a laundry hamper) and then adding other items to it.

Oh Joy

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I appreciate that there are lots of dimensions to what might be appropriate on all sides of the gift-giving.  But the concept of giving 'lasting' gifts for a wedding just feels right to me.  Not saying everyone has to feel the same way.   ;)

When I married a few years back (as a longtime homeowner in my thirties) all I cared was that our guests gave us something with good wishes.  For our guests' convenience we registered at a kitchenware store to upgrade some items, having in mind that these measuring cups and such would still be in our kitchen when we're great-grandparents.  One sweet guest bought us a bunch of expensive consumables from that store...I sincerely appreciated the gift, but it frankly felt a little strange to get food as a wedding gift, especially since she went to the trouble of going to this specific store and spent more than several registry items cost.  Again, totally appreciated, but it was a gift I'd prefer to give or receive for a birthday or housewarming than a wedding.

Charliebug

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I just don't get it.  Why are gifts so hard to give and receive? Why does a dollar amount matter so much? Yes, there are people who will wrap up anything and bring it to the party but, at the end of the day, they brought something and even if they didn't YOU (general you) invited them. You (general you) wanted them to celebrate with you. Will anybody remember the exact amount of dollars each cousin, aunt, uncle, coworker, etc spent on any given thing or will they remember the happiest day of their life surrounded by the people they care about most? I do realize I am an idealist and I will never understand many materialistic things that so many people spend so much time focusing on.

Somewhere along the way the traditions and the reasons for things have been picked apart and only the "good" parts have carried on. Why spend $10k and up for a white bridal gown when you have lived with the father of your children for 5 years and white isn't fooling anybody? I don't know anybody who married right out of high school and lived on their own at 18 so there is hardly anything for friends and family to give as a "start up" gift. Money is all that is left and that is hollow and gone in a second, not to mention awkward to give when you don't have much. Can't we just all be grateful for what we have and anything we get?

Yvaine

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Somewhere along the way the traditions and the reasons for things have been picked apart and only the "good" parts have carried on. Why spend $10k and up for a white bridal gown when you have lived with the father of your children for 5 years and white isn't fooling anybody?

Funny you should talk about people forgetting the reasons for traditions while forgetting what the white dresses were for in the first place. The idea that they meant sexual "purity" is a more recent interpretation. Blue was the traditional color of purity, and most brides just wore their best dresses anyway. White came into vogue because Queen Victoria happened to wear it and people wanted to copy the queen's style, and it remained in style because a white dress is fundamentally impractical and so it carries a message of prosperity, as in "I can afford a dress I can't work in." All a white dress says is "I can afford a white dress and want to wear one." The snarky comment about people's sex lives is unnecessary and mean-spirited.

cross_patch

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Somewhere along the way the traditions and the reasons for things have been picked apart and only the "good" parts have carried on. Why spend $10k and up for a white bridal gown when you have lived with the father of your children for 5 years and white isn't fooling anybody?

Funny you should talk about people forgetting the reasons for traditions while forgetting what the white dresses were for in the first place. The idea that they meant sexual "purity" is a more recent interpretation. Blue was the traditional color of purity, and most brides just wore their best dresses anyway. White came into vogue because Queen Victoria happened to wear it and people wanted to copy the queen's style, and it remained in style because a white dress is fundamentally impractical and so it carries a message of prosperity, as in "I can afford a dress I can't work in." All a white dress says is "I can afford a white dress and want to wear one." The snarky comment about people's sex lives is unnecessary and mean-spirited.

100% this.

Aeris

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If I can find it, I get the HC a container off of their registry, and then I fill it with bars of my homemade stuff like soap, bath bombs, etc.  A lot of personal time and effort goes into making that stuff, so if someone doesn't like it and it doesn't cover the "cost" of my plate, they can go spit.

What a lovely, thoughtful, and *personalized* gift. I would be so touched to receive something like that!

It is a lovely gift, but it's hardly personalized if you make the same thing for everybody. Personally if I don't know the couple well enough to say whether or not they have food or scent allergies or the way they decorate their home, I find it safer to buy off the registry. Yes, people should be grateful for gifts, but from my point of view part of the process is that the giver should take into consideration what the recipient would enjoy.

I'm not knocking homemade or off the registry gifts at all. Twice last summer I gave newlyweds a basket filled with kitchen towels and a variety of jams and sauces I canned myself. But I knew they enjoyed homemade items and cooking. I went to two other weddings, one for a coworker and one for a friend from a club, but I've never particularly discussed food or entertaining with them. Since I didn't know if they would use home-canned food, I bought them gifts off their registry figuring that way I was guaranteed to give people I like something they would enjoy.

I used poor wording. What I meant was that it was very personalized *from* the gifter. Not that it was personalized *for* the receiver. I would be very touched to receive something that was unique and special in that it was handmade by my friend, and in that the only possible way to receive such a gift would be for her to make it for me.

Off-registry gifts are always a bit more of a gamble in whether the person will be over the moon for them. But that doesn't make them automatically bad gifts (which I realize you weren't saying). For me, personally, I would always prefer unique gifts over commercial ones, even if it wasn't something I would have bought for myself.