Author Topic: Your gift was only $100  (Read 18445 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #30 on: July 04, 2013, 06:10:03 PM »
Even with WillyNilly's explanation, I still don't think "cover your plate" mentality is actually hosting esp with all of Hmmmmm's questions.  Those are fair questions.  Cover your plate just doesn't make sense to me. 

I agree with LeVeeWoman, if guests are expected to pay for their meal, then they aren't being hosted. 

Then you didn't understand my explanation.

"Cover your plate" has nothing, zero, zinch, totally absolutely nothing to do with hosting. At all. If a host even breathes mention of "cover your plate" that host is a greedy gimme pig. "Cover your plate" is a mentality for guests only. And even when those exact same guests turn around and host something, they must never think in terms of "cover your plate".

I always try to cover my plate at a wedding. When I got married, I truly did not care or consider if my guests gave more or less value then what it cost me to host them. Truly I did not. Even not the guests who I know also live by the "cover your plate" mentality.

As to your questions Hmmmmm, some people take "cover your plate" to the extreme they arrive at a wedding with a blank check and write the amount in when they see the level of hosting. But for most people its more just a guess. And if they get there and see their guess was wrong, oh well so be it, the gift is what the gift is.

As far as the two very different levels of hosting, its more like, if you adjust, and not everyone does, and know your hosts paid $150 a head you might try to give $350 (cover your plate + $50 gift) and if they spent $70 a head, it'd probably be $200 ($140 + 60 gift). Me? I don't calculate anything. I assume the average cost of a wedding in my area is $100 a head give or take $15. So everyone (in my area or otherwise) gets $200-250 from me & DH (depending on how flush I am at the moment, how close I am to them, if I gave a shower gift, etc). If they spent $150 a head, oh well. If they spent $70 a head, whoo-hoo. But either way in my mind we have "covered our heads" because I have hit up the average cost.

Venus193

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2013, 07:26:48 PM »
If I'm hosting, be it a wedding reception or a regular dinner, I'm paying for everything with no expectation of compensation. To expect someone to pay for her meal iby giving a gift is not hosting.

You win this thread.

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2013, 07:36:44 PM »
Quote
The idea of "cover your plate" is that a guest would think to themselves "oh how wonderful and lovely and generous for them to host us. Oh! But they are starting out their new life, they really shouldn't have gone to such expense! Here let me give as generously as I can to try to have them come out ahead at the end of the day. I want them to truly have seed money for life, not simply to have them recoup their expenses and come out the same or poorer on the other end of this wonder party."

As for figuring out how much "per plate" costs - simply put, you guess and round up. Its not an invoice situation, its a situation of the giver wanting their hosts to come out ahead. Do guests miss the mark? Of course they do, as a regular matter of course. They might not ever know it though, since its never appropriate for the receiver to be anything except grateful for whatever they receive - even if all they get is a card wishing them well. But the point of "cover your plate" is a very gracious, loving, not always possible but when it is lovely, generous mentality. It is not the awful, devious, greed, math-heavy, investigation requiring scenario so many posters on these boards like to make it out to be.

I am beyond stunned by this, absolutely staggered by the concept of wanting to make sure they start their life with seed money funded by others. I have never heard of it--and I'm not exactly young any more. While I understand what you are saying WillyNilly, I couldn't disagree more. For me, it is far too close to begging not to be related. I realize the couple is not doing it but perpetuating the concept throughout society does.

I would never--and I mean never regardless of how I am related to the HC--do this. I wouldn't attend any function where the social mentality included this. I need my seed money for myself. I have saved it for myself. I have never asked or implied for help. Neither would I take advantage of an "acceptable social mindset" were I to get married again. I find it so appalling and, yes, rude that I would rather bow out of any social event, weddings included, where it had found a home.

Un-frigging-believable.

Well, this is what happens in some cultures. You're expected to over your plate and then some, depending on how close you are to the couple. Of course, weddings are not the only occasions where money is expected to be given.

http://chineseculture.about.com/od/chinesefestivals/a/Chinese-Wedding-Gifts.htm

Traditional Italian weddings also have cash gifts. Have you seen The Godfather?

And if you have a problem with this still, read my signature. There are customs carried out by other cultures that other people find rude.

Venus193

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2013, 07:38:53 PM »
OK.... I've just decided to watch The Godfather tomorrow.

Amara

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2013, 08:03:58 PM »
I apologize to all eHell members. What I wrote was not intended to be offensive to other cultures' practices. I wrote my comments thinking of how I was brought up without even thinking of others. How dumb, especially on an etiquette site. I have removed the original post and am now lecturing myself for that rude forgetfulness. I am sorry.
 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 08:32:16 PM by Amara »

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2013, 08:12:10 PM »
When I first mentioned the cover your plate thing, I did refer to Asian cultures. As well as what the couple in the OP did would be considered as crass by then. It's about how generous the giver feels, not how much the HC thinks they should get.

With weddings, you can tie yourself in a knot for different countries expectations. For example, I know in the US I know bridal showers are more common and registry details are given then. Here in Australia, they're not as common and registry details are acceptably sent with invites.

WillyNilly

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2013, 08:38:47 PM »
Quote
The idea of "cover your plate" is that a guest would think to themselves "oh how wonderful and lovely and generous for them to host us. Oh! But they are starting out their new life, they really shouldn't have gone to such expense! Here let me give as generously as I can to try to have them come out ahead at the end of the day. I want them to truly have seed money for life, not simply to have them recoup their expenses and come out the same or poorer on the other end of this wonder party."

As for figuring out how much "per plate" costs - simply put, you guess and round up. Its not an invoice situation, its a situation of the giver wanting their hosts to come out ahead. Do guests miss the mark? Of course they do, as a regular matter of course. They might not ever know it though, since its never appropriate for the receiver to be anything except grateful for whatever they receive - even if all they get is a card wishing them well. But the point of "cover your plate" is a very gracious, loving, not always possible but when it is lovely, generous mentality. It is not the awful, devious, greed, math-heavy, investigation requiring scenario so many posters on these boards like to make it out to be.

I am beyond stunned by this, absolutely staggered by the concept of wanting to make sure they start their life with seed money funded by others. I have never heard of it--and I'm not exactly young any more. While I understand what you are saying WillyNilly, I couldn't disagree more. For me, it is far too close to begging not to be related. I realize the couple is not doing it but perpetuating the concept throughout society does.

I would never--and I mean never regardless of how I am related to the HC--do this. I wouldn't attend any function where the social mentality included this. I need my seed money for myself. I have saved it for myself. I have never asked or implied for help. Neither would I take advantage of an "acceptable social mindset" were I to get married again. I find it so appalling and, yes, rude that I would rather bow out of any social event, weddings included, where it had found a home.

Un-frigging-believable.

I must admit I'm totally baffled at how this appalling. May I ask why do you give (or do you give) wedding gifts at all?

For me the reason for wedding gifts has always been to help a new, perhaps young, but either way just starting off new family seed their life. Whether you give them financial seeds (cash), or a house ware seeds (a toaster), or culture seeds (art or a giftcard for night out), etc in the end it all boils down to the guests - the friends and family and community leaders - giving gifts specifically with the intent of getting the new family started; giving them seeds from which to start their new life and new family.

If you have no intent, to the point of being "beyond stunned" and finding it "appalling" and "far too close to begging" why give any gift at all? Why not just give a card with well wishes and be done with it? (Which perhaps is what you do... and quite honestly that's fine too.)

Bluenomi

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2013, 08:51:26 PM »
Quote
...and didn't expect we had to cover that huge amount for reception as well.

Huh?  They didn't expect to pay for their own reception?  What - the fairy godmother couldn't make it?

This sort of attitude is nothing new.

It's been several decades but I remember the Wedding of a friend from college. 

At the reception, the groom, bride and their parents retired go a side room with all the envelopes
from the guests.  They were trying to figure out if they had received enough 'loot' to pay for the reception.

This will be why HCs are now expected to pay for the reception before the event! We had to have our payment finalised a week before the wedding

nuit93

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2013, 09:45:48 PM »
Even with WillyNilly's explanation, I still don't think "cover your plate" mentality is actually hosting esp with all of Hmmmmm's questions.  Those are fair questions.  Cover your plate just doesn't make sense to me. 

I agree with LeVeeWoman, if guests are expected to pay for their meal, then they aren't being hosted. 

Then you didn't understand my explanation.

"Cover your plate" has nothing, zero, zinch, totally absolutely nothing to do with hosting. At all. If a host even breathes mention of "cover your plate" that host is a greedy gimme pig. "Cover your plate" is a mentality for guests only. And even when those exact same guests turn around and host something, they must never think in terms of "cover your plate".

I always try to cover my plate at a wedding. When I got married, I truly did not care or consider if my guests gave more or less value then what it cost me to host them. Truly I did not. Even not the guests who I know also live by the "cover your plate" mentality.

As to your questions Hmmmmm, some people take "cover your plate" to the extreme they arrive at a wedding with a blank check and write the amount in when they see the level of hosting. But for most people its more just a guess. And if they get there and see their guess was wrong, oh well so be it, the gift is what the gift is.

As far as the two very different levels of hosting, its more like, if you adjust, and not everyone does, and know your hosts paid $150 a head you might try to give $350 (cover your plate + $50 gift) and if they spent $70 a head, it'd probably be $200 ($140 + 60 gift). Me? I don't calculate anything. I assume the average cost of a wedding in my area is $100 a head give or take $15. So everyone (in my area or otherwise) gets $200-250 from me & DH (depending on how flush I am at the moment, how close I am to them, if I gave a shower gift, etc). If they spent $150 a head, oh well. If they spent $70 a head, whoo-hoo. But either way in my mind we have "covered our heads" because I have hit up the average cost.

The whole concept of covering one's plate still bugs me.  It seems like if a couple is throwing a very modest reception because it's the only reception within their means, they should not be deserving of a lesser gift than a couple that had the means to throw a more lavish reception.

WillyNilly

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2013, 09:56:49 PM »
Even with WillyNilly's explanation, I still don't think "cover your plate" mentality is actually hosting esp with all of Hmmmmm's questions.  Those are fair questions.  Cover your plate just doesn't make sense to me. 

I agree with LeVeeWoman, if guests are expected to pay for their meal, then they aren't being hosted. 

Then you didn't understand my explanation.

"Cover your plate" has nothing, zero, zinch, totally absolutely nothing to do with hosting. At all. If a host even breathes mention of "cover your plate" that host is a greedy gimme pig. "Cover your plate" is a mentality for guests only. And even when those exact same guests turn around and host something, they must never think in terms of "cover your plate".

I always try to cover my plate at a wedding. When I got married, I truly did not care or consider if my guests gave more or less value then what it cost me to host them. Truly I did not. Even not the guests who I know also live by the "cover your plate" mentality.

As to your questions Hmmmmm, some people take "cover your plate" to the extreme they arrive at a wedding with a blank check and write the amount in when they see the level of hosting. But for most people its more just a guess. And if they get there and see their guess was wrong, oh well so be it, the gift is what the gift is.

As far as the two very different levels of hosting, its more like, if you adjust, and not everyone does, and know your hosts paid $150 a head you might try to give $350 (cover your plate + $50 gift) and if they spent $70 a head, it'd probably be $200 ($140 + 60 gift). Me? I don't calculate anything. I assume the average cost of a wedding in my area is $100 a head give or take $15. So everyone (in my area or otherwise) gets $200-250 from me & DH (depending on how flush I am at the moment, how close I am to them, if I gave a shower gift, etc). If they spent $150 a head, oh well. If they spent $70 a head, whoo-hoo. But either way in my mind we have "covered our heads" because I have hit up the average cost.

The whole concept of covering one's plate still bugs me.  It seems like if a couple is throwing a very modest reception because it's the only reception within their means, they should not be deserving of a lesser gift than a couple that had the means to throw a more lavish reception.

No gift giving philosophy is without its flaws.
I think the point behind the "cover your plate" is supposed to be, essentially don't cost the couple money plus give a bit above. So in theory, if one couple is spending $200 per plate and another couple is spending $35 per plate, getting $400 and $70 respectively is the exact same gift - in essence in both cases the couple broke even between out-put and in-come.

Does it always work out that way? Of course not, there are so many factors at play - the giver not knowing the exact cost per "plate", other wedding associated costs, money coming from various sources (parents paying, etc), etc. But the mentality is that it evens out.

In reality, modest weddings, and DIY and especially creatively 'budget' weddings tend to do better with this method. For example, I said personally I give based on the average cost of a wedding in my area. So if a couple has a very expensive wedding my gift probably falls short of them recouping anything. Whereas the budget wedding is still getting the same gift for me, based on the average costs, and therefore while the same dollar amount, they are getting more money as a gift then they spent hosting.

Roe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2013, 09:59:51 PM »
Even with WillyNilly's explanation, I still don't think "cover your plate" mentality is actually hosting esp with all of Hmmmmm's questions.  Those are fair questions.  Cover your plate just doesn't make sense to me. 

I agree with LeVeeWoman, if guests are expected to pay for their meal, then they aren't being hosted. 

Then you didn't understand my explanation.

"Cover your plate" has nothing, zero, zinch, totally absolutely nothing to do with hosting. At all. If a host even breathes mention of "cover your plate" that host is a greedy gimme pig. "Cover your plate" is a mentality for guests only. And even when those exact same guests turn around and host something, they must never think in terms of "cover your plate".

I always try to cover my plate at a wedding
. When I got married, I truly did not care or consider if my guests gave more or less value then what it cost me to host them. Truly I did not. Even not the guests who I know also live by the "cover your plate" mentality.


Actually, I do understand what you are saying, I just don't happen to agree with it.

The fact that it's part of the culture means that it's understood.  Even if the host doesn't mention it, the guests do feel the obligation of covering their meal.  That in itself is what makes that idea rude to me.  You don't have to agree, that's fine. I see why you wouldn't agree with it since you are used to it and it's part of your culture.  I, however, am not part of that culture and I see it as rude. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 10:01:24 PM by Roe »

AnnaJ

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2013, 10:29:50 PM »
What makes me uncomfortable about 'cover your plate' is that there is no sense of your relationship with the bride or groom; my close family and friends receive more expensive gifts, less close family or friends or children of friends not as much.  I would not deliberately 'underpay', but frankly tend to spend based on my own relationship with the couple.


blarg314

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2013, 10:37:01 PM »
I give gifts based on what I afford and how close I am to the couple.  I pay zero attention to the type of reception the couple is hosting when buying gifts  - backyard BBQ or fancy country club, open bar or dry, sit down steak dinner or home-made buffet.  Close family and very close friends will get a bigger gift than I normally give.

To be honest, I'd feel pretty uncomfortable sitting down trying to work out how much someone was planning to spend on their reception to figure out how much I should spend on their wedding gift (or for that matter, whether I could afford to go or not). As far as I'm concerned, unless I'm consulted, what they are spending on their wedding is not really any of my business.



jedikaiti

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2013, 10:59:12 PM »
Unless the couple tell you the dollar amount, how do you know how much to give, if you are "covering your plate"?

Also, this means that if, for example, the beloved friend or sibling of the HC is recently unemployed and can't afford a however-expensive dinner, they either have to go into (possibly serious) debt, or skip the wedding of someone they are very close to, because they can't afford a sufficient gift.

That is what I do not like about the "cover your plate" theory. The cheap but meaningful gift I got from an old friend is appreciated at least as much as any generous check or expensive whatevers. It's the thought, not the dollar value.
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sammycat

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2013, 11:38:28 PM »
I give gifts based on what I afford and how close I am to the couple.  I pay zero attention to the type of reception the couple is hosting when buying gifts  - backyard BBQ or fancy country club, open bar or dry, sit down steak dinner or home-made buffet.  Close family and very close friends will get a bigger gift than I normally give.

Exactly.

I'd never heard of 'cover your plate' until this site, and I find the whole idea ludicrous. The financial costs of the wedding are no one's business but those paying for it, and it wouldn't even occur to me to try and work out how much it cost them per person, let alone then pay "my share".

I give weddings gifts (always a "thing", never cash), based on my relationship to the couple and finances at the time. Everything else (ie. breakdown of cost per guest, location, etc) is irrelevant.