Author Topic: Your gift was only $100  (Read 19259 times)

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shhh its me

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2013, 12:05:14 AM »
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.

I think it might help if you reverse it to a "Cover my plate" philosophy.  Myself I think of it more as a cost of living increase to wedding gifts over the years.  It doesn't matter what type of reception the couple hosted everyone on the of the same closeness gets about the same gift based on what I can afford.   But my idea of what was generous went up with wedding cost not fuel , insurance or housing costs.

perpetua

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2013, 05:00:48 AM »

As for figuring out how much "per plate" costs - simply put, you guess and round up.

If I were expected to cover my plate *and* 'guess' how much that amount should be I'm afraid I would get it badly wrong and end up insulting the couple anyway, simply because I can not conceive of a world in which one meal would cost over £100, unless Gordon Ramsay himself was cooking and serving it to me on a gold platter.

MamaMootz

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2013, 09:01:58 AM »
I think I would not be able to let this go, were I the person on the receiving end of such a Facebook message.

Dear Bride,

Don't worry about what you received being what you will give back when it comes to my wedding, as you will not be invited.

then I would defriend and go on about my life, counting the $100 as a lesson learned. Even if you shamed her or tried to explain anything to her, it would be wasted effort - this person has shown the note receipient who she is - would be a shame to ignore that.
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chicajojobe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #48 on: July 05, 2013, 09:04:51 AM »
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.

Precisely!
I will acknowledge that I am neither Chinese nor Italian. However, I would bet money that in both cultures, although there is a somewhat universal expectation that the guests should want to cover the cost of their plate...it would also be considered rude for the hosts to confront a guest who did not on Facebook, tell them "we did not expect to have to pay for a large part of our reception", make the assumption that they would be invited to the guest couple's future wedding, and flat out state "when that happens we'll give you the same you gave us".
These objections are not insults to anyone's culture.
What the bride did was rude and entitled by almost anyone's standards.
Also, the guest in question stated that she was a recent college graduate who had student loans and at the moment was only working part-time. I have been in her situation except I was somewhat better off because I didn't have any student loan debt, but when all you can find is part time work coughing up $100 is a no small feat! The guest's gift was very generous given her situation. The bride, however, made assumptions about the guest couple's life (you both work and live together, you could afford to give more than $50 each!), and made it clear she felt she deserved more than they gave which, as WillyNilly described it, is not in the spirit of the 'cover your plate' mentality because that should be about how much the guests feel the HC deserves, not how much they feel they deserve.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2013, 09:07:38 AM by chicajojobe »

siamesecat2965

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #49 on: July 05, 2013, 09:06:23 AM »
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.

I do this as well. A lot of my friends got married right out of college, and while I attended all of their weddings, I was making next to nothing, so was only able to give modest gifts, and even that was a stretch. Some weddings were small and on a budget, others, paid for by their parents, were much fancier, and I'm sure, cost quite a bit. My gifts were based on a. how much I could spend and b. what the couple liked, their lifestyle, etc.

WillyNilly

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #50 on: July 05, 2013, 09:17:09 AM »
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.

Precisely!
I will acknowledge that I am neither Chinese nor Italian. However, I would bet money that in both cultures, although there is a somewhat universal expectation that the guests should want to cover the cost of their plate...it would also be considered rude for the hosts to confront a guest who did not on Facebook, tell them "we did not expect to have to pay for a large part of our reception", make the assumption that they would be invited to the guest couple's future wedding, and flat out state "when that happens we'll give you the same you gave us".
These objections are not insults to anyone's culture.
What the bride did was rude and entitled by almost anyone's standards.

Also, the guest in question stated that she was a recent college graduate who had student loans and at the moment was only working part-time. I have been in her situation except I was somewhat better off because I didn't have any student loan debt, but when all you can find is part time work coughing up $100 is a no small feat! The guest's gift was very generous given her situation. The bride, however, made assumptions about the guest couple's life (you both work and live together, you could afford to give more than $50 each!), and made it clear she felt she deserved more than they gave which, as WillyNilly described it, is not in the spirit of the 'cover your plate' mentality because that should be about how much the guests feel the HC deserves, not how much they feel they deserve.

Exactly! This behavior is rude by all standards, absolutely including the "cover your plate" stance.

Even among those with the "cover your plate" mentality there are several factors at play always. the first being the hosts are supposed to be happy with whatever they get, even just an empty card with only well wishes written in it. Second is, and this speaks to perpetua's issue a few posts earlier, the whole concept is based on a guess. And guesses are based on on our own varied personal experiences (your locale, your experiences, your budget, etc). So a young, just starting out adult might honestly never conceive of a party costing more then $50 pp - from that guest the $100 gift is a very very generous offer. The receiver should always assume the very best of every guest (isn't that why they were invited? because the B&G love and respect them?)

fountainof

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #51 on: July 05, 2013, 10:16:07 AM »
As a guest I have a kind of "cover your plate" philosophy.  I give a generous gift, that should typically at least be able to cover my plate but I won't give extra just because someone chooses a really expensive wedding.  So for example, one of my cousins had a huge fancy 400 people affair and another an smaller less fancy venue.  I gave generous gifts that were the same amount ($250).  My gift sould have been able to cover my plate in both situations, just the less expensive wedding the cousin ended up with more after-wedding money left.  I think that is fair, one cousin chose to spend all my wedding gift on the wedding and the other probably was able to buy themselves something.  Seems fair to me.

miranova

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2013, 12:22:59 PM »
The posters that come from the "cover your plate" rule keep leaving out that one little detail: 

- How are we (the guests) supposed to know how much the "cover your plate" fee is exactly? 


 

I knew someone who completely believes in this rule.  To the point where she "regrets" inviting certain people to her wedding because it cost (her parents) $100 per person yet they only gave HER $20.  Since her parents paid for her wedding, I fail to see why this would be a problem to her since she was still ahead.

Also, when SHE attends weddings she will pronounce to anyone listening that she does not buy a wedding gift until after she has attended the wedding and estimated how much was spent on her.  Only then will she decide how much to spend on the HC.

miranova

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2013, 12:56:51 PM »

When I give a gift it is based solely on my relationship to the couple AND what I can afford at the time, because I do not link gift giving to hosting level at all, regardless of whether I am the host or guest at the time.  I truly believe that we cheapen the word gift when we start saying that we must make sure not to cost the "hosts" any money.  If I give $200, I am giving a $200 gift, not a $50 gift and a $150 entrance fee.  The entire amount is purely a gift, one given voluntarily and with love and without a thought of "paying my way".  I would prefer it that way as both a guest AND a host and I would hate the thought as a host that people gave more than they could reasonably afford just to try to help me pay for my event. 

I can't wrap my mind around a thought process where the hosts shouldn't have to spend any of their own money for the event that they desire.  I host lots of parties and of course it costs money to host!  That's what hosting means, in fact.  The host is responsible for costs and I as the guest am supposed to enjoy the event without worrying if I am costing the host money.  Those are not the feelings that guests are supposed to be dealing with when they are invited to an event. 

BarensMom

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #54 on: July 05, 2013, 01:30:33 PM »

When I give a gift it is based solely on my relationship to the couple AND what I can afford at the time, because I do not link gift giving to hosting level at all, regardless of whether I am the host or guest at the time.  I truly believe that we cheapen the word gift when we start saying that we must make sure not to cost the "hosts" any money.  If I give $200, I am giving a $200 gift, not a $50 gift and a $150 entrance fee.  The entire amount is purely a gift, one given voluntarily and with love and without a thought of "paying my way".  I would prefer it that way as both a guest AND a host and I would hate the thought as a host that people gave more than they could reasonably afford just to try to help me pay for my event. 

I can't wrap my mind around a thought process where the hosts shouldn't have to spend any of their own money for the event that they desire.  I host lots of parties and of course it costs money to host!  That's what hosting means, in fact.  The host is responsible for costs and I as the guest am supposed to enjoy the event without worrying if I am costing the host money.  Those are not the feelings that guests are supposed to be dealing with when they are invited to an event.

Indeed.  Do we now extrapolate that to, when invited to someone's home, we have to interrogate/determine/guess what the host is serving and "cover our plate" with a hostess gift of exactly that same amount?

I did not come from a "cover your plate" culture.  The last two weddings I attended, I gave a $450 Kitchenaid Mixer and a $40 serving tray with a $75 gift card - the cost of the gift depended upon my relationship with the couple, not some cost calculation.  In my culture, you either host or you don't - you don't expect a guest to pay for your hospitality - that negates the entire meaning of the word.

Betelnut

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #55 on: July 05, 2013, 02:24:50 PM »
Plus, I don't give cash gifts--always things.
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Roe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #56 on: July 05, 2013, 02:48:13 PM »

I truly believe that we cheapen the word gift when we start saying that we must make sure not to cost the "hosts" any money. 

I can't wrap my mind around a thought process where the hosts shouldn't have to spend any of their own money for the event that they desire.  I host lots of parties and of course it costs money to host!  That's what hosting means, in fact.  The host is responsible for costs and I as the guest am supposed to enjoy the event without worrying if I am costing the host money.  Those are not the feelings that guests are supposed to be dealing with when they are invited to an event.

Bingo!  I agree with everything Miranova wrote.  (esp the bolded)

Hmmmmm

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #57 on: July 05, 2013, 04:08:50 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.

Thanks fir answering. I hoped most people come up with an average for a wedding gift and give that.

Rohanna

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #58 on: July 05, 2013, 05:40:45 PM »
I do find it funny- not wrong, just funny that it's perfectly acceptable to change the generousity of your gift depending on "how close you are to the couple", but that if the hosts change the quality of serving for the guests according to how they feel about them, it causes outrage.

So if I don't really like Cousin Betty I can acceptably give her an inexpensive gift, but Cousin Betty can't offer only her favourite guests lobster and champagne.

I wonder why that is ... it's not because the gifting isn't "public" because it functions the same way at Showers where the gifts are often opened publicly.

Personally I match my gift to the venue for people I don't know well - I suppose it's a modified "cover your plate" and I do "above" that for people I am close to. I'd never drop below reciprocating what I felt the level of hosting was- if I really wasn't close enough to them or didn't like them enough for that I wouldn't simply send my regrets. I guess being from a town with relatively limited options for weddings it's fairly easy to guess- a wedding at the local "hall" always features x/y/z and cost around $20pp, so I'd probably gift around $75 for the two of us to go to a co-worker/random relatives wedding. A wedding at BigFancy hotel features menus that start at a minumum of $30-50pp so I'd probably be more likely to gift $100-125. It's not written in stone, but it's just how it's *done* around here. It's like, I'd probably just bring some fruit or a bag of chips if my friend invites me to a "hey I have a ton of hot dogs and some leftover salad" BBQ, but I would bring a hostess gift of some nice wine if she hosted a formal dinner party. Nothing says you have to do either, but it's kind of the unwritten rule where I am.
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SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #59 on: July 05, 2013, 07:07:46 PM »
I am completely 100% opposed to the concept of covering one's plate, from the point of view of either hosts or guests. People need to give parties they can afford to give, and that includes people getting married. If you can't afford a big party, you can't afford a big party. It is not my job to help pay for your party, no matter how much I appreciate being a guest.

Because I care about you, I will buy a present, but I buy something that meets my budget, and people who live within their means get as good a gift as people who think they need huge weddings they can't afford.