Author Topic: Your gift was only $100  (Read 19804 times)

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SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #75 on: July 06, 2013, 06:37:37 PM »
If a couple's primary concern is getting started in life, it makes no sense for them to have that expensive of a wedding, and it is not my responsibility to bail them out of that bad choice.

kckgirl

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #76 on: July 06, 2013, 07:18:09 PM »
You know, that woman would have really been ticked off with me. I have never given that much ($100) for any friend's wedding, and I don't plan to ever start doing so.
Maryland

Roe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #77 on: July 06, 2013, 07:34:51 PM »
You know, that woman would have really been ticked off with me. I have never given that much ($100) for any friend's wedding, and I don't plan to ever start doing so.

See, that's the thing, the more people try to explain away the "cover your plate" mentality, the more people will feel obligated to meet that "payment."  That's why, to me, it doesn't matter why anyone would consider it "okay" IMO, it's not okay and never will be.  Period. 

CakeEater

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #78 on: July 06, 2013, 09:57:13 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.


Regarding the bolded - I don't think anyone has suggested anything like that. That's a completely different situation.

Many posters are saying that they understand WillyN illy's explanation, then go on to say something like the above. "you don't expect a guest to pay for your hospitality - that negates the entire meaning of the word."

The whole point of 'cover your plate', as WillyNilly explained, is that it is not an expectation of the hosts. It doesn't enter their heads that their guests should cover their plate. They decide on their budget and pay for their wedding in whatever way they they can afford. They invite the people they would like to host.

Then, as they open each gift, and find that Aunt Mary gave them $20, and Aunt Susan gave them an entire set of china, they are equally delighted with each gift that they should receive anything at all, and grateful that their friends and relations thought so well of them that that they attended their wedding, and were as generous as they were.

Truly, from the polite hosts' point of view, that's what is in their heads, I promise. No-one expects their guests to give $xxx as an entrance fee, or has a private laugh because Aunt Mary guessed the cost of her dinner so badly. No-one expects people to google venues and find the exact cost of their meal. These all seem to be reasons that people have given for not liking the system, and seriously, from the polite hosts' perspectives, it's truly not expected.

Of course, there are rude people, like the example in the OP, who wreck any system.

As some others have pointed out - there are different methods for determining how much we spend on any gift. This is just one system that guests might use as a guide. Not for hosts to use an an expectation.

Others use closeness to the couple as a guide, or maybe some people give every couple whose wedding they ever attend a flat rate of $100 regardless of their relationship. Which of those is more fair? Is it fair to rank your friends and relations in a list from closest to furthest and have a chart with a monetary value based on their ranking? What if you like the bride, but not the groom - does the couple as a pair slip down the rankings in that case, and attract a lesser gift? What about the second system there. Do you give $100 from now until 2050, or index with inflation?

There's some level of ridiculousness in every system for deciding how much to spend on a gift for a wedding. I'm not sure why this particular system for guests to use when deciding on a value of a gift garners quite so much bile, as compared to the others. As hosts we need to understand that everyone has very different systems and amounts they can afford, and be grateful for any gift received, which they should be doing, regardless of how their guests decide how much to give.

sammycat

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #79 on: July 07, 2013, 02:19:04 AM »
See, that's the thing, the more people try to explain away the "cover your plate" mentality, the more people will feel obligated to meet that "payment."  That's why, to me, it doesn't matter why anyone would consider it "okay" IMO, it's not okay and never will be.  Period.

Not me.  Never in a million  years.

You know, that woman would have really been ticked off with me. I have never given that much ($100) for any friend's wedding, and I don't plan to ever start doing so.

Same here. I always give an actual present, not cash/cheque. I'm not even really comfortable giving ITunes cards, but as that is what most teenagers seem to want these days, I'm getting over that one.

With the exception of my children and DH, no one ever has, or ever will, receive such a high amount from me for any sort of present/occasion. It's just the not the norm where I am anyway, and if I was to receive anything like some of the (high) amounts described here (in either cash or presents), I'd be mortified.

chicajojobe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #80 on: July 07, 2013, 12:12:35 PM »
Okay, we all agree that the bride in the OP was rude. I'm not defending her, I want to make that clear.

However, I get that the 'cover your plate' mentality doesn't appeal to everyone, but I feel like there's a lot of interesting assumptions being thrown around here.

Some examples:  "Cover your plate really means"...

1. Keeping the couple from going into debt by putting the onus on the guests to pay for a wedding the couple couldn't afford.
- No one knows that the couple threw a wedding they couldn't afford. In the case of the bride from FB that may be, but in a general sense the couple may have thrown a wedding they could afford, and if the guests were of the cover your plate mentality their thought would be that the couple threw such a lovely party, but they're starting their lives out together so it'd be nice for them to be able spend that money (that they did have) on other things.

2. It means you'd be invited to the wedding only for your money.
- This is possible that a gimme couple might do, but one having a no cash gifts wedding easily could too. "Wealthy guests might be more likely to give expensive gifts compared to less wealthy guests, so by inviting people with money we'll get nicer things!"
Plus, from the way I understand WillyNilly's explanation, the couple would never sit down and say "Oh we can't invite so-and-so because they're unemployed, so they might not be able to cover their plate!" Financial assets would not even figure into who the couple invited, it would just be whomever they wanted to share their day. The initiative to give a gift that at least covers the cost of the plate comes from the guest.

3. It means rich couples will get more than not-so-rich couples because they can afford more cost per plate which the guests then cover.
Logically this may be true, but the way I see it rich couples getting more is usually going to happen no matter how the guests choose how big a gift to give. Think about it.
With only a few explanations, rich couples will probably have rich guests because they tend to have rich family members, friends, and colleagues. So their gifts, even there are no cash gifts, will probably end up being bigger, more expensive things than the gifts that are given to a couple who isn't rich.

4. It means quid pro quo
WillyNilly has said that it does not have to be precise. It is a guess, and the couple is expected to be happy with whatever they get whether it covers that particular guest's plate or not.

I'd never heard of 'cover your plate' before except that one person who went through her guest list and decided who she was mad at based on whether they cover their place. That really disgusted me, but hearing what it's really supposed to be...I think I am okay with it.
When it's done properly, (ie: it's the guest's idea not the hosts) It doesn't seem any more greedy or unfair than regular gift giving.
I might even keep that in mind at any weddings I'm invited do. It won't be my only factor in picking a gift, but I'll consider it.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 12:16:59 PM by chicajojobe »

miranova

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #81 on: July 07, 2013, 01:45:53 PM »
I'm not sure why there is this insistence that we don't understand Willynilly's explanation.  I understand it just fine, I just don't agree with it nor like it.  We can agree to disagree, but continuing to insist that we just don't understand is both untrue and a little condescending.  The only thing "cover your plate" has done long term is to push the average cost of a wedding gift MUCH higher than used to be expected.  I don't see a good reason why wedding gifts should increase in value far more than inflation, so I think it has overall contributed to the feeling that guests can no longer afford to go to weddings where they otherwise might have.  I find that sad.

Lorelei_Evil

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #82 on: July 07, 2013, 02:09:14 PM »
I'm not sure why there is this insistence that we don't understand Willynilly's explanation.  I understand it just fine, I just don't agree with it nor like it.  We can agree to disagree, but continuing to insist that we just don't understand is both untrue and a little condescending.  The only thing "cover your plate" has done long term is to push the average cost of a wedding gift MUCH higher than used to be expected.  I don't see a good reason why wedding gifts should increase in value far more than inflation, so I think it has overall contributed to the feeling that guests can no longer afford to go to weddings where they otherwise might have.  I find that sad.

POD.  Well stated.

chicajojobe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #83 on: July 07, 2013, 02:16:49 PM »
I was not saying that people simply don't understand the concept, and I acknowledged that not everyone likes it.

Agreeing to disagree is fine.

What I WAS saying is that people were making a lot of assumptions about the motives and financial/life situations of people who are okay with it.

miranova

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #84 on: July 07, 2013, 02:38:37 PM »
If people did things only based on internal reasoning or motivation, this would never be a problem, because no one would ever know or feel pressured to do the same.  The problem is that the "cover your plate" message has been passed around AS IF it's an actual expectation and that guests would be rude not to follow it.  I am not saying that anyone posting here thinks that way or has told anyone else that they "need" to cover their plate.  However, multiple times in my life I have heard this passed along as if it is actually the way things must be done.  And that is the problem I have with it.  Whatever calculations people want to do in their own head for their own reasons I have no issue with.  I have an issue when the expression gets used so much that it is distorted into "to behave like a proper guest, you must cover your plate and then add extra".  I'm not even saying it comes from the hosts.  To me it doesn't matter where it comes from, at some point it was put out there in the culture as the new expectation and I wish it would go away.

Shoo

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #85 on: July 07, 2013, 02:42:36 PM »
If people did things only based on internal reasoning or motivation, this would never be a problem, because no one would ever know or feel pressured to do the same.  The problem is that the "cover your plate" message has been passed around AS IF it's an actual expectation and that guests would be rude not to follow it. 

Exactly.  I've heard that wedding sites like TheKnot.com tout this as a hard and fast "rule."  It's disturbing that so many B&G's actually believe that it *is* a rule.  It absolutely is NOT.

WillyNilly

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #86 on: July 07, 2013, 03:25:05 PM »
I'm not sure why there is this insistence that we don't understand Willynilly's explanation.  I understand it just fine, I just don't agree with it nor like it.  We can agree to disagree, but continuing to insist that we just don't understand is both untrue and a little condescending. The only thing "cover your plate" has done long term is to push the average cost of a wedding gift MUCH higher than used to be expected.  I don't see a good reason why wedding gifts should increase in value far more than inflation, so I think it has overall contributed to the feeling that guests can no longer afford to go to weddings where they otherwise might have.  I find that sad.

Huh? I first heard of the practice almost 30 years ago from my father, who learned it from his parents were each born between 1900-1915. When was this magical time when the expectation was lower? "Cover your plate" might be distasteful to some, that's fine, but its not a new concept.



As for many people saying when they host they would never ever want their guests to want to think in terms of "cover your plate" I don't believe it, it think its a semantics problem not a thought process problem. "Cover your plate" in other terms is simply known as "reciprocation" and it is the standard norm of good manners. If Couple A hosts Couple B for dinner (at home, at a restaurant, at their beach house, etc) then its pretty reasonable to expect Couple B reciprocate at some point - either by hosting a dinner themselves, or taking Couple A to an attraction or something... And I really find it hard to believe so very many posters here would be totally cool with always being the ones who hosted (dinners, drinks, parties, whatever) and never having friends reciprocate in any manner. After a few times of hosting most people feel a bit put off not being hosted/having something nice done for them in return.

Reciprocation can come in many forms: dinner for dinner, dinner for handiwork, handiwork for pet sitting, party hosting for buying a few rounds in the bar, or presents for party hosting. For a simple dinner, its easy to put off reciprocating to another time ("next time, dinner is on us!" or you give a birthday present in April, and receive one in October) but with big formal weddings, a person might feel they want to reciprocate more promptly because they have no idea when, or even if, they can ever reciprocate in kind. Hence the "cover your plate" mentality... which again is totally on the side of the guest, not the gift receiver. It goes back to that thought process of "oh wow the B&G are going to such an extent to host us, this is so lovely, oh they shouldn't have! They are young and starting off..."

Roe

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #87 on: July 07, 2013, 03:57:33 PM »
I'm not sure why there is this insistence that we don't understand Willynilly's explanation.  I understand it just fine, I just don't agree with it nor like it.  We can agree to disagree, but continuing to insist that we just don't understand is both untrue and a little condescending.  The only thing "cover your plate" has done long term is to push the average cost of a wedding gift MUCH higher than used to be expected.  I don't see a good reason why wedding gifts should increase in value far more than inflation, so I think it has overall contributed to the feeling that guests can no longer afford to go to weddings where they otherwise might have.  I find that sad.

Thank you for saying this. I understood the explanation just fine. I just don't agree with it and to keep reading that I don't understand it is, to put it mildly, quite annoying. 

If people did things only based on internal reasoning or motivation, this would never be a problem, because no one would ever know or feel pressured to do the same.  The problem is that the "cover your plate" message has been passed around AS IF it's an actual expectation and that guests would be rude not to follow it. 

Exactly.  I've heard that wedding sites like TheKnot.com tout this as a hard and fast "rule."  It's disturbing that so many B&G's actually believe that it *is* a rule.  It absolutely is NOT.

Pod, pod, pod. 

SuperMartianRobotGirl

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #88 on: July 07, 2013, 04:11:57 PM »
As for many people saying when they host they would never ever want their guests to want to think in terms of "cover your plate" I don't believe it, it think its a semantics problem not a thought process problem. "Cover your plate" in other terms is simply known as "reciprocation" and it is the standard norm of good manners. If Couple A hosts Couple B for dinner (at home, at a restaurant, at their beach house, etc) then its pretty reasonable to expect Couple B reciprocate at some point - either by hosting a dinner themselves, or taking Couple A to an attraction or something... And I really find it hard to believe so very many posters here would be totally cool with always being the ones who hosted (dinners, drinks, parties, whatever) and never having friends reciprocate in any manner. After a few times of hosting most people feel a bit put off not being hosted/having something nice done for them in return.

Reciprocation can come in many forms: dinner for dinner, dinner for handiwork, handiwork for pet sitting, party hosting for buying a few rounds in the bar, or presents for party hosting. For a simple dinner, its easy to put off reciprocating to another time ("next time, dinner is on us!" or you give a birthday present in April, and receive one in October) but with big formal weddings, a person might feel they want to reciprocate more promptly because they have no idea when, or even if, they can ever reciprocate in kind. Hence the "cover your plate" mentality... which again is totally on the side of the guest, not the gift receiver. It goes back to that thought process of "oh wow the B&G are going to such an extent to host us, this is so lovely, oh they shouldn't have! They are young and starting off..."

I still disagree. Reciprocation is not about how much money is spent, either on entertainment or gifts. If I am invited out by someone, they take me out someplace that meets their budget, and then I should reciprocate by doing something that meets my budget. The whole problem is with the concept of reciprocation being tied into how much is spent.

miranova

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Re: Your gift was only $100
« Reply #89 on: July 07, 2013, 04:13:49 PM »
I'm not sure why there is this insistence that we don't understand Willynilly's explanation.  I understand it just fine, I just don't agree with it nor like it.  We can agree to disagree, but continuing to insist that we just don't understand is both untrue and a little condescending. The only thing "cover your plate" has done long term is to push the average cost of a wedding gift MUCH higher than used to be expected.  I don't see a good reason why wedding gifts should increase in value far more than inflation, so I think it has overall contributed to the feeling that guests can no longer afford to go to weddings where they otherwise might have.  I find that sad.

 If Couple A hosts Couple B for dinner (at home, at a restaurant, at their beach house, etc) then its pretty reasonable to expect Couple B reciprocate at some point - either by hosting a dinner themselves, or taking Couple A to an attraction or something... And I really find it hard to believe so very many posters here would be totally cool with always being the ones who hosted (dinners, drinks, parties, whatever) and never having friends reciprocate in any manner. After a few times of hosting most people feel a bit put off not being hosted/having something nice done for them in return.



This is not what this thread is about in the slightest.  I haven't seen anyone suggest that relationships don't require a degree of reciprocity.  In my mind the better example of reciprocity would be Couple A invites Couple B to their wedding, so couple B invites Couple A to their wedding.  But at neither event should the guests have to worry about whether their gift covers their plate or not.  The couple hosting is in charge of the expenses for their own event.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2013, 04:16:16 PM by miranova »