Author Topic: Do I Need to Give a Gift?  (Read 2054 times)

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treeang

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Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« on: March 19, 2014, 12:28:25 PM »
A friend is getting married in a few weeks.  She has asked me to videotape the wedding and reception, which is not my profession, but something I do rather as a hobby.  She is doing the wedding on a pretty strict budget and I have been more than willing to help out.

My question is if I need to give a gift.  I gave her a gift at her bridal shower and videotaping the wedding and reception and then editing it all for a DVD will take a significant amount of my time and energy, which is a precious commodity as I have three young children.  I know that I will need to be at the rehearsal and with the bride all day and into the evening. 

DH says that he feels uncomfortable not giving a gift.  I feel that my work is a gift, but he says since it isn't my professional job, it doesn't count and we need to buy them something.

Thoughts?

Kaymar

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2014, 12:31:24 PM »
This is the perfect situation for that old standby, a heartfelt card saying how happy you are for her and how much her friendship means to you.  No more, no less.

LemonZen

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2014, 12:34:27 PM »
Personally I think your time and energy making the wedding video is a much more wonderful gift than anything you might buy off the registry. Would it make your DH feel better if you bring a card to the wedding, and then when the DVD is finished you wrap it in pretty paper before you give it to her?  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2014, 12:37:35 PM »
I don't know that I can tell you what -you- should do, so I'll just tell you what -I- would do.

I would give a gift, separate from my services.

It might be a smaller, token gift. But I'd be like your DH, uncomfortable with labeling my energy and time as "a gift" instead of "some help." Especially since I don't usually charge for that sort of thing.

I would imagine that this friend would very likely consider this "your gift," if she stopped to think about it.

Here's the one reason I might label it "my gift": If I thought that by making it "a favor," I might put it off.

Don't know if that helps you any, since it's -very- Toots-specific.

CinnaMom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2014, 12:50:22 PM »
The distinction to me here seems to be that you didn't offer to videotape and compile the proceedings. Rather, she asked you to do so. You've graciously accepted, and, given how much one pays for a wedding videographer, your work represents a gift in itself: a significant investment of time and effort-- one made out of love and respect, of course! As all great gifts are.

To me, I suppose it also depends how close you are to the bride. Is she a very close, longtime friend? Or a more recent acquaintance? In the first case, she may see such a request as very reasonable, not exclusive of a gift. In the latter case, I think the videotaping and editing certainly represents enough of a token of your best wishes for her marriage.

And, of course, you've already given her a gift at her bridal shower. When you send the DVD over, write a sincere note wishing the couple the best in their new life together.

lofty

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2014, 01:10:34 PM »
Just because you "only" videotape as a hobby doesn't mean it is any less time consuming and the quality is inferior to someone who does it "professionally". Let's face it, the only difference between a hobby & a business/job is the box you check on your tax return.

OP, you say that the bride asked you and mentioned her budget is tight; am I to infer that you are not being paid for your services? If that is the case, then the video is your gift. I vote get the happy couple a lovely card, write some wonderful wishes inside, and if you'd like print up an insert gushing about the video to come.

Then have your husband actually see how long it takes to film, edit, and burn that video and realize that it's worth much more than a set of towels. ;)
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 01:10:53 PM »
I made my friend's wedding cake.  I didn't give her a gift, although I did give her a token of something I'd made.
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treeang

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 01:25:05 PM »
I am not getting paid to videotape.  She asked me to do it as a friend.  We have been friends (closer and further apart) for the last fifteen years.  She was in my wedding twelve years ago as a bridesmaid.

So far, I have helped her pick bridesmaid dresses (as none of her bridesmaids were in town) and locate some wedding services in town.  We are currently workout buddies so we have been talking over the planning for several months now.

My DH says it is kind of like a bridesmaid.  They spend time and effort for the wedding but they still give a gift.  I think the gift is my time and energy.  I was planning on a nice card.  I think DH is worried that he is going to look like he isn't giving a gift since the effort will mostly be mine.

Lynn2000

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2014, 01:44:15 PM »
I suppose your DH could always give his own gift "from DH" if that would make him feel better. Though the funds for it should come from his fun money, not shared funds, in that case (if applicable), because I think the videography you're doing is completely worthy of being labeled your gift to the couple. I think it's no more "not from him" than any gift where one person went to the trouble of picking out something and wrapping it, say, while the other person did little more than carry it from the car. And, if he's looking after the kids while you work on it, then he is definitely contributing!

I think the heartfelt card is a great idea now, and then you can "go the extra mile" with the video, whatever you feel that means--getting it done faster, adding in special features, making it accessible online, I have no idea. But something you're doing because this is your friend and you want it to be awesome. I think it's absolutely as much a gift as if you were making an afghan by hand or something; it's just that due to its nature, you physically can't have it done in time to bring to the wedding.

Maybe in the card you could say something about that, so the bride knows what to expect. I'm having flashbacks to the thread where the OP went from Australia to Vegas for a friend's wedding and was going to give them, after the fact, an album of wedding photos, but before she could do so she was upbraided by the bride for not giving a gift at all. I mean, hopefully this bride will not be that tacky, but saying/writing something like, "...and I'm so excited to make this video as my gift to you!" might be safer.
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LemonZen

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2014, 01:54:05 PM »
I suppose your DH could always give his own gift "from DH" if that would make him feel better. Though the funds for it should come from his fun money, not shared funds, in that case (if applicable), because I think the videography you're doing is completely worthy of being labeled your gift to the couple. I think it's no more "not from him" than any gift where one person went to the trouble of picking out something and wrapping it, say, while the other person did little more than carry it from the car. And, if he's looking after the kids while you work on it, then he is definitely contributing!

...snipped...

Maybe in the card you could say something about that, so the bride knows what to expect. I'm having flashbacks to the thread where the OP went from Australia to Vegas for a friend's wedding and was going to give them, after the fact, an album of wedding photos, but before she could do so she was upbraided by the bride for not giving a gift at all. I mean, hopefully this bride will not be that tacky, but saying/writing something like, "...and I'm so excited to make this video as my gift to you!" might be safer.

Great post, I especially agree with the bolded parts. Time used to make this video is time taken away from your family, presumably meaning DH will pick up the slack, so I would consider it a gift from both of you.

Clarifying that this is your gift in the card sounds like a good way to go. A friend makes wedding cakes, sometimes she is asked, sometimes she offers, but she frames it as a gift, as in "I would be happy to give you a cake as my wedding gift to you," That way everyone is on the same page. Otherwise she prefers to be paid for the cake, and get a separate gift.

gellchom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2014, 02:11:21 PM »
I don't know that I can tell you what -you- should do, so I'll just tell you what -I- would do.

I would give a gift, separate from my services.

It might be a smaller, token gift. But I'd be like your DH, uncomfortable with labeling my energy and time as "a gift" instead of "some help." Especially since I don't usually charge for that sort of thing.

I would imagine that this friend would very likely consider this "your gift," if she stopped to think about it.

Here's the one reason I might label it "my gift": If I thought that by making it "a favor," I might put it off.

Don't know if that helps you any, since it's -very- Toots-specific.

Excellent post, and it's what I would do, too.  I see your husband's point of view; it's comparable to a bridesmaid or other participant in the day, and they also give a gift.  I'd buy or make a small gift (I don't care much for printed greeting cards).  Then you can stop second-guessing yourselves, which is surely worth the price of a little gift!

peaches

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2014, 03:11:09 PM »
I'm in the "I'd give a gift anyway" camp.

After all, that's what you originally planned to do. It can be something in the small-but-thoughtful category.

Really, what should have happened here is the bride saying "But please don't give me an additional gift - your help with this will be the best gift ever!"

lowspark

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2014, 04:41:07 PM »
I've been the recipient in this (almost) exact situation and didn't expect nor receive an additional gift. I asked my BIL to serve as photographer (which he does as a hobby, not professionally) at both my sons' Bar Mitzvah events. He did a fabulous job including putting together an album for each. He also (at my son's request) served as photographer at my son's wedding. BIL and his son both showed up with cameras and took literally thousands of pictures.

Believe me, what they did in each case was so much more valuable than any gift they might have purchased. Not only was it done beautifully, but the end result would have cost more than we could have afforded if we'd had to pay.

So yeah, if you want to give an additional gift, that's fine. But I believe that your talent and time in doing this is gift enough.

Tea Drinker

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2014, 06:48:37 PM »
I don't think you need to give a physical gift: if someone gives a handmade quilt as a wedding gift, it doesn't stop counting as a "real" gift because the giver made it herself rather than buying it, whether or not she's a professional quilter.

That said, maybe tell your DH something like "I don't think we need to give them another gift, but if you're uncomfortable with this being our only gift, let's talk about how much you're going to spend." Because you are already giving them a lot of time and energy; if he thinks that's insufficient, it's time for him to step up to the plate and do the shopping (even if that's just calculating a reasonable amount and ordering something from their registry, rather than a lot of time spent finding the perfect gift). Yes, she's primarily your friend, but you are comfortable with the gift you're already giving.
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kudeebee

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2014, 09:33:29 PM »
I don't think that you need to give another gift.  She asked to videotape the wedding festivities for her and you accepted.  So that is really all you need to do.

However, you stated you are going to edit the video and make a dvd.  That is above and beyond what you were asked to do and as such, I would consider that your gift to the couple.