Wedding Bliss and Blues > Gifts, Registries and Money

Do I Need to Give a Gift?

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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.


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.

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?  :)

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.

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.


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