Author Topic: Do I Need to Give a Gift?  (Read 2800 times)

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gellchom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2014, 11:22:04 PM »
It occurs to me that in my experience, people who are doing a lot to help out, sometimes in ways that cost money, too, not only usually also give a gift, but they want to give a significant one.  That's because they are usually the closest to you.

For example, for my daughter's wedding, three of my friends are hosting a luncheon or a shower.  A group of her friends are having a bachelorette party.  Three more of my friends are hosting a dinner for all the out of towners two nights before the wedding.  Another friend is housing the groom's three sisters.  Others will make hospitality bags.  And so forth.  All those things take time and effort and money.  It would be perfectly fine if they didn't also give her a wedding gift.  But I am sure that they will, and for the same reason they are doing all those things: they feel very close to her and to our family; they want to be insiders, like family.  And I do the same for them when it is their families' turn.  It never occurred to me not to give a gift, too.  Anyone for whom I would go to that much trouble is someone I want to give something special.

In the OP's case, the time and effort take the form of something that is usually done by a professional for the wedding.  That can make it a little more confusing, because it's easy to see how it saves the hosts money.

But I would still think of it as "pitching in," albeit in a big way.  I wouldn't see it as instead of a gift; I'd see it as the sort of thing that someday they will reciprocate for you somehow and for which they will give YOU a nice gift to thank you (they certainly should). 

That said, I do think that especially because it is such a big thing, if you don't want to give a gift, too, then you are okay.  But from what you posted, and especially because of your husband's discomfort, I still think that even though you don't have to, you will be happiest if you give them a gift as well, perhaps a small one like a cookbook or an apron or something, or something like a popcorn in a cute bowl and some movie candy to enjoy when they watch the video.


purple

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2014, 11:31:04 PM »
If my friend of 15 years was getting married, I'd video it for them if they asked me and I'd give them a gift too.

15 years is a long time and a good friendship.

I'd see the video-taping as helping them out, like when I mind their dog or give them a ride to work when their car is in the shop.

The wedding gift is the wedding gift and to me, it's a completely different thing than helping out.

katycoo

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2014, 01:57:26 AM »
I think your services are a gift.  You may not normally charge, but you are still gifting your time and efforts which you otherwise would not have expended, and she is saving the cost of paying a professional.

CakeEater

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2014, 07:59:16 AM »
I'd say no gift. You're giving them the gift of saving $$$.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2014, 08:26:36 AM »
But from what you posted, and especially because of your husband's discomfort, I still think that even though you don't have to, you will be happiest if you give them a gift as well, perhaps a small one...

It'salso important for the OP to think about whether she'd -resent- it if she ended up giving a very large gift as well, now that she has identified all of this extra effort as a gift.

lowspark

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2014, 08:29:42 AM »
I think there are differences between a shower* and the doing the video. Firstly, yes, the videography is normally a professional service that one would expect to pay for while showers are traditionally specifically given by people who consider themselves very close to the honoree. Part of "the inner circle" so to speak. At least, that's the case in my experience.

In addition, the OP was asked to do this by the bride. One would never ask someone to give a shower or other kind of party.

The videography is a sort of commodity that one expects to pay for. Therefore, it's a gift to do it for free when asked.
Showers and such are voluntary gifts in and of themselves which people do because they want to do something over and above the normal purchased gift for the very reason that they are close friends or family of the bride & groom.

So yes, they are both gifts (shower and video). And if the OP feels close enough to the couple that she wants to give an additional gift, of course, that's incredibly nice. But I see offering to give a shower in addition to a gift as a different thing than being asked to provide a service during the wedding itself.

*Using "shower" as a generic term to encompass luncheons, engagement parties, etc. which people give to honor the couple in anticipation of the wedding.

treeang

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2014, 12:41:11 PM »
To be clear, it's not that I don't want to get her a gift.  I just thought my gift was my time and talent videoing her wedding and then turning it into a nice DVD for the both of them.  It isn't like I said "oh, well, I can help serve cake...there you go, no gift for you!"

I have already been helpful (trying on dresses for absent bridesmaids so she could see what they looked like, etc) and will continue to help out as needed.  I have already happily given gifts for her bridal shower I was just trying to ascertain whether I would be creating a problem if I didn't go buy her something else, too, for the wedding.

TootsNYC

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2014, 01:13:16 PM »
To be clear, it's not that I don't want to get her a gift.  I just thought my gift was my time and talent videoing her wedding and then turning it into a nice DVD for the both of them. 


I bet you a nickel she does too.

Lynn2000

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2014, 01:23:40 PM »
I think there are many "right" answers--no other gift, small other gift, large other gift. It depends on what the OP is comfortable with. If she takes the time to make this a nice finished product for her friend, especially with extra details that she might not have bothered to include for a stranger's, I think that's a perfectly good gift, and will likely be highly valued.

If other people felt like all that was "just part of helping a friend" so they would additionally purchase a large gift for the HC, that is also cool. I don't think one is better/worse than the other, or needs to be justified in some way.
~Lynn2000

gellchom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2014, 01:29:38 PM »
Great post, Lynn2000.  treeang, you just need to talk with your husband and see what feels right.

I'm wondering if the sticking point here is that the OP feels like if she doesn't treat her time and talent as their wedding gift, she is devaluing her own time and skill.  Is that kind of it, treeang?

TootsNYC

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2014, 02:11:21 PM »

I'm wondering if the sticking point here is that the OP feels like if she doesn't treat her time and talent as their wedding gift, she is devaluing her own time and skill.  Is that kind of it, treeang?

Or, since she does consider this a gift, *she* -is- "valuing her own time and skill." But maybe her husband isn't. Maybe he isn't seeing all her effort and skill as something that's worth some serious money.

Because he's the only one who thinks treeang "really needs" to give a gift.

gellchom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2014, 02:49:29 PM »
I guess I don't see too much difference, but maybe I'm missing something. 

Anyway, I wouldn't assume that his wanting to give a gift doesn't mean he doesn't value her time and talent.  He may just see it as the "helping out" kind of thing, even though in her case it happens to be a very valuable professional skill that she has.  Like someone who sews a wedding gown or makes a wedding cake.  Some may see doing one of those things as their gift, but others may view it as pitching in, the same as if they threw a shower, hosted guests, or offered their home for the reception (things that require probably less but still substantial time, effort, and money, but not some specialized skill).  In those latter situations, too, sometimes people view that as their gift, and that's okay, too. 

My point is just that when you are providing some kind of big service, it's okay either to consider that your gift, or to consider it as helping out (in a big way!) and get a separate gift.  I don't think that it makes a big difference whether it is a specialized wedding-type skill (e.g. video) or not (e.g. hosting a shower). 

If her husband feels the way I do, he isn't devaluing her time and talent.

turnip

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2014, 02:59:41 PM »
So I'll tell you what we did.  My best friend (~20 years ) got married and asked my DH to take photographs - something he loves to do but does just as a hobby.  ( He was thrilled, as it gave him an excuse to by a new camera! ).  He took the photos, and we also gave them a gift - probably the same gift we would have given had he not taken photos.

When the wedding weekend was over and we were checking out, we discovered that the Bride and Groom had paid our hotel bill!  We were charmed, they loved their photos, everyone was very happy and gracious.  I can't tell you what to do, but I think with old, good friends you can do what 'feels right' and trust everyone to understand.

gellchom

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2014, 03:14:04 PM »
turnip, that's exactly how I see it, and how we have handled it in the past, in both directions: someone does you a big favor, you give them a big thank you, and when the opportunity arises, you reciprocate (and then they give you the big thank you).  I'm not saying that people who do it the other way (consider it their gift) are wrong -- they absolutely aren't.  I just like this way, which makes it more sharing and less "commoditizing," better.

CakeEater

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Re: Do I Need to Give a Gift?
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2014, 10:13:04 PM »
I wonder if your DH doesn't really feel like he's contributing the gift at all, if it's you doing the video?

The other factor to consider is that if you're doing the video, you're not enjoying the wedding like al the other guests - you're running around getting the best angle, light etc, and viewing the whole thing through the lens for the first time, rather than sitting in a chair and enjoying the experience.

Plus your DH will be sitting without you.

You're not only using time, skill and equipment, but in some ways missing out on being a proper guest. All good reasons to consider this your gift, IMO.