Author Topic: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?  (Read 1463 times)

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Bottlecaps

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Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« on: April 23, 2014, 10:52:17 AM »
I'm going have at least a dozen centerpieces for my small-ish wedding. I'm inviting a few people from out of town, and provided that they are able to make it, I had the idea of giving away a few of the centerpieces to those who traveled far (defined by out-of-state and/or the need to stay overnight in this area in order to make it). I'm afraid that this will come across as rude though, as I'm afraid some people will get the idea that they weren't "special" enough to get a centerpiece. If I had 60+ centerpieces, I'd give them away to everyone, but I only have a few - I plan to keep one or two, but I don't want to keep them all! I thought this would be a good way to rid myself of a lot of them, while not letting them go to waste, and it will give those who went really out of their way a little something extra, aside from the favors I'm doing for everyone. Is this rude, or am I just worrying too much?

Also, side question - is it rude to include RSVP information on the invitation itself? I know for more informal events it's almost always on the invitation, but I wasn't sure how this worked for weddings, lol. I'm not doing RSVP cards, because I know most of our friends won't bother returning them anyway, they'll just call or text their RSVP to me, so I figured I might as well just have people RSVP by phone anyway. I thought I'd put this question here too instead of instantly starting another thread for it. :)

Thanks in advance! :)
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 11:20:08 AM »
The far-out-of-towners are the last people I'd select to give the centrepieces to.  How will they get them home?  If they're flying, it will be a really big pain.  But even if they are driving, it is extra work to take care of it, even if it isn't flowers that will need water and so on.  And if it is a hot day, if they stop for a meal, leaving it in a car that will heat up won't be very good for flowers, either.

So, logistics wise, I don't think it is a good idea.  But I don't think it is rude.

I've seen a few ways to divvy up the centrepieces.  Some couples gave them to the people closest to them - parents, close relatives, closest friends, etc.  Some couples chose a way to give them to someone at the table.  Once, it was whomever's birthday was closest to the wedding day.  I got that one.   ;D  Or they will mark a chair underneath with a piece of tape, knowing who will be sitting in that seat, and everyone checks their chair.  If you chose to move your seat, too bad for you.  Or it might be completely random if only the tables were assigned and not the seats.

I've always seen RSVP information on the invitation, even when there is a response card.  So I think you're fine to do that.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 11:24:32 AM »
I'm going have at least a dozen centerpieces for my small-ish wedding. I'm inviting a few people from out of town, and provided that they are able to make it, I had the idea of giving away a few of the centerpieces to those who traveled far (defined by out-of-state and/or the need to stay overnight in this area in order to make it).

So now they have to figure out how to get the centerpieces in their luggage? I'm assuming they're not flowers (i.e., water in the vases).

I think you should skip this idea for that reason. Even without the water, it's annoying to have to pack something home.

I do think people might feel that it's discriminatory, but -any- reason to give the centerpieces away is a bit discriminatory.

I believe that the way to thank people for going to the extra work of traveling to your wedding is to mention it to them in person or in the thank-you note for their gift (or both). And to allow that gesture they've made to affect your relationship with them (and for you to bestir yourself to keep a close relationship with them despite the distance, perhaps traveling in order to be at their special event, or to simply visit them).


Re: the RSVP information.

It is actually *standard* to have this info on the invitation itself. Lots of etiquette books show how.
As does this (the royal wedding invite):
http://hipink.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/kate-will-royal-wedding-invitation.gif?w=480

It goes in the lower left corner (dress code goes in the lower right), and it can be any form--phone number, full maining address, email address, website.
   If everyone is assumed to know the host's address, it can simply say RSVP or The pleasure of a reply is requested.

lowspark

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 11:33:28 AM »
Yeah, that's what I was wondering too. How will the out-of-towners get the centerpieces home? Unless they are very small, it's probably going to present a logistical problem for them.

In any case, it's not rude to give them away to certain people. It seems to me that's pretty much what usually happens. I recently took home a vase full of beautiful cream colored roses from the wedding of a daughter of a good friend of mine. I don't remember how it played out. Probably because I was one of the last to leave (it's understood among that group of my friends that none of us leave the party till it's over).

I wouldn't make any big announcement or publicly call out those who you want to designate, but rather just tell them privately that after a certain time (example: "after 10:00" or "after we cut the cake") they are welcome to take one of the centerpieces home. If anyone asks you about taking one, you can reply, "Oh sorry! I already promised them to other people." You don't have to say how you decided who should receive one, just that they are already spoken for.

z_squared82

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 11:45:59 AM »
Re centerpieces: I don't think this is rude, but I don't think it's something you can plan for. I've been at weddings where the centerpieces just walked out all on their own (aka, someone liked them and decided to take them without asking anyone if that was okay).

And, yes, how will the out-of-towners get them home?

peaches

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 11:48:49 AM »
Response or reply cards aren't required. The rsvp information can be put on the invitation.

Reply cards came about as a convenience for the hosts. Logistically, keeping track of a large number of replies by notes, phone calls and emails can be a chore, especially for a large wedding. But you certainly don't have to use them. 

Giving away centerpieces is fine, if it's done unobtrusively.
 

Bottlecaps

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 12:50:26 PM »
They're going to be silk roses in milk glass vases. I guess I didn't think about them having to worry about getting them home.  :-[ I guess I just figured small = easy, which may not be the case as several have pointed out. They are rather small (the vases stand about eight inches tall), but I wouldn't want to impose a burden, even if a small one, on any of my guests. I suppose if I do decide to do this (and I probably will, seeing as how the guests getting them home is really the only issue coming up), I could always mail the centerpieces to them along with their thank you card. That would be a decent compromise on the idea vs. the logistics, yeah? :) That way, they're not burdened with trying to pack them up (provided that they're even still there, as a PP mentioned).

Toots, thank you for posting the image of the Royal Wedding invitation. Although my wedding certainly isn't going to be formal, lol, it's nice to know what formatting I should use for the RSVP and the dress code.

Thanks to everyone who replied! :)
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 12:54:07 PM »
...I could always mail the centerpieces to them along with their thank you card. That would be a decent compromise on the idea vs. the logistics, yeah? :) That way, they're not burdened with trying to pack them up (provided that they're even still there, as a PP mentioned).

I think that is a great compromise, if these are the people you really want to have the centrepieces.   :)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2014, 01:19:47 PM »
They're going to be silk roses in milk glass vases. I guess I didn't think about them having to worry about getting them home.  :-[ I guess I just figured small = easy, which may not be the case as several have pointed out. They are rather small (the vases stand about eight inches tall),

The silk roses will be difficult to pack without getting them squished.

So they aren't that easy to pack, actually.

And I wouldn't even think you should mail them the centerpieces; I guess I'm influenced by the fact that almost everyone I know has way too much stuff.

Just love them. That's all most people really want as a payoff for their extra effort.

wolfie

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 01:22:47 PM »
Your other issue is "do the want the centerpieces?". And that is a big who knows. Some people will want them, some people won't and it would be hard to know who falls where without asking them. I think it might be easier to give them away at the reception - then people who don't want them can leave them behind or give them to someone who does.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 01:24:37 PM »
Take them to a nursing home or hospital rather than giving them away to your guests.  Then they can be the gifts that keep on giving. 

Kaymar

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 01:27:23 PM »
Your other issue is "do the want the centerpieces?". And that is a big who knows. Some people will want them, some people won't and it would be hard to know who falls where without asking them. I think it might be easier to give them away at the reception - then people who don't want them can leave them behind or give them to someone who does.

That's what I was thinking too... there are going to be some guests who just don't want them and won't want to offend you by saying so if you present it like it is a special gift for them for traveling. 

amylouky

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 01:29:26 PM »
Take them to a nursing home or hospital rather than giving them away to your guests.  Then they can be the gifts that keep on giving.

I love this. Honestly, if I was given a centerpiece at a wedding, it would probably go in the Goodwill box.  I know that sounds harsh but we just really don't do knick knacks much.

I think only giving them to some of the guests is odd, also. If anything, I'd just leave them on the tables and make it be known that they're first come, first serve at the end of the evening.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2014, 01:45:22 PM »
Take them to a nursing home or hospital rather than giving them away to your guests.  Then they can be the gifts that keep on giving.

I love this idea.
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Re: Giving away centerpieces - would this be rude?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 06:09:38 PM »
I wouldn't suggest assigning the centerpieces to specific people. Though they sound lovely, silk flowers or milk glass vases might not be another person's decorating preference. And if you said to me as a guest "I really want you to have one of the centerpieces" I'd feel obligated to take it. And then I'd probably leave it at the hotel because I didn't want to bother trying to get it home.

Instead just spread the word that the centerpieces are available for anyone who would enjoy having one. And when they are gone, they are gone. Or you can do the "place a card under the chair" thing to have each someone at each table selected.

If you want to do something extra special for those who made a serious effort to attend, include a nice photo of them at the wedding in your thank you note. Or chocolate. Chocolate is always good.