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Author Topic: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?  (Read 6305 times)

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TracyXJ

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Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« on: August 12, 2015, 10:11:31 AM »
Short version:  Is it expected to get a couple a present for their shower and a separate wedding present?

Details:  My brother and his fiance live a 12 hour drive or a flight away from my family (DH, 19 month old, and I).  They had a shower about a month ago that we were unable to attend, but purchased gifts off their registry and had them shipped.  The wedding is in a few weeks and DH and I are flying up for it (DH is a groomsman, I am doing a reading).  We have had to buckle down on our budgets lately since we're expecting kid #2 at the start of next year and are trying to decide if we should get a gift or not for the wedding.  We are already paying for the flights, hotels, tux rental, plus spending the day after the wedding doing touristy things with all the family in town (Bride and Groom will be there for this). 

Can we get them just a card?  Do we buy another gift?  Maybe just give them a smaller cash amount?

Zizi-K

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2015, 10:25:26 AM »
Since you didn't attend the shower, if I were you I probably would not have sent gifts for that event and just sent them in advance of the wedding. Personally, I think, yes, your presence is your present, especially since you already sent a gift. They, however, may not see it like that. One thing you might consider is taking some nice photographs of your family plus the happy couple, and then sending a copy of the photo in a frame soon after the wedding. You can purchase a nice frame very inexpensively at discount stores like TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

auntmeegs

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2015, 10:30:23 AM »
IMO the shower gift and the wedding gift are two completely seperate things.  But I see what you're saying too - you are spending A LOT of money on this wedding already.  Many people here will that one is never required to give a gift and I suppose that's technically true, personally I would not feel comfortable not giving a gift, especially to my brother.  But it doens't have to be pricey or extragagant.  And it doesn't have to be right now either - don't you have up to a year to give them a gift according to etiquette. 

green.and.blue

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2015, 10:31:51 AM »
In my area, showers are for small gifts, typically kitchen or bathrooms items, like knives and towels. Wedding gifts are much, much larger. I usually spend ten times the amount for a wedding gift (from my DH and I) as I would on a shower gift for the same couple.

rose red

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2015, 10:32:00 AM »
A card with a heartfelt note is fine. You already gave a gift and that's enough. In my experience, a sibling knows you well enough to understand what's not said and I can't imagine my siblings being upset if I don't fork over another gift or money.

camlan

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2015, 10:32:14 AM »
Short version:  Is it expected to get a couple a present for their shower and a separate wedding present?

Details:  My brother and his fiance live a 12 hour drive or a flight away from my family (DH, 19 month old, and I).  They had a shower about a month ago that we were unable to attend, but purchased gifts off their registry and had them shipped.  The wedding is in a few weeks and DH and I are flying up for it (DH is a groomsman, I am doing a reading).  We have had to buckle down on our budgets lately since we're expecting kid #2 at the start of next year and are trying to decide if we should get a gift or not for the wedding.  We are already paying for the flights, hotels, tux rental, plus spending the day after the wedding doing touristy things with all the family in town (Bride and Groom will be there for this). 

Can we get them just a card?  Do we buy another gift?  Maybe just give them a smaller cash amount?

I think the fact that this is your brother changes my answer a little. If the wedding was a good friend, I'd say you could get by without yet another gift. But an immediate family member? I think you should figure out a way to give a small gift. Not giving anything could cause bad feelings--and you do have to consider that in making your decision.

It doesn't have to be expensive.

Ideally, the best plan is to figure out how much you want to spend on any given wedding, including travel costs, new clothes, and gifts. Then you can budget for a shower gift and a wedding gift. But it's too late for that now.

You could find a nice photo of the bride and groom together, and have it printed and put it in a nice frame. If you or DH is crafty, you could make something. A small cash gift is fine. A small gift card to the store they registered at.

In your case, I'd try to cut out some of the touristy things for the day after the wedding than eliminate the gift entirely.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Lynn2000

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2015, 10:37:03 AM »
Great question, as there is a thread right now debating whether it's rude to not give a wedding gift. Personally I feel gifts are not required, however, there is strong social pressure to give them, and giving literally nothing can cause people to worry that a gift has been lost/stolen.

What I would do is get a card, and write something really nice and personal in it. Warm memories, genuine advice, whatever. Then give that. Or something else that is inexpensive but high in sentimental value, and could only have come from you.

To answer the more general question, yes, in my experience it's usual to get separate shower and wedding gifts. What I do is take my total gift budget for the wedding and split it--so if I can afford $100 total I might spend $25 on the shower gift and $75 on the wedding gift. Also, the gift budget is a subset of the total wedding expenses budget--if after accounting for required clothing, travel, meals, etc., you literally have nothing left to spend on a gift, I would not suggest breaking the bank and buying a gift anyway. That's when I would go with the "high sentimental value" gift, to express your genuine happiness with the event.

I do think it's wrong to have the attitude "my presence is present enough"--it's okay for the HC to say that to guests, but not okay for guests to decide that for themselves, as if they are expecting the HC to be rude and complain and they want to have a snappy comeback. I think guests should truly want to give a gift, something, however small, while the HC in turn truly do not want their guests to be put out, and would rather have nothing than inconvenience their guests.
~Lynn2000

Hmmmmm

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2015, 10:46:56 AM »
When you sent the other gift, did you somehow indicate on a note that it was for the shower? Was the cost what you'd normally spend on a wedding gift for a sibling?

In my area a shower gift and a wedding gift are separate. But a shower gift is usually small and not expected if you don't attend the shower.

But honestly in your case I wouldn't worry about a second gift. Your sibling knows the cost you are incurring for just attending. Write him a heartfelt note wishing him well and another one to your soon to be SIL welcoming her to your family. Maybe arrange to have both given to them either the night before or before the ceremony.

TracyXJ

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2015, 11:08:00 AM »
Because I'm not sure how to do the multi-quote thing:

To Zizi-K:  It's considered to the norm in my family for people not attending the shower to still send a gift.  This is mostly because my family is so spread out now that it's really a challenge for people to be able to travel for a shower.  Folks were surprised that my parents made the trip for the shower (they hadn't even met the Bride's parents at this time).

To green.and.blue:  We sent glasses and a pitcher through their registry for the shower.  Only now the registry has nothing but pricey things on it. 

To camlan:  We tried to budget, but it's difficult guessing ahead of time how much the flight especially was going to be.  And we wish would could cut out being a tourist, but that would essentially leave us sitting in the hotel while the rest of the family goes out having fun.  There won't be anyone else staying back because only those that are capable of travel (health and expense wise) are making the trip. 

To Hmmmmm:  The note didn't say it was for the shower specifically, but it was delivered the day of the shower. 

I really wish I could remember what I got my other brother for his wedding.  I know I got him a blender for the shower (which I also was unable to attend as I was away at college), but can't remember the wedding.  My parents might have just added me to their gift (poor college student). 

And I can't remember who got us what when for my wedding.  Although now that I think on it, I'm pretty sure that the about to be married brother didn't get us anything for the shower because it was a very girly thing and he didn't have a significant other at the time that would have attended.

What gifts they got us or didn't don't really matter to me, I just generally try to use them as a sort of go by for things like this since my husband and I are a little socially awkward. 

And I just realized that I haven't visited the best source of info for stuff like this - time to call Mom!

Daffydilly

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2015, 11:49:12 AM »
If you have given a gift to them through the wedding shower, they shouldn't be expecting another gift at the wedding. A very nice card and perhaps a picture frame or something simple would be a nice gesture. In my area, it's presumed that you give the couple a gift at one event or the other. You don't give for both.

mandycorn

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2015, 12:26:11 PM »
Checking with your mom is a great plan! She'll definitely have a handle on the family expectations, which is something we can only guess at.

I send a gift for each event I would like to attend, meaning if I decline attending because we aren't close, I don't send a gift, but if I would like to have attended and can't, I send something.

In general, I tend to think of shower presents as more practical and wedding presents as more personalized or meaningful which works well because a personalized gift, like a family recipe book or a framed photo of the happy couple, are things that can be produced relatively inexpensively, but can be meaningful.

I just had an idea for a gift you could give them - what about taking a camera with you and keeping an eye out for interesting pictures that their official photographer might not see (kids playing off to one side during the reception, small moments between guests, candid shots of the happy couple). Then after you get home, you can use a site like Snapfish or Shutterfly (I've used and been pleased with both) to produce a wedding album of sorts. Then you can send it to them after it's ready. That both explains why it wasn't sent ahead of time and costs more in terms of time and effort than actual money. Plus it separates out the expense a couple of weeks from the trip itself.

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auntmeegs

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2015, 02:14:39 PM »
Checking with your mom is a great plan! She'll definitely have a handle on the family expectations, which is something we can only guess at.

I send a gift for each event I would like to attend, meaning if I decline attending because we aren't close, I don't send a gift, but if I would like to have attended and can't, I send something.

In general, I tend to think of shower presents as more practical and wedding presents as more personalized or meaningful which works well because a personalized gift, like a family recipe book or a framed photo of the happy couple, are things that can be produced relatively inexpensively, but can be meaningful.

I just had an idea for a gift you could give them - what about taking a camera with you and keeping an eye out for interesting pictures that their official photographer might not see (kids playing off to one side during the reception, small moments between guests, candid shots of the happy couple). Then after you get home, you can use a site like Snapfish or Shutterfly (I've used and been pleased with both) to produce a wedding album of sorts. Then you can send it to them after it's ready. That both explains why it wasn't sent ahead of time and costs more in terms of time and effort than actual money. Plus it separates out the expense a couple of weeks from the trip itself.

I love this idea.  Very meaningful and economical.  A wedding gift doens't have to be cash, or off the registry or cost a fortune.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2015, 09:59:19 PM »
Short answer: yes. In my neck of the woods (Australia), the shower and wedding gifts are separate things. In Australia, engagement parties are also gift giving events, so if you get invited to the engagement party, bridal shower, and wedding, that's three separate gifts.

That said, the wedding gift should be what you can afford. Especially since you're travelling and paying your own costs (including your DH's suit), I think you'd be fine in getting them something small and/or inexpensive, like a photo frame.

Surianne

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2015, 10:47:56 PM »
I think you've spent plenty on the couple, so don't worry about it.  There's no legitimate reason they should expect more from you.

Wintergreen

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Re: Shower Gift and Wedding Gift?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2015, 03:15:16 AM »
I'd take the route of inexpensive but sentimental gifts.

In addition to photograph-things, few other ideas: Recipe book made from family recipes. If recipes are not guarded secret in your family, ask around for all the "great favorites". Grandma's cookies, Mom's roast, Younger brother's quick and dirty lunch, Uncle's chicken soup, Cousin's soufflé... Write them down in nice notebook and give that to the couple. You can include heartfelt notes and leave blank pages for the couple to add their own stuff there. Super awesome if you know anybody from the fiancé's side and could ask for few from them. But even your own family's side would be great. Takes time, but not much money (basically only the notebook and maybe some phone bills).

"Friendship book" for adults. I got one from my friend with idea that I could put it out in the wedding so that guests can write in it. We are going to use it partly as guest book, partly as entertainment for the guests. I got this before hands, but I think it might even be possible to have one during the wedding weekend and ask other guests to fill it (if possible, maybe at the hotel, maybe at some other point) and then give it to the couple. (That would not mess their own guest book plans or add to their celebration something they don't want.) If you can't find real friendship  book for adults, again, a notebook and few questions for each page might do the trick. (If I'm using wrong word for friendship book, I mean the kind of books we used to have as a child, where your class mates and other friends wrote answers in questions like what is your dream job, favorite color, band, movie and so on.)