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Author Topic: Gift for someone who didn't gift  (Read 7039 times)

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Jonesy

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Gift for someone who didn't gift
« on: August 18, 2015, 07:48:38 AM »
Hi everyone,

I hope you'll forgive my first post being a question.

A bit of background information.

My husband and I got married a few years back. We both come from different countries and thought it would be a big ask to have a wedding in one country and expect all of the other family to travel such a great distance at such a huge cost.
We went off on our own without any guests at all. Sort of an elopement- but a planned one that everyone knew about. We were open and honest with our families and everyone seemed fine with the situation. This was all paid for by us. We didn't ask our families for money and they didn't offer. We didn't have a registry because we didn't have guests but none the less many of our friends and family send cards and gifts/money... except for my mother. She didn't even send us a congratulations card.
Now, I personally feel slighted by this. I kept all the cards we received and would have loved one from my mother and I also feel that being my mother she should have given us a card. I also feel quite embarassed because my husband's family all gave us a little something after the wedding and she was the odd one out.
So I guess my first question is - do you think I am being unreasonable in expecting at least a congratulations card?

Skip forward to this year and my mother is getting married (she is divorced and this is a second wedding). I'm not able to attend - I'll be heavily pregnant and she only gave me 4 months notice to buy a ticket that would cost about a month's wages (but that's another rant).

So I guess my etiquette question is: what does one get their mother & fiance for a second wedding when you didn't even get a card?
The spiteful part of me want to get nothing but the sensible part of my (aka my hubby) doesn't think I should go down that route.
I don't know her fiance very well- I've only met him a handful of times but I know they aren't wine/champage drinkers, they don't like things like the theatre so I'm finding it difficult to think of an experience to get them. My brother (who is going) is getting them a gift card to a nice restaurant.
I thought about a night in a nice hotel but that's turning out to be a lot of money.

Any ideas of what would be acceptable in the above circumstances?

I hope this wasn't too long and rambling.

Tierrainney

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2015, 08:08:01 AM »
Find a nice Wedding Card and mail it to her. Write her a letter with your regrets that you cannot attend her wedding. You have now fulfilled all Etiquette standards.

It is very strange that your Mother didn't even get you a card for your Wedding. But she may have felt that eloping means you don't get any of the "traditional wedding" stuff, including cards and presents. Who knows at this point.

I hope you have a wonderful baby.
Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Jonesy

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 08:20:08 AM »
Thank you for the advice and the lovely wishes, Tierrainney :o)

Zizi-K

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 08:51:25 AM »
I think you should just send your mom the heartfelt card that you wished you would have received. I don't think you are obligated to give her a gift, though a token gift might be nice. A photo of you in a nice frame type of level. Or maybe $50 "for room service after the wedding" or something. But I think the main thing would be to send a really nice note with all of your good wishes for her marriage.

Jonesy

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 09:24:59 AM »
Thanks Zizi-K. I hadn't thought of money in a card. I'm not sure they're going on honeymoon right away so it could be 'towards something fun as a married couple' or something along those lines.
The money also gets me past the bad feeling for not giving a gift.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 09:51:47 AM »
A nice card, and if you are so inclined, a cheque in an amount you can easily afford, covers you off etiquette-wise.  I do agree with your DH that sending nothing is not the way to go, even though that's what she did.  Retaliatory rudeness is still rude.   :)

I don't blame you at all for being miffed that your own mother didn't even give you a note of congratulations for your wedding.  I'd feel the same way, in your shoes. 
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Hmmmmm

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 10:33:33 AM »
I'd be hurt if my mother didn't acknowledge my wedding in any way. What is your relationship like in other areas? Was there no calls with warm wishes at least?

As far as her wedding, I'd send a card and a small gift. Maybe monogrammed towels or napkins. Or a picture frame with their wedding date.

Jonesy

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 11:14:33 AM »
Thanks both for the replies.
There was an acknowledgement on facebook when we put a pic up but no, no phone calls.

Our relationship is a little strange I suppose. She is the kind of person who only really likes contact on her terms. But I wouldn't say it's a bad relationship.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. :o)

rose red

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 11:19:29 AM »
Some people are just not into cards, especially for their own children because you're just suppose to *know* they're happy for you.

If your relationship is otherwise a good one, send them a card.

Dindrane

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2015, 11:27:57 AM »
So, technically, sending nothing to acknowledge a wedding that you weren't invited to attend isn't rude. But it is hurtful, and I can understand why it upset you that your mother didn't do anything to acknowledge your wedding. Especially because, as your mother, she should have had a better understanding of your reasons than most.

Also technically, sending nothing to acknowledge a wedding that you are unable to attend (other than your timely rsvp) is also not rude. But it's one of those things that can have relationship consequences you may not want to deal with.

I will say, though, that you should not send your mother a gift unless you actually want to. Even money. You should send her a card or a letter expressing your happiness at her upcoming marriage, because it is important to acknowledge the major life events of those closest to you. But only send money if it will make you happy to give it.

The general rule of thumb for giving wedding gifts, in a situation where you're invited but don't attend, is that you should give a gift if you'd have wanted to be there, and you should skip a gift if you'd have declined no matter what. So if it's just the distance/pregnancy/cost of flight/short notice that's preventing you from going to your mother's wedding, then send a gift of some sort. If you might very well have declined to go without those things being present, you don't have to send a gift (but you will be sending a message that you don't see the relationship as being an especially close one).

But in terms of etiquette, as long as you respond to the invitation in a timely fashion, you're in the clear.


gellchom

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2015, 12:58:17 PM »
I'm so sorry that your mom hurt you like this.  I hope that wasn't her intention.

I wouldn't focus at all on a card.  In our family, it would be really weird to get just a greeting card from a close relative for a big occasion like a wedding.  It would be worse than nothing, like leaving a waitress a 5 cent tip.  We would only send one for a non-gift giving occasion or to accompany a check or gift card.  Now, your family may be very different -- I know, from ehell, that there are many people who put a lot of weight onto greeting cards.  But unless that is the case in your family, I'd call anything about cards a red herring.  I assume she hasn't refused to acknowledge the marriage altogether, has she?

I wouldn't send my own mother money as a gift.  Again, the impersonality makes it seem distancing.

It is certainly understandable that you resent sending her anything at all after her not sending you anything.  But I suspect you will be happier if you do.  Do the thing that the person you want to be does.  You won't regret it.

I suggest you ask your brother if you can go in on the gift card to the restaurant with him.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 01:00:34 PM »
I suggest you ask your brother if you can go in on the gift card to the restaurant with him.

This is a really good idea.  Or you could upgrade it to that night in a hotel, with two of you pooling your resources.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

lakey

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 05:18:18 PM »
Evil Lakey would send Mom a framed photo of  you and your husband from your wedding.

Seriously though, I'd send a card with a nice note about how happy you are for her.

CakeEater

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 09:08:30 PM »
I have a slightly different perspective.

It's possible that your mother was pretty hurt that she wasn't invited to your wedding. I know your intentions were to not inconvenience anyone by asking them to travel, but travelling to my daughter's wedding isn't something I would consider an inconvenience or annoying expense. It would be a pleasure, and I would like to have been given the choice.

Even if you were upfront about the elopement, ad no-one said anything, your mother's feelings might have been really hurt. It's even possible that she thought she was doing the right thing - you indicated by eloping that you weren't wanting a huge celebration - perhaps she thought that as part of that, you didn't want gifts either.

You had every right to the wedding you wanted, and hurt feelings aren't an excuse to not send a card, but it might have been you who inadvertently 'launched the first missile' here, so to speak.

I would send her a nice card and whatever gift you feel she would like.

gellchom

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Re: Gift for someone who didn't gift
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 10:05:37 PM »
I have a slightly different perspective.

It's possible that your mother was pretty hurt that she wasn't invited to your wedding. I know your intentions were to not inconvenience anyone by asking them to travel, but travelling to my daughter's wedding isn't something I would consider an inconvenience or annoying expense. It would be a pleasure, and I would like to have been given the choice.

Even if you were upfront about the elopement, ad no-one said anything, your mother's feelings might have been really hurt. It's even possible that she thought she was doing the right thing - you indicated by eloping that you weren't wanting a huge celebration - perhaps she thought that as part of that, you didn't want gifts either.

You had every right to the wedding you wanted, and hurt feelings aren't an excuse to not send a card, but it might have been you who inadvertently 'launched the first missile' here, so to speak.

I would send her a nice card and whatever gift you feel she would like.

I have to admit I was thinking this, too.