Author Topic: It is all about the gift!  (Read 16711 times)

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bo

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It is all about the gift!
« on: December 11, 2009, 06:38:37 PM »
Is it ever appropriate to attend a wedding reception (catered, per plate affair) with no gift? We had our wedding last month and dished out a delicious luncheon for 81 guests, with unlimited beer and wine. Cost about $60.00 per person. Out of all those people, 3 couples show up with no card or gift. One couple gave an empty card. This upset me, but I blew it off as them not being able to afford a gift. Until I later found out this couple was purchasing expensive mixed drinks all afternoon.

I cannot believe that people will have the audacity to show up to a wedding with no gift. Especially when they know you are paying per plate. If you cannot afford to contribute a small token of appreciation for being invited, then stay home or let your financial situation be known first to the bride and groom.

One couple “forgot” their card and said they would mail it (3 weeks ago). My husband’s own parents came with no card or gift, stating that they paid for our dog to go to the vet months before so a gift was not needed (even though they spent 60k on their daughters wedding and refused to contribute a cent to ours).

CRIVINS! is wrong with people? Well I hope they all had a fun afternoon eating and drinking on our dime!!   1114-09

Etiquette is very much about reciprocal obligations and it is true that if invited to a wedding, a guest should bring a wedding gift. *However*, the flip side of that is that the bride and groom are to have no expectation of receiving gifts so they are not tempted to direct their guests in what to give them or become embittered when gifts do not match their expectations.

Wedding gifts are not to be construed as any sort of payment in kind for a reception meal.  I see far too many brides, grooms and parents who believe that guests are somehow supposed to ascertain by psychic means how much was spent per person on the wedding and give a gift that correlates in value.  A wedding is merely a much larger extension of your personal entertaining and hospitality and since it is highly unlikely you would expect your friends and family to fork over money or a gift for attending a dinner party or BBQ at your home, it follows that you do not expect these same friends and family to pay for your reception.

You invite people to your wedding because they are family, close friends and people you love enough to want to share in your happy day.  You then extend hospitality to them with food because they are your invited guests.   Your comment that you wished that non-gifting bearing guests should stay home indicates to me an inhospitable attitude and a prioritization of gifts being much more important to than you than the people you invited to witness your wedding.   So, in your case, the greater etiquette faux pas is yours.



I think this letter writer is very rude and a pet peeve of mine. I think a wedding should be about wanting people close to you to celebrate a joyous occasion, NOT a way to rake it in
« Last Edit: December 11, 2009, 06:42:52 PM by bo »

HushHush

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2009, 07:33:36 PM »
You know, I don't think I could have told you who didn't bring a gift to my wedding.  I do remember my aunt gave me some of my grandmother's handkerchiefs and my cousin gave us a wall board with our last name on it and my ex-brother in law gave us a crock pot and I could go on and on.  Because the gifts were a surprise to me and I was touched people even came especially considering it was a desitination wedding for many of them and not a first wedding for either of us.

It speaks very poorly about the bride that she paid that much attention to who brought gifts and who didn't.  The parents saying the vet payment was their gift was a little off but did she actually ask the couple who forgot their card where their gift was?  :o 

MasterofSquirrels

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2009, 10:05:43 PM »
i remember a couple of odd gifts from my wedding.. (it was only 2 years ago) but:
a-one was presented  oddly
b-were odd for a wedding as opposed to shower gift
and c-because my dad made a big deal out of one of them
 
a-my DH's grandmother forgot the card.. but not the monetary gift.. scrawled on the outside of an envelope was "WEDDING $100" in large letters.. i found it funny.. so i remember. i remember the amount of the gift because it was written on the envelope.. she did not put her name on the envelope.. i just knew her handwriting.
b- a guest gave me and DH a hamper set that i had registered for.. it was a large gift.. and odd that it was brought to the wedding itsself.. most appreciated.. but it was like "huh? will that fit in the car?"
c- my auntie knitted us a blanket.. it's lovely and warm.. niether her nor my uncle included a monetary gift.. my dad asked me about it.. and he was rather upset that they didn't "contribute" as he was able to give a "substantial" (his words) gift to my cousin's when they got married. i am not at all upset that my aunt and uncle didn't give me money. ihave a hand knitted blanket. it's awesome.  :D

other than that.. i have no idea. people brought gifts.. or they gave money.. or they didn't. DH and i made out well.. our wedding was awesome.. it was fun. casual. and amazing. that was my gift. my friends and family enjoying themselves.

Twik

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 12:10:01 AM »
I *would* send the in-laws to e-Hell - not for not showing up with a gift, but for attempting to pass off an earlier favour as their gift. At least don't try to get credit for what was not really a gift in the first place - just don't mention gifts at all!
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Two Ravens

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 12:23:26 AM »
I believe "proper etiquette" is not to bring a gift to the reception at all, as there is a chance it may become lost or stolen.  Aren't you supposed to send it to the home of the bride.  Also don't you have a year to give a gift after the wedding?

I would have no idea who didn't bring a gift to my wedding either...

RingTailedLemur

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2009, 08:22:04 AM »
I believe "proper etiquette" is not to bring a gift to the reception at all, as there is a chance it may become lost or stolen.

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

greenleafmountain

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2009, 09:45:39 AM »
I think the LW is rude yes, but I'm also put off by the in-laws.  I know that gifts aren't required, but who doesn't give their own child a gift for his wedding?  Unless there's some serious family history there or a sudden bankruptcy or something, then I just don't get it.  I can understand why a son and daughter-in-law who felt they had a good relationship with the son's parents would be hurt by their actions.

kareng57

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2009, 06:25:36 PM »
Also, it is completely appropriate to send or give (in person) a gift after the wedding.  The letter-writer had only been married for a month!  Regarding the ILs - well, of course we don't know whether the conversation was exactly as quoted, but in my experience parents often wait until after the wedding to give the gift.

Going by etiquette-rules, wedding guests have a year after the wedding to send a gift, though it's true that I've never heard of anyone who waited anywhere near that long.  Of course, way too many HCs turn that "rule" around and think that it means they have a year to send the thank-you notes.

iridaceae

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2009, 02:33:22 AM »
And jiminy, doesn't she understand that some people may not be in the financial situation to give a great big gift or even a smaller gift? I certainly wouldn't want any friend to go into debt for me or anything.

katycoo

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2009, 06:40:27 AM »
I did happen to notice one of my guest couples did not give us a gift - I only noticed because I worried that it may have been stolen.  It just seemed unlikely.
I have since had opportunity to clarify that no, there was no gift.  I didn't ask but conversation just sort of happened where she told me that she hadn't been able to afford a gift at the time but was going to get us one soon and she even had something in mind.
I wish she hadn't said that.  It's been 3 years and they have travelled internationally twice.  I wouldn't have cared but now I feel a little hurt.

bo

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2009, 09:03:09 AM »
A few years ago a couple in our circle of friends got married. One friend that was invited was basically living from paycheck to paycheck and instead of admitting he couldn't afford a gift he said he forgot his card and would get the couple the gift.t when they got back from their honeymoon.

Now I don't know if said friend was rude, but the groom's reaction was very rude. Right after the wedding he basically bad mouthed friend to everyone saying he was a scumbag and loser. Friend was so offended that he never got the groom a gift.

Maybe friend should have talked to the groom or maybe just gave what he could afford, but after the reaction of the groom I don't know if anything would have made the groom happy. He basically made it obvious he only invited friends for the gift.

Twik

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2009, 02:18:22 PM »
bo - that's appalling! Certainly if anyone told me their friend was a loser because they had (due to financial hardship or forgetfulness) promised a gift after the honeymoon rather than before, I'd know who the *real* loser was.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

the Wyffe

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2009, 04:32:46 AM »

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).

RingTailedLemur

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2009, 06:13:12 AM »

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).

From my experience, gifts have always gone to the reception (both my wedding and those I have attended).  I see your point though - I'd forgotten about wedding lists you can have in shops nowadays.

MummyPumpkin83

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Re: It is all about the gift!
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 08:10:57 PM »

It depends where you are.  In the UK the custom is to bring gifts the the reception.

Not necessarily, from my experience - it depends on what logistically makes the most sense 9assuming you haven't bought off the wedding list, when it gets delivered).

From my experience, gifts have always gone to the reception (both my wedding and those I have attended).  I see your point though - I'd forgotten about wedding lists you can have in shops nowadays.

I know I'm late to reply, but most anglo-Australian weddings (ones I have been to anyway) have a specific table at the reception for gifts.

For my 2006 wedding I think we had one gift delivered, and that was from my family (Grandmonther, aunts, uncle and cousins) living a 2 hour drive away who went in on a combined gift of a vacuum cleaner plus pther small gifts.
Mummy to 3 little Pumpkin boys!