Post # 1
I am Asian and my DH is Caucasian – we got married last fall. We are having a disagreement on wedding gifts and I would like some of your well-informed opinions… This is a little long, I apologize.
In my culture, wedding gifts usually consist of cash. My husband was shocked at some of the extremely generous gifts that we received from people I haven’t seen in years. I explained to him at the time that these are dear friends of my parents (even if they were dear friends from many years ago) and that it is custom for them to give cash to me at my wedding out of respect to my parents. I also explained that in the past, my parents have definitely given similar gifts to their friends’ children at the time of their marriages. My husband’s family does not give cash gifts and mostly bought us gifts off our registry (which is totally fine – I was very happy/appreciative of any type of acknowledgement of our marriage).
So now, there is a family friend of my parents whose son is getting married. As a married lady, I am expected to give a monetary gift and my husband thinks it is ridiculous. I have not seen the groom in several years, but was friends with him in high school and college. And my husband said, “we are not giving a ton of money to all these people we barely know just because that is what your parents have done”. Obviously, it’s our money, so he should have a say. And I can see how he thinks it is strange/excessive, since this is not the practice of his family or his friends. However, my mother would be mortified if I didn’t give any money and would probably end up giving a huge amount out of her own pocket and say it was from our whole family. I don’t think that is right, especially since my parents paid for our wedding and two other receptions just last year.
Anyone else have these types of gift-giving issues? How did you deal with it? In retrospect, I probably should have saved all of those cash gifts and reserved it for this purpose. But it’s all in our savings now.
Thanks for reading!
Post # 3
I can totally see your point AND your husband’s. He’s right, you shouldn’t have to give an “insane” amount just b/c your parents do. After all, i’m sure your parents are much more well off than you and your husband. However, culturally, you are right. You should give a monetary gift (since it’s your asian family…if it was your husband’s caucasian family i’d say give a registry item), but maybe scale it back a little. And your parents shouldn’t really be knowing how much you and your husband spend on your own gifts to other people, so just avoid telling her how much. It’s a little nosy. I think you’re totally cool scaling back on the cash yet still giving them money since you haven’t seen him in years. Even if you were close in high school/college, it’s been awhile.
Post # 4
I was also totally surprised by the amount of cash gifts we got from my new IL’s, that’s just something I haven’t been around.
I agree that if it’s the cultural norm to give cash, you should, and find an amount that you and your husband can agree on. Like EJS said, it’s nobody else’s business what you can afford to give. As far as your husband’s comment, it’s not just what your parents have done, it’s the way things are done!
Post # 5
I think a cash gift is fine since it is an association on your side. If it were reserved, you could give a registry item. Also, just give what you can afford. FI and I have started getting in a routine of giving $100 since its what we can afford at this stage in our lives.
Post # 6
Did this person’s family attend your wedding? If so, can you just remind your fiance how much they gave you guys? Maybe that will make it easier for him to handle.
Post # 7
i think your fiance should be cognizant of the fact that he chose to marry someone with a different cultural background and some of the things that are “normal” to you might be odd to him.
he should respect the fact that you need to give a gift out of cultural obligation, even if its more than he thinks is reasonable. after all, did he try to send back the exorbitant gifts of money that you two received at your wedding bc he didn’t know the people? i didn’t think so.
like w. many things in marriage. find a compromise. have him pick a # he’s comfy with, you pick your # and meet in the middle maybe. or put your foot down and say that he needs to be respectful of cultural things that he might not understand. he should have been aware of this going in, so it shoudn’t be a big surprise!