Post # 1
My fiance and I are having a destination wedding, and while many of our friends couldn’t come or weren’t close enough to be invited to the very small religious reception, we wanted to share our wedding nonetheless so we threw a civil ceremony celebration 2 weeks after our civil ceremony. I made sure to emphasize that the party was a RECEPTION, and the reception was pricey, at $50 a head at a nice restaurant with free alcohol all night, and while I didn’t list the registry in the invitation I was sure to tell anyone about it who asked. I was shocked though, of the 35 people who attended, MOST did not get us gifts! We only received 5 gifts which completely shocked me. Most of the people who did not get us anything!! I was surprised that they would be so rude. Some of the guests we invited to BOTH our civil ceremony reception and wedding ceremony (and are not attending the wedding ceremony) but STILL did not get us gifts. I know it’s not manditory to get gifts for the wedded, but I can’t help but be upset and dissapointed. The civil ceremony reception cost me a month’s salary and now I’m upset that I spent that much money on a bunch of ungrateful and selfish guests who did not get so much as a card for us. It’s hard to not feel a bit hard done by by those you considered your friends and decent people…. I’m not a materialistic person, but considering how much I’ve had to sacrifice to throw this party for them, I’m really kind of upset at their thoughtlessness and I’m really beginning to look at them in a different way. I was happy to have them there and we went out of our way to make sure they could celebrate with us in our hometown, so it didn’t cost them anything to attend. I guess one could argue that they wouldn’t have known that it was a reception, but every etiquette board I found on-line said clearly that no matter whether the wedding reception is formal or informal, bringing a gift is the proper thing to do, so I don’t think they could claim ignorance, especially since they all know how nice the restaurant it and how much it must have cost us.
I guess this post was one, to rant about it and to ask if anyone can commiserate with me and 2. to wonder if there’s anything I can do about it.
Post # 3
@lilz: There isn’t anything you can or should do. Unless you plan to call people up asking where your gift is. That is weird though!
Post # 4
Having a reception/wedding party of any kind does not mean that people are required to give a gift. You say that they are ungreatful because they didn’t give you a gift but if you think about it, if it was a small party these were obviously the people that matter most to you and your husband. Getting married isn’t about the gifts or how much money you spend. Its about being wed to the one that you love and cherish and having the important people there with you to celebrate your unity.
As for anything you can do about it, there isn’t. Good Luck to you!
Post # 5
Let it go… Just remember that people today aren’t as socially and etiquettically (is this a word?LOL) experienced as the last generation was. Some people just aren’t taught social rules.
Post # 6
If you threw the party to get gifts, you did it for the wrong reasons.
Sorry, but gifts are not a requirement. Maybe since it was just a reception (and not the ceremony) people didn’t think gifts were warranted.
And for the people invited to the ceremony but not attending, maybe they couldn’t afford a gift or again didn’t think to get one since they weren’t at the wedding itself.
Honestly, for me, spending time with my guests at the reception was gift enough, anything additional was just icing on the cake.
Just let it go, if you try and do anything about it you will look like the selfish and ungrateful one.
Post # 7
In a day and age when jobs are scarce, the cost of living is increasing while salaries are not, college costs are skyrocketing, etc., I wouldn’t judge people harshly for not providing gifts. The reception is a time to share you joy with the ones you love. If you were expecting people to “pay for their plates” you should have charged admission.
Post # 8
I think you need to check yourself about why you had a party.
Did you have it to get gifts or to celebrate with people? If you couldn’t afford such a fancy party, you shouldn’t have. It shouldn’t hae been so that people would give you bigger/more gifts.
Your post is coming off as very ungrateful. Also if you haven’t had your “wedding” yet people may be waiting to gift until after that.
Post # 9
First of all you should never host something based on what gifts you will get back. It’s quite possible your guest might have thought since it wasn’t the acutal wedding and was a celebration they didn’t have to bring gift.
Being hurt is one thing, but calling your guest selfish because they didn’t get a gift for wasn’t even techinially a wedding is bit much and reeks of entitlement. I think your priorities aren’t in order.
Post # 10
I totally missed that you haven’t even had your wedding yet! Most gifts are sent right before or right after the wedding. I do think you need to re-examine your priorities though.
Post # 11
So you had a private civil ceremony, followed by a reception 2 weeks later, and you’re going to have a destination “wedding” with a religious ceremony at some point in the future. I’d be very confused as a guest what I was actually being invited to.
Post # 12
@lilz: …but considering how much I’ve had to sacrifice to throw this party for them
It really sounds like this party was for you. If you did not want to or could not afford to throw a party such as the one you did, then you should not have thrown it. Guests do not (and should not) know how much you spent on your reception. A gift is a gift and is not to be expected. If it is expected then it isn’t a gift…its an entrance fee to the party.
Personally, I would send thank you cards to all 35 people that attended. I would thank them for the gift of their support and presence.
Post # 13
I’m so confused.
Don’t throw parties you can’t afford. Don’t host a party with the expectation of receiving material or monetary tribute from your guests.
That’s really all I’ve got.
Post # 14
Eh, I think it’s rude (personally) so I have to disagree with many of the PP. If I were a guest attending a reception to a wedding I would bring a gift and wouldn’t see it as an entrance fee- that’s a bit silly!!! It is proper etiquette to give a gift -end of story-…when someone gets married I bring a gift and I expect them to do the same for me no matter how formal/informal the occassion was. BUT as katyelle said, there is simply nothing you can do about it!
Post # 15
Usually, gifts are not required for the reception only invitees. Since you were married 2 weeks prior of the event, I would assume people did not even think of getting you a “wedding” gift since it was not a wedding but just a celebration. You can’t be married twice, even though the ceremony was there again in the civil form. I think may be they were just confused. I would have brought something anyway knowing how much these things cost.
ETA: My FIL didn’t bother getting us a wedding card either. Surely, he can afford $5 when he makes millions. Nope, lol. Even his Mom gave us a little something that she surely could not possibly afford. I was so touched by her sacrifice and I was tempted to give it back to her in some form because I know she is suffering financially.
Can’t do much about people 🙂
Post # 16
Can I ask why you didn’t invite your hometown guests to your civil ceremony? I understand having a hometown reception if you were having only a destination wedding, but having a civil ceremony at home and then throwing a reception two weeks later screems “gift grab” to me. If I were your friends, I’d feel a bit offended, and maybe not bring a gift just to prove a point…