Post # 1
Too long don’t read: close friend, international flight to get to the wedding, £75 cash plus group gift (£20-£40), possibly sending gift for hen do (£30-40). Total: £125-£155. Too little? Too much? More info below.
Question time ladies. I know this has been asked time and time again but our circumstances are a little different and we’re trying desperately to budget. I don’t know what the usual is for UK weddings and one wedding I went to I gave about £10 total (I was 17).
It is my good friend’s wedding in the spring. Invites aren’t out yet but STD are and I know the details (my brother is going to be a friendor). To explain our relationship: we’ve been friends about 15 years. We were best friends but have drifted apart, she is close to my parents and brothers too: calls my mum her “second mum” and my brothers actually see more of her than I do. I was actually a little upset when she didn’t ask me to be BM and she apologised she couldn’t have everyone (I never let on I was hurt).
We’re British but live in Asia. It will cost around £2500 (flights and car hire) to get to the wedding. We are trying to do other things as well, catch up with family and so forth, this is will be our trip “home” as it were so it’s a little unfair to say “we’re spending this much coming to your wedding” because it’s not the only reason we’re going to the UK. But we’re not going to be rolling in cash at this point.
Anyway, we plan on getting a tangible group gift from the registry (or not, apparently only 20% of UK brides have one) with my brothers so we can get something more, I guess valuable is the word, how much shall we contribute? Nothing’s been agreed and my brothers are both students but for their sake I was thinking £10 each which would be £20 for SO and I. (Knowing my brothers generosity though they may suggest £20 each).
I also want to give a cash gift from the two of us. I know about the covering your plate train of thought but I don’t feel that’s fair because it should be about my relationship with her not about how much the food cost. ETA being a UK wedding it will almost certainly be a cash bar. I want to give something fair but not embarrassing for them. I think the British get very awkward when it comes to accepting any amount of money. I was thinking around £75.
I should add that there is no bridal shower tradition in the UK. But there is a hen party which I have already politely declined (it’s a month before the wedding). So I don’t have these additional costs (although I am thinking of sending a hamper if it’s not too costly, no more than I would spend on a night out type cost).
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@ladyartichoke: £75 to me seems excessively generous as well as a gift! I’d think just a group gift alone would be entirely suitable, and would just be pleased you’d been able to make it from so far away.
But I wonder if I might be a little naive on things like this, so I’m not entirely sure. I don’t think you could be faulted for doing it at all – I’m just not sure it’s necessary, does that make sense? 🙂
Post # 4
I’m British and go to lots of weddings! I think one gift is enough, either cash or from the wedding list with your brothers. £10 each is a bit low though, maybe £60 between the two of you. She won’t be expecting cash on top. Almost everyone I know has had a gift list.
We don’t normally buy specific hen do “gifts”, often we buy a novelty item as requested by the bridesmaids for some sort of game, but not just a random gift. If I can’t make the hen do I may spend a bit extra on the gift, but that certainly isn’t expected.
Post # 5
My friends had to travel from the UK to my wedding. In honesty, due to the cost of travelling, accomodation etc, I was not expecting anything at all from them. I received from them gifts/cash gifts ranging in value from 20 pounds to 100 pounds – which to me was beyond generous. Travelling to my friend’s wedding this summer I gave her 50 pounds, which matched the cost of her gift to us more or less.
I agree with @chronicwhimsy: – speaking as a bride who asked her guests to travel quite a distance, to have someone actually make that trip for their wedding is really an honour and is more of a gift than anything wrapped up in pretty paper.
Post # 6
@chronicwhimsy: Perfect sense. Thanks for your response. I thought it might be a little on the excessive side but I don’t go to that many weddings and was talking to my US friends who typically give US$300 between them!
@Hemnes: Thanks for your reply, I wouldn’t ordinarily do anything “special” for a hen do, but since I wont be there I wanted to be there “in spirit” if that makes sense. £60 sounds like something we’d be comfortable with.
@Cariad: I think you’re right and she wouldn’t expect anything. I don’t want her to feel like I am overly generous.
I know what I do in my own time is totally up to me but we tend to treat ourselves every 8 weeks or so to a brunch which costs around £70 pp. I just feel like since it’s her wedding we should be giving more. But maybe that’s more guilt on my part than anything else and no reflection on her. Giving well over the odds would be awkward.
Post # 7
Hard one. If it’s a destination wedding, you probably wouldn’t have to give anything. But you’re going back ‘home’ and you’ll be able to see your family etc. too so the destination thing would pretty much be out of the window.
I think 125-155GBP sounds good. As a bride, I’d be pretty happy with that:)
Post # 8
Being British myself, I would say that you should give EITHER cash OR a gift… not both, unless this is your best friend or a close family member.
I have always given £100 in cash from FI and I. This is appropriate for our age (mid to late 20s) and socio-economic status (professional, but not wealthy). If I were an 18 year old student, for example, I would give £50. If you are just giving cash, I would give more. Bear in mind that it is the norm at weddings I’ve been to to give a large cash gift and a small, tangible gift rather than the other way around (that is, if you do decide to give both).
Also bear in mind that the bride and groom usually foot the bill for the wedding in the UK (sometimes with help from their parents, but sometimes not, depending on their age). Therefore, their finances are probably shot after this, and cash will help to pull them out of the red!
EDIT: Don’t bother with a hen do gift. It’s not the norm here at all. Sometimes the hens might club together and pay for a stripper for the bride (if it’s “that” sort of hen do), or a novelty sash and plastic tiara, but that’s about it. The hens usually just make sure that they pay for the bride’s drinks and get her legless, before dropping her off safely home (now THAT is a British tradition!). Giving a gift for a hen do would just be… a little odd… although you could send her a case of champagne, I suppose. I’m sure that would be appreciated.
Post # 9
I agree, no need for two separate gifts. You have spent so much on coming over I think £50 is absolutely fine!!! I’m sure most people would really appreciate that. Also, I agree with the other bees, no need for a hen do gift but knowing how hen do’s go, I agree that even just a bottle of wine would be a lovely gesture