Post # 1
I’m working at getting my invitations ready. My mom told me I should add the Presentation line so I don’t get a bunch of gifts that I don’t need.
I’m torn. I don’t want to put this on the invitation… but seeing that it’s “traditional” here in Winnipeg, does that mean that if it’s not included on the invitation, I’m indicating I don’t want cash gifts?
PLEASE only people who are familiar with this tradition. I realize in other parts of the world this would be extremely rude.
Post # 3
Presentation is common in Manitoba, to the extent that — in those social circles where it is practiced — guests will expect it even if it is not noted on the invitation. “Presentation” has two connotations. The most common understanding (in both senses of the word “common”) is that it means “just give cash”. The more refined understanding is that it means each guest will be individually “presented” to the bride and groom, typically after dinner, and have an opportunity at that time to give the happy couple their personal congratulations (and incidentally hand a discreet envelope to the groom for him to discreetly tuck away. But both of these are, in fact, reasons NOT to include “Presentation” on the invitation (even though the word itself is usually tucked discreetly away, just like the envelope, in smaller print on the lower left corner of the invitation). In the first case, if what you mean is “just give cash”, and if as I presume from your mother’s comments that is the common understanding in your social circle and that therefore the giving of cash is unexceptional, then you can just trust your guests to do what is expected — you don’t have to lead them by the nose and tell them to do what they know to do anyway. In the second case, since in any formal social gathering the hosts are expected to greet every guest individually and introduce every guest individually to the guests of honour, including “Presentation” suggests that you might normally not fulfill your basic social duties and need to advertise that in this special instance you are in fact bothering to follow through on them — and that would reflect badly on you.
In both cases, there is some likelihood that you will invite people from other social circles, which may include people whose education in formal manners has taught them that gifts of cash are vulgar whether giving them or requesting them. They will give you either a boxed gift or nothing, even if you do list “Presentation” on the invitation, and they are the ones more likely to feel as though they have been invited only to fulfil the role of cash cow and be milked. In short, you gain nothing by adding the word, and risk losing the regard of some guests if you do add it.
Post # 4
@MissKit: I’m originally from Manitoba. Everyone would have this discreetly printed on the invitation If they wished. It was expected if cash gifts were welcome But not expected. Many people on the prairies like to contribute to a larger purchase if possible. This is one way to do it. It does not mean you can’t give a wrapped gift, just that the bridal pair will not be offended if you wish to contribute cash Instead. Hope this helps.
Post # 5
@MissKit: No one needs to be reminded that cash is a good option.
Our true etiquette expert @aspasia475 has clearly pointed out that you risk offending those guests that are not Manitobans, but risk nothing by not printing it.
Just because something is common, doesn’t make it polite.
Post # 6
Manitoba girl here:
My mom had the same freakout when I didn’t include a presentation line on my invitation.
I told her that I thought it felt kinda rude to “tell” people what they should present to us at our wedding so I didn’t include it on purpose. In asking around,I found that the older generation looked at the invite for the presentation line, while the younger generation also found it rude to include (with the general assumption that you’d give a monetary gift unless otherwise stated).
To appease her I just created a link to a wedding website where we had a section called “Presentation or Optional Registry”.
In the end, most people stuck to the registry for the bridal shower but most gave whatever they wanted to give at the wedding (gift or monetary).
Post # 7
@Sharebear: I kind of thought it was the older generation as well, but I got a wedding invitation in the mail a few weeks ago with the presentation line.
I told my mom it felt rude and that I thought it would be awkward to explain to a few out of town guests. We don’t have many though. But she said she understood and now that she really thinks about it, it kind of makes sense. She also called my aunt and my aunt suggested we put the line as well, since when her daughters got married they got some strange gifts from people even though they put the presentation line.
@andielovesj: The thing is, almost everyone does it here. I don’t care if you don’t think it’s polite – that’s not what I’m asking. I’m asking if here in Manitoba, if it’s not included, if it’s assumed that the couple wants physical gifts. Because if I don’t put it and all my guests assume I need a blender, I don’t want to end up with 300 blenders.
Post # 8
I don’t live there, but have many relatives there. My parents didn’t put it on their invitation, as they saw it as rude. The weddings I’ve gone to in Manitoba didn’t have it, including ones in small towns. If you don’t have a registry or only have a small registry, most people will get the hint.
Your relatives may have gotten odd gifts because people were annoyed by the suggestion as to what to give.
Post # 9
@andielovesj: just because something is labelled ‘good etiquette ‘ , doesn’t make it polite either.
MissKit, do what you wish, but many will take it to mean that you wish physical gifts. That’s ok too, just register and let people know by word of mouth. People sincerely wish to know your preferences. Anyone who gets offended by the wording on an invitation needs to get a life. Just like the bride and groom need to be good hosts, guests need to focus on being supportive, good guests forgiving any etiquette ‘stumbles’. I’m just thrilled whenever I get an invitation! I don’t trouble myself over whether proper etiquette was followed 🙂
Post # 10
Another Manitoban here. I would say do not include the line. I have yet to meet a couple who has a problem with being given cash that they can use to then go and purchase things off of their registry with. Everyone here knows it, and I do think the mentioning of it is rude (in a sense that I’m from Winnipeg, I know how this works, don’t you trust me enough to figure this out?)
Post # 11
@MrsBucket: Could you please give an example of something that is considered good etiquette, but is impolite?
Post # 12
Hi I live in manitoba and was just married 3 months ago. I included presentation optional on the invitation and out of 70 guests we received 1 actual gift, the rest presentation.