Post # 1
Looking for some advice regarding our invitations. My Fiance is a Kiwi (from New Zealand) and I am from Canada. We met while living in Los Angeles and lived together there for several years. We are now currently living in New Zealand but having the wedding in Canada (at my hometown). We’ve invited about 150 guests with about 100 of them either coming from New Zealand (about 70 people invited from there) and another 30 from Los Angeles. The rest is my family and childhood/college friends.
Anyways, I really want to write on the New Zealand visitors No gifts please or Your presence is a present because I can’t imagine them spending multiple thousands on flying half way across the world and then being expected to buy a present. I really truly want to let them know that them being there is more than enough and very generous on its own.
I’d plan to leave it off any other invites however and on our website just have a link to each of our favorite charities.
Do you think having something in the invite to the New Zealand guests with ‘your presence is a present’ is tacky and gift-grabby and I should leave it off? Or should I go ahead, break rules and simply let people know that there endeavour to be there in Canada is more than enough?
(we haven’t formally planned anything yet, but thinking we may have to have a cocktail afternoon or something for the NZ guests that can’t make it over)
Post # 2
No, leave it off. If anyone from New Zealand specifically asks you, then you can say that. But saying “no gifts” is tacky despite your good intentions behind it. If People want to give a gift, they will give you a gift regardless of whether you say that or not. And the people who could only afford the trip will give you a card (or nothing) regardless.
Totally fine to say that if asked directly though.
Post # 3
Leave it off. If someone specifically asks you, just let them know that you truly don’t need anything and are just honored by their traveling to your wedding.
Post # 4
I don’t think tthe wording is tacky in itself, since a gift is normally expected. But to only put it on the kiwis invites and not on the others could end up really awkward if the topic comes up between guests at the wedding and the ones from canada hears that the others were not obligated to bring gifts while they were apparently expected to do so.
Post # 5
most people may give a present, BUT it should never be expected by the bride and groom. That’s the problem with writing anything about gifts on the invitations because it means there was, at least initially, there was an expectation for gifts.
Post # 6
How on God’s green earth is it gift grabby to say that you don’t want gifts??? Someone please explain. This is insanity. I think you could very nicely spread by word of mouth that you don’t want gifts, but agree that if the Canadians aren’t told the same thing it could ruffle some feathers.
Post # 7
Leave it off.
I would rethink the charity links too. I give to charity. I’m very specific about the charities I give to, and I would rather give to my favourite charity than yours. If you choose to donate your wedding money to charity then that’s up to you, it’s your gift and your donation. But otherwise I think it’s actually quite rude.
Post # 8
Saying you don’t want gifts, but then asking for money to charity is dumb IMO. If you dont want gifts, just dont mention it, and definitely dont link to a site for people to spend ‘on’ you. (and yes, asking people to donate to a charity in your name is still spending $ on you).
Post # 9
Thanks everyone for their help!!!
I guess the consensus will be to leave it off. Less headaches all around. And I’m all about less stress.
Thoughts on the charity piece… No worries if you don’t like my choice of charity, don’t donate to it, that’s fine… and yes, I am aware that is still spending money on “me”, although indirectly of course. I would never force someone to do that, I just thought it might be an alternative that benefits others and does good.
PS. I also think that it is absolutely RIDICULOUS that saying No Gifts looks gift-grabby, but c’est la vie.
Post # 10
I’m from New Zealand and I’m sure you’re well aware that Kiwis aren’t very into etiquette… I mean that in the nicest way in that we’re not stuck-up etc and aren’t easily offended at all.
Kiwis are well known to be kind and down to earth so don’t stress about these tiny details.
Do whatever your heart desires girl!
Post # 11
If I was spending money flying in to a wedding and was specifically told that it would fine not to bring a gift I would be relieved, not offended! If there might be issues with only putting it on some invitations perhaps try to informally spread it by word of mouth.
Post # 12
Leave it off. 1. You aren’t supposed to be thinking in terms of gifts at all 2. Gifts are voluntary, if customary, and are the prerogative of the giver in any case. 3. The cost of attendance is not considered to be related to the amount given as a gift, rather to attendance itself.
Post # 13
I totally agree, I’ve seen “no gifts please” on tons of invitations I’ve received…
Posts like this make me oh so happy that I chose to do what felt right to me and DH at every turn. I cannot imagine the stress of having to follow all of these “rules”. I’m sure someone’s gradma would have died due to the horror of my wedding lol.
Post # 14
Re th charity thing: (not my personal opinion, but standard etiquette that I am sharing for your general information so that you can make informed decisions…)
Charities can be very polarizing things. Some people very passionately about a particular cause that someone else hates. So having a charity on your registry may not be good for that reason. Second, many people feel that listing a charity instead of a gift “shows off” and comes across as “look at what a great person I am” instead of the intended purpose. Having a charity registry is considered against good etiquette rules.
Obviously donating to your favorite charity is a very good thing and no one is saying don’t do that…..INSTEAD take whatever cash you receive from your wedding and donate it privately. Once they give you a gift, it is yours to do with it what you wish. Same benefits (possibly more since people may give you cash but decide not to donate to your charity because they don’t support it) but without the negative connotations of a) people not liking your choice in charity or b) appearing like you are just showing off how good you are.
Post # 15
I never think distance traveled or dollar amount spent should be considered when deciding who to tell that “they’ve spent enough just being here” or not. For some people, travelling from New Zealand to Canada might not be much financially, whereas someone coming from nearby might be stuggling to afford to take the day or two off work just to attend. Everyone’s circumstances are different. So if you were going to put “no gifts” or anything like that, I think it should be an all or nothing situation. Although, I don’t think it should be on any of them, because it looks like you’re expecting gifts otherwise.
As for registering for charity donations, I don’t see anything wrong with it, but to be honest, I donate to charities on my own, and when I give someone a wedding gift, I’d much rather give them something for them than be forced/guilted into giving to a charity that I may or may not approve of.