Post # 1
Traditionially where I am from , people are more inclined to give money as a gift rather than an actually present.
Most of the time the monetary gifts will pay for the bulk of the wedding ( IE the reception itself). Now etiquette stats ( and I use the term etiquette loosely…this is just what Ive been brought up with)… that you cover your meal and then some… so meals at receptions here are anywhere between 100$ -130$ a person…so if I were to attend a wedding the B&G would be getting aprox 250$ from the FI and I.
Certain members of my family are cheap… not only will they not give me dime, but they will probably gossip about us for making a “big deal” about our wedding.
I have about a dozen people that I just don’t expect to give us a gift… So this means we might be out of pocket a few thousand to pay for the wedding reception ouselves( which is fine we have the cash) …its just a little depressing.
My questions was … have any of you been surprised by the generosity of other guests that made up for the cheap ones? Should my FI and I keep hope that we might be pleasently surprised?
Post # 3
I would just pay and then if they do give you cash, use it for something fun!
Post # 4
I’m not married, so I can’t speak to your question about generosity. I mean, I’m sure there is a possibility that some guest will come out of nowhere with a huge cash gift.
I’d just like to add that I think it is dangerous thinking to depend on guest gifts to cover your reception costs.
Post # 5
Granted, I don’t come from this sort of upbringing, so this seems really no-brainer to me: you pay for the wedding. Lots of couples put up thousands of dollars for their wedding reception. Maybe just me, but I think you should plan the wedding you can afford whether or not you get money from your guests.
Post # 6
I agree with texaslawgirl – It’s dangerous to bank on people covering the cost of your reception! I would just go with the idea that you’ll probably end up paying for it.
Post # 7
If people at our wedding had to cover a meal, approximately the cost of $100-$130, only about 10 of our guests probably fit that bill. Most were definitely under $100. Not a big deal, but really, most of our gifts averaged $50.
Post # 8
Like ejs, our average was probably between $50 and $100. I definitely wouldn’t expect your guests to be able to cover the cost of your wedding, especially in this economy. I think people are being more frugal now and are giving what they can.
Post # 9
I’m with @ejs.. very few of our guests gave an amount that would actually cover their meal. Some couples didn’t even give us enough cash to cover one plate never mind two. A few of my parents friends went above and beyond and gave quite large cash gifts but that’s about it. I personally try to follow the “cover your plate rule” but I don’t expect others to. My guests shouldn’t feel they have to give more than they are comfortable with or able to give just because we chose to have an expensive wedding.
Post # 10
You are going in with dangerous and unrealistic expectations and will end up very disappointed. Your logic covers all the wrong reasons why to do any of this. A gift is never required and no one should be made to feel guilty because they were not able to (or chose not to), nor should you or anyone else talk badly behind their backs to anyone. Everyone else in the world getting married has to pay for their own wedding and they don’t mind it, and you should be no different. A wedding is not a requirement by any means so don’t treat it like one. If you can’t afford something without going into debt, *scale back*to what you can afford and are willing to part with. A wedding is also not a fundraiser of any kind. It is completely rude and out of line to call anyone cheap because they aren’t willing or able to pay what you think they should.
For what it is worth, most people do not follow the “cover your plate” mentality. One of the main reasons is that there is no way whatsoever unless the guests have been given the bill and are planning the affair themselves that they would have even the slightest clue as to what anything costs. Nor are they expected or obligated under any circumstances at all to finance any part of it because the couple chooses to be greedy or cheap, etc. In addition, most people do not give cash gifts so you should never rely on the idea of receiving only those rather than tangible gifts.
Post # 11
Personally, I think it’s rude to call people cheap because they won’t cover the cost of the plate you chose to have be $100/person. People give what they can afford, and you invited them to share your special day with them, not for cash gifts.
The “cover your plate” mentality also seems to be very regional. You should plan what you can afford. I’m going into my wedding expecting no gifts.
Post # 12
You shouldn’t rely on your guests to fund your wedding.
You don’t have a wedding for the gifts, do you?
If you can only afford so much, then scale back.
Post # 13
I don’t think it is right to say that someone is cheap because they didn’t cover their plate. Think about it this way- say a couple was going to be guests at a wedding. Based on how close they were with the bride and groom and what they could afford at the moment, they decide to give a gift of $100. Now, if this couple attended my wedding, they would more than cover their plate, as our meals plus bar will be about $40 a person. However, if this couple attended your wedding, by your definition they would be cheap. How can the same gift, chosen for the same reasons be cheap in one instance and generous in the other?
The guests have no say in how much the bride and groom spend on each meal, and unless the bride and groom are being rather indiscreet by going around and telling everyone how much their reception costs, the guests really have no way of knowing. Therefore it is not logical to judge a guest’s action based on the standard of something they cannot control and likely have no knowledge of.
From the way you described it, it sounds like your extended family is used to more modest weddings. I can understand that. I can honestly say I have never been to a wedding where the meal cost more than $50 a person, much less $100-$130. So your assumption that this is a commonly known cost is probably inaccurate. I really don’t think you can judge your relatives so harshly when they are simply operating of of the assumptions they have. I can’t speak to whether or not they will have an attitude at your wedding because I don’t know them. However if they have sensed that you look down on them for more modest weddings or that you consider them to be cheap, I can see why they would feel self conscious and out of place at a more extravagant affair. So their gossip, while rude, may be their way of coping with that discomfort.
You are perfectly welcome to have any type of wedding you want and to spend as much as you want. I’m not judging you for that- I hope you have a beautiful day. However you can’t reasonably expect that everyone else you know will be accustomed to that type of wedding, and it isn’t right for you to judge them because they are used to something different.
Post # 14
We got some really meager gifts ($20) but then we got some outrageously generous ones, too. The cash and checks we received did end up covering nearly the entire wedding.
I was only annoyed by the uninvited crasher that showed up giftless, and the huge family who wrote in an additional guest, making their headcount 8, who only gave $100.
Post # 15
I think that your guests will surprise you on both ends of the spectrum. Some guests will give very generously, but that will be a very, very small number. And then, some of your guests will give a very modest gift, or none at all.
Thats what happened to us, and our generous gifts couldn’t make up for the smaller gifts. Not even close. I think you need to err on the side of caution and scale back your budget so that you are more comfortable in case you do pay for most of your wedding. If it makes you and your FI depressed at the thought of actually paying for it all, then that should be a red flag telling you that you guys are spending more then you are comfortable with.
Post # 16
$100 a meal!!?? That is just for the food? Wow. I wouldn’t shell that out if I was having to count on the guests to pay me back for it…
I think I am from a much different background, but we are paying maybe $50 per meal. Not including favors and stuff…but this is my gift to my family to say thank you for bringing us up to be lovely people who want to spend our lives loving eachother.
I don’t expect my gifts to come close to paying for the wedding.