(Closed) Cheap relatives …please don’t judge! Hear me out

posted 10 years ago in Reception
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  • Post # 32
    Member
    2585 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    If that is the norm where you are from, then I can see the frustrations you would have from relatives not giving the standard gift.  I’ve heard of that being done, but unfortunately it is not something I do.  Considering all the weddings I get invited to lately, and the average cost is $100ish per plate, there is no way I could afford to gift $200.  I just don’t have the funds to spend $1k-2k per year on weddings (going off of how many weddings I get invited to these days).  Maybe your family members are in a similar situation.

    And I voted “get out the checkbook.”  To me, each gift I got was generous.  I wasn’t expecting to get a lot in monetary funds.  And honestly I didn’t give a thought to who might be cheap/generous.

    Post # 33
    Member
    5822 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I think it was QUITE clear from the OP that she is not looking for criticism on the local etiquette (i.e. all guests TRADITIONALLY cover their plates).  She is looking for feedback from NEWLYWEDS on what gifts they received and whether or not they were surprised by any generosity.

    Let’s please not turn this into yet another “you shouldn’t expect people to cover their plates” post.  Keep it on topic please!

     

    On that note, we were surprised at our wedding by a couple large monetary gifts, and also from people who didn’t even attend.  We were also surprised by a couple of crashers and a couple people who didn’t even bring a card…

    I would hold out hope that some may be generous.  It won’t cover your mean relatives, but it will help a bit.  And maybe you could at least seat those relatives in the back or something.  I would keep those people far away from me!

    Post # 34
    Member
    28 posts
    Newbee

    My sister got married and most guests were from Texs.  Gifts averaged $25-75 at the shower and she got very few gifts at the wedding.  I would say $25-75 per couple is average and she got a lot of physical gifts, not gift cards or cash.  Most cash was from family and between $50-500.  Hope this helps!

    Post # 35
    Member
    411 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    ForeverYoung —  

    I know I wrote a post the other day and everyone except one person jumped down my throat, I guess this WB is not as nice as I thought.

    I know exactly what you mean about assuming people will pay for their plate. With that said in my area a normal plate costs are about $50.  If the norm in your area is $100 then yes I would assume the same.  But remember no one really knows how much you spent unless they have planned an event at the same venue.  =-)

    I think the monetary gifts depend on whom you invite.  If you have a lot of younger guests they probably will not be as generous as older guests or family. (I understand your family is an exception).  My 26-year-old brother invited majority friends and less family where I (23) am inviting A LOT more family, I in turn assume I will more generous gifts.  

    Don’t let the downers get to you!! I think everyone is crabby!! I feel like everyone read one part of my last post and then jumped on the band wagon to verbally beat me up.  PLEASE PLEASE don’t let them get to you!! =-D

    Post # 37
    Member
    5822 posts
    Bee Keeper

    As this post does not contain anything of a private nature, we are unable to delete it.  However, I hope that some brides will come on to give you some helpful feedback from their weddings!

    Post # 38
    Member
    2475 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    @ForeverYoung:  For what it’s worth, some of our relatives gave us ridiculous amounts of $$ (think thousands), and other gave anywhere from $50-$500.  Our cost per plate was about $125, so some people covered their plates (and then some)… and others didn’t even come close… no biggie.  We got way more money than we thought we would (going towards our first house)!  🙂

    Post # 39
    Member
    624 posts
    Busy bee

    I did not read your post that way either.  I’m sorry if I offended you, it just seemed like a gift grab and a mess waiting to happen if you were in fact depending on your guests.  I saw it as the posts you read where family promises you $X amount and then never forks it over.  Leaves the B&G up a creek without a paddle. 

    We invited about 200 people, 75 showed and we got maybe $800 worth of gifts ($700 was cash from my dad, his dad and his grandmother), the rest was gift and gift cards.  What we received is no way comparable to what we spent.

    Post # 40
    Member
    937 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I second what Europomme said.  I read the original post properly and understand what the OP is talking about. Depending on what area you are from, YES, $100 per person IS considered reasonable. Fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves, and yes we ARE paying that much per person- and that is actually is considered a “budget” wedding here! And no, I didn’t grow up having money- my parents are working middle class, and I was still always taught that you should “cover your plate,” so I do understand where the OP is coming from. Just because other people don’t live where she lives, or weren’t raised the same way, is no need to attack her for asking a question. I don’t think the OP was saying that she was depending on her guests to pay for her reception. While I don’t agree with her choice of words, i.e., calling her guests “cheap,” I think she was just asking if people were surprised by generosity. Perhaps she could have worded it better, but *some* of these comments are beyond harsh.

    To the OP- I understand where you are really coming from, and all I can say to you is that you should go into this with no expectations as far as gifts. You will never be able to recoup what you will spend on your wedding. I always give nice gifts in general, but I never expect it in return. I want everyone to come to our wedding and have a great time. If we end up getting some nice gifts- great, but if people just come and have fun, then that’s all that really matters. If your mean relatives gossip about you as a way to make themselves feel better, let that be their problem, not yours. Enjoy your day! 🙂

     

    Post # 41
    Member
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I guess I don’t understand what you are looking for when you say “constructive”.  Some people (mistakenly) thought you were intending to rely on gifts to fund the wedding, and they were trying to be constructive by advising you that this was not the best plan, because none of them received the cost of their reception back in gifts.  Once people saw your clarification, they stopped telling you that. 

    I, and some others, were attempting to show you another perspective so that maybe you could understand where your family was coming from, or so that you would not be hurt if some of your guests did not gift in the manner you were expecting.  I think it would be very sad, for instance, to see you and a friend have a cooling in your relationship because neither one of you understood the other’s mentality about gift giving, and so I thought showing you how the other side thinks was constructive.  While you may think that it is traditional for guests to cover their plates, it is possible that some of your guests do not come from that tradition, and so it is also constructive to try to understand why a gift of a lower amount might not be the guest being cheap, but might be because that guest was operating under a different set of traditions and ideas.  I wasn’t trying to criticize you with my post, and I apologize if you read it that way.  I was simply trying to offer you a more positive reading of certain guest’s actions, which I thought was a constructive thing.

    So in all, I guess I’m not really sure what you are looking for here.  The overall sentiment seems to be that you will not make as much as you spend, that some guests will surprise you with their generosity and others won’t, and that there is a great diversity of thinking about gift giving.  It is probably best not to assume that people who don’t cover their plate are doing so to be mean or cheap, but rather that it is possible that they just have a different perspective on gifts than you do.  I think these are all constructive and helpful answers to your question, as I understood it.

    Post # 42
    Member
    1051 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    I’ve always heard the rule of thumb to “cover your plate”, and based on the gifts that we’ve been getting so far –  I think our guests are expecting PB&J!! =)

    I have honestly been SHOCKED by how “cheap” some of our guests have been, and moving forward I think I’ll be scaling back on my own generosity.  I’m now of the belief that the vocal minority talk a big lavish game, but most people give a pretty modest gift.  When I first moved to NYC and was making less than $30k/yr right out of college I STILL gave everyone at least $100, usually $150, whether I went to the wedding or not.  No more.  Now it’ll be a card if I don’t go and $50-$100 (depending on how well I know them) if I do.  I was giving what I thought I was “supposed” to.  Well – no one else is so why the hell should I??  =)

    Post # 43
    Member
    965 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I don’t judge. I just call them like I see them. My response was meant to express surprise at your custom, not demean it.

    My only constructive critisism would be to be aware that some guests may not be atuned to your customs, but it sounds like you anticipate that they are, and perhaps your are correct.

    In my experience, what you think you will get usually is what you get, but occassionaly it’s more or less.

    Post # 44
    Member
    145 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    @ Coffeekitty, it’s not really a question of “customs”. It’s etiquette. A guest should realize that they are hopefully helping the new Mr. & Mrs. start their lives together. A guest should not put the B & G “in the hole”. If you attend a birthday party, you pay your own meal at the resataurant AND you usually bring a gift. Correct? Weddings should be no different. You don’t give a cash gift that only pays half your plate. Why would anyone do that???

    Post # 45
    Member
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    You are asking posters not to judge you for asking the question about why your guests are so cheap, but your judging your “cheap” guests!

    If you can’t afford to pay for everyone you invite to a wedding, then that’s your problem. You can’t assume that someone’s going to see your invite, look at the reception place, call the reception hall caterers, ask what the per plate charge is, do some multiplication and then write you a check. If you’re that concerned about money when starting your new lives together, perhaps you should scale the wedding back and keep your savings intact. Customs or not you can’t assume anyone will do anything. If I was expected to pay for my own meal at a wedding, I’d put in a custom order. You pick the reception venue, the meals, the times, the day – then you pay for it. You are the hosts.

    Post # 46
    Member
    965 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    I would never take the cost of the meal YOU chose into consideration in the gift I choose. What if you pick a meal I can’t afford? That leave people without a lot of money not being able to live up to what you are calling etiquette…and to me it is just the opposite. I would never want someone to feel guilty about their meal becaue they could only afford to get me a few towels for a gift…I don’t know if that makes sense to you, but where I come from, it does.

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