(Closed) Destination wedding-should I expect gifts from my guests?

posted 9 years ago in Destination Weddings
  • poll: Should I expect a wedding gift from my guests who are attending my DW?

    Yes, you should have the same gift expectations as you would a wedding at home!

    Yes, but the gift should and probably will be less than an average wedding gift.

    No, your guests' attendance at your DW is their gift and nothing more should be expected.

  • Post # 77
    Member
    2582 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    View original reply
    @Shell29:  

    I agree that most people don’t physically bring a boxed gift to a wedding – these days most registry stuff is done online, so boxed gifts are sent directly to the bride/groom’s house anyway – so yeah, that wouldnt be an issue for the vast majority of people..  I think its more that you should expect the value of the gifts themselves to be lower than the “standard” wedding gift.

    Post # 78
    Member
    3771 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: December 1999

    View original reply
    @Shell29:  I do the same for gifts as you, something off the registry at the shower and then cash at the wedding. As far as your shower, I think you should go a head and have one. You technically are inviting people, they just can’t make it. I hade a cousin that had a Destination Wedding, and didnt invite us (just parents, aunts/uncles,grandparents, and friends) and she did have a shower. It rubbed me the wrong way to have a shower and expect gifts from people not important enough to be invited to the wedding. But like I said, you are inviting them, they just can’t make it.I am sure those that can’t make it to the wedding would just be happy to be able to celebrate with you at your shower. Are you doing any at home celebrations afterwards of just sticking to the DW?

    Post # 80
    Member
    8 posts
    Newbee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Not expecting gifts at Destination Wedding but thinks some cards would be nice. As for showers/receptions etc do what you want. One thing I have learned with Destination Wedding is there are no rules or they seem like they are taunting you to break them. I’m inviting a fair few people to my bachelorette party (which will cost them something) but no gifts, who I did not invite to the wedding, I was upfront about it though “sorry I couldnt invite you it is a very small wedding but would love to have some fun on the bachelorette if you can make it”, the ones not invited to the wedding are excited to come to the bachelorette (I hate when people do this normally but would hate myself more to miss an opportunity to have fun with them). we will have a low key get together at a pub or BBQ when we get back so people can see photos strictly no gifts (we will not be supplying alcohol etc). Im thinking the pub would be better so we can make it more casual, come drop in on this day we will be there after work type thing that suits us.

    Post # 81
    Member
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    View original reply
    @Shell29:  Wow… I’m suprised by the haterade that seems to be thrown on you just from a simple question! Sorry you had to endure all of that.  As to your original question, I had a destination wedding, and everyone told us not to expect gifts.  We didn’t expect gifts (and i agree that you should never expect a gift regardless of the wedding setting), but we were pleasantly suprised by how many of our guests actually did get us things. We did have a registry, but whenever anyone asked us what we wanted, we told them that their presence at our wedding was all we wanted. Despite this, most people still got us gifts of some sort. 

    I’ve attended quite a few destination weddings, and I always get a gift. If I spend a ton of money for the wedding itself on travel, hotel, etc. than sometimes I won’t spend as much as I normall would, but I always get a gift.

    There are going to be people that try to make you feel bad for having a destination wedding – don’t let them! Some people are always going to be judgemental and go out of their way to share their opinions, and you just have to shrug it off. This would happen even if you were getting in your home state or town. And just because you are having a Destination Wedding doesn’t mean you can’t have a bridal shower or bachelorette. I had both of these, and they were awesome, especially because it allowed me the opportunity to still get to celebrate with some of my guests that were unable to attend the actual wedding. Don’t feel bad about having those events to celebrate a huge monumental event in your life, just don’t make people feel guilty or obligated to come. Your wedding is no less of a wedding just because it’s a destination.

    Post # 82
    Member
    633 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2011

    I, too, am surprised by the negative and hateful comments. I especially hate when people say “if you wanted gifts, you should have done the wedding at home.” In some cases, when the bride and groom are from other sides of the country (or OTHER countries, as in the case of my Fiance and me) it is the ONLY option.

    We chose to do a Destination Wedding because if we did the wedding in my hometown, we would have about ten of his guests, and if we did it in his, we would have ten of mine. We compromised and are doing it in a neutral central location. It will still be about $1,500 for my guests to travel to and $500 for his (my family is more financially able to swing it which is why we decided as such). 

    That being said, only about 75 of the 180 guests will actually be able to attend. I think it would be extremely rude if no one gave a gift. I’m not expecting a lot, but $50 or $100 on top of everything else is not a huge deal. As you said, OP, it depends on family dynamics. My family is not particularly closeknit, so the fact only about 10-15 of my family members will attend is OK. FI’s family is much more large, and the wedding is within their country, although not within their town, so they will have to travel. We are trying to accomodate BOTH sets of family and friends and Destination Wedding was the only way. In my opinion, at least a small gift is the right thing to do ettiquete wise.

    Post # 83
    Member
    1235 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I attended a semi destination wedding last July that cost us approx $500 for the weekend to be there. We gave a MUCH smaller gift than we would have if it wasnt destination. It most definately did NOT feel like a vacation either.

    Post # 84
    Member
    78 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    View original reply
    @MrsB99:  I LOVE the idea of an at home celebration for the guests who couldn’t attend! What a lovely idea! Was it something really organized or a laid back and more casual affair?

    Post # 85
    Member
    78 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    View original reply
    @Shell29:  At least it looks like some of the negativity has calmed down- I know how crappy it feels to ask a simple question or to vent and get attacked by others- reason #1 why I don’t post anything on the knot’s boards anymore. As far as actual gifts (non-monetary) at the actual wedding- you can always have your friends and family spread the word for you. My family’s been good enough to drop hints (or be blatant because I guess when it’s not you telling other people bluntness is okay? So confusing!) about what would be best. Most of my family and friends know that we’ve been living together for a couple of years and already own quite a bit of the domestic items any normal people would need. I hadn’t planned to register at all for anything because of the Destination Wedding and because of already owning so many material things. I simply put on our website that in lieu of registering only for material items we would rather enjoy experiences together with family and friends as well as with each other. We gave our travel agent’s info so guests could contribute to extras on the honeymoon if they like, and I ended up getting suckered into registering for a handful of actual gifts. My stepmother insists that if we don’t we’ll get horrid things we’ll never use. I’m thinking as soon as the shower’s past I’m taking the registry down though- reduce the option of physical gifts at the actual wedding. I also have my family spreading the word as people ask for suggestions- that while no gift is expected, if they must give gifts monetary is best. They all know I’m a full time student putting myself through school and that my FI’s carrying a lot of the financial weight- and we’re struggling. 

    Definitely don’t feel guilty about the Destination Wedding though. My grandmother who I adore has been really negative lately- always complaining about the wedding being so far away- and she finally booked her room and now she’s all excited. I have plenty of people telling me they can’t come because of the distance or cost and I completely understand and don’t hold it against them. Who would? I actually have friends who got married in Jamaica- I had intended to go and booked the room and paid off most of it over the year they were engaged- but I was laid off and couldn’t afford to buy the plane ticket- so I took a 10% hit on the cost of the room and we had to back out of going. They have barely spoken to us since, which I feel is really terrible, cold and ridiculous- it would have cost us $3,000 to go! I’m certain they won’t be coming to ours- again, I’m fine with that. I agree with SerenaSF- ignore the hatred and negativity from everyone. The most important people will be there for you regardless if you have it 5 minutes away or on the moon! Gifts or not! 

    Post # 86
    Member
    96 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    While I expect all guests to bring gifts to a regular wedding, I believe since destination weddings are very expensive for guests to begin with, a gift is optional. You are asking people to take time off work and spend thousands of dollars on a resort and country you picked, and should not expect people to give you money on top of that. Their gift is actually coming to your wedding. I think if I were not able to attend the wedding, only then I would send the couple a gift as a ‘sorry I couldn’t be there’ present.

    In my opinion, when a couple has an in-town wedding, they are paying for all the expenses. When you have a destination wedding, the guests are basically paying for the food and venue when they pay the resort fee. If people can afford to give you a gift on top that’s great, but it definitely should not be expected.

    Post # 87
    Member
    8418 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I am not expecting gifts and I am actually making it known that their presence at my wedding is all I want…….

    In my opinion Destination Wedding guests are spending a fortune to come and I would feel bad taking a gift and in all honesty and  I can truthfully say that the presence of my friends and family around me that day is the greatest gift in the world!!

    Post # 88
    Member
    226 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2007

    I think some guests will give you gifts but I wouldn’t count on it because the guests have already spent a lot of money to come to your wedding.

    Post # 89
    Member
    893 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    @Shell29:  I wouldn’t because I know they’re already spending $X amount just to attend.

    Post # 90
    Member
    501 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I am having a Destination Wedding and am worried that people will bring gifts! The last thing I need is to have to haul a bunch of stuff back to the states. The guests coming to my wedding in a foreign country is the best gift I could receive. When I decided on a Destination Wedding, it was all about the day and my Fiance and myself! Who cares about gifts!!

    Post # 91
    Member
    1238 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2013

    View original reply
    @Shell29:  your wedding sounds like fun. I am doing a wedding website and hunted high & low to find one that let me delete the gift-list page as I dont want to have one.  If people ask I will say no gifts please, as I know it is dear for them to come.  plus I have lived with Fiance for years we have our house set up.

    The topic ‘Destination wedding-should I expect gifts from my guests?’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors