(Closed) Did you ask for gifts before/after your elopement??

posted 6 years ago in Elopement
  • poll: Did you accept gifts (or alternatively, not specify 'no gifts') before or after your elopement?
    Yes - At showers only : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Yes - At 'reception' only : (3 votes)
    10 %
    Yes - At both : (1 votes)
    3 %
    No - We made it clear that we did not want gifts : (25 votes)
    83 %
  • Post # 3
    1361 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I didn’t elope, but just want to clarify that you should never “ask” for gifts.

    Post # 4
    13385 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    @Beckster329:  Exactly what I clicked in here to say.

    OP, I don’t think you should have a shower before an elopement. Typically, you invite guests who will be invited to the wedding, and since you won’t have guests there, it would be a little impolite.  If you are having a post-elopement reception, you will likely receive some gifts there, but you shouldn’t ask for them regardless.

    Post # 5
    883 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    you can only hope that people will be gracious to give you gifts at your post elopement party.  Gifts should never be expected.


    Post # 6
    487 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    One of my cousin’s eloped to the Caribbean, then a few weeks after she got back she hired a scout hut (not sure if you have them in the USA – it’s a very very cheap hall), and put on a cold buffet. She came in her wedding dress and her family in their wedding attire.

    I couldn’t make it – it’s the only “wedding” I’ve ever had to pull out of, but I came down with a stomach bug and was on the toilet every half an hour or so. I felt really bad, but later heard from people that went;

    A lot of people thought it was just a gift grab. They’d probably spent less than £50 (so probably $30) on the whole thing, as the scout hut costs hardly anything to hire, plus it’s right next to her mother’s, who no doubt did the buffet with things she’d bought cheap in the supermarket.

    They’d obviously spent a lot on eloping etc, which is fine, but the fact they then came back and invited everyone to an extremely cheap evening seemed just like a way of getting presents rather than missing everyone at the wedding (only their parents and siblings were invited to the actual ceremony abroad) and wanting to see everyone/share some of the magic with everyone.

    I do think having a reception after eloping (maybe even a religious blessing as well if you’re religious) is much nicer than just asking/expecting gifts etc. But be warned, if it’s too “low cost” people will just see it as a gift grab – ie they weren’t special enough to be invited to the elopement, but worth spending a tiny bit on in exchange for lot’s of gifts.

    I’m only saying what others said btw, I didn’t go myself like I said. I think my cousin was mad though, as she didn’t come to my wedding lol.

    Post # 7
    9952 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    The other Bees are correct.

    One NEVER asks for Gifts, period.

    As far as showers go… if one is Eloping then the correct protocol is to politely tell anyone who you hear is planning a shower for you that “none is necessary”… and “that it would be quite improper to do so, so you would request that they do not”

    On the otherhand, there are certainly some well meaning friends who on occasion end up throwing a SURPRISE Shower just the same…

    For more info on this topic, I dig up a post that I did recently for another Bee…

    — — —

    As a bit of an Etiquette Snob, let me set the record straight… because this is one area where there is a lot of misinformation.

    When it comes to Wedding Showers, Showers are ALWAYS organized / hosted by someone who is a friend or relative of the Bride… and NEVER by the Bride herself.

    It can be a SURPRISE SHOWER… or the Bride can be consulted in regards to the Guest List.

    A Shower is traditionally a small event, held within the timeframe of 2 weeks to 2 months prior to the Wedding Ceremony. And ONLY close friends & family are invited… and as others have mentioned, it is IMPERATIVE that those who receive a Shower Invite are INVITED TO THE WEDDING (as a gift at a Shower is the norm)

    There is NO OBLIGATION that a Shower for the Bride is an event to be attended by ALL FEMALE GUESTS… infact this recent trend is in itself “Gift Grabby”

    However, there are exceptions when a Shower can go beyond the general rule of thumb of being for those who are ONLY closest Friends & Family… (and therefore the size of the event as well can be larger)

    One… When the Wedding Ceremony is very small… (restricted to family members only) and perhaps there is no Reception. In this case a Couple may be given a Shower to which a wider group of friends could be invited. In this instance, the Shower taking the place of a Reception. These types of Showers, can be traditional Bridal Showers (for the Bride), but more often they are “Couples Showers” and the gifts reflective of a theme that can be enjoyed by the Newlyweds together (ie Backyard Shower – Camping Shower – Wine Shower etc)

    Or, Secondly… IF it is a local custom that a Shower is thrown by those who know the Bride, and want to wish her well, even though they may not be invited to the Wedding. Such as the case of Co-Workers throwing a Shower, the Ladies of her Church Congregation, or some other “social” group to which the Bride is a member.

    Sooo… in regards to the Question that the OP asked…

    In the case of a Traditional / True Elopement, where a couple goes off to get married unbeknownst to anyone else, there would obviously be NO SHOWERS.

    In the case of a Modern Elopement where the couple is “eloping” to a Destination Wedding… to have a small intimate wedding (alone or with just a few Guests) … then Showers are totally acceptable for the most part (see below)

    — — —

    In the situation where a couple is Eloping to a Destination Wedding, and planning a Back Home Reception afterwards upon their return (such as I am doing)… the Bride / Couple should they get an inclination that there could be a shower, should politely decline the offer (“Honesty this isn’t necessary… we are planning an event ourselves for everyone afterwards”) … but then again, just like a regular wedding, if this is to be a SURPRISE SHOWER… little can be done.

    Generally speaking… SURPRISE SHOWERS… seem to always be acceptable no matter what the circumstance… well meaning friends… (and polite society, will not chastise friends when they make an etiquette faux pas)

    Hope this helps,

    * ALL INFO ABOVE paraphrased from Peggy Post’s *Wedding Etiquette* book

    Post # 8
    9952 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012


    Sadly, I have to disagree with the posting that Spoonie:  has made, and the sentiments it has expressed…

    Receptions do not have to be BIG EXPENSIVE ELABORATE AFFAIRS… ever.

    I am saddened to see where she recounts a story about a couple who Eloped to a Destination Wedding in the Caribbean, held a Back Home Reception / Party upon their return and were judged by their Friends & Family members for the “Cheapness” of the event that they hosted.

    I think it is nice that they did anything at all honestly… finding a way to celebrate with their friends (sorry to see that they inturn were ungrateful)

    A Back Home Reception can be ANYTHING from a Full-on Vow Renewal in full Wedding Attire, followed by a Cocktail Hour, Reception with Sit-Down Dinner, and Dancing… right on down to just having an Open House, and telling Loved Ones to drop by for a piece of Wedding Cake & Glass of Bubbly.

    The truth is there are very few RULES when it comes to Back Home Receptions… and this is one of the reasons that I think some couples choose to Elope to begin with

    A way to get away from all the Family Drama

    For the record…

    A Wedding Reception… is NEVER a Gift Grab, because technically, Wedding Gifts are NEVER expected.  Gifts are something Guests bring if they choose to period.

    Sorry to see that some folks just don’t seem to be aware of this fact

    Hope this helps,


    Post # 9
    487 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    @This Time Round:  It should be noted…my cousin is a millionaire. And she made a gift list when it wasn’t even the real wedding.

    If she had been not very well off I KNOW people would have been more understanding. Plenty of people in my family are poor as mice and nobody has judged them for not spending a lot, and that includes another elopee. But this cousin isn’t. And making a gift list when it wasn’t even the actual wedding…well it’s not really allowed I don’t think.

    I do think though, if people know someone has a lot of money, and they’re only willing to spend it on themselves, yet cheap out when it comes to “looking after the guests”, it does ruffle a few feathers. I’m not saying I agree, I just know this from attending many weddings – especially my husbands side of the family – it’s what people end up saying. All people tend to talk about is the “lack of effort” or “unwilling to spend their money on anything/anybody other than themselves”.

    I can see both sides. Not sure I agree with either, I think they both have their faults.


    Post # 10
    4945 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    No. We did not ask for or expect gifts. However, we did receive a couple of things: gift card from the couple that own my husband’s company, gift card from my husband’s grandparents and a KitchenAid mixer from my husband’s mother/stepfather. 

    Several of my girlfriends are throwing me a “post elopement bachelorette/shower” in a few weeks, and honestly, it makes me very uncomfortable since we eloped (and we both owned houses, so we have everything we need). I don’t care about gifts, so I told them I just rather it be a night to hang with my girls.

    Post # 11
    6122 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    As the others posted, you don’t ask for gifts ever, not matter what the occasion.  I am actually curious how would one actually ask for gifts though? 

    ThisTimeAround covered the basics of showers, etc very well.

    Even though we eloped, we did receive some gifts.  I was quite surprised.  My Mother-In-Law convinced me to make up a register (I put a few small items) and honestly it felt VERY WEIRD to be doing this.  She said that her sister wants to get us something and might as well be something we can use/keep (however, no one has purchased anything so I feel even weirder now).  If you do register, don’t tell people until someone asks you directly, “Did you register anywhere?”

    Honestly, I would very politely decline a shower.  That is very generous of your families, but I don’t think it fits with this case, but it was covered quite well above.

    We ended up throwing a fall celebration party last weekend that happened to be 1 month after our elopement, not intentional.  In fact I didn’t want to do any AHR at all since I was done with everything wedding in my mind! 

    I had been going to school and working full time for 5 years and I just graduated in May.  I always wanted to throw a celebration party (well make it look like my H threw it), but then we got married, and we bought a new deck.  So we just wrapped them all into one party and called it a fall celebration party of all sorts.  I think 5 households ended up bringing gifts even though I tried my best to not make it too gift grabby.  This party ended up being a potluck with us providing the main drinks, entrees, and desserts.

    Post # 14
    6122 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2012

    “People have been asking us where we are registered, and I don’t know how to respond.

    I had a few people ask me this PRIOR to the elopement date. 

    I said, “We never got around to registering,” and left it at that. (We had  a 75 person Destination Wedding that we cancelled.)

    Then after pressuring from Mother-In-Law, I made one AFTER the elopement.  Now no one has asked (and I feel silly now)! but Mother-In-Law supposedly told her sister about it who was wanting to know.


    If you didn’t register, you could just say, “Oh that is very thoughtful of you!  But we did not register.”  Then leave it at that.  If they really want to get you something, then they might do a gift card to someplace.  [My sister flat out asked, well what do you need then.  Since she’s my sister, I said sheets.  She got us a GC to Macy’s, very nice of her.]  [One friend who asked us prior, got us champagne for our hotel room as a surprise – so very generous!]

    If you did register, you could say, “Oh that is very thoughtful of you!  We did make a small registery at BB&B.


    Perhaps a way to involve the families (since they seem so eager) and to get out of the showers (I would feel so silly to accept all these gifts at a shower in my honor), is to let them help with this celebration party when you return.  Perhaps they can help with food or set up or something.  Each side and take care of something?

    I had a friend offer to throw me a shower.  I found it impossible because a) no one was invited to the wedding now, and b) no one even lived in my state!  Just logistically impossible, even if they were invited to a wedding.  I told her that was thoughtful and thank you, but I will opt out.

    Fast forward to after the wedding, said friend drove to my state (with her H and 2 kids) to stay the night at our house.  We hosted a fall party last weekend (to celebrate my graduation, our marriage, the new deck, our first party together, etc) and they helped out so much – made an entree, helped with clean up, bought beer, etc. Plus it was so fun to visit with them.

    What do you think of that?

    Post # 15
    942 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    We received many at our at-home reception a few weeks after our wedding. Our guests were more than happy to provide a card of congrats and most included some $ or a gift card. They were not at all expected, we were very pleasantly surprised at the generosity of our loved ones and we sent very heartfelt Thank You cards in return. People who want to bring gifts, will bring gifts. It can be rude to mention gifts at all for this reason.

    We did not have a shower before our elopement, although ‘showers’ are uncommon in Australia.

    We had a ‘wedding gifts’ page on our website for those that enquired about gifts. It simply said:  

    A gift table and cards box will be available at the reception if you would like to bring a gift.  Any cash donations will be put towards a deposit on a house and a new fridge.

    Our reception cost more than the ceremony and we did the whole shebang – flowers, speeches. cake cutting, dance floor etc. so I cannot comment on the ‘gift grabbing’ impression mentioned previously. That is unfortunate people thought that about their party though…

    Post # 16
    29 posts
    • Wedding: September 2012

    We had a destination/elopement and i didn’t have a shower or hen night as i thought it would be weird to. Also, we’re having a small reception but not expecting any gifts.

    My husband’s grandmother and someone else actually asked for our gift list and i could not bring myself to make one when no one was invited to our wedding!

    I feel like it’s similar to when some English couples invite some guests only to the evening part if the person isn’t that close or does a small registery office ceremony and then off to the pub type thing(as far as i know and have experienced) people aren’t expected to give a gift. I’m sure it’s not the case for every person that has this style but just the ones i’ve heard of.

    The topic ‘Did you ask for gifts before/after your elopement??’ is closed to new replies.

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