Post # 1
I hope bees who read this will understand why I’m writing this. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to a wedding and I never planned one of my own until this year. The wedding itself was on a beach in the Bahamas and was exactly what we wanted and to us it was perfect!!! We planned an at home reception more for my DH’s side – he has more family than I do and more co-workers. Other than my daughter I didn’t have one family member at our party. My disappointment comes from this: we invited about 60 people and received RSVPs that about 54 people would attend. This meant I booked a certain size venue and ordered catering for that number, purchased all the party goods for that number. On the night of the reception, about 10 people were no-shows (3 others had canceled during the week of).
Second issue: I was taught that wedding gifts are sent to the bride’s house but it’s OK to bring a card or gift to the reception. I was shocked that some people came to the party and brought/sent nothing – not even a card with good wishes. Where I come from, if you go to a formal party you send or give a gift, and you give a real gift. For a couple attending a party, a minimum of $50 and often $100 is more customary. I never imagined people ( a couple) would come to a catered reception and give a $25 gift card (that’s what my daughter gives for a birthday gift to a teenager). If you don’t go to the party, at a minimum you send a card, and for a wedding, usually a gift. Have the guidelines changed or is this standard behavior? Several people didn’t even bother to return the RSVP card and others said they just forgot to come. This blows me away. What are other Bees’ experiences?
Post # 3
$25 may be a small amount to you, but for some people that is all they can afford.
Post # 4
Some Bees dont like to see complaing about no gifts but I’m with you. I would never, ever not give a gift and I think it’s rude to not bring something. I do however think a card is acceptable as some people just dont have the extra funds. However, there is no excuse for not sending a card with your well wishes.
Post # 5
There is always some in every crowd. Sure it’s disappointing, but in the scope of all the things in life to get upset over, I wouldn’t burden myself with people’s poor home training.
Just know you have manners, and be thankful your parents taught you well.
Post # 6
@lorie: You shouldn’t be expecting gifts or money from your guests, especially since they didn’t attend your wedding and you just hosted an afterparty type reception. I’d be happy with what you got, and at least those people were able to come to see you.
Post # 7
Perhaps people didn’t feel the need to be as generous with presents since it was a reception after the actual wedding that they were not either invited to or unable to attend? Some people have different ideas about what is “proper” It does seem like after spending some time reading these message boards that the “cover your plate” mentality is a thing of the past.
While I do find it rude to show up to a party or gathering without even asking the host what/if anything you should bring, I do find it a bit offputting to complain about a lack of gifts or that they were not up to your standards. Times are tough. Some people can’t afford any more than $25 gift cards. I can see how’d you be frustrated with the last minute no-shows but sadly that’s a “hazard” of throwing a social function. I’d try to let it go.
Post # 8
@lorie: I think that is is very disappointing that guests rsvp’d yes and then did not show up, I would be upset too That is rude of them and will have cost you money. To me the no gift giving would be secondary, however, I have attended 2 weddings without giving gifts, the first one they stressed time and time again please don’t bring anything, we will be offended if people do bring them, so we just gave a card. I was a bit embarressed to see a few others gave gifts and then they opened them in front of all the guests. The 2nd was a Destination Wedding I attended overseas which involved over 24 hours flying each way, attending the wedding cost us over $7000 by the time we paid for airfares, hotel, other transportation and food. We gave a card & no gift. We are having a Destination Wedding next year, we are stressing no gifts, and we truely do not want any. Other weddings I have attended near home usually the standard amount to spend on a gift is around $100, it used to be to considered the norm to cover the cost of 2 meals (but that will only cover one meal or less for many weddings now).
Post # 9
To clarify, I’m not complaining about the amount of a gift – that would be incredibly rude and I am not a rude person. I’m talking about the appropriateness. I wouldn’t show up at someone’s home for a party or dinner without bringing something even if I was told to bring nothing (flowers or wine are always appropriate) and so I’m surprised that people would come to a wedding empty-handed. I was raised by Depression-era parents and they were the ones who taught me never to show up without something for the hosts. We are not a young couple and no one who came to our party is struggling financially, actually most are doing quite well. I just found it surprising and disappointing that people do stuff like this.
Post # 10
@lorie: I wouldn’t show up to a wedding empty handed. But good manners are not universal. It wouldn’t occur to me to bring a gift to a dinner party or other gathering unless it was a birthday. I wasn’t raised to write thank you notes either. I had to learn these things on my own.
Post # 11
Jeez… I was not aware that giving under $50 was not acceptable! Not everyone can afford to give $100.
You don’t have a wedding to get gifts; you have a wedding to share a special moment with the ones you love.
Post # 12
To start : If your daughter is given $25 for a friends birthday present, you are likely in a much better financial situation then a lot of Bees on these boards. If I was an aquaintence or co-worker I would likely aim for that amount to give. A closer friend would likely get more.
I do understand that you can not believe someone would grace your event and not even bring a card of congratulations. I do however, have to question if they brought a card with no monetary amount inside whether you would accept this as congratulations or whether you’d still be griping about their lack of financial contribution towards your eternal happiness.
Plain and simple, you hosted a celebratory reception to toast a wedding these people were not invited to. This was not a shower or a Jack and Jill in which people come assuming that a gift or money should accompany them. This was not only a PARTY, it was a party after the event. So unless you printed on the invitations “must bring gift” most people would assume that their presence to celebrate this happy time in your life was gift enough.
And frankly…it should be.
Post # 13
I have no answers….I was surprised when my Mom’s old friend who I used to call “aunt” 30 years ago sent me a check for $100. I haven’t seen her in years, my Mom is no longer in contact with her..I found her on fb maybe a year ago…some people are just nice people. Some people may just not know what is deemed appropriate/the norm. Before wedding planning I wouldn’t have thought twice before showing up empty handed, especially if I had already purchased and given a gift at the bride’s shower.
Post # 14
I would cut people some slack. At-home receptions are very tricky situations for some people. Darling Husband and I went to one awhile ago, and while I insisted we bring a gift, it was much less than what we would have given had we been invited to a wedding. I know that to you, a hosted event is a hosted event, but other people give more or less based on circumstances.
Post # 15
Were these people invited to your actual wedding?
If I was invited to a coworkers home reception only I’d probably only bring a card with $25 bucks too, and I typically never give less than $100 for weddings. Frankly because I feel if you opt to have an intimate destination wedding you also waive your “claim” to a traditional gift. But I wouldnt show up completely empty handed.
Post # 16
@lorie: But you did complain about the $25 gift, comparing it to what a teenager would get at a birthday party (which blows me away–I’m in my mid-20s and $25 would be an almost awkwardly generous gift from a friend at that age).