(Closed) Do I need to give money as a guest?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
Member
9565 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

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clawsnpaws:  I was talking about US etiquette standards as in Miss Manners, Emily Post etc. I am aware there are cultural cash money traditions. 

Post # 17
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - North NJ

 

I am editing my post because I don’t even want to be bothered with the backlash I know it will get. 

 

I will just leave it nicely that I personally would not attend a wedding unless I could give $50-$75 per person in cash or gift from their registry equivilant. Homemade gifts are some of the nicest,  but I personally know how much weddings cost and personally feel awkward having someone pay $150 for me and not contribute. I dont’ have to. Bride may not expect it. It is just how I feel. 

And if I didn’ t have that kind of money, I’d consider not going. I’d go for a best friend or family, and write a heartfelt card, but I wouldn’t go for a distant friend.

Post # 18
Member
89 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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MrsBuesleBee:  I think rather than taking advice from “etiquette authorities” – it’s important to look at the culture of the bride and groom, because that will give you a good idea of their wedding norms. 

 

Post # 19
Member
1183 posts
Bumble bee

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laur371:  I can see why you’re saying it. But id like to think I was being invited because the couple want me there and how much a couple CHOOSE to spend on the wedding has zero influence on my choice of gift. 

I’d be devastated if any friend of mine missed my wedding because they felt they couldn’t give £100

Post # 20
Member
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

Personally I wouldn’t attend a wedding without gifting. If you’ve already purchased a gift I would say that’s probably enough, but if it’s a small personalized gift, say something like: a personalized mug for the bride and groom, I would say you should stuff some cash up in there. If it’s something like: a portrait of the bride and groom you had made, I think it’s enough. Something that indicates to the Bride and Groom that you didn’t attend and swindle a dinner that likely cost them about $100 pp in exchange for a $10 mug. I usually try to cover the cost of my plate at the very least.

Post # 21
Member
9385 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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DaisyBlossom:  ditto.   My wedding is a party where I hope to see as many of my closest friends and relatives as possible.  Would I appreciate gifts? Sure! Who doesn’t like gifts.  But everything I choose to purchase.. from food to linens to flowers… are all because that’s the party I want to throw.  I’d be really upset if I found out someone didn’t come because they couldn’t afford what they arbitrarily chose as a required gift.  If they couldn’t afford the flight or hotel that’s a totally different scenario.

Post # 22
Member
232 posts
Helper bee

Agree with some posters. Depends on your relationship with the couple and their expectations.

If it was an acquaintance, I would not go if I can’t afford a gift. I’d rather spend that money and time on my family! And the couple wouldn’t miss me anyway.

If it was a close friend that I wouldn’t want to miss I’d coupon hard for awhile to save up for a gift and if I still couldn’t afford it, I’d write a heart felt card.

At my wedding, the people I was closest to who I knew couldn’t afford a big gift and wrote a nice card instead I thought was really sweet. I didn’t mind at all – I really just wanted them there! I’d be really sad if they didn’t come just because they felt obligated to bring a gift.

Post # 23
Member
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - North NJ

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DaisyBlossom:  As a bride , i would feel that way too. I personally had to call a few guests who declined because they couldn’t gift to explain to them I want them there. I agree with you, from a bride’s perspective. Why did some of my guests decline over money? Because they know in our culture, and our part of the country, gifting a certain amount is the cultural norm. 

But from a guest’s perspective, I wouldn’t attend.

Post # 24
Member
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2021 - Long Island, NY

I agree with @PrincessPoopsicle. This really depends on your relationship with the couple. As a wedding guest I always gift at least $100 to cover the cost of my plate. If I couldn’t afford that but instead got/made something meaningful for the couple and wrote a meaningful card out then I’d feel comfortable with that. If this person is really your friend then I doubt they would side-eye you for your gift. Also, really curious to know what you’re gifting….

Post # 26
Member
93 posts
Worker bee

Gifts are never required.  Any gift that you give is perfectly sufficient and lovely.

Post # 27
Member
1038 posts
Bumble bee

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brittxox:  I think it really depends on your relationship/closeness to the couple. If you know them well enough to give a personal gift you know they’ll appreciate, then I’d say you are fine. It’s such a subjective question because even within the U.S, it seems to be a very regional thing. For instance, I’ve never been to a wedding in NY/NJ/PA where the cover your plate mentality wasn’t the general consensus.

Post # 28
Member
186 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 10, 2016

Idk, I’d be thrilled with a handmade gift– much better than cash or some expensive gadget imo. It shows you care and spent real time and effort thinking of your friend and doing something nice for her. I say go with the handmade gift and don’t worry about the cash. I’m sure your friend will be touched and grateful (and if she’s not, that’s her loss).

Post # 29
Member
254 posts
Helper bee

I think it depends on culture. I’m Portuguese and italian , covering your plate is  pretty much a rule with us. That’s how we can afford such big weddings (we have huge families). I wouldn’t go to a wedding if I didn’t have 100 dollars person at least. If they aren’t of that culture I’d say your gift would be fine 

Post # 30
Member
626 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2016

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laur371:  I really, really hope that no one who is strapped for cash will contemplate not coming to our wedding because they can’t afford a gift!! We are inviting them because we want to share the day with them, not because of any kind of quid pro quo. Every person on the guest list is special to us in some way. I would be really disappointed to hear that someone on our guest list wasn’t coming for that reason (and Fiance and I are better off financially than most of his side).

I get that everyone is different, and I get the idea of not wanting to come empty-handed from the POV of a guest, though.

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