Post # 1
When gift topics come up on these boards the vast majority of bees always advise to gift what you can afford. But what are your thoughts on gifting less than you can clearly afford?
This question came up for me because I’m attending a wedding this weekend and having serious debates on how much to gift to the bride and groom.
The bride is my mom’s business partner’s daughter. When their family attended my wedding last year there were 5 of them but they gave one combined gift of $1500, ($300 per person). However it was kind of obvious that the parents gifted on behalf of their two adult daughters and their future son in law.
Now I’m attending the daughter’s wedding and DH is not coming, (he’ll be out of town). I’m obviously giving them the gift myself, (ie my parents are not gifting on my behalf).
With our wedding being less than a year ago I’m sure they remember how much they gave us and I would feel kind of bad giving them less than what they gave us, ($300 per person). I can afford to give her $300 but frankly I just really don’t want to. We’re not that close, although I’ve known her since she was a little girl. If there wasn’t the background of their most recent gift I would probably just give her $100 due to our lack of closeness and the assumption that it would cover my plate. But I’m feeling terrible because it’s clearly way less than what they gave me and it’s definitely less than I can afford. I just don’t want them to judge me and think I’m cheap because I’m giving less than I can afford. They obviously don’t know my personal finances but they can surmise to some extent based on my job, lifestyle, etc.
So bees, what are your thoughts in this situation. Is it ok to give less than you can obviously afford?
ETA: I just want to point out that my parents’ gift to the bride and groom will most likely be in line with what the parents gave me and my husband at our wedding. But it was very clear that their entire gift to us was funded by the parents, (there is no way the daughters could have afforded $300 per person). Clearly what I can afford and what someone who is in their 50s and a business owner can afford is quite different.
ETA: There is no gift registry. Money is pretty much the only acceptable gift in their culture/circle. I have a $100 gift card to Neiman Marcus that I wanted to regift to them and maybe put a little more money on it but my Mom pointed out that this will look really odd as really only money is given for weddings in that culture.
Post # 3
i think ultimately, if you dont know them that well & wont see them often, its probably fine to give $100, but, if you guys are in similar financial circles…they might be a little surprised. but to be fair, you also arent going with you husband. i feel like if he were there, you should give 250-300. so maybe compromise & give $150?
Post # 4
Honestly, a gift is a gift, is a gift, is a gift…. meaning- it doesn’t matter the value, people should be happy they are getting something i.e. GIFT. Gift however much you want. At the end of the day, it would only look bad on them if they feel they are entitled to more.
Post # 5
It’s not tit for tat. Do they have a registry? If you give a physical gift, it may be less obvious how much you spent (especially if you use a coupon or get the gift on sale or at a store that is cheaper than the registry store).
I prefer physical gifts for people I’m not super close to for that very reason.
Post # 6
I get physical gifts for that reason. It is also fine to give less than you can afford. Technically, I can afford to give someone my entire savings account and still have a salary to tide me over…but I don’t do it.
Post # 7
I think you should give what you want. It shouldn’t be this tit for tat thing, or her parents paid, who cares about that, just give what comfotable and make sense for you.
Post # 8
Gift what ever you feel comfortable giving. If that’s only $100, then I think that’s perfectly fine. Gifts are not tit for tat. If you feel really bad, then maybe give something small from their registry as well or another physical gift that’s off registry.
Post # 9
Are your parents going? Can you do a combined gift as well? Personally, I think I’d probably do $200… not quite as much as them, but still quite generous imo.
Post # 10
I don’t know if this is an option, but could you combine your gift with your parents’ gift to them as one whole gift as well?
Post # 11
A gift should be given because you genuinely want to give that person or couple that specific gift and not because it’s in a particular price range. This is also the spirit in which a gift should be recieved. My current salary or standard of living has nothing to do with my gifting price range, other than allowing me a little extra generosity when I feel like being extra-generous. Give the gift that you want to give, not the gift that you feel is “expensive enough.” You may consider going off the registry, especially for “experience” gifts like event tickets, which may carry a price tag more in line with your desired budget but may end up being more genuinely enjoyed and appreciated by the recipient.
Post # 12
I’d probably give $150 and consider that generous.
Post # 13
You do not have to give a huge gift just because you can.
Imagine if you gave these enormous gifts to every moron who decided to tie their life to someone else?!? You’d be broke!!!
We make great money and work hard. We enjoy Our lifestyle. But my lifestyle doesn’t mean I am required to give exponentially. If someone thinks I’m cheap or wish I had given more, that’s okay by me.
I would give what you feel like giving.
Post # 14
- Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium
For all the reasons you stated, it’s fine for you not to gift $300– which, in my opinion, is a lot, and it would make me uncomfortable if it came from someone I wasn’t super close with. I’m sure they’ll appreciate anything you give. I’m attending my cousin’s wedding, who I’m not really close with, and her parents were very generous (with physical gifts) for my wedding– but she and her fiance didn’t even give us a card. I didn’t want an actualy gift from them, but a card would have been really appreciated. My husband goes by the “give similar to what you received” rule, but I can’t justify that. So, we compromised and are giving $150 to the couple. The wedding has been completely funded by the parents, so I’m not really concerned about “covering our plates.” I’m just hoping it’ll be a little extra honeymoon-fun cash.
I also wouldn’t expect (or want) friends to give as much as older family members… we’re all saving for something at this age!!
Post # 15
My decision is an individual decision each time I give a gift whether it is for a wedding or not. I can afford to give $500 or even $1000. Do I? NO. It is not up to me to finance the wedding, the honeymoon or anything else. I make my decision based on my relationship to the receiver, not on the fiancial health of thier family.
Post # 16
Your financial abilities should have no bearing on the gift you give. If it did then I know a lot of people that owe me a bigger wedding present!!!
I decide with each wedding/couple how much we are going to give based on our relationship with the individuals. Obviously for a distant relative we are not inclined to give as much as say our best friends. Recieving an expensive gift from these distance relatives also does not mean I am required to do the same when their time comes around. As a pp mentioned it is not tit for tat in my opinion.