Post # 1
Kind of a unique situation here. We are from a small town where a year ago we met a pastor and his wife. My fiance is on the fence about this guy but I don’t really care for him. I have seen many things that are not ethical in his ministry practice. (We attended his church a couple of times.)
He has family members that are drug dealers and they say prayers for the family member in church so that he does not get caught with ALL the drugs so his sentence won’t be high. This is the kind of person I am talking about. He also discusses everyone’s personal business in front of the congregation of 5 people. Very strange!
Anyway, we recently received an invite, left on our doorstep to attend the renewing of their vows (pastor and wife). At the bottom of the one-card invite, it said “please gift us monetarily so that we can take a trip to Colorado”.
My assumption is that they have trouble with money since they can’t maintain a congregation, the mortgage on the church is months behind, and they don’t seem to pay their phone bill because it is always shut off.
I feel like the vow renewals are a scam for money because I would certainly never expect a gift for a renewal, perhaps a card. It is has now drawn to within a couple days of their renewal and they are calling us to attend their ceremony. We have no interest especially due to their forwardness about gifting.
So bottom line, should someone expect a gift for vow renewals?
Post # 3
This sounds like a scam, but people do give gifts a vow renewals. If you think it’s a scam, I wouldn’t give any money nor would I be attending their church.
Post # 4
Lol, Etiquette Snob here…
Vow Renewals and NO Gifts are required, period
If anything you attend to support the couple in their decision to proclaim their LOVE before God & others again (usually a Vow Renewal happens after a long period of marriage… ie 25 Years, or if there has been an incredible hardship… such as a serious illness, etc)
Invitations should NEVER have any sort of reference to gift giving… to do so is just quite frankly being very “gift greedy” (and oh ya that word no one likes around here… Tacky. Sorry, but it is outright tacky)
As a Guest, your OBLIGATION is to reply. Send a note, or a card… wish them well, and if not attending send regrets (we have other plans). Truly the choice is yours to make.
Honestly, from your description, it sounds like they are somewhat “strong arming” you to make a decision / attend / donate … and that is never cool. The primary basis of Etiquette is to makes one’s Guests (potential Guests) feel comfortable not put upon.
Honestly, based on their pure lack of form when it comes to Etiquette, and all else you’ve revealed, I can’t say I’d want to socialize with these folks… I’d give my regrets, and then afterwards expand my social circle in another direction.
Post # 5
Gifts aren’t required, but if you want to give a gift it’s fine. But they shouldn’t put on the invite that they want donations to go on a trip…..that’s crazy! LOL
Post # 6
Their church mortgage is months behind and their bills are hardly paid, but they want a trip to Colorado? An they pray for drug dealers? (family or not) They aren’t taking their ministry vows with GOD seriously since he is a pastor…
I wouldn’t give them money nor their church and I would quit attending.
Post # 7
Yeah, ITA w/ This Time Round. Gifts are customary, but never required–for any event, period, including vow renewals. And asking for one, particularly dictating what the gift should be, is a breach of etiquette.
It sounds like you don’t like this couple so decline the invite, wish them well (you can send them a nice card), and forget about a gift. Dustoff, move on.
Post # 8
@happyface: Yeah forget the gift I would be more concerned with the administration of the church. Are they a stand alone church or part of a larger faith organisation? If they are part of a larger faith organisiation I would contact their lead office for your state and report the clear misconduct. And if they are a stand alone I would report them to whatever government department looks after that sort of thing..
Post # 9
No one should ever EXPECT a gift for any occasion.
I would decline this invitation, since it seems that they are more interested in your presents then your presence.
Post # 10
I am renewing my vows and expect NO GIFTS… unless someone wants to buy us cocktails in vegas, then that will be gladly accepted:)
That is nutty!