Post # 1
I am getting married in November and my friend is getting married in December. We live in different states so a flight and hotel is required for the trip to their wedding. I am traveling in for their wedding but recently found out that they are not coming to ours when we received their wedding gift in the mail (which costs $35).
My question is how much should I give back to them when I go to their wedding? I am already paying for the flight, hotel, etc. so I do not think I will give my normal amount when they only sent a gift of around $30-$35. What do you think is proper to give in return?
EDIT – I should mention that the only reason I am thinking about this too much is that they are very well off financially and I am your average joe.
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Post # 2
- Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle
I don’t think you should base it on the fact that they only spent $35 on you. Ask yourself what you would have given them before you got their gift and be the bigger person.
Post # 3
Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t expect a gift from anybody who has to fly and / or pay for a hotel room for my wedding. I say a card would be sufficient but I don’t know if that’s proper etiquette.
Post # 4
Thanks for the reply. Normally I wouldn’t ever base it on their gift amount, but given their financial situation (very well off) and the fact that I am flying in I don’t feel the need to give $100+ like I normally would.
Post # 5
I believe it is proper to give a gift that you feel is appropriate for the occasion without regard for how much that person may have spent on a gift for you.
Perhaps your friend is in a different financial situation?
Post # 6
Their financial situation is that they are very well off and I am basically a standard middle class 30 something.
Post # 7
$50 in a card and call it even. I never take traveling into consideration when I’m giving a gift.
Post # 8
We’ve gone to several weddings since being together and my Fiance usually gives 100-200 depending on how fancy and/or how close we are to the couple. None of those people are coming to our Destination Wedding, which is understandable, but none of those people gave gifts to our only “at home” celebration (engagement party). If I recall, maybe one of those couples gave a $20 gift card. If I look at the numbers, we’ve probably spent $1000+ on friend’s weddings, not counting two coming up in Oct that’ll cost us at least $800 more with hotels plus gifts, and get nothing more than $20 in return from ALL of those people combined for our own wedding.
They’re our friends. We care about them, and we gave gifts we felt were appropriate. Not even ettiquette based, but based on the couple and wedding formality. Does it bother me? A little, now that you bring it up. Ultimately it doesn’t affect our friendships and it won’t change how we gift in the future. Half of the couples didn’t even send out thank you cards. It happens. You can’t control other people. We act how we feel is right. If you think that $35 is appropriate to gift, do it. If you think it’ll be interpreted as payback for their gift to you, they’re probably right.
Edit: just saw your update about financial situation. I do often take that into account, but I’d still give what I felt was right regardless of their gift to me.
Post # 9
- Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle
Ouch…I’m sure that stings. Just give what you feel is appropriate without trying to be vindictive about it. A lot of times people are well off because they are cheap assholes.
Post # 10
Did you enjoy the gift from them? Was it thoughtful? I would give a gift that you would be excited for them to receive 🙂 It’s not so much about the cost of the gift but more so about their enjoyment of the gift for me.
Post # 11
and a lot of times they appear to be well off but are actually swimming in debt! Unless you have access to their account statements you can’t assume much about a persons finances based just on what they choose to show off.
Post # 12
Keep in mind that appearances can be deceiving and they may not be as well off as you think. Student loans, big spenders, planning their wedding? Second, a lot of people don’t gift at all for a wedding they are not attending so maybe they went ahead and sent you just a little something even though they are not attending because you are attending theirs. And the comment about people being well off because they are cheap assholes … how about they are well off because they are thrifty and/or invest and don’t spend frivilously including not sending out big chunks of their cash as gifts.
Would I give them $200 or more … no … I would follow their thrifty plan and send a gift in the $50 – $100 range unless you find something meaningful for a bit less.
Post # 13
Thanks again for the feedback. That’s really the only reason I am overthinking this one because they are not saving a “nest egg” or anything. But I agree that I should not be vindictive about it. This one just seems different when I know the gift total won’t make a difference either way in their savings.
Post # 14
If you’re good enough friends to fly for their wedding, give a small <50$ gift and a card with your heartfelt congratulations.
If they’re rich, will they be having a big, fancy wedding? You’d pay 100$+ for a fancy night out on the town at home, anyway.