(Closed) POLL – Would you be offended by a cheap gift/no gift at all?

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Would you be offended?

    I would be offended by no gift

    I would be offended by a cheap gift (i.e $5)

    I would be offended by both

    I would be offended by neither

  • Post # 31
    14 posts

    I also think gifts regardless of an event can leave a sour taste depending on the circumstances… I personally am really into “gift culture”, meaning I always give my best to put a lot of though into the gift. Wether I am financially on the better side or not. If I can afford it, I did make bigger gifts to different kinds of friends / family / partner. But also just cause I knew that specific gift comes with a lot of meaning. At times I hardly could afford gifts but I would not show up empty handed and then I would also do something like a photobook, even drawings with shich I put extra much effort in of a picture of me and the person I give it to etc.

    So yes, given that those people over the years should realize that gifts are a big deal for me, it can be disappointing if you show up with thoughful gifts to birthdays and christmas and special events… And then not just once but several times there would be nothing in return or maybe something with little value that obviously doesn’t fit to you once or ever. Like a friend of me for example LOVES candles and plants. So if I would show up with flowers I know I would amaze her. But then again I make it very clear that I can’t be bothered with plants as they would just die out under my hands…

    So once I got some flowers that are hard to maintain with the comment “but if you would not take care of them rather return em before letting them go bad” plus some underwear that apparently didn’t fit her… Which kinda made me just feel like… Really?! Did you buy it actually as a gift or in hope that you can do a guesture but can keep it after all and by the way get rid of the other stuff…? Rather just invite me to cook together at your place or don’t give nothing at all than something in bad taste….

    Post # 32
    198 posts
    Blushing bee

    These days there are so many expectations for wedding related gifting.  People often expect people to give wedding related gifts on 3 separate occassions (engagement party, bridal shower, and then the actual wedding).  I think people are quick to forget that you invite people to your wedding because you want to share your marriage with them.  It’s about celebrating a committment, and you are asking these people to witness and support that committment.  Over the top wedding expectations often lead to over the top gift expectations, and I personally feel that it’s really out of hand.  

    And on top of that, I don’t really know of anyone that walks around advertising thier financial health.  From outward appearances, it may not appear that someone is struggling financially, but the reality is that most people are living pay check to pay check and have to strictly budget for neccessities.  

    Post # 33
    444 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2017

    The last 2 weddings Fiance have been to we have not given gifts.

    These have been weddings of very close friends (even former housemates) in one wedding Fiance was a groomsman.

    We have expressed to them that we WILL get them something, but as of now (imediately after 3 weddings and right before our own) we just can’t afford it (each wedding we had to book travel and accomodation.)  Hopefully when we’re all recovered from the financial cost of all the weddings, we’ll all be in a better position to maybe be more generous with our money on future occasion.  Until then we just have to offer our support in other ways.


    Turns out…. all people really want is for you to be there and to be supportive of their relationship (which we all have been for each other for years.)  We’re not expecting anything from our friends when we get married, you don’t invite friends to a party just to get gifts.  I’d question the friendship of the person who expected/demanded a gift over the person who didn’t bring one any-day.


    I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing or a circle thing, but sometimes I really struggle to understand the obsession with asking for and getting gifts.  

    Don’t show up with a gift I have no need for,

    Don’t give me money you can’t afford.

    Come to my wedding, have a great time and celebrate with us!  We wouldn’t have invited you if you weren’t special to us – I seriously think people’s ideas of entitlement are getting messed up.

    Post # 34
    163 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: February 2018

    View original reply
    yupmarried :  Nailed it!

    TBH if it were me, yes, I would be offended if I didn’t get a gift (or a cheap gift) for a wedding. None of the people going to my wedding are that hard off and if I’m spending $200+ per plate I would hope that everyone would at least try to cover half of their cost. 

    If they can’t though, at least make sure the gift is thoughtful! That’s what really grinds my gears the most about your story. A $5 candle holder from Walmart is the most impersonal gift I could imagne and makes me think they purchased it on the way to the wedding. Like hello, it’s your BIL! At least try to give a cute picture of him and your Fiance as kids or a card talking about how much you mean to him or something….

    Post # 35
    805 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Nope.  Gifts are not owed to their recipients nor are they a requirement for attending events.  They may be the social norm for a lot of us but plenty of people are not brought up in such a “gift culture”.  I would not judge someone for not bestowing me with gifts, and I wouldn’t retaliate.  

    Post # 36
    7905 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    The older I get and the busier we all get the more I appreciate people’s time over everything else. 

    I always give a gift, but I can afford it and I really enjoy choosing and giving gifts. I would not be offended if someone did not give me a gift or gave me an inexpensive gift and I would not seek to punish someone who didn’t get me a gift by not giving them a gift. Weddings aren’t supposed to be fundraisers. They are supposed to be a celebration of two people joining their lives together. 

    Post # 37
    3951 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I might’ve been hurt if say, my siblings, didn’t think to even give us a card, but friends? Nah.

    I think we had a couple guests who didn’t give us gifts for the wedding, but I just figured that either money was tight, they forgot, or they just don’t give wedding gifts. I can’t even recall exactly who they were now, so it definitely won’t affect my gift-giving to their events. Overall, though, our guests were very generours gifters.

    On the flip side, if a guest was extremely generous to us, I’ll probably try to splurge a little on them if I can afford to.

    I agree with some of the PPs – it might be a love language thing. Gifts are very much NOT my love language, so it doesn’t really bother me to not get them. 

    Post # 38
    1829 posts
    Buzzing bee

    View original reply
    Lakeside003 :   We had a nice wedding, pretty fancy adn everyones dish was $125 per head. some paid per head, others came close or not at all. One couple (who aren’t financially broke or anything, they travel the world and such) gave us $25. We also had a few “no gifts” or married adult kids put their names on their parents cards. We got over all of it but te $25 I was really taken back by. I personally could never be a person who attends a wedding with no gift or a gift that doesnt cover my plate. It is what it is and we got over it, but it was just weird. I have read that some bees will gift what they got gifted at their wedding. I told DH about that and he was not a fan of that idea. It’s amazing to see everyones different point of views on the subject.

    Post # 39
    91 posts
    Worker bee

    Honestly, no gift at all would be offensive to me.  That’s just etiquette in my family.  You don’t have to go overboard (I understand that not everyone has the same financial situation), but bringing SOMETHING is just the right thing to do.


    For our wedding, we didn’t register anywhere because we don’t really need anything.  I don’t look down on anyone who gave less than the others, and we had a few people that brought a homemade gift.  I don’t think less of anyone that gave less- it’s the thought that counts.

    Post # 40
    1206 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2018 - Omaha, NE

    I would not be offended by no or a “cheap” gift. Even if they’re loaded. I’m already dreading making a wedding registry because I hate receiving gifts and I’m not money or gift grabby at all. My fiance and I don’t do anniversary or holiday gifts (christmas, valentines, etc.) because we’re just not gifty people. We have a huge family and if we spent money on gifts for everyone we would be broke every year and we’d much rather spend our money on experiences or activities we can do together like taking trips, going to the movies, concerts, etc. 

    We’re hosting a wedding to have celebration of our marriage with our family and friends, not to receive gifts. I can’t believe there are rules on gifts now, like what happened to not looking a gift horse in the mouth? Be thankful you ingrates!

    Post # 41
    2363 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    Depends on so many things as many previous bees have pointed out.

    Cheap gift – not offended

    No gift? – might be offended

    No gift, no card? – probably offended. 

    I would never personally come to a wedding empty handed. Ever. Or birthday party, baby shower, wedding shower, etc. I can understand a cheap gift completely, perhaps they are having trouble, etc. If I couldn’t afford to give a gift/monetary gift, I wouldn’t attend the event.

    However in my opinion, It’s definitely the thought that counts! Even no gift but a heart felt card, I would still understand. However, no gift or card? No. So rude. It would totally make me reevaluate our friendship. 

    It takes nothing to give a card. Even if you literally have NO spare cash, you can make one. 

    Post # 42
    8067 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2013

    I wasn’t really offended by the no gift givers and I did receive a $5 gift card. But I really have no idea what their financial situation was so I didn’t care.  I was more offended by the people that RSVP’d yes and the no-showed (and never let us know). THAT is rude.  At least send a message saying you wouldn’t be able to make it or that you’re sorry but something came up last minute!

    Post # 43
    859 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2017

    I agree with beevincent18. I can get past no gift or a cheap gift (as long as the cheap gift isn’t super impersonal) because who knows what people’s financial situation is. But not bringing a card or a gift to a wedding, shower, etc is obnoxious. Even if you can’t afford a card, at least write a nice note and put it in the card box…just something! Otherwise it’s like you just showed up for the free food. 

    The main thing I hold against people for future gift-giving is not sending a bloody thank you card. You can get me a cheap gift or no gift, and I will still give you a proper gift for your wedding/shower/etc. But if I give you a gift and all I get is crickets in response, you bet your ass I’m going to hold that against you.


    Post # 44
    837 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    When we got married a (distant) family member who attended gave us something very small (likely under $10). I felt that it was heartfelt, and I truly loved what they chose. To put into perspective, they are in their later stages of life, and lead a very comfortable life, so finances were not an issue. I sent a very genuine card of thanks, as i was thankful, and did appreciate the gift they chose.

    2 years later, when re-using a wedding gift bag, I found a substantial cheque from them that had fallen into the folds of the bag. Obviously we didnt cash it. But knowing that they gifted us much more than the $10 item does not change the level of thanks I have for them!

    Post # 45
    837 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I feel the same way about thank you cards. I love giving gifts, and giving brings me lots of joy. But you bet Im watching to see if I get a note of thanks in return.


    The topic ‘POLL – Would you be offended by a cheap gift/no gift at all?’ is closed to new replies.

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