Post # 1
Ok, so there’s always much debate about wedding gifts. We all know the dictionary definition of gift. It is not a payment of any kind. No one is owed a gift. No one should expect a gift or be angry if they don’t receive one. Here’s where the debate comes in though:
The threads under the Gift category always seem to emphasize that it’s rude to expect gifts.
The threads under the Etiquette category always seem to emphasize that it’s rude to not give one.
So which is it? Would you show up to a wedding empty handed?
Post # 3
I’ve said this before that I don’t understand the split between the two–it’s rude to expect gifts and how dare you have a registry and tell people what to get you because a gift should never be dictated (and don’t you dare complain that six people got you toasters because you were told it was rude to have a registry), but don’t you dare show up empty handed.
I have shown up empty handed before. Unfortunately, I did not just automatically know that you HAD to bring something, and I’ve always been brokeeee. I went to my cousin’s wedding with nothing (and declined to attend her bridal shower because I had no money) several years ago. We went to FI’s cousin’s wedding with nothing because FI was in the wedding and said that we didn’t have to (and we were broke).
We’ve gone to four other weddings since then, two for older couples who said not to bring anything, one for a couple our age who also said not to bring anything, and one for another couple our age, for whom we sent a two gifts for their shower/wedding and then brought a card to the wedding itself.
Post # 4
I said I’d never go empty-handed, but if I couldn’t afford much, I’d bring a bottle of wine or a card or something.
Post # 5
- Wedding: July 2017 - Bristol zoo
I’d never show up to someone’s wedding/birthday/whatever empty handed, but at the same time I could never bring myself to expect someone else to do the same for me.
I chalk it up to holding myself to a higher standard than those around me, not that I think lowly of my peers, but just because it might be fine for them to do something does not make it fine for me, and I certainly can’t expect someone else to react to things the same as I would.
Does that make any sense?
Post # 6
Etiquette really is not as complicated, contradictory, or confusing as it may seem.
It is true that gifts are not required and that they should never be demanded, requested, or expected — expected in the sense that people should not ever feel “entitled” to receive them.
It is also true that it is customary for someone who accepts an invitation to a wedding (or a birthday party, etc.) to provide a gift.
As for the existence of wedding gift registries for household items (china, crystal, linens, kitchen equipment and other household items and accessories), etiquette does NOT consider them to be rude but rather a convenience for guests who wish proactively to seek out and purchase such a gift so that they do not need to attempt to guess what colors and patterns a bride or couple has chosen for their new home and life together.
Unfortunately, when couples proactively attempt to tell their guests what to give to them by including registry information with wedding invitations; or asking for cash gifts; or establishing honeyfunds so that guests may, in essence, pay for the couple’s honeymoon; or bank registries, so that couples, may in essence, provide payment toward a couple’s new home; etc. they have crossed a line of proper etiquette and are attempting to wrestle the decision about whether to give and what to give from the hand of the gift giver and into the hands of the gift recipient. Etiquette does consider this to be rude.
Guests already know that they have the option of giving a couple cash — cash that can go toward the honeymoon, or a new house, or a new car, or whatever item or experience that a couple may wish to purchase with it. However, many guests prefer not to give cash. Instead, they may wish to give a couple a tangible, long-lasting expression of their love and affection. The mere presence of a traditional, household-gift-item registry that is not promoted in the wedding invitation does not take away this freedom. It simply provides information for anyone who wishes to proactively seek it.