(Closed) Spinoff: Why is it rude not to bring a gift?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 62
Member
1206 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Don’t worry, I think we’ve all made mistakes.  I was invited to a wedding in college and had no idea I was suppose to bring something so we stopped and got wine and flowers between the ceremony and reception.  So much wiser now.  I would never show up without having already given a gift or prepared to bring one or send one.  It’s just the nice thing to do.

Post # 64
Member
2637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@EncoreBridetoBe: sorry, I still disagree. $100pp is quite on the higher end. (see this thread: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/per-person-plate-prices ) (so far, 68% of bees spend *less* than $90, and 78% spend LESS than $111!)

I maintain my point that if someone *chooses* to spend that much, that is their own “fault,” and I will not allow myself to feel obligated to “repay” that. 

Post # 65
Member
719 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2016

@joy2011: 78% spend LESS than $111 well $100 is less! Also I am not swayed based on a poll, I am basing my opinion of average on what I see at weddings I attend and weddigns my family attends.

I am refering to weddings I attend, now my posts are lengthy but I have said I base it around what is being spent. So if I went to a back yard BBQ my gift would be smaller b/c I know they did not spend 70-150 a head.

I am not alone in my view, other posters have stated they were raised to atleast cover their plate. I never said YOU had to do anything, but I personally was not raised to go eat someone’s food, drink at their open bar, eat their cake, dance to the dj they paid for, take home a favour and not feel I should atleast cover my plate.

Again as others have said if I am not close to the person they are not invited, so if a guest is having financial problems I will know and understand. I still want them to come! There is a difference between can’t and won’t. A person I love who can’t afford a gift is different from a person who claims to love me, can afford a gift but won’t.

Weddings get emotions high and people find things out, so when a bride is sitting with her groom and his mom openning wedding gifts and cards, they take note of things for thank you letters. Now the bride may never say “Aunt Martha in her 3/4 of a million dollar house decided to give her nephew a candle as a wedding gift” BUT the groom’s mom may feel slighted she may tell one of her other sisters about Martha. Then invitations for Martha’s daughter’s wedding come and NOW everyone has discreetly found out about the $5 candle. Now aunt martha’s daughter is wondering why all her gifts(from aunts and uncles who usually display joy and generosity) are cheap nicnaks or $5 candles.

Word gets around, people do have books where they write down how much they gave at so and so’s wedding. It is not heartfelt and I am not being flowery, I am saying right or wrong, like it or not this is how TONS of ppl do it. No one wants to admitt it but if they spent $300 on their cousin and that cousin(of the same financial means) gave them salt and pepper shakers, they would feel slighted to say the least.

I was only answering the question and throwing in my 2 cents, if you don’t like it then don’t listen. I am not telling you that YOU specifically have to do anything.

Post # 66
Member
46 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think it just depends on what’s “normal” for your family, community, heritage, etc. because different nationalities or even cities have different customs they follow, regardless of if it’s considered real etiquette or not… I don’t think they’re wrong just because it’s not “proper”.

For example, where I live, and in my and my FI’s family circles, it’s totally normal and expected that you give a gift at the engagement party and bridal shower (even if you can’t attend… In fact, I’ve been to several bridal showers and brought gifts when I wasn’t even invited to the wedding, which I was totally fine with… I’ve had many of my mother’s friends/coworkers ask if they could come to my bridal shower and want to buy me a gift, even though they know they’re not invited to the wedding. And it’s customary to always register for gifts at two different stores, at least).

Then, it’s customary to bring a cash gift to the wedding, if you can afford to. I’ve always given at least $100 because that would be the approximate cost per plate in the area I live in, and I know weddings can be very expensive.

My family is Italian and I don’t know if that makes a difference… but I also think it stems from where you live, in the case of my mother’s coworkers, etc. Just depends on what’s normal for you. Regardless of whether or not it’s “proper”, if I showed up to a wedding without a gift, that would be considered rude. (The same way that I would never show up to a birthday party without bringing a gift.) I’m not saying it has to be expensive, but I still wouldn’t feel right not even bringing a card or a small token of my congratulations.

Post # 68
Member
1039 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I think the “proper” thing to do is to send the gift to the bride/groom’s house before or after the wedding, so they don’t have to worry about transporting gifts from the wedding afterwards. Unless you bring a card, with or without a check or cash.

I don’t go to birthday parties without at least a birthday card, or a dinner party without a bottle of wine, or a bbq w/o cupcakes, just seems polite 🙂

Post # 69
Member
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@EncoreBridetoBe: I was actually raised the same way as you and FutureMrsSitler I was taught to at least try and “cover my plate”.  Maybe it’s a NY thing?  I honestly don’t know.  I also don’t mind doing that if it is in my means to do so.  When I was a bridesmaid for a very close friend, I spent about $1000 in bridal attire, accessories, bridal shower and gifts, etc. and an additional $250 as a wedding gift to cover me and BF at the time.  I didn’t know for sure how much she paid a head, but I was able to estimate by going on her reception hall’s website and looking at their price options.  But this is just ME.  I honestly don’t expect gifts in return or tit for tat.  I would just be really happy if people showed up (I have bad luck with people not coming to big important events in my life like graduations, milestone bdays and such).  Unfortunately, there are a lot of people (at least from what I’ve heard in my personal and professional circles) that do take their “books” out when someone else’s wedding comes around to see how much that couple spent on their wedding gift.  And as true and unspoken as it may be, I think this is still unfortunate, especially during these tough economic times.

I never considered the argument regarding favors that guests get to take home on top of the eating, drinking, etc.  Interesting point.  I will have to think on that one.

Either way, when I get married, I HOPE people will find it in their hearts to give us a gift, but, honestly, I would be just as happy to have them actually show up and just celebrate with us.  For me, it’s more about having the actual support and physical presence of friends and family on our wedding day than the gifts.  For instance, we are planning a Destination Wedding so I expect a lot of guests will be unable to afford to travel and get us a gift, however, it would break my heart if they didn’t come at all because they couldn’t afford to give us a gift in addition to travel expenses.

Post # 70
Member
1094 posts
Bumble bee

@kay01: An heirloom is characterized by quality and style that transcend the vaguaries of fashion, such that you would not consider discarding it as fashion trends change, and with a durability that allows it to last from one generation to the next. My step-grandmother had pure linen sheets that she passed down to her daughter and which were even used by the third generation before they finally began to disintegrate. I am envious: I love the look and feel of linen. (In contrast, my brightly floral polyester-cotton sheets of the seventies lasted less than a decade, but that was small loss because I had already sickened of the pattern, and sleeping between them felt a lot like sleeping in saran wrap — but, they were cheap. My 100% cotton 200-thread-count sheets from Woodwards lasted only about fifteen years: much more comfortable but still hardly heirloom quality.)

I’ve never been able to find linen sheets in Canada, but several years ago I did find 800-thread-count Egyptian cotton sheets with hand hem-stitching. Good quality cotton feels almost as luxurious as linen, but obviously the jury is still out on whether they will last as long. In the same category, true Turkish towels are richly luxurious and last for ever — through a dozen different bathroom decorating schemes certainly, so it is wise to havve them in plain white to go with all your decorating schemes.

I didn’t inherit any linen sheets, but I did inherit my own grandmother’s linen damask tablecloth and napkins; and several smaller hand-embroidered luncheon and tea cloths. I inherited a hand-embroidered cloth from a friend’s mother that I deeply cherish: it was almost finished, but my friend doesn’t do cutwork embroidery and I do and she wanted to see it finished and used. And my mother had some lovel guest-towels that were among her wedding gifts and eventually came to me: all cross-stitched and trimmed with hand-made lace by her sister. This is actually one of the nice things about giving and receiving heirloom linens: not only that they are beautiful and long-lasting, but that unlike china many of them are more valuable because they are gifts of a dear friend’s time and talent as well as mere material goods.

Post # 71
Member
1182 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@aspasia475:

I’m fortunate in that my initials match my great-grandmother’s monogram so I’m the inheritor of her linens and silver.

Post # 72
Member
391 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Speaking of heirlooms, I just visited extended family and one of my grandmother’s gave me set of her formal china, and really delicate silverware that my great-grandmother brought from Norway. I can’t even tell you how much more that means to me than all the store bought gifts we got for our engagement 🙂

Post # 73
Member
2336 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

@aspasia475: Thanks for the explanation!  Sadly, beyond some crochet doilies and runners, and a tablecloth or two, my family does not have heirloom linens, although I can fondly hope that someday the cross-stiches and quilt I’ve made might become so.

Post # 74
Member
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@JenniBride:I completely agree! The reception is a “thank you” to the guests for attending the wedding. Some people choose to say thank you more lavishly than others, but that doesn’t mean their guests should be required to pay them back for it. If they can’t afford the lavish reception, they shouldn’t have one.

I grew up in the midwest, and I have never heard people talk about buying a gift equal to the cost of the plate. My budget does not allow for $150 wedding gifts. I generally spend X amount of dollars on shower gifts and wedding gifts are around Y amount of dollars. All couples, no matter the budget for their wedding, are gifted the same way…. unless it’s someone I’m really close to. Then I’ll spend more money on them. Does anybody else do that?

Post # 75
Member
1182 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@blayne7:

I’m not sure about the “cost of the plate” thing. I don’t think it’s a “New York” thing, as I never heard it growing up. I have heard it as an adult, though I couldn’t tell you where. The internet, I guess? All I can say is that how much the host chooses to spend per head on food has no bearing on what I choose to give them.

Post # 76
Member
2637 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@blayne7: Exactly. “If they can’t afford the lavish reception, they shouldn’t have one.”

I’m certainly not going to let myself feel obligated to pay more if they are irresponsible with their money!

The topic ‘Spinoff: Why is it rude not to bring a gift?’ is closed to new replies.

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