Post # 17
Send the card only if you are ending your relationship with that person. Your getting married and throwing a party in no way entitles you to their money, no matter how much they have or how they usually spend it. You’re welcome to be irritated about it privately but to confront them about it directly is far far beyond rude.
And wouldn’t it be terrible if their gift and your note crossed paths in the mail? I’ve given wedding gifts many months after weddings for very good reasons.
Post # 18
BV BRide: I understand how you feel. I also come from a culture where gift giving is not looked at as optional but rather as your support for the couple and not giving a gift is just poor manners. But people come from different backgrounds and have different values. I guess you just have to expect different things from different people.
Post # 19
Wow. I’m really surprised at all of the people are acting like the OP is ungrateful. I also got married recently (in June), and there were a few people we didn’t get gifts from, one being a coworker of my mother’s and another being DH’s aunt (there were a few more). The coworker didn’t pay anything besides gas money to get to the wedding.
People attending weddings should be aware that it it customary to bring or send a gift. To me, it didn’t really matter whether it was a place setting or a $20 gift card.
Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum, ALL of my friends who are still students were generous enough to get us gifts, as did the parents of a good friend of DH, and they weren’t even invited to the wedding!
I just think some people are more generous than others. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it.
Post # 20
when i made an excel sheet to list who came and gave what for my thank you cards i was a shocked that some people did not gift but they were my closest friends and they aren;t the type to just show up – indeed some guests sent gifts after the wedding so consider that. also, i really think that after some time ppl "forget" that they did not and honestly it would be very rude and embarrassing to ask since they DID make the effort and thought to come to the wedding.
I would also consider this: would you rather get a thoughtless (maybe even cheap) gift or see your friends happy and celebrating your wedding? I am going to write thank you letters anyways and thank them for coming.
Post # 21
Dear BV Bride
I am in the same situation. Our wedding was 8 weeks ago and many of our friends ( and some close ones ) did not give us gifts. I do not think you are being petty at all! I too am off-put by the fact that someone would show up and not even send a card or anything for that matter. I know gifts are optional and I really do appreciate that my friends came to celebrate the day with me. I am trying to keep that in perspective and forget about the lack of gifts. Still, I am a bit hurt – especially since I traveled to some of my friends weddings ( a few were out of the country) and I always sent a gift. Perhaps it is my upbringing as well -but I would never attend a wedding and not give a gift -it doesn’t have to be expensive- it’s just the thought. I think I am still going to send thank you notes to those people who I really appreciated that they attended – even though they didn’t give a gift.
Post # 22
Though it is not a requirement to send a gift….
when you receive an invitation to a wedding etiquette dictates that you do send a card at the very least congratulating the couple.
It sounds like no card was sent, let alone gift.
I feel for you, we have a handful of friends/family that came that also did not give a gift, send a card, nothing. It’s rude. Plain and simple. Yes my wedding was a semi-destination event, but I also took care of my guests and threw down on each of them. The invite alone gave them a clear indication of how lavish this party was going to be.
I totally feel for you BVBride.
Post # 23
I recall in an etiquette book or post (I forget) reading a possible solution. It is possible that the gift was lost (if shipped) or stolen (if brought to the reception). After some time has lapsed, you can gently mention you did not receive a gift, and worry that, if one was sent, the gift was lost in the mail or stolen at the reception. This approach must be done very gently and carefully, so as not to cause offence or seem greedy to want a gift. However, it’s unlikely that many people had gifts lost or stolen from the reception. Someone else mentioned the possibility that they simply forgot.
That being said, I don’t think I could comfortably enter into that conversation, so I would just let it go. I would hate to end a friendship over not receiving a wedding gift.
I don’t know if this would be rude, but would it be possible to send a thank you note for their presence. Something to genuinely thank them for being a part of your special day. Would anyone else take that route? Thoughts?
Post # 24
You know, I think the reason many people did not give you gifts may have been because your registries were charity donations. Maybe people thought, well, they don’t want anything for themselves, maybe I can get away with just not giving anything at all (just a guess). I think for some people, giving a charity donation doesn’t feel the same as giving a material gift to a newly married couple. I think it’s definitely weird if you didn’t even get congratulatory cards though!!
Post # 25
I definitely understand where you’re coming from and especially the initial response of "Hey! :(" I would have that reaction, too. But it’s really dangerous to assume people’s financial situations. In fact, if they’re dropping that much money on shoes for themselves, they might have spending problems they’re not ready to acknowledge. I agree that people should at least bring/send a card, but to play devil’s advocate: I’d imagine sometimes they feel (perhaps rightly so) that doing so draws more attention to the fact that they didn’t bring/send a gift.
I chose to be in a field that is by no means financially stable, and finances vary wildly from month to month. When I send a wedding reply card, I often think that I’ll be able to give the couple a very generous gift, only to finda couple months later that the travel/lodging costs have left me broke. I try to send a gift as soon as I have a little more discretionary cash, but unfortunately, I have debt that has to take priority. That’s just how it is, and I’m trying to be responsible about it. I’d like to think that most of my friends would be pretty understanding of that, or at least just stay mum on the subject. I would be absolutely mortified if I got a card like that in the mail. Are you serious?
Post # 26
The reality is….I would be p*ssed! then I would calm down….breathe deep…chuck it to bad manners and call it a day…
If I was a better person I would probably forget all about it…but knowing myself I would hold that against them for a while…birthdays, xmases, etc.
However, it would only be shocking and annoying to me if it was unexpected…like my best friend saying her presence was her gift when we’re next door neighbours…something like that!
Post # 27
Sorry: Let me clarify about the "No thanks" card! I definitely won’t send the card since it’s just silly to but the reason was the following:
This was a close friend from high school who recently decided that she hates marriage because it’s stupid. I invited her anyway since we have such a long history and it would have been odd not to (we have lots of mutual friends, the band that was playing was through her contact, etc.).
Anyway, this friend of mine showed up to my black-tie wedding wearing jeans and florescent concert t-shirt. She was more than a little rude to me during the reception for no reason other than "she hates weddings" (which is what she apparently was telling my other friends).
Lastly, we had a surprise trolley tour following our reception and wemarried couple were the last people to get on the boat. There was one single seat in front and a double seat. She had taken the double seat by herself and when I politely asked if she could move to the single seat so my husband and I could sit together she said, "Why do you guys need to sit together–you’re gonna spend the rest of your life together now, aren’t you?" She made a little fuss but finally moved to the single seat. And, well, she didn’t give a gift, which I guess was expected.
Look, I don’t want expensive gifts and people are right: the presence of happy guests celebrating is a gift enough. But I still think it’s a little rude to not give a gift or a card. I personally always give a gift and at certain times, the gift has been small or something hand-made but it’s just a way to give a couple a good send-off.
I know there’s a year rule for gifts but I’m fairly certain that the majority of my twenty-something Manhattanite care-free friends will not be giving gifts. I know this of them because I know my friends pretty well and, because they’re my friends, I guess I won’t worry about it and just focus on the happy moments I shared with them at the wedding.
Post # 28
I’m actually starting to like that our generation no longer feels as tied to etiquette as older generations have, especially when situations have changed so much over the years for young married couples. Of course, regardless of changing rules of etiquette, what that guest did to you, BVBride, is just wrong, and I completely understand that you’d be hurt/angry over her actions. I also think it’s wonderful that you asked for charity donations for those choosing to give "gifts" for your wedding – we’re planning on doing the same thing. And, like you, we’re paying for the wedding ourselves, DIYing up a storm, and my husband-to-be is still in college (and we’re saving for a home).
That being said, and I’m not saying this is BVBride’s situation (it doesn’t really sound like it), but I’m bothered by entitled brides who look at weddings as a time to cash in. Especially since it’s so incredibly common these days for married couples to be in their mid to late 20s (or older), employed and financially stable, and living together for a long time before the wedding. My father talks about bridal showers and wedding gifts when he was getting married, noting that most couples at that time were very young, moving in after the wedding, and had next to nothing to start their life together. That’s why giving a gift to the young couple was so important, but today it seems like most couples getting married are not in this situation and are using the wedding as an opportunity to get free upgrades on their kitchenware or have someone else pay for their honeymoon.
Bottom line: Wedding gifts today are a nice gesture, especially if you’re more in need of them than the average couple. They are not a requirement, and I won’t fault any of my guests if they offer nothing more than well wishes. BVBride, I’m sorry you had to deal with rude guests, but I hope you still have many fond memories of your wedding day.