Post # 1
We are eloping overseas and hosting a reception about 2 weeks later. When we sent out our save the dates for our party we said ‘let your presence be our presents’ because we thought it was unfair to expect gifts when our guests will not be at our actual wedding. Now that our reception is including $3500 bar tab, table decorations, food, pre-drinks, limos for our guests to take them to an after-party, favours, wedding cake etc. I think that perhaps we’ve shot ourselves in the foot and it would’ve been fine to expect gifts. The invitations for our reception have already gone out, with no mention of gifts or wishing well. I have asked people to RSVP by email or phone (no return to sender RSVP card sent). I have had about 4 people RSVP out of about 100, the invites went out about a month ago. We said we want all RSVP’s by 21 May. Do you think I could send out RSVP return to sender cards and perhaps another little card mentioning a wishing well or gifts table or should I just leave it and await my email / phone RSVP’s and provide a wishing well / gift table in the hope that people would be considerate enough to bring a gift.
Post # 3
I don’t know whether you can change your mind re gifts without seeming ‘grabby’. (ie sending out new info to guests when you have already stated ‘no gifts’)
( I am sorry, that sounds harsh, I know.)
People who want to bring a gift or give $ will.
No worries with putting out a table at the reception however 🙂
Post # 4
@KellyLouise: I would say most people think you’re blowing smoke when you say no gifts and are planning to bring something unless they’re the type that usually don’t or can’t afford to. In which case you probably risk offending the people that were planning to bring something more than convincing someone to bring one.
Certainly a table at the reception as a clear spot for those who choose to bring something to put them is acceptable.
Post # 5
I agree, you are probably going to still get gifts or at least cash cards. I agree that there is probably no way to ask now without seeming greedy.
Post # 6
You can’t mention gifts on an invitation or rsvp, but if you have a wedding website, you can direct people to a registry. I think people will blow off the “no gifts” thing, and if you just make sure not to say that anymore, you’ll find that people do bring gifts.
Post # 7
I agree.The people that want to bring gifts,will.
Post # 8
What about the RSVP dilemma? Do people RSVP by email or phone by the date you suggest or do you usually have to chase them for an answer? I would’ve thought more people would have called by now at least to tell me they,
a: have received their invite; and
b: would like to or probably wont be able to come
So I was thinking about sending those cute RSVP cards anyway and was possibly going to mention a one liner ‘ a gifts table and wishing well will be at the reception for those who would like to bring gifts ‘ or something like that.
I also thought people would probably bring cash cards anyway and deep down inside, right from the beginning I didn’t even want any gifts, but now I look around my house and realise that all this money that is going towards our wedding could really be used on some new sheets or pots & pans etc as all of our basic household items are in dire need of upgrading! Our couch has holes and our fridge is tiny and on top of that we are trying to save for a house. Gifts would be very appreciated in our household.
Post # 9
I do not, in any way, mean to be harsh. However, from an etiquette perspective, what you have already done (make mention of gifts/presents on your Save-The-Date Cards by implying that you do NOT want them) is not proper. You should not ever mention gifts — even the absence of them — in or on your wedding correspondence. Therefore, it also would be improper for you to now to raise the subject again by attempting to ask for gifts or to mention — or even have — a “wishing well.”
You should simply move forward with your plans for hosting your reception and not make any further reference to gifts. However, it would be perfectly fine for you to arrange privately with your venue to have a location to put gifts, if people bring them. As some prior posters noted, it is very likely that some guests will bring gifts — or give you cash — all on their own.
ETA: I should also note that it is perfectly fine for you and your Fiance to register and to have a link to your registries somewhere in a more subtle (i.e. not prominent) location on your wedding website. Other than this, registry information should be passed by word of mouth from people who know (your close family members and close friends) to those who ask for this information.
Post # 10
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I agree with PPs about the gifts. You should never have said anything to start with. Don’t say anything now either, but make a registry and ou it on your website.
As for RSVPs, it is still really really early. You shouldn’t have even sent invitations yet, so to be expecting RSVPs already is not fair to your guests. Most people will respond in the week or two before the deadline, and you will have to hunt people down since you didn’tprovide response cards. But, you need to wait until the last week before the due date to do that.
Post # 11
Excellent Phewf,thanks for the advice bees. I have received quite a few wedding invites that mention wishing well and didn’t think there was anything at all wrong with it but I’m happy to not say anything else and just provide the table and a cards box. I will also chase the people that haven’t RSVP’d closer to the 21 May date. I don’t think it matters when I sent my invites though…? I think its better to let people know in advance what our plans are. I do like the idea of creating a wedding website though and possibly creating a link to a registry. I have NO IDEA how to do this though LOL
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
Websites are free through theknot.com and many other sites. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
As for when to send invitations, if you want to give people advanced warning, that’s what save-the-dates are for. Invitations for out at 6-8 weeks before the wedding. This is considered the optimum time because it is close enough that people can be realistic about whether or not they can attend and that (this is important) they won’t forget, and far out enough that they can still get plane tickets and hotel reservations. If you send to early, like you did, you risk people just putting it aside for later because it is so far off and then entirely forgetting come RSVP time and even event time.
Post # 13
I think most people would bring gifts regardless, or at least a card. I’m not sure there’s any way to explicitly ask that politely.
Post # 14
@mrsSonthebeach: I am really worried that that might happen… I think people have forgotten the date and will forget to RSVP because I sent the invites too early !! Oh well, I guess I will just have to do the dreaded follow-up, closer to the date of course. It may be a good chance to talk to people before the party but I’ll have to set aside a whole week to get through everyone !