(Closed) Wedding Cost and Gifts

posted 4 years ago in Money
Post # 3
2523 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

@artistInResidence:  Almost everyone coming to our wedding will be spending at least one night away and at least an hour’s drive.  Half the guest list is flying in from Europe.  We don’t expect any gifts.  The cost to fly and stay is very high, I’ll be thrilled if some of them can make it at all!  

Post # 5
3402 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Not gonna lie, I wanted to elope & husband wanted to have the whole “wedding” event, and we ended up doing it his way because he said we would recoup all of the money we spent in the form of gifts.

He ended up being right, and we just barely broke even. Had we not gotten a lot of gifts I certainly wouldn’t have been mad at our family & friends, I just would have been bummed that we didn’t elope and save some money.

Then again, our wedding was only 6 thousand dollars, so it’s a different scenario from most women on this site who think that a “budget wedding” is 15 thousand.

Post # 6
1110 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I would doubt that your guests would expect you to contribute to their accomodation costs.  I know some people view attending a destination wedding as being the gift to the bride and groom, and don’t give an actual gift.  I think everything you said in your post sounds reasonable.  You aren’t registering and “asking” for gifts, so it is up to your guests whether they want to travel to attend, and if so, whether they are able to give a gift as well.

Post # 7
346 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

We didn’t get gifts from all our guests and that didn’t bother us. Many did give us gifts or money but we didn’t have any set expectations. Some people say they expect gifts/cash to add up to a high value to offset wedding costs. If it helps to get an idea of where we ended up, gifts and cash added up to maybe 7%-10% of our wedding cost. I see some people literally expect people to “pay for their plate”. That’s just silly. 

As far as wedding costs, we had the wedding we wanted and payed for about 80% ourselves. Have the wedding you want, especially since you are paying for it. If it’s the desintation wedding, go for it, if it’s eloping, go for that! Don’t let society or family pressure you and your fiance into a wedding you don’t like. We wanted a party but not too huge, so we compromised with our family at 65 guests which included immediate family and a few close friends. 

Our wedding was desintation but it was drivable for most people (most lived about 7 hours away). I think the added travel costs and since most got a hotel, both DH and I had no expectations for gifts and were delighted with everything we received. 

Post # 9
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@artistInResidence:  I don’t expect gifts. Gifts are nice, but I will absolutely not hold it against anyone who won’t be able to give us a gift.

Post # 12
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@artistInResidence:  If you are only inviting 10-15 people, there’s no need for a registry.  Everyone on a guest list that short probably knows either you or your fiance very well, plus its very unlikely that everyone will simultaneously buy you a toaster. 

Most destination weddings expect the guests to cover their own cost of transport and lodging, but some couples choose to pay for VIPs – ie if your sibling wouldn’t be able to afford to come otherwise.  It’s totally up to you though.

Post # 13
12629 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I had no expectations of gifts from any of my guests.  I was pleasantly surprised by the generosity of my guests.

I think with the travel, though, you do need to accept that people will not be gifting as generously as they would if it were local for them.  The sheer expense will outweigh their ability or desire to gift.

You also need to accept that a number of guests probably wouldn’t attend.  Even with two years notice, it’s a very expensive trip to save up for, and some people just won’t be able to swing it.


Post # 15
785 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@artistInResidence:  I think it depends on how it is framed.  If you send out formal invitations and do lots of wedding stuff for the US reception, people will treat it like a regular wedding and probably get presents.  If you treat it more like a casual get together, you’ll probably still get some presents but fewer.

Post # 16
8760 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

If you read Miss Manners you no doubt know that she’s neither a very big fan of registries or destination weddings. It is usually a huge imposition of expense and vacation time for people to travel to  someone else’s choice of an exotic honeymoon destination.  As always, on the guest end, gifts are  voluntary, from the heart, and  should be based on personal finances  and the closeness of the relationship.  Gifts are not directly connected to the cost of attending, but anyone who plans a DW with location a priority over the convenience and cost to  important  guests should not be surprised if attendance, good will or generosity  is affected. 

Personally, I’d either have a local wedding and take a traditional honeymoon, or elope and have a reception at home later.  Giving people two years to save up to go on your dream vacation does not really strike me as adequate consideration. 

To answer your question about what to expect if you do a reception at home,  the right answer is nothing.  However, I imagine that some, if not most people will be moved by the sentiment of the occasion to get you a present of some kind.  If you live in an area where people practice  a ” cover the plate” mentality, you may find gifts are sadly and inexplicably linked to the type of reception you throw.

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