(Closed) Would You Ever Attend a Wedding Empty Handed?

posted 10 years ago in Gifts and Registries
  • poll: Would You Ever Attend a Wedding Without Giving the Couple a Gift?

    Yes

    No

  • Post # 17
    Member
    761 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    If I could not afford a gift I would not attend. I know I should still send a gift, but there are times when I did not attend and did not send a gift. I would never go to a wedding with nothing.

    Post # 18
    Member
    2392 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2011

    I’m not sure how to answer the poll, but I’ve never brought any sort of gift actually to a wedding.  Not to say I don’t send a gift off the registry beforehand (except for one destination wedding where they specifically told people not to because of the travel expense), but I don’t bring a gift.  I don’t think I even know anyone who has, for the dozen or so wedding I’ve been to.

    Maybe this is a regional thing, or particular to the people I know??  I’ve been to very few weddings that were actually in the town where the bride and groom live, so it seems more of a burden to give them stuff at the wedding.  People set their registries to ship to their apartment, which to me indicates that they don’t *want* anything brought to the wedding…  I know that for me the less stuff to deal with at the reception, the better.

    Post # 19
    Member
    2015 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    I would never attend a wedding empty-handed. Ever. Even if it was a destination wedding that required a lot of money for traveling, I would still send them a small, inexpensive gift from their registry, like a serving spoon or spatula or something.

    And yep, that’s how I was raised, and I don’t think anyone should feel sad for me because of it (sorry, SanDiegoAli 🙂 ). It’s just a rule of thumb in my family that if someone goes out of their way to invite you to an event, where they provide you with food and drinks, it’s the thoughtful way to return a favor my, at the very least, providing a card and a small token on your appreciation. 

    That said, though, I wasn’t EXPECTING our guests to bring gifts. Although, at the same time, I was disappointed when close friends and family didn’t give us anything.

    Post # 20
    Member
    940 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    absolutely not, would i ever not give a bride and groom a gift. i’m assuming most of my family/friends will be giving gifts as well at our wedding, but i try and keep my expectations low because of costs/economy/traveling/etc.

    but i agree, we’re raised (esp. in America) that gifts are a token of celebration and love. that’s just how it is and i don’t see anything wrong with it. it doesn’t have to be elaborate, even a card would suffice.

    Post # 21
    Member
    614 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    I’ve attended empty handed maybe twice ever–and always sent a gift ASAP. I’ll usually bring at least a card!
     

    “Some bees have been claiming that they really won’t even notice who doesn’t bring them a gift and I think that is total BS.”
     

    If you asked me to name a guest at my wedding who didn’t bring a gift, I couldn’t tell you. Honestly. I remember nice gifts, yes, but I didn’t burn into my memory that so and so came empty handed. I know some people did, because i didn’t get 200 gifts. Does it bother me? Nope. Not in the least.

    Post # 22
    Member
    1154 posts
    Bumble bee

    I don’t think you’re a bad person for expecting gifts, certainly I expect gifts at the wedding.

    But I really wish people would believe me when I say, honestly, that I’m not going to remember what people give.  Sure we’ll make a note so that we can send out thank you notes but there’s a reason we’re going to have to make a spreadsheet! Because there’s no way I’d remember otherwise!  I’ll remember what my sister does probably – though it might be nothing because she’s throwing me a bachelorette party!  which is pretty awesome.  But there are maybe five people I’m likely to remember whether or not they give a gift and what kind and for three of those people I’m looking forward to what they come up with because I hope it’s something special… the rest?  really couldn’t care less.  I mean I’ll be thrilled if we get aweseome gifts or lots of cash – who wouldn’t right?  But I don’t expect it from anyone in particular and no I will. not. mind. if people don’t bring presents.  I already feel guilty that a bunch of people who aren’t coming sent us gifts :(.  That wasn’t why we invited them damn it!

    It’s okay to note who brings a gift but please believe that people are all different and notice different things and some of us just don’t notice/remember that.

    And a card?  Unless it’s someone really close to me, couldn’t care less.

    Post # 23
    Member
    145 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    A card is NOT a gift. I agree with who said:

    NEVER IN MY LIFE.   I’d decide to not go to a wedding than to go empty handed.

    But multiply that by 1000

    Post # 24
    Member
    124 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I would never attend a wedding empty handed, I’d feel so guilty I’d probably not attend at all if that were the case.

    Post # 25
    Member
    6593 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I have been to two weddings where I did not bring a gift. But there were circumstances.

    The first a co-worker of Fiance invited us to join the reception after dinner. Yes I know now that this is bad etiquette on their part. But we went congratulated the couple, gave them a card and had a few drinks (it was cash bar)

    The second being my PhD supervisors wedding. The invitation said “no gifts please” due to the fact that they are 40 and have been living together for over 15 years. (And to note he invited us (the lab) as an after thought 2 weeks before the wedding). I was/am a very poor grad student and so I showed up with a nice card and that was all.

    All of the other weddings I have been too I give what I can afford.

    I don’t think that this makes me rude or indicates that I have bad etiquette. Sometimes there are circumstances when individuals cannot afford gifts and should not bring gifts as in the first case.

    I will not be expecting gifts at my wedding. Lots of my friends are not very well off as we are all starting our lives, planning weddings and buying houses. As long as they are there to share the day with me that is all that matters.

    Post # 27
    Member
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    I would always bring a card, but if it were something like a destination wedding where I already had to spend a lot to be there I probably wouldn’t give a gift.  I would write a very heartfelt note in the card, but I would hope that the couple would understand that it was already a great financial burden to even go to the wedding and I couldn’t afford anything else.   

    I’m going to be straight here- I make $14,000 a year.  I am poor.  I qualify for a bunch of government assistance programs (though I have not needed to take advantage of them, and hopefully never will).  Something I think people on this board need to remember is BEING POOR IS NOT RUDE! Just because I don’t have a lot of money doesn’t mean that I should not have friends, or that I should not try to celebrate the happy moments in my friends lives as best as I can.  I always try my absolute hardest to give the couple something.  If, after paying my rent, my bills, etc. I have $40 left in my monthly budget, then that’s what I’ll give the couple.  I have bought wedding gifts 3 months in advance before because I had the money then, and I knew I wouldn’t have the money when the day of the wedding came around.  However, if I had to travel to attend a wedding, get a hotel room, miss work, etc. I can foresee a situation where the costs of attending were high enough that even saving up over several months I would still barley be able to afford to go, and would not be able to afford a gift on top of that.

    I know there are different schools of though on this, and some people would say if you can’t afford a gift you shouldn’t go.  However I would be heartbroken if a friend of mine told me she was not attending my wedding because she couldn’t afford a gift.  I mean, how shallow would a person have to be to say “I don’t want my friends there unless they gift a gift.”  That to me is a crazy sentiment!  Surely being surrounded by the people you love is the most important thing?  I cannot imagine that any of my friends would not be understanding if I explained that I was doing my absolute best, but that money was just too tight.  And I would extend that same spirit of understanding to them.

    If you want to act like the only reason why someone might not bring a gift is because they are rude or selfish or weren’t raised right, etc. fine. Whatever.  But recognize that, by what you wrote, you come across as totally sheltered if you cannot conceive of a situation where someone literally lives pay check to pay check and can’t afford a gift.  Your post also comes across as totally shallow if you really think that they only way to express your support for the couple and your joy at their wedding is by buying them a toaster.  Try to think outside your own experiences a bit before you go around judging others.

    Post # 28
    Member
    571 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2009

    Oh a few people did at our wedding! One engaged couple that are good friends of ours brought us a plant!  So their wedding is coming up soon, hmmm, what to get them?!

    Post # 29
    Member
    3124 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    @KMM – when you say:

    But many bees have been posting lately about how is is so awful to expect anything from guests or to be disappointed if someone doesn’t give you anything when they attend your wedding/reception.  I’m asking why if we personally would never attend without giving a gift (which I’m guessing would be most people’s perspective), we can’t expect the same of our guests?

    I want to get something clear. It’s one thing to be disappointed if someone you expect to get you a gift doesn’t. It’s another to have your hand on your hip, tapping your foot in a snotty way saying Where are my gifts? That i think is what is ruffling people’s feathers. The attitude, not the sentiment.

    Post # 30
    Member
    1732 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I have occasionaly sent a gift after, but always something.

    Post # 31
    Member
    614 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2010

    @future KMM — good point! Reading after I posted, I should have added– my thank you cards are done. I wrote gifts next to names and thanked them and checked them off the list. Then I moved on. 🙂 I didn’t sit there and think about the fact that this person or that person didn’t give me anything.

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