Saturday, February 6, 2010

Gift Etiquette

Something that has kind of irked me going through all of our amazing and generous wedding gifts, is that one of my very good and long time friends didn't get us anything not even a card. Now I don't know if I am just being silly (and tell me if I am) but to me when you get the honour of being invited to a wedding and the couple and their families spend a lot of money for you to be there, it is just polite to bring the couple a gift or even just something as simple as a card. I wouldn't dream of going to a wedding or even a birthday party for that matter, without bringing something. I should also mention that I don't apply this to the people who have to travel to be at a wedding! That is an amazing gift in itself really.

Another question that seems to come up quite often in my circle of friends (seeing as there are so many weddings at the moment) is what is a good amount of money to spend on an engagement or wedding present? Its a tough one really. Thoughts?

19 comments:

  1. If the issue was money, I feel like they still could have given you a card expressing how happy they were for you and excited to attend your wedding! A card can be the sweetest gift. sorry to hear about this :(

    Lisa

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  2. Maybe the present they got you is so huge that they couldn't bring it with them to the wedding and are planning on transporting it to you at a later date! I know that my mum usually takes wedding gifts to people after the wedding itself because it's easier, especially if the present is quite large. I suppose your friend could at least have left a card though. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your lovely day.

    Sarah Elizabeth

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  3. Some people really hate giving gifts/see gift giving as superflous. I don't get this and see it as very rude, especially if they are attending a wedding. But, sigh, everyone is different. If you're friend has been a good friend over all, just let it go.

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  4. We usually spend $50 - $100 on a gift, depending on how well off we are at the time.

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  5. ...and how close we are to the couple getting married..... I also forgot to add that sometimes my husband is asked by the couple to play a couple of songs on piano and sing (usually for the bride to walk down the aisle) and if that's the case then we treat that as the gift...

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  6. Here on the east coast weddings are expensive and I along with all of my circle of friends give min. $250.00 per couple for a friend or aquaintance and 300.00 - 500.00 per couple for extremely close friend or family members. When you accept being a bridesmaid you can expect it to cost you around $1,000.00 and that may not include the gift. dresses are around 300.00 , shoes 50-100, hair and makeup easily 100, ;portion of the bridal shower, gift, bacholerette party and there ya go your money is gone!

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  7. It could be several different reasons why your friend didn't get you a gift. It just may be that they don't have money and are too embarrassed to say anything. They went because it's your special day but didn't know how to tell you that they're broke, I agree though I still would have gotten you a card regardless, whether I had a big gift that I was delivering to you at a later time or not. Another thing that could have happened is that they simply forgot to bring the card (I did that), and they forgot to mail it out (did that too), I finally mailed the wedding present to the happy couple a year after they got married. I felt like an inconsiderate idiot. Especially since this is a friend that I've known since I was 14 (almost 20 years).

    Regarding the break up of presents. This is how my mom explained this to me. First figure out how much money you're giving the couple. If it's $100 (I'm choosing because this is a round number) that you're giving to them then you can divide this a couple of different ways. My mom says you have to figure out what pre-wedding parties you'll be invited to. If you're family then most likely it will be the Engagement Party and the shower. If you're a friend then it will most likely be a Bridal or Wedding Shower and maybe the Backelorette Party. You just have to do a break down after that. Just divide the number of parties by the amount that you'll be giving to them. If this number is too low for you then you either have to raise the number or hope the thing that you're getting them goes on sale. Good luck.

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  8. I usually aim to give as much as my cost for the bride & groom would have be i.e $100 per person etc.
    That's a shame about your friend, especially if it is a very good & long time friend.
    You could always have a mutual friend ask them what they gave...?

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  9. I'm not expecting any gifts at our wedding (we told people on the invite not to bring a gift). I feel lucky to have friends who want to be part of our special day. A wedding is a celebration. It's not about what people give you.

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  10. I dont get this. It is so weird that I'd be tempted to ask her if perhaps it was misplaced / lost by the venue. But that could be awkward if she says no.

    I'm with you that gift giving for a wedding is a must.
    If money is the issue, something as simple as a handmade gift or a cookbook or a gift that looks more expensive than it is would suffice.

    As for engagement parties.. We had our engagement party just last night and were overwhelmed by people's generosity! Gifts ranged from $50 per couple to $250 per couple! We were blown away. I generally think $50 - $80 is a good number for an engagement party.. but so mnay people went beyond this for us.

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  11. It seems thoughtless for your friend not even to have bought a card - but I don't think anyone should automatically 'expect' a present. Whilst you may have had the expense of the wedding, anyone attending usually has the expense of new clothing, travel costs and (often) hotel/accomodation costs too. So if you are viewing it purely in cold financial terms, the spending is not all 'one way', is it?

    Another thing to bear in mind - years ago couples did not live together prior to getting married, so gifts were relied on to help set up home from scratch. Nowadays most couples co-habit prior to marriage, and gifts are an 'extra' rather than an essential. I personally think it's a bit tacky to expect people to contribute toward luxuries like coffee makers, expensive china (and sometimes honeymoons!) they may not even be able to afford for themselves.

    The idea should be to invite people to celebrate a joyous occasion because you like their company and want them there - not because of what you might get out of it.

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  12. OH MY GOSH-- One of my closest friends had this same thing happen!! It turned out that the venue staff..(a young girl- very new to it all) had dropped the gift in the packing up- heard a smash and decided in her panic and embarassment to tell no one and hide the evidence- card and all!! ekke!!
    So you just never know!! If it really bothers you- I would try to find out-- ask a friend to casually ask what they got you? And money wise for wedding gifts-- I think it should be what the bride and groom has spent by having you there-- ie $100 per head!

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  13. i really hate this new trend of expecting guests to cover the cost of having them. that's not what "guest" means.

    most likely she just couldn't afford a gift and probably plans to give you something/do something for you later.

    please don't ask her about it. no one's required to give you a gift and you shouldn't feel that way.

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  14. just to let everyone know. there is no way that i expect gifts, a card would have been nice, that is all. Or even a little message in our guest book.

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  15. Pfft- I think it is just plain RUDE not to give a gift at all- not even a card?!
    I would never show up without anything!! R U D E.

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  16. suppose think also something unique and possible to keep of lasting of using the crystal engraved gift. it can always display there as a memorial marks.

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  17. what if it got lost?

    we usually give cash in the amount of what we think the food/per plate costs.

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  18. Who cares about the gifts - honestly, I see more discussion about gifts, money and showers than I do about most other topics. It baffles me - why do you care! I sent thank yous and such, but I don't even know if someone did or didn't give me something. I'd suggest just letting it go...

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  19. I agree that I think it is rude to be invited to an event like a wedding and not bring something. Even while traveling is a great gift, a card is $3. My best friend is getting married this august and I will probably spend around $1,000 on everything that I put towards her wedding, including my bridesmaid attire, transporation(I live in NYC, her wedding is in Minnesota) and gifts(for the bridal shower, bachlorette party and the wedding). I'll do this because she is such a good friend to me and I know when my wedding follows the year after, she will do the same for me!

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