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Should your wedding gift reflect how much the couple pays per meal? - Page 2

post #21 of 158
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I'm pretty shocked at that $75 to $150 gift range. I mean, I might have spent that much for my siblings, but my mom's best friend's daughter? No.

 

 

Quote:
I have so many friends who get married when they are thirty and quite comfortable and have been living together for 5+ years. I mean if they've been living together that whole time don't you think they have sheets and cookware?

 

 

And this is pretty much why I stopped choosing from a gift registry. The last several weddings we've been to have been for couples who already had homes full of stuff, and didn't 'need' anything. So I choose something that appeals to me.

 

Crunchy Mommy, I think think that rule is rooted in good intentions, so I can't really complain. Just as long as people aren't going to poo-poo my carefully chosen gift that didn't cost me anywhere near what dinner for 4 costs.  

 

I'm out here in laid back California, by the way.  My impression is that we're a bit too casual for many other communities, with our protocol-be-damned attitude.

post #22 of 158

I've heard that rule, but only in the context of how ridiculous it is. 

post #23 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by capretta View Post

scottishmommy: Ideally, I think all couples should aim to register for at least some inexpensive items, but really, you don't have to buy anything off their registry if it is too expensive. You can always give them cash or a gift certificate. I think it's silly though to expect an older couple, who already have all of the basics, to avoid registering for really fancy stuff that they would be thrilled to have, just because they are worried about offending their guests.

I know, I'm just being pissy LOL. It's just that I feel like weddings are becoming this huge event. I mean I have friends who will wait for years to get married so they can afford a fancy wedding, or worse a fancy engagement ring. I wonder, is the point to commit to each other in front of people who love you and will support you, or is it to have a big party? I think a lot of young couples get swept up into this fantasy only to be really disappointed when the big day is over.
post #24 of 158
I have always heard that your gift should be enough to cover your meal. It makes sense to me that if people are expecting to be invited, the gift of their presence shouldn't put the new couple in the hole. Unless of course the couple is doing something particularly extravagant, like a destination wedding. In that case no gift is required. Also no gift is expected at second or subsequent weddings.

Around here (NYC) its about 100 dollars per couple.
post #25 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooshersmama View Post

I've heard that rule, but only in the context of how ridiculous it is. 



Ditto.

 

I'd have been so sad if my friends hadn't come to my wedding because they couldn't afford to pay for their meal! That's not why we had food and drinks and all that. I had 3 or 4 people come to my first wedding with no gifts at all, and it wasn't a big deal. I wanted them there - that's why I invited them, yk?

 

I buy wedding gifts based on what I can afford, what I think the couple will like, and to some extent, who the couple is. I spent a little more than I could really afford on my bff's wedding gift, just because it was her, yk? She's been there for me for everything, and I didn't want to just pick her up a new coffee maker.

 

Gifts...let's see...before I got married, I gave a friend a fairly expensive coffee maker - not high end, but not super cheap. I can't remember what I gave my brother and his first wife (or his second wife, for that matter), but I do remember giving her an ironing board cover as a shower gift, and she was thrilled. For another shower, she got a budt pan (also thrilled). For another shower (she had four), I gave her two packs of coffee filters, and a pound of good coffee. But, I was in my early 20s, planning my own wedding, which cost me  a chunk of change, and as the groom's sister, I was invited to all the showers, so I had to keep my costs down. She loved all the gifts. one of her relatives gave me a really strange look over the ironing board cover, but I don't care what third parties think of gifts I give, yk? The aforementioned bff was marrying a guy in his mid-40s with grown kids, and he had a fully equipped house. So, I ended up buying her a quite expensive (and beautiful) glass serving tray, as well as a glass flower in a wall vase. I wanted to give her something that would help make the house their house, not just his house.

 

I probably spent over $100 on bff's total gift. I've never spent that much on anyone else.

post #26 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post


I know, I'm just being pissy LOL. It's just that I feel like weddings are becoming this huge event. I mean I have friends who will wait for years to get married so they can afford a fancy wedding, or worse a fancy engagement ring. I wonder, is the point to commit to each other in front of people who love you and will support you, or is it to have a big party? I think a lot of young couples get swept up into this fantasy only to be really disappointed when the big day is over.


Totally agree!

post #27 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMom View Post

I have always heard that your gift should be enough to cover your meal. It makes sense to me that if people are expecting to be invited, the gift of their presence shouldn't put the new couple in the hole.



That doesn't actually make sense to me at all. For one thing, if I did put myself out of pocket in cash for wedding expenses, having an extravagant gift isn't going to fix my cash flow (unless it's cash, which I was actually always advised not to give, unless I knew through the grapevine that they wanted it). For another, traditionally, the couple doesn't pay for the wedding themselves. I paid for some of my first one, but my dad covered the flowers, my mom covered our rentals (dishes, marquee tent, etc.), and the DJ was my about-to-be-BIL, as a wedding gift.  Oh - and my parents split the cost of the small free bar, as it's traditionally the groom's parents responsibility, and my former in-laws couldn't afford it.

post #28 of 158

I didn't know that rule.  My question is how would you know how much the bride and groom are spending?  Wouldn't it be tacky to ask?  Maybe I'm just completey clueless.  (I haven't read the other responses yet)  I haven't been to a ton of weddings but always spent (or gave in cash) what we could afford at the time.

post #29 of 158

I have heard of the rule, but I would think of it as a guideline, not an actual dollar amount. For example, if the wedding is potluck, I don't feel obligated to spend a lot, but if it is a catered, open bar wedding then $100 to $200 is typical. 

 

However, people have to adjust based on what they can afford as well - I don't know any bride who would be offended at a smaller gift. IME people who have money to throw around give cash, and those that are on a budget give a gift or even just a card. 

post #30 of 158

crunchy mommy- I have heard the rule before, but only on MDC, and I think that was a couple of years ago.

 

I generally buy something I can afford off of the registry.  A lot of people who attended my wedding did not bring gifts or give cash.  It didn't care either way, I invited them because I wanted them there.

post #31 of 158

Well, Miss Manners says absolutely not-- the wedding gift should be what the guest can afford. If the hosts need the gifts to help make up for the cost of their wedding, she says, that means the wedding is too expensive.

 

I agree with her. Otherwise I couldn't have invited friends and family who were on public assistance and/ or starving young students and/ or a little short of cash. We wanted ALL our family and friends there who could come, regardless of income.

post #32 of 158
I've heard of that "rule" (and I use the term loosely) and I think I makes about as much sense as the whole "spend two to three month's salary on the engagement ring" crappola.

Why on earth would I gauge my gift on how much the couple intends to spend on my meal? I certainly didn't ask them to choose a $100 per-plate caterer, or an inexpensive appetizer-only reception. It's not fair to the guest, who should have to say no to attending the wedding of friends or family because they can't afford the price of the fancy dinner. And it is not fair to the host, who will automatically come across as greedy if they want an expensive meal.
post #33 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

I think that rule is ridiculous. In fact, I have to say that I'm sorta sick of buying fancy wedding gifts. These gifts used to be a way of helping very young/poor couples set up their home. I have so many friends who get married when they are thirty and quite comfortable and have been living together for 5+ years. I mean if they've been living together that whole time don't you think they have sheets and cookware? But no, they register for incredibly expensive sheets and cookware because someone else is footing the bill. It's not quite the same as the olden days when a young couple was in their early twenties and have only lived with mom and dad and had nothing of their own(except maybe a hope chest) to set up a household. Sorry for the rant! I'm totally anti "the wedding industry" nowadays. I just think it's a little out of hand.

This.  Totally.  I think wedding gifts (and weddings themselves, for that matter) have gotten totally out of hand, and so very far from their original purpose.

post #34 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Please tell me at least ONE other person has heard of this 'rule'....

I kind of feel like a crazy person now... innocent.gif

Yes - this is the custom I was raised with.  These days, I usually give $100 if I can - but it has been so darn long since I have been to a wedding (other than my SIL's who got something handmade) that I am not sure what I would do now because we are not in a financial place where we could afford that.  

 


 

 

post #35 of 158

I'm actually offended by this rule.  If I'm expected to buy a gift that costs more than the meal THEY chose to serve me, I'd feel like I'm only invited to give them stuff.

post #36 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottishmommy View Post

I think that rule is ridiculous. In fact, I have to say that I'm sorta sick of buying fancy wedding gifts. These gifts used to be a way of helping very young/poor couples set up their home. I have so many friends who get married when they are thirty and quite comfortable and have been living together for 5+ years. I mean if they've been living together that whole time don't you think they have sheets and cookware? But no, they register for incredibly expensive sheets and cookware because someone else is footing the bill. It's not quite the same as the olden days when a young couple was in their early twenties and have only lived with mom and dad and had nothing of their own(except maybe a hope chest) to set up a household. Sorry for the rant! I'm totally anti "the wedding industry" nowadays. I just think it's a little out of hand.


Amen to that. 

post #37 of 158

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeliMom View Post

I have always heard that your gift should be enough to cover your meal. It makes sense to me that if people are expecting to be invited, the gift of their presence shouldn't put the new couple in the hole.


That doesn't make sense to me at all. Our wedding reception was DH's and my gift to our loved ones -- we weren't looking to recoup our costs via the gifts -- what a strange way to think of it! It was entirely our decision to have a wedding at the price range we chose -- why on earth should my guests have felt obligated to offset those costs? The way the above is worded it sounds like you're saying that the wedding couple is doing people a favor by inviting them, when I see it the other way around -- guests are doing the favor of gracing the couple with their loving, supportive presence. I was happy to pay for their dinner for that honor. 

 

ETA: I have heard of the "cover your plate" custom (mostly from New Englanders), but I obviously don't subscribe to it. smile.gif

post #38 of 158

I had never heard of that rule either. If that was what people did where I live no one would be able to go! We get invited to 20-50 receptions a year, half of them we have to really think hard which one of the bride or groom's relatives we know! We spend anywhere from 10-25 dollars normally, more for the people we are actually close to.

 

The pp who mentioned the gift of detergant is along the lines of what people do here in addition to the cash and registry. When we got married we got a cooler that was full of condiments, a bag of chips, and a 2 liter of Sprite. Another one I remember was a variety of cake pans and two cake mixes.

 

I have actually never been to a wedding for someone over 30, RARELY over 25. 99% have never lived together. We feel good about helping couples getting set up in their first home, and I agree with feeling strange about an already established pair.  

post #39 of 158

No.  Sometimes we can't afford to travel to the wedding so they don't have to even pay for our meal but that doesn't mean we aren't sending a gift. 

post #40 of 158

Never heard of  this rule either. Didn't expect guests to do that when they attended our wedding--and would have been mortified to find out that anyone thought it was expected. And have never done that when selecting a gift for a couple getting married. We generally spend an amount we can afford and shop from the registry. I don't think I've ever been to a wedding where the couple didn't have a wide range of choices from inexpensive to expensive on their registry...

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