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I thought I'd post this here for input. My BIL is getting married. He and his fiancee live in Manhattan and are involved in finance somehow, so they make a good salary and maybe aren't as in touch with the restrictions of some. We were invited to the wedding, but children can't be there and it is in RI, so we would have to fly all day to get there and fly back two days later, leaving our children with hotel babysitters for a number of hours both days we are there. So I'm not going, but my husband is since he is in the wedding party.<br><br>
I got an invitation to attend what I thought was an engagement party or bridal shower or something. It says it is to celebrate the engagement, but the wedding announcement has already been sent out and the wedding was announced by e-mail and telephone months ago. At the bottom of the invitation is a little thing that says to bring a teacup to start a special collection for the bride, then there was a note that said where she was registered. The invitation was addressed only to me, so I assume it is a bridal shower that is just a number of months before the wedding, which might be normal, I don't know.<br><br>
So my thought, upon receiving it, was I don't even know her or any of the other women, I obviously can't come to this party because I have two young children, one a nursing infant. It's nice to be thought of, but I wouldn't have known if I weren't invited. I think she is trying to include all the groom's side of the family, which I can understand and respect. So am I expected to send a gift? We're giving a wedding gift, but I'm not sure if they will think poorly of me if I don't send a gift for this, but I sort of don't care. I mean, I don't want them to think I'm insensitive, but if they want to think I'm cheap, that's fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I was thinking that it wouldn't be hard to send a teacup, and that sounded like a cute idea, but when I went to the site where she is registered, she isn't registered for teacups, but stemware, flatware and such. I guess she isn't registered for teacups, that was just a thing in addition to any shower gifts.<br><br>
My SMIL was visiting, and I asked her about it. She was confused too and said that she had called my MIL who also didn't quite know what was going on. So SMIL called to give her regrets and asked for clarification so she would know what kind of gift to send. It turns out it was a bridal shower. It happened last weekend. I actually called in my regrets, which was a big deal for me as I have a kind of phone phobia and there was no e-mail address. :LOL As an aside, I don't understand the regrets thing anyway. Doesn't it make more sense to call if you are actually planning to attend, especially if it is an out of state thing? I assume anyone who doesn't RSVP in the positive isn't coming.<br><br>
So anyway, it was a bridal shower and SMIL is going to send a gift of about $50. She told me she usually sends a $50 gift for a shower and a $100 gift for a wedding. I don't usually send a gift for a shower at all, but then in my 37 years on the planet, this was the only wedding or baby shower that I was invited to that I wasn't able to attend. I'm usually only invited to showers for people I know pretty well. When I had my shower, I didn't (well, my sister didn't) invite out of town people, and I only got gifts from the attendees. I didn't think anything of it.<br><br>
So now I'm wondering should I send something from her bridal registry? Should I send a teacup? Did they want both a regular gift and a teacup gift? Was the teacup only for the attendees to bring, but the gift is for everyone to bring?<br><br>
Oh, SMIL has said she is forunate she didn't go to the shower, because judging from the photos she saw, everyone was in cocktail dresses and she wouldn't have known to wear one. Since she is pretty upper middle class society savvy and I am just a country bumpkin, I don't feel too badly that I don't know how regular shower dress differs from cocktail attire (I think I wore jeans at mine). My husband thought it was kind of in poor taste to send an invitation to me in the first place, but he thinks most things like this are an obvious grab for gifts, but he is antisocial and kind of cynical sometimes. With the mention of the teacup and the registry, I'm not sure what to think about the whole gift thing. If I were going and contributing to the expenses by eating, drinking and sitting, I'd definitely bring a gift.<br><br>
So, any thoughts?
 

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I would say send a wedding gift and forget about the shower. I will usually buy a shower gift if I can attend the shower and then a wedding gift. But if I cant go to the shower I usually just buy a wedding gift. I dont think there is any exact right or wrong way to do it.
 

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As she is not just a friend but your BIL's future wife, I would say that you should send a gift for the shower and also a teacup, as she requested. Maybe you can find an original, even funny but discrete one (doesn't have to be expensive) and a simple gift which doesn't have to be expensive as you didn't go, so a simple one will be ok. About the ammount to spend for gifts, usually for the wedding you should try to spend more or less the same ammount they are spending in the dinner, so $100 it's a good range, and for the shower I would focus in something that can be helpful for the new bride, maybe a cute apron with matching kitchen gloves, or a set of cleaning supplies from an organic brand, for example. As I assume that you will see them often, or at least in family reunions, it's always better to be remembered as the one who sent the gifts even though you couldn't attend, rather than the one who didn't go to the wedding and didn't sent gifts for the shower... Just my 2 cents <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">.
 

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sorry to hijack your thread Amywillo but when did $100 become a standard amount for a wedding gift???<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw">
 

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I'm actually with your dh. I think it was tacky to invite you in the first place knowing full well that you probably wouldn't make it. It looks like a ploy for a gift. I'd send a wedding gift and my conscience would be clear.
 

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Umm, I spend like $20 on a wedding gift.<br><br>
Dude, that's really wacked to expect $100 gifts from everyone... not that she said she expects that... but yeouch! I would say most gifts at our wedding (in 2000) were in the 20-30 range with some from VERY close family in the 100 range.
 

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My thought is this.... the shower is for the bride usually given by girlfriends (or at least mine was). I didn't have anyone from out of town invited, and I certainly didn't expect my husbands families wives to send me anything for my shower!<br><br>
I'd stick with the wedding gift and call it good. She was probably just sending you the shower invite as a courtesy.
 

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I agree the shower invitation was a courtousy. If you can find a cute antique tea cup or something it would be a sweet gesture to send one telling her how sweet it was that you were invited to her shower and hope she had a good time. And then a wedding gift. but Iwouldn't eve stress over the tea cup.<br><br>
we are simple folks. Our average wedding gift range (both recieveing and giving) is about $15- $20 for friends and non-immidiant family, $30-$75 for very good friends and family but they usually get quilts that I have slaved away on.
 

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I thought the teacups were supposed to be a surprise? So, she can't miss what she wasn't expecting anyway, right? The way your saga read, it seemed like the teacups were to be a surprise gift brought by those attending the shower. You didn't attend, so no need to get a gift for it.<br><br>
Just get the wedding gift. (I was actually thinking $100 is pretty cheap for a wedding gift. I personally don't spend more than $50, if I buy a gift at all-which I usually don't if I don't attend the wedding. But, I pride myself on my thoughtful cheapness.)<br><br>
I just reread the OP. Guess the teacup wasn't necessarily a surprise. Cute idea, tho.
 

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we don't make enough money to do that..i wouldn't be able to even approach $100 plus $50 for a gift for someone i don't even really know. i would send a teacup, a funky one, since she asked for that. and i would send a modest. very very modest. wedding gift. or a card. i wouldnt spend that much on someone i wasnt close to even if it werent an issue. and i would be a little irked to have gotten invites too, considering that the bil should be aware of your situation with the kids, and finances.
 

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I usually spend $50 on wedding gifts, but you should spend whatever you want to spend, whether it's $20 or $100 or something homemade.<br><br>
I don't think the happy couple should expect to make back in gifts the same amount they spent on the wedding.<br><br>
I also have a problem with giving the bride an apron. Doesn't that send kind of a 1950's message? I think I might be offended if someone gave me an apron at my wedding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CerridwenLorelei</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">sorry to hijack your thread Amywillo but when did $100 become a standard amount for a wedding gift???<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"></div>
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Well, FIL and SMIL aren't hurting for money, either are the couple getting married. I feel like I'm just trying to keep up with the Joneses.<br><br>
I usually spend about $50 on a wedding, but I'm sure we'll spend more since it is DH's brother. Plus the BIL did give me a nice contribution for my charity when I was raising money for a marathon.<br><br>
No way can they recover the amount per plate they are spending on guests. I'm told the wedding is in the $70,000 range! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!">
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Chaka Falls</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I thought the teacups were supposed to be a surprise? So, she can't miss what she wasn't expecting anyway, right? The way your saga read, it seemed like the teacups were to be a surprise gift brought by those attending the shower. You didn't attend, so no need to get a gift for it.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"> Saga. I can't make a short story out of anything, can I? I'm thinking what you said above--the teacups were just for people attending in addition to any other gift.<br><br>
I feel bad for complaining. What if somehow they read this? They are nice and I want her to have a good wedding, but it is all way beyond me. I can't even attend. I'm actually a little sad about that--well, sad that kids aren't allowed in any capacity even though I can understand it.<br><br>
When dh and I got married, my MIL threw the rehearsal dinner for us, and said she wanted to pay for that since it was traditional. Yes, it's also traditional for the bride's family to pay for the wedding, and that wasn't going to happen. We paid for it ourselves with some help from FIL, and I felt like there was some judgment there. Seriously though, my family couldn't have even afforded a reception at the grill at K-Mart. My Dad called me up to ask for $40 about a month and a half before my wedding. MIL, who is a nice woman, was a little high strung about the wedding, and wanted me to make sure people knew not to bring children. I wanted my nieces and nephews there and really had to put my foot down about that. Then a lot of people brought children, but it was fine. It was just in a normal Hilton hotel though(or Hyatt, can't remember which). This wedding is much fancier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Icequeen_in_ak</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'd stick with the wedding gift and call it good. She was probably just sending you the shower invite as a courtesy.</div>
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Yeah, that's probably true since ILs closer to NYC were invited. Good point!
 

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I usually spend around $100-$125 on a wedding gift and around $50 on a shower gift. What I really hate is when they also have an engagement party and expect yet another gift!<br><br>
In your case, I would send a shower gift as well as a wedding gift. You don't need to feel limited to stuff on her registry, if that stuff is more than you'd like to spend. But you could look at it to get some idea of her tastes/colors.<br><br>
You could pick up an inexpensive vase or something at TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Christmas Tree shop, etc.
 

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I think the big challenge/problem here is they are from NYC, Manhattan, right? Well thats just a whole other world! So you are trying to give what you can, and hopefully they understand that you dont live in that world of cocktail party showers and 100+ gifts and 70 k weddings. I think your to be sil was trying to include you, and she probably wont mind if you dont give her anything. I wouldnt. she'll get enough stuff, she prob wont even notice! I personally think it is mad how people spend outrageous sums on weddings. I just never got that. Anyway, you are doing your best. That's a big sacrifice to have your hubby gone while you take care of the kids! That alone is a big gift.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CerridwenLorelei</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">sorry to hijack your thread Amywillo but when did $100 become a standard amount for a wedding gift???<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/jaw.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="dropjaw"></div>
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I've been told I'm cheap because I ONLY spend $75-100 on wedding gifts!
 

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I may be an single voice here -- but I think the invite was an attempt to include you -- as you ARE family and your dh is in the wedding party. I think it was nice of them, and to be honset the CORRECT thing for them to do.<br><br>
I invited a lot fo family and long time family freinds to showers, wedding and family recpetion 2 weeks later -- people most of the way across the crounty who I knew could not attend. I was not grabbing for gifts. I was trying to be polite.<br><br>
It would be unkind for the bride or her freinds to exclude you just cause " you live too far away" or "you have a nurseing child". That would be an unkind and un fair assumption on their part.<br><br>
I think they did the correct thing by inviting you.<br><br>
Different people make different money -- and even ones who make more or less spend it differently. Again -- you'd not want them to not invite you cause they thought you couldn't afford the trip or the gift...theat would be waaay rude of them.<br><br>
you are sending a wedding gift. Send a shower gift -- if you would normally -- don't worry about the cup or being out classed. do what you would normally for a family wedding like this.<br><br>
edited to add -- beatuful and amazing tea cups and sasures can be found for 5 and under at flea markets. I have some delacite and amazing ones and have spent no more than 10 on any of them. Go look -- you might enjoy it.<br>
Aimee
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Amywillo</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Cool, thanks. That is how I feel also.</div>
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I would buy a tea cup and send it, as a special gift to the bride welcoming her into the family AND buy a wedding gift.<br><br>
If you dont participate at all it may send the wrong message.<br><br>
Kim
 
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