Pingback: My Family Thinks We’re Being “Gift Grabby” | weddingcarshiregeelong()

Being a guest can be a HUGE commitment! We aren’t able to make a friend’s wedding this summer because of a bunch of reasons, some financial, but we decided to send a card. I was laughing because we decided to give them money, and because of travel, hotels, etc, we put more cash in there than we’d ever given a friend, and it was still less than half of what our costs WOULD have been.

I'm with you. Plan a bunch of activities and games and then conveniently "run out of time". Gift opening can get so boring and stale. Enjoy!!! I'm with you. Plan a bunch of activities and games and then conveniently "run out of time". Gift opening can get so boring and stale. Enjoy!!!

As a bridesmaid for a couple of (expensive, out-of-town, many-event) weddings, I felt very, very tempted to not give an actual gift because I felt like all the time and money to have my presence there for the bride was a much more meaningful gift. Way more than the new popcorn-maker that was on her registry. Plus, each event required a gift: engagement, shower, bachelorette. I mean, my gosh, how many gifts can a person keep in their house?!

This is why I think bridal showers are weird. I don’t understand having a separate gift-giving event followed by a big party where there is an expectation of a second gift. I’ve always assumed that if I gave a gift for the shower, then that covers my gift obligation. Why on earth would you need to buy two gifts???

I WAS THIS BRIDESMAID!!!!!! I was a BM in my very best friend’s wedding a couple of years ago. She was an extremely difficult bride, and I talked to her for hours (hours) every. single. day. about her wedding for a year and a half.

I agree that the LW’s reaction is unreasonable and that she absolutely should not confront her friend but this response is just mean.

If she ever “confronted” me about not giving her a gift, I would be devastated. A part of me wants the LW to confront her friend about this; I would definitely want to know if my best friend, for whom I had been a faithful and dedicated BM and on whom I had spent several thousand dollars, was writing to major wedding websites about me not getting her a gift.

“Your wedding is not an imposition” goes hand in hand with “you should not expect any of your guests to buy you a gift”.

Travel Mug: A really nice one in a style she'll love. Why? Because mom's never get to drink their tea or coffee or hot cocoa while it's still warm, and a pretty travel mug (I love the ones from KeepCup!) will give them a fighting chance. Seriously.

We have sworn up, down, and sideways that no matter what, we have no expectations when it comes to others attending our wedding because of this. If even one of us starts to get presumptuous, the reminder about what happened goes out. We are not entitled to anything, they aren’t required to do anything, and everyone who attends will get a gracious thank you note, whether or not they gave a gift.

As many have said, being a member of a bridal party is expensive but, most importantly, gifting is not a requirement of any guest.

Wow, really? Now I can’t imagine going to a wedding and paying for my own non-alcoholic drinks!

I have an uncle like that. He’s my godfather, and when I was in my late twenties he sent my dad an email asking my parents to tell me he didn’t want to exchange Christmas presents with me anymore. But he made it clear he still expected my parents to buy his daughter (my dad’s goddaughter) a gift. Some people are just go through life treating relationships like transactions, and they’re never going to be happy.

I was in a very similar situation- we got married at a courthouse, a year later had a huge wedding that about half of the guest list attended. Not everyone even bothered to RSVP. Several RSVP’d no and didn’t send a gift or card. We looked at it this way, and YMMV:

Absolutely if her love language is gifts then she’ll have feelings about not receiving one from a bridesmaid because she’ll feel less loved, and I think there are great conversations to be had (and that have been had here on apw) about how to navigate feeling disappointed in a loved one’s actions around your wedding.

And not to pile on more (really!), but not sure what the bridesmaid bringing her boyfriend has to do with a gifting obligation? I guess the LW believes in the “pay for your (and your +1’s) plate” concept? That idea is squicky to me.

Also, as to your story about what the other BM said…that could have been me! I actually STILL have the card that I bought and had with me at that wedding, but chose not to give her. I shudder to think of what would have happened if I had consulted any of the other BMs about it!! (They were really mean and scary.)

Yes, Housewarmings …. great gift-giving opportunities for the single folks (or the not-married couples) among us!

It’s not considered improper to exclude guests from the ceremony if space is an issue. It’s the exclusion from the reception but inclusion to an after party that doesn’t feel right.

Oh man this is the wedding I am MOH for right now. When I was asked to participate a year ago it was with the chill attitude of, “it will be no big deal! I don’t care what you wear, I just want you to come!” As this wedding gets closer I am realizing it is not at all the “chill” event it was presented to be. I am happy to participate, but I am constantly having to readjust my expectations (and budget!) around this wedding.

I don’t think so at all. I would just phrase it “Please join us for a casual celebration of our recent marriage”. If you have the ability to do so, I would spread the word that this was your plan all along. Your friends will probably bring gifts because they WANT to, not because they feel obligated to.

Totally. I had a sort of combined bachelorette/shower and I was genuinely surprised that some of the ladies gave me a gift at the shower and another one at the wedding the next day. It was very sweet of them but I totally did not expect it. Just attending the bachelorette/shower was enough of a gift!

Exactly! I don’t even remember for the most part who got us gifts/cards and who didn’t, but I do remember who came and who didn’t. To be fair, I’m also totally not a gift/card person, so those things (both giving and receiving) don’t really mean a whole lot to me.

Way harsh, Tai. I really don’t think you need to condescendingly shame the LW in addition to everyone’s responses here.

We decorate our tree on our anniversary, and I had envisioned pulling each ornament out of the box and thinking about the giver, and one day explaining to our kids that X ornament was a wedding gift from auntie so-and-so, and Y was a gift from cousin such-and-such.

Ugh, I have the same problem! At least one couple said to me, “We’ll give you the gift back at home,” (it was a destination wedding) but we never got anything.

My love language is gifting and even though I’ve felt bummed about gifts (or the lack thereof) in many situations in my life, I can’t identify with where LW is coming from here. The “I know I should confront her” line (and the “and she brought her boyfriend” line) really jumped out at me because that’s not at all something I see as a given in this situation.

I guess we never got to that part of the food service contract since we told them off the top we wanted an open bar. The only thing that was free was water.

Yeah, that makes sense and I agree (particularly on the butter knife struggle). I have a lot of warm fuzzies for our wedding gifts, but I am also super sentimental about things my husband and I saved up for and bought together early in our relationship. Also the few nice things I got myself as a young adult-ish. (Umm…I might just be a sentimental person.)

I don’t even view it as bitterness, just fact. As a single lady, no one is going to buy me a stand mixer. If I put that on a registry and had a shower it would be snapped right up. I’m fine with people getting and giving wedding gifts and I don’t need some sort of alternate “you’re an independent adult now” shower, but I would like to at least be able to acknowledge that reality without getting told I’m a grown-ass adult who should just buy my own stuff.

less cards received means less for me to throw out.

Wait what? I’m either missing a reference, or you are responding to the wrong person. How on earth was *my* response mean or harsh?

Baby Shower present for my lover

Looking at it from the other perspective I can see people doing this so that they can still celebrate with people they care about but just don’t have the space/money to invite for the actual ceremony or reception. BUT I feel like that rule flies out the window for an out of town wedding-it’s one thing to ask someone to cab downtown for an after party but a totally different beast to ask them to go out of town just to show up at the end of the night.

We have a tiny family too, and I’m an only child, so I still get gifts from my mom’s 2 sisters for my birthday and Christmas even though I’m 26. But one of my aunts is also single and I see her every week, so I always joke that she’s my “proxy mom”.

Totally reasonable. We lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment when we were married and had no room for anything else but we registered for everything we would need to through a dinner party if we had a house. We stored everything at my in-laws house. We now have a house and all of our wedding gifts.

I’m confused about the expectations here. My understanding of wedding etiquette is that the couple doesn’t receive gifts from the wedding party – those people have already given gifts of time, energy, skill and likely money as well in helping make the wedding happen. (All that travel and those clothes and helping with things like hen nights is not cheap!)

WHY DID I NEVER THINK OF THIS!!! There isn’t a ton of room, but there’s a bit!

Yep. I was so pumped for the folks who attended our wedding, the escort cards were actually personalized notes thanking each person or couple for their presence and saying what it meant to have them there. But that said, I express love by gestures and communication.

I think it’s totally reasonable, and things like wine glasses and baking sheets are good candidates for storage. Small appliance things may not age well (gaskets dry out, better options come on the market), but cookie sheets and wine glasses are things that won’t decay in storage and will stay more or less the same over a few years. Also, you may end up with more cookie sheets and wine glasses than you register for anyway. I did, and extras are in storage!