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Awkward Bridal Shower Moment (It all worked out fine in the end)


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This is a very interesting thread.  

 

Quill I'm glad it worked out.  It sounds like you provided some lovely gifts.  

 

As for the rest of the responses and the differences in expectations posted on this thread, I find this quite fascinating.

 

I had a shower but it was to hang out with old friends (we had moved away so I was coming back specifically to be with old friends and family).  I didn't care if they brought gifts.  I did register.  Many did bring gifts from the registry but I didn't pick a specific theme and 90% of the things DH and I registered for were pretty low cost things we needed.  We did not expect expensive gifts for either event.  We had a lot of friends and family that just didn't have a ton of money to blow.  We planned to save for big ticket items ourselves and knew our parents were providing a couple of things that were out of our reach but we had hoped to have.  Now I know that a lot of people register for very expensive silverware and china but both DH and I had inherited silver sets and china sets from relatives so we didn't need anything like that.

 

Some who attended the shower also either sent a gift to my parent's house for the wedding or brought a gift to the wedding but not everyone.  Didn't bother me either way.  Not one iota.  If they felt like providing a gift for both events I considered that very kind.  If they didn't, I didn't give it a second thought.  It certainly wasn't expected.  My dad was military.  We've moved a lot, I've seen lots of different customs, many of the people invited to the shower/wedding were not native to the city and had their own customs.  I was good with that.  I just wanted people to be able to come if they could.  

 

As for the reception after the wedding, Dad and I had sat down with a budget well ahead of time, picked foods/venue we could afford (Mom and Dad were helping with cost) and I didn't give a flying flip if someone brought a gift equal to the value of the food we were serving.  It never even occurred to me to compare the value of the individual plates to the value of gifts being received.  That honestly really kind of shocks me.  I was serving food as a thank you for being our family and friends and for making the effort to come celebrate our day of joy.  It wasn't some sort of even exchange thing.  

 

If they wanted to bring a gift to the shower, the wedding, or both that was great.  If not, no biggie at all.  And if they wanted to eat, hey we have food.  Please join us.  We wanted everyone to have time to visit and spend time with us and others that were able to come.  The food was a thank you for coming.  I wasn't feeding people with the expectation that they better give me something of equal or greater value in return.  And I deliberately chose a buffet style reception so that even if someone couldn't make it to the wedding, if they were still able to come to the reception, they could arrive when they were able and still be able to eat something.  Both DH and I worked in Broadcast TV.  It is a lot of shift work.  Many of our friends worked those odd shifts too.    They came to what they were able, when they were able.  Having food available if they were able to make it at any point during the reception was a blessing.  

 

Comparing the value of a gift given in love to the value of the food being served seems...well, rather ridiculous to me, TBH.  I'm really honestly quite glad we didn't have to follow such rigid and possibly cost prohibitive rules of etiquette or judge negatively those that came to celebrate with us if they didn't meet etiquette standards of some kind.  I'm just really, really happy they came.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I'm glad it turned out well and your niece was so gracious.   When I saw your thread title I wasn't thinking *wedding* shower.    I was thinking, "Wow, Quill, is getting bold with what she's willing

This is kind of interesting to me. I live in the SE. At least as far as the circles I run in, the shower/wedding gifts kind of run together. If one gives a shower gift, that is also assumed to be the

In all my circles, there are no separate wedding and shower gifts.  In fact, wedding gifts were only given in cases when friends/family couldn't attend a shower (ie. out of town family).  And usually

Wherever I have lived as an adult, shower and wedding gifts are separate. I've always taken the shower gift to the shower myself, but have the wedding gift shipped. I guess the lesson is to order the wedding gift after the shower if it's being shipped directly? I hate the thought of doing that; whenever I wait too long to order from a registry, all that's left are items outside my budget!

 

Glad it worked out for you!

Yes, this is a large part of why I did it all at one time. Many things of small value had already been purchased, presumably for the shower. And, TBH, I didn't want to get stuck with buying something unintersting for the wedding, and also wanted to be sure MIL gave her the item that SIL had suggested. (Also, just by co-incidence, that particular item was on sale at W&S the day I was ordering.)

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As for the reception after the wedding, Dad and I had sat down with a budget well ahead of time, picked foods/venue we could afford (Mom and Dad were helping with cost) and I didn't give a flying flip if someone brought a gift equal to the value of the food we were serving. It never even occurred to me to compare the value of the individual plates to the value of gifts being received. That honestly really kind of shocks me. I was serving food as a thank you for being our family and friends and for making the effort to come celebrate our day of joy. It wasn't some sort of even exchange thing.

Yes, I was absolutely astonished that this is what many people do consider correct: you give a gift roughly equal to your plate. Horrifying! It smacks of an elitism that I want nothing to do with. When I got married, I also did not care one jot what the value of a person's gift was. The china pattern I picked out was one of the least expensive ones, mostly because I don't have gobs of wealthy friends/family. Our wedding was not high-dollar and we were paying for it ourselves.

 

The first person who told me the expectation is to "cover your plate" is - guess who? My SIL. ðŸ˜

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Yes, I was absolutely astonished that this is what many people do consider correct: you give a gift roughly equal to your plate. Horrifying! It smacks of an elitism that I want nothing to do with. When I got married, I also did not care one jot what the value of a person's gift was. The china pattern I picked out was one of the least expensive ones, mostly because I don't have gobs of wealthy friends/family. Our wedding was not high-dollar and we were paying for it ourselves.

 

The first person who told me the expectation is to "cover your plate" is - guess who? My SIL. ðŸ˜

I am dying to know if I actually know your SIL.

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Yes, I was absolutely astonished that this is what many people do consider correct: you give a gift roughly equal to your plate. Horrifying! It smacks of an elitism that I want nothing to do with. When I got married, I also did not care one jot what the value of a person's gift was. The china pattern I picked out was one of the least expensive ones, mostly because I don't have gobs of wealthy friends/family. Our wedding was not high-dollar and we were paying for it ourselves.

 

The first person who told me the expectation is to "cover your plate" is - guess who? My SIL. ðŸ˜

 

I've asked this question before (not in this thread) but have never gotten an answer:  how in heck is a person supposed to know how much was spent on their food?  I was at a wedding yesterday evening.  It was held at a facility on a university campus. I'd no idea beforehand what type of meal was going to be served, or if there was to be a meal at all, though I did assume (correctly) that there would be dinner.  It was a very nice dinner, with a hosted bar with beer and wine.   What did it cost?  No clue. But even if I could have figured it out once I knew what it was, the gift had been sent!  Weeks ago.  What could I have done at that point?

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Wherever I have lived as an adult, shower and wedding gifts are separate.  I've always taken the shower gift to the shower myself, but have the wedding gift shipped.   I guess the lesson is to order the wedding gift after the shower if it's being shipped directly?    I hate the thought of doing that; whenever I wait too long to order from a registry, all that's left are items outside my budget!  

 

Glad it worked out for you!  

 

My thoughts exactly. Maybe pick slow shipping option if it's Amazon. Instead of prime 2 day shipping maybe I'd pick a slower rate just so it would arrive after shower :laugh:

 

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There was a news story that I think was discussed here in which a couple issued reception/dinner invoices to guests who had RSVPed that they were coming but didn't/couldn't attend. Crazy!

 

:ohmy:

 

I had people attend my wedding who left before the reception. That was kind of disappointing.

 

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When we got married, we really didn't know how to take gifts at the wedding.

We knew we had to figure this out.

What we did was bring a big roll of heavy tape, and tape the cards firmly to the boxes.

We also hid the 'envelope alones' because DH thought they would have cash in them. (They didn't; only checks.)

The best man took them all to my parents' house, and we picked them up and opened them after our honeymoon. Logistically this was kind of hard to manage. I can see the wisdom of sending gifts ahead of time, which I guess was customary in my parents' day.

 

I have only been to one wedding where the gifts were opened right there at the wedding. I think that that is a bit tacky because of the way it invites comparison among the guests/families.

And many people think it is tacky and rude to not open a gift when it is given to you. So hard to please everyone.

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Yes, I was absolutely astonished that this is what many people do consider correct: you give a gift roughly equal to your plate. Horrifying! It smacks of an elitism that I want nothing to do with. When I got married, I also did not care one jot what the value of a person's gift was. The china pattern I picked out was one of the least expensive ones, mostly because I don't have gobs of wealthy friends/family. Our wedding was not high-dollar and we were paying for it ourselves.

 

The first person who told me the expectation is to "cover your plate" is - guess who? My SIL. ðŸ˜

I have never heard that anywhere except this board.....but I know those kind of people actually exist.

 

If that is how people feel why bother with a wedding/reception at all. Just keep your cash and let your guests keep theirs. Very sad way to view the world and the joy of having your loved ones celebrate your happiness with you.

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Dh is from CA and he said the custom there is two gifts....shower and wedding.

 

The interesting thing about that is that in the almost 7 years we have been married he has never once mentioned that to me when I am buying shower or wedding gifts.

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I have lived in PA where you give a shower gift and a wedding gift.

 

I have lived in New England where you give a shower gift and wedding = cash gift.

 

People go to weddings without giving a gift ???

 

 

As for the OP-- I would have laughingly clarified instead of informing her she did something 'wrong'. I think it's a completely understandable misunderstanding on her part .

 

I've lived in new England my whole life and this is my experience as well. Shower gift = something off the registry typically and wedding gift = cash or similar. We gave my brother and SIL traveler's checks and a guidebook to their honeymoon destination for their wedding gift. 

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I've asked this question before (not in this thread) but have never gotten an answer: how in heck is a person supposed to know how much was spent on their food? I was at a wedding yesterday evening. It was held at a facility on a university campus. I'd no idea beforehand what type of meal was going to be served, or if there was to be a meal at all, though I did assume (correctly) that there would be dinner. It was a very nice dinner, with a hosted bar with beer and wine. What did it cost? No clue. But even if I could have figured it out once I knew what it was, the gift had been sent! Weeks ago. What could I have done at that point?

I think the idea is supposed to be that you pay attention to things like what the bride's father does for a living, how wealthy they seem to be in general, if the wedding is taking place at some posh venue. The person who told me this IS a person who looks at things like that, so I guess she says to herself, "Well, the bride's father is a surgeon and they are having a catered event at a vineyard, so I guess the gift needs to be a few hundred dollars." Something like that. I don't think that way, and I give gifts mostly based on the relationship + what is affordable to us. For close relatives, I will spend more than I would for a co-worker or friend.

 

I also think the general idea is supposed to be that you ask around. So, Susie is planning a wedding for August, you start gossiping with your gym ladies and church ladies to find out what sort of wedding this is going to be and then you give a gift with that in mind. That fits perfectly with how SIL would operate, but I would never do this.

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I am dying to know if I actually know your SIL.

Well, if you know my last name and you live in the area, it's certainly possible. Add that to the SIL's who have children of marriageable age and it is even fewer. But it's probably best I don't give you actual names. I'm toast if those women find this forum. My own identity is not well-hidden here and...the things I have said...

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I think the idea is supposed to be that you pay attention to things like what the bride's father does for a living, how wealthy they seem to be in general, if the wedding is taking place at some posh venue. The person who told me this IS a person who looks at things like that, so I guess she says to herself, "Well, the bride's father is a surgeon and they are having a catered event at a vineyard, so I guess the gift needs to be a few hundred dollars." Something like that. I don't think that way, and I give gifts mostly based on the relationship + what is affordable to us. For close relatives, I will spend more than I would for a co-worker or friend.

 

I also think the general idea is supposed to be that you ask around. So, Susie is planning a wedding for August, you start gossiping with your gym ladies and church ladies to find out what sort of wedding this is going to be and then you give a gift with that in mind. That fits perfectly with how SIL would operate, but I would never do this.

 

 

That kind of makes me ill to think of people operating that way.

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Very few people seem to even want gifts at the wedding. If you can't make the shower they want the gift sent to their house.

 

traditionally- wedding gifts were supposed to be sent to the bride's home prior to the wedding.

I've often seen them brought to the reception - and someone is assigned to take them to another room where they are out of the way.

 

for dd's I did have a "mailbox" with a slot on top for anyone who just brought a card so it could be placed within and out of sight.  they also were regularly removed and taken to another room.

 

 

I've got to say, I'm totally shocked at some of these responses! It's so funny how we can (most of us, anyway) live in the same country and have such different customs! I've never heard of the gift being equal to the plate cost either. The things I learn here! 👰ðŸ»ðŸ¤µðŸ½ðŸ¥‚🎂

 

for certain people.   I was more interested in people being there, sharing, and having a lovely time.  

 

but there are some who are so wrapped up in getting their money's worth in whom they invite - they send bills afterwards because the present wasn't expensive "enough".

those made the news.

 

I think around there (Texas) it is one wedding present, given at the shower or wedding, whichever is more convenient for the giver. I was very surprised to see that Quill expected to be expected to give two gifts. But I could be just oblivious to social norms. Sometimes I'm like that.☺ I certainly didn't expect gifts from everyone who came to my wedding, whether or not they'd already given something at the shower. I just wanted everyone to share our happiness and witness the commitment.

 

I have sometimes seen separate gifts, and others one big gift.  I certainly don't have a problem with one big gift.  I gave dd her $$$ wedding gift for her shower. (she actually had three showers - two with friends.  I wasn't invited to those . . . . . )   dh gave her what he wanted to get her for her wedding gift.

 

she's a very private  person - and some people gave her s3xy underwear and held it up for all to see when she didn't.  she was very embarrassed.

 

So, the way I've most often seen this here is that a wedding gift is the "main" gift and it is for the couple.  Often household items for setting up their new home.

 

The shower gift is smaller, and it's typically more targeted to the bride and more personal.  Because it is really from the (traditionally) female friends/family/co-workers of the bride.  So maybe cooking things if she likes that, or fancy underpants, soaps, a silk scarf, that kind of thing.

 

When the item was sent would not be that useful an indication, because wedding gifts may be sent well before or much later than the actual wedding.  And not everyone is typically invited to a shower.  IME it's also less common, but not unheard of, for someone invited but not attending the shower to send a gift anyway.

 

this is what I've seen too.

 

and while not everyone is invited to a shower - anyone invited to a shower is supposed to be invited to the wedding.

I've also seen people drop off gifts for showers if they're not able to attend.

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This is a very interesting thread.  

 

 

Comparing the value of a gift given in love to the value of the food being served seems...well, rather ridiculous to me, TBH.  I'm really honestly quite glad we didn't have to follow such rigid and possibly cost prohibitive rules of etiquette or judge negatively those that came to celebrate with us if they didn't meet etiquette standards of some kind.  I'm just really, really happy they came.

 

those comparing the value of a gift given in love to the value of food - are NOT "meeting etiquette standards".  Miss Manners would be having an apoplexy at the suggestion.  she'd find them rather  . .  mercenary.

though the movie "my fake fiance" was probably made because the first attitude has become so prevalent.

 

she had a letter from a grandmother who described herself as fat, old, and dumpy - but her granddaughter, with whom she was close, wanted her to be her matron of honor.  she was trying to talk her out of it . . she agreed to ask Miss Manners - who said (I quote)  "Miss Manners thinks this will be an unusually happy marriage given the values of the bridal couple."

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Looks like things are very complicated in this country. (Back home, showers don't exist - neither bridal nor baby)

I am just thankful that none of my friends who invited me to their wedding here even had a shower. I would probably have done it all wrong.

Well, you can't go wrong by giving more than one gift.  That's the take away.

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<snip>

 

Comparing the value of a gift given in love to the value of the food being served seems...well, rather ridiculous to me, TBH.  I'm really honestly quite glad we didn't have to follow such rigid and possibly cost prohibitive rules of etiquette or judge negatively those that came to celebrate with us if they didn't meet etiquette standards of some kind.  I'm just really, really happy they came.

 

<snip>

 

There is no etiquette rule that the gift should somehow offset the cost of the wedding/reception.    Well, maybe in someone's head.  

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There is no etiquette rule that the gift should somehow offset the cost of the wedding/reception.    Well, maybe in someone's head.  

Perhaps I misspoke but that was what I meant.  Some people (and regions) have apparently created "etiquette rules" that they feel strongly should be followed, whether Miss Manners ever agreed with such rules or not.

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Perhaps I misspoke but that was what I meant.  Some people (and regions) have apparently created "etiquette rules" that they feel strongly should be followed, whether Miss Manners ever agreed with such rules or not.

 

I have always heard that "rule" too about the gift costing at least the cost of the meal. 

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Living in New England, I agree that it is customary here to give a gift off the registry for the bridal shower and the wedding gift is $/check in a card to at least cover the plate per person (and typically much more depending on the venue/ relation to the bride).

 

Edited by AnIslandGirl
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Living in New England, I agree that it is customary here to give a gift off the registry for the bridal shower and the wedding gift is $/check in a card to at least cover the plate per person (and typically much more depending on the venue/ relation to the bride).

$100 minimum? Plus a gift?

 

So for those who cannot afford this they just don't come? Or are seen as awfully rude for showing up and not 'paying what they owe'? Who started this "tradition"? I find it appalling, TBH. It makes the whole wedding/reception about money, not relationships. Not my monkeys though. If this is the norm for others, ok. I'm awfully grateful it isn't the norm where I live.

 

ETA: Did you edit your post to remove the $100 or did I misread? If so I apologize.

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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$100 minimum? Plus a gift?

 

So for those who cannot afford this they just don't come? Or are seen as awfully rude for showing up and not 'paying what they owe'? Who started this "tradition"? I find it appalling, TBH. It makes the whole wedding/reception about money, not relationships. Not my monkeys though. If this is the norm for others, ok. I'm awfully grateful it isn't the norm where I live.

 

ETA: Did you edit your post to remove the $100 or did I misread? If so I apologize.

 

I read the same figure as you before it was edited. Maybe that figure was a mistake. I know my eyes popped out when I read that as while I believe things can get expensive, I never think of spending $100 as a requirement or expectation for a wedding gift (in my personal social interactions, at least).

 

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$100 minimum? Plus a gift?

 

So for those who cannot afford this they just don't come? Or are seen as awfully rude for showing up and not 'paying what they owe'? Who started this "tradition"? I find it appalling, TBH. It makes the whole wedding/reception about money, not relationships. Not my monkeys though. If this is the norm for others, ok. I'm awfully grateful it isn't the norm where I live.

 

 

 

I think it's more that it's a guideline for those who can afford it and not expected by those who can't.  

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I also live in the SE, and there is no distinction between shower gifts and wedding gifts. They are ALL wedding gifts. Some people give their gift at a shower and some people give their gift at the wedding.

 

 

I think around there (Texas) it is one wedding present, given at the shower or wedding, whichever is more convenient for the giver. I was very surprised to see that Quill expected to be expected to give two gifts. But I could be just oblivious to social norms. Sometimes I'm like that.☺ I certainly didn't expect gifts from everyone who came to my wedding, whether or not they'd already given something at the shower. I just wanted everyone to share our happiness and witness the commitment.

 

I have grown up in FL, and for all of the weddings I've been to, only one gift has been expected.   Only close family (who can afford it), or those who just want to give two gifts, typically give a separate shower gift and wedding gift.   The exception would probably be lingerie, which would only be given at a shower and not as a wedding gift.

 

 

Actually, we opened our wedding gifts at our reception, at the request of our guests.  Ours was a special case; we didn't register anywhere because we didn't need to be set up for married life.  Instead we asked for pictures and memories, and for people to actually show up if they could manage it (the vast bulk of the guests had more than 1000 miles to travel).  Knowing the nature of the gifts the guests asked if we would open our gifts and pass them around so everyone could smile and remember, too.  It became the best entertainment during our reception.

 

When and how gift opening is handled can be very dependent upon the circumstances.

 

This is beautiful!   What a great idea!

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I think it's more that it's a guideline for those who can afford it and not expected by those who can't.  

 

and who decides who can afford it?  the bride and groom/their families?  or the guest? other guests? is the more modest means guest left to be guilted into wishing they never came becasue they can't afford an expensive gift?   because - there will always be those who "can afford it" who will make clear they have Paid their admission fee (er - spent enough on a gift) to prove they're worthy to be invited to the shindig.

 

sadly- I've known people who have zero awareness other's have a lower income, and are dealing with constraints beyond their comprehension - but don't' have any problem making snotty comments to others because they think someone "didn't spend enough" on a gift or "were doing a gift grab" by inviting/ sending an announcement to  them in the first place.

 

 

 

eta: a gift is a *gift*.  iow: *freely* given.  if there are ever any expectations of any kind - it ceases to be a gift.

Edited by gardenmom5
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I'd like to add - this is one reason I loath opening gifts at the reception.  everyone can see who gave what, - and guess how much they spent.  it ceases to be a gift out of love - but becomes a competition to see who can get the biggest "ahs".

 

- the one mentioned in a pp of pictures for memories, is an exception.

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and who decides who can afford it?  the bride and groom/their families?  or the guest? other guests? is the more modest means guest left to be guilted into wishing they never came becasue they can't afford an expensive gift?   because - there will always be those who "can afford it" who will make clear they have Paid their admission fee (er - spent enough on a gift) to prove they're worthy to be invited to the shindig.

 

sadly- I've known people who have zero awareness other's have a lower income, and are dealing with constraints beyond their comprehension - but don't' have any problem making snotty comments to others because they think someone "didn't spend enough" on a gift or "were doing a gift grab" by inviting/ sending an announcement to  them in the first place.

 

 

 

eta: a gift is a *gift*.  iow: *freely* given.  if there are ever any expectations of any kind - it ceases to be a gift.

 

Oh, I absolutely agree with you about what a gift is.  

 

As far as the "pay for your plate" thing, I think it's a guideline for guests who don't know how much to give the couple for a gift, but maybe it's also an expectation of the couple from people they feel can afford it.  I really have no idea since I haven't been involved in many weddings other than as a guest. I've never seen wedding gifts opened in public so, as far as I know, no one would know how much anyone else spent.  

 

Inexpensive wedding gift story:  When I got married thirty years ago, a friend of mine was a poor student and gave us some funny dishtowels and potholders as our wedding gifts.  I still have them and they still bring me a lot of joy because they came from her and remind me of her.  My son is moving into his own place next week and I told him to take some of our dishtowels and he chose the ones she gave us.  I told her about it because I thought it would make her feel good to know we still have them and they will go on to be used my our son now.  

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Inexpensive wedding gift story:  When I got married thirty years ago, a friend of mine was a poor student and gave us some funny dishtowels and potholders as our wedding gifts.  I still have them and they still bring me a lot of joy because they came from her and remind me of her.  My son is moving into his own place next week and I told him to take some of our dishtowels and he chose the ones she gave us.  I told her about it because I thought it would make her feel good to know we still have them and they will go on to be used my our son now.  

That's a really cool story.   :)

 

ETA:  Along those lines, when my grandmother got married, her best friend was already married and had no money at all.  As  a gift the friend gave my grandmother the spatula from her kitchen.  My grandmother was incredibly touched that she would give away her only spatula.  She cherished it and used it for decades.  When the wooden handle cracked she had it repaired.  When she passed away Mom kept the spatula and still has it.  (They were apparently a lot better made back then because mine just don't last that long :) .)

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I read the same figure as you before it was edited. Maybe that figure was a mistake. I know my eyes popped out when I read that as while I believe things can get expensive, I never think of spending $100 as a requirement or expectation for a wedding gift (in my personal social interactions, at least).

 

I don't know what the poster put before editing, but I just wanted to say that $100 would be considered a normal amount for a wedding gift for a lot of people in this region, and my information is that the northeast region of the US is even more posh about weddings than the Mid-Atlantic. Probably not so much if the wedding is for people a bit removed from your circle - in that case, maybe between $50 and $100.

 

But I would certainly never, ever wish someone to think they can't come to a wedding of my peeps because they cannot afford to.

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I don't know what the poster put before editing, but I just wanted to say that $100 would be considered a normal amount for a wedding gift for a lot of people in this region, and my information is that the northeast region of the US is even more posh about weddings than the Mid-Atlantic. Probably not so much if the wedding is for people a bit removed from your circle - in that case, maybe between $50 and $100.

 

But I would certainly never, ever wish someone to think they can't come to a wedding of my peeps because they cannot afford to.

Wow.  And on top of a shower gift?  Granted, maybe incomes are much higher in that region of the country but wow.  That would not fly here at all for the average person.  Are there wealthy people here that would think nothing of forking over $100+ AND a shower gift?  Sure.  But for most folks here that would just not be feasible.

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I grew up in Arkansas and it was the same there as other Southerners have mentioned. One gift either given at the shower or at the wedding. The only people who might give one at both would be close family or friends, but even then not usually.

 

I had four wedding showers and one lingerie shower before I got married, one wedding shower at my childhood church which my family attended as well, one shower at my place of employment at the time, one shower at the church I was currently attending, and one shower in my husband's home town. Needless to say I got everything I registered for and then some. Anyone who attended one of my wedding showers would definitely not have been expected to bring a gift to the wedding.

 

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As long as we are on the subject of wedding and shower gifts, may I put in a plug for using the registry?

Before we got married, I thought registries were crutches for guests who lacked the imagination or thoughtfulness to come up with a great, unique, perfect gift on their own.  But when we registered, it took us a long time to choose things, and we really, really liked what we registered for.  We were so grateful to those who gave us something off of our registry, and I have always bought from registries ever since.

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As long as we are on the subject of wedding and shower gifts, may I put in a plug for using the registry?

Before we got married, I thought registries were crutches for guests who lacked the imagination or thoughtfulness to come up with a great, unique, perfect gift on their own.  But when we registered, it took us a long time to choose things, and we really, really liked what we registered for.  We were so grateful to those who gave us something off of our registry, and I have always bought from registries ever since.

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As long as we are on the subject of wedding and shower gifts, may I put in a plug for using the registry?

Before we got married, I thought registries were crutches for guests who lacked the imagination or thoughtfulness to come up with a great, unique, perfect gift on their own.  But when we registered, it took us a long time to choose things, and we really, really liked what we registered for.  We were so grateful to those who gave us something off of our registry, and I have always bought from registries ever since.

 

Oh, I'll second you on that.

 

We did the same, and we registered for things that were within the range of what we would pay for a wedding gift.  

 

One of my coworkers, very sweetly, put together a shower for me at work.  She had people contribute to a gift fund* and acquired all the gifts herself.  She told me that my registry list was so boring, she chose unique items.  Well, obviously I appreciated her efforts, and all the contributions from people, but within a year all the gifts from that shower were gone, all donated or given away. There was not one thing that I liked or that fit with anything else I owned.  

 

*Of course I don't know how she did this, but it was our practice in that office to send around an envelope with a card; people would sign the card and put in whatever amount of money they wanted to, no set amount.  

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I don't know what the poster put before editing, but I just wanted to say that $100 would be considered a normal amount for a wedding gift for a lot of people in this region, and my information is that the northeast region of the US is even more posh about weddings than the Mid-Atlantic. Probably not so much if the wedding is for people a bit removed from your circle - in that case, maybe between $50 and $100.

 

But I would certainly never, ever wish someone to think they can't come to a wedding of my peeps because they cannot afford to.

 

Same here.  I live in Ohio and I think $100 plus a shower gift is the norm for those who can afford it.  And I would also never want someone to feel bad about not being able to spend that much.  Weddings shouldn't be about gifts. 

 

 

Wow.  And on top of a shower gift?  Granted, maybe incomes are much higher in that region of the country but wow.  That would not fly here at all for the average person.  Are there wealthy people here that would think nothing of forking over $100+ AND a shower gift?  Sure.  But for most folks here that would just not be feasible.

 

We're not wealthy and aren't thrilled about the expense since we live pretty frugally, but feel obligated to spend that much if we attend a wedding/reception.  However, we can afford it.  If we couldn't, we definitely would spend less. 

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I had some mix ups like this with our gifts being shipped to us and not knowing who they were from or if they were for the shower or wedding. This is on the registry company for not labeling shipped gifts clearly IMO. Hind sight though, it wasn't that big of a deal at all even at the time.

 

If this throws SIL way off she should probably take up meditation or something. 😀

Edited by WoolySocks
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I don't know what the poster put before editing, but I just wanted to say that $100 would be considered a normal amount for a wedding gift for a lot of people in this region, and my information is that the northeast region of the US is even more posh about weddings than the Mid-Atlantic. Probably not so much if the wedding is for people a bit removed from your circle - in that case, maybe between $50 and $100.

 

But I would certainly never, ever wish someone to think they can't come to a wedding of my peeps because they cannot afford to.

 

I can see that being the case in some areas. I think about TV where people make references to items, like a toaster (I think that's what Stanley carried into a wedding in The Office). I know $100 toasters exist, but I generally don't think of them costing that much. Same with gifts like blenders or other small appliances that newly weds might receive. For one of my relative's weddings I got a decorative plate with their family crest(s?). I considered it a nice gift and it was definitely under $100. I didn't actually attend the wedding so I don't know if that should affect the amount spent, but I wouldn't have changed my gift.

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Why? Because that's what we do. Maybe it's regional? Quill and I are from the same area. I do give both a shower and a wedding gift. I don't distinguish with the wedding gift being more generous than the shower gift, although, now that I think about it, it's probably true for most people.

 

 

 

It was the norm where we grew up but I also found it to be the norm in the Atlanta, Huntsville, Nashville and Richmond areas. For extended family on dh's side, where I didn't necessarily go to the shower but went to the wedding, I bought for both but don't know if it was the norm.

 

Norm in all of above mentioned areas was shower gift was more for bride and wedding gift was for both.

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There is no etiquette rule that the gift should somehow offset the cost of the wedding/reception.    Well, maybe in someone's head.  

 

I would call it an anti-etiquette rule.  Like, if it touched Emily POst, she might implode.

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And many people think it is tacky and rude to not open a gift when it is given to you. So hard to please everyone.

 

This is a pretty long-standing and widespread rule.  Not that its totally ubiquitous, but it's what you'd see in any 20th century etiquette book - gifts shouldn't really be brought to the reception, nor opened in front of guests.  The first because it is inconvinient, the second because it makes people feel put on the spot if their gift isn't as expensive as the others.

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$100 minimum? Plus a gift?

 

So for those who cannot afford this they just don't come? Or are seen as awfully rude for showing up and not 'paying what they owe'? Who started this "tradition"? I find it appalling, TBH. It makes the whole wedding/reception about money, not relationships. Not my monkeys though. If this is the norm for others, ok. I'm awfully grateful it isn't the norm where I live.

 

ETA: Did you edit your post to remove the $100 or did I misread? If so I apologize.

 

The thing that strikes me about this is that any "rule" about registries is pretty new.  And registries were considered to be walking the line in terms of etiquette when they first appeared.  So I would hesitate to call any practices mentioning them, or related to them, fairly recent developments.

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As long as we are on the subject of wedding and shower gifts, may I put in a plug for using the registry?

Before we got married, I thought registries were crutches for guests who lacked the imagination or thoughtfulness to come up with a great, unique, perfect gift on their own. But when we registered, it took us a long time to choose things, and we really, really liked what we registered for. We were so grateful to those who gave us something off of our registry, and I have always bought from registries ever since.

I totally agree with using the registry. I remember back when I got married, a relative was grumbling about registries in general (she wasn't pointing *me* out in particular, but it did apply to me, so maybe she did mean me specifically), claiming that it was like "demanding particular gifts" and that it didn't allow people to be creative in choosing a gift. I disagreed with her, very strongly. I LOVE a registry and I think the couple should register for lots and lots and lots of choices. I want to give people gifts they are thrilled to have. I would much rather give the couple something they want and need/like, which they may have for decades to come then to take a stab in the dark and possibly get them something they don't like, don't want, don't need, already have, think is ugly, doesn't match...

 

There are certain things we got for our wedding that we still use daily and we marvel about those things from time to time: "Man, Patrick sure did pick an awesome gift when he gave us this electric skillet! Bet he didn't realize we would use it almost every day of our lives for 23 years!"

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The thing that strikes me about this is that any "rule" about registries is pretty new. And registries were considered to be walking the line in terms of etiquette when they first appeared. So I would hesitate to call any practices mentioning them, or related to them, fairly recent developments.

This isn't a "rule" about registries, though; it is a "rule" about wedding gifts no matter where the gift is obtained. It's supposed to be a guideline for people who might say, "Well, how much do you give a couple getting married these days," in the same way people might ask what the going rate is for babysitting or what is a normal graduation gift amount.

 

As a very lose guideline, it's not really the worst idea, actually, and I say that as someone who is absolutely against weddings being mercenary in any way. So, if I get invited to my best friend's daughter's wedding, being held at a posh hotel in Connecticut, it's not the *worst* idea to keep in mind that my presence at the wedding is costing a few hundred dollars at least. Truly, I would feel like an idiot if I arrived at such a shindig with a ten dollar bill in a card. But, of course, if it is my best friend, presumably I can do my best to give something special that also won't break the bank, and honestly, this is where I would call forth my talents to make her something.

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This isn't a "rule" about registries, though; it is a "rule" about wedding gifts no matter where the gift is obtained. It's supposed to be a guideline for people who might say, "Well, how much do you give a couple getting married these days," in the same way people might ask what the going rate is for babysitting or what is a normal graduation gift amount.

 

As a very lose guideline, it's not really the worst idea, actually, and I say that as someone who is absolutely against weddings being mercenary in any way. So, if I get invited to my best friend's daughter's wedding, being held at a posh hotel in Connecticut, it's not the *worst* idea to keep in mind that my presence at the wedding is costing a few hundred dollars at least. Truly, I would feel like an idiot if I arrived at such a shindig with a ten dollar bill in a card. But, of course, if it is my best friend, presumably I can do my best to give something special that also won't break the bank, and honestly, this is where I would call forth my talents to make her something.

 

Yeah, you could perhaps say, well, if my social circle has weddings that cost "X", maybe Y is about the right amount to spend.

 

Except I don't know that it works well in practice because so many people have weddings that aren't actually in line with their means. 

 

But what I think is more important is that when looked on as a rule, it tends toward the assumption that a gift is necessary, which makes it a payment.

 

 

As far as registries - I think I quoted the wrong post, but someone above mentioned something about "rules' concerning them.  My feeling is, not all rules are created equal.  Rules or customs around some things, like registries, aren't what you'd call longstanding traditions.

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I always find it so fascinating what different regions perceive as normal.

 

For this shower, there was specifically a note in the invitation that it was meant as a "kitchen gadget" shower (presumably to distinguish it from a lingerie or other type of shower), and her registry had a lot of choices that I call shower gifts; these were almost all purchased already. So, things like cutting board, dish towels, measuring cups, cookie cutters, etc.

 

It's normal in Western Canada (at least - not sure about the rest of the country) for there to be a separate shower and wedding gift. And, I think it's increasingly normal for there to be a shower theme. I would also expect the shower gift to be a less expensive gift than the wedding gift. 

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Yeah, you could perhaps say, well, if my social circle has weddings that cost "X", maybe Y is about the right amount to spend.

 

Except I don't know that it works well in practice because so many people have weddings that aren't actually in line with their means.

 

But what I think is more important is that when looked on as a rule, it tends toward the assumption that a gift is necessary, which makes it a payment.

 

 

As far as registries - I think I quoted the wrong post, but someone above mentioned something about "rules' concerning them. My feeling is, not all rules are created equal. Rules or customs around some things, like registries, aren't what you'd call longstanding traditions.

Well, true, but I do think a wedding gift is necessary. I mean, sure, there could be special circumstances where a person is in bad financial circumstances and truly cannot give a gift of any sort, full stop. So, that's one thing. But I do think if we're talking about more ordinary small budget stuff, you make an effort to give a gift for a wedding of anyone close to you. I mean, I would get creative and pull a rabbit out of my hat if my ordinary situation was just not allowing me to give a gift.

 

I'm in the thick of a wedding time of life right now, as my many nieces and nephews are reaching mid-to-late twenties. So all the expenses surrounding weddings are coming once a half-year or so; it's something we have to be aware of right now. But if our situation was such that we simply could not afford these wedding expenses, I would still do something to show my appreciation for my nieces and nephews, be that offering to do photography for them or offering to sew something for them or...something. I wouldn't dream of just coming without having given any gift whatsoever.

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 I am horrible and unimaginative at gift giving, so I love registries! We got married pre-registry days and we received so many duplicates that we needed to return.  Very time consuming.

 

Gift-giving and receiving is a love language for some people, but it's completely unimportant to me.  I'm planning a grad party for my ds right now, and I hate the thought that people might feel they HAVE to bring a gift.  I just want people to come.  I want them to have fun.  I want to feed them and provide a relaxing place for them to hang out.  I want to thank them for the part they've played in my ds's life.  Ideally, that is the attitude I would hope for at a wedding as well.  I'm not really sure I'd want to go to a wedding where I'm being judged for the size of my gift.  

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