Author Topic: Appropriate Wedding Gift?  (Read 16604 times)

MrsPotato

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Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« on: March 23, 2015, 01:08:27 PM »
Hi,

I was hoping to get some advice on what an appropriate wedding gift would be. The wedding is for my husband's friend and he (my husband) will be the best man. I've only met the bride once a year ago and my husband hasn't met her yet. The groom visits us every summer for a week and is one of my husband's few friends.

The wedding is in Vernon, BC and we live in Victoria, so it's a 7 hour drive away (including the ferry ride). The bride said we are welcome to stay at their home so we won't have any hotel costs for the weekend. It's also a small garden wedding with a reception for 30 people.

I was thinking that a cash gift of $250 would be okay. My husband is against cash gifts and thinks they are not thoughtful. While I dislike random gifts that I wouldn't have use for and prefer cash that I can use as I please. They also don't have a wedding registry.

So is $250 enough, too much, or too little as a gift (for mustachian standards)? And is cash a bad idea (I've never been to a wedding here in Canada so I wouldn't know)?  If so, what is a good generic wedding gift (you can tell I'm clueless about this stuff, right)? We were also planning on using our travel points to cover the hotel but since the bride said we can crash at their place we get to save our points. So does this give me room to be more generous with the gift?

In terms of finances we have no debt, save 70% of our incomes, and have a cushy emergency fund. I have $700 in a random/vacation/miscellaneous fund that I plan on using for the couple's gift and gas/ferry costs to get there.

I would really appreciate some feedback as I'm oblivious to Canadian wedding etiquette and my husband usually leaves me to make such decisions.

Thanks!


I'm a red panda

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 01:14:55 PM »
$250 sounds huge to me.

My experience from my wedding was that couples gave gifts in the $50-$100 range.  So that's what we do.  But I'm in the US.  I purchase off a registry. Or give cash if there is no registry.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2015, 01:49:16 PM by iowajes »

Villanelle

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 01:22:57 PM »
$250 seems very generous.  Certainly, it is not to little, IMO, though this does depend a lot of one's social circle and the standards that go along with that.  (Also, I am from the US.)

I hate giving cash as a gift, though it's tough for me to articulate why. Usually I recommend getting a gift card for the place they are registered if one doesn't want to actually buy stuff, but that's difficult since they aren't even registered.  Amazon, maybe?

Do they have some sort of hobby they do together?  Some sort of item relating to their hobby might be nice.  Even if I only got them something small and gave the rest in cash, I'd feel better about it than *just* cash.  But that might be my own weird issue.  I do know there are gifts we got for our wedding 13+ years ago, that I still recall the giver and think of them when I use the item.  I love that connection to people, and cash doesn't offer that. 

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 01:33:20 PM »
My closest friends gave me for my wedding:

-$300
-$300
-nebulizer and scents from Saje, plus chocolates plus tea plus a cheese board
-card
-card
-$450
-crystal vase from registry

Personally, I found the money to be incredibly generous and useful! And the gifts, I treasure, because I got so few of them (it was mostly cash gifts).

Disclaimer: I have a gifting problem, and I spend way too much money on gifts, but for my friends I plan on doing $250 + something thoughtful, like a framed photo or _fill in the blank_.

Yep. For the record, my two bffs that gave "just" a card, the cards were so thoughtful and the trip cost them ~$1000/each, so it was SO generous of them. I think if your relationship is close enough, no gift is necessary. But that is a big "it depends".

MrsPotato

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 01:39:07 PM »
$250 seems very generous.  Certainly, it is not to little, IMO, though this does depend a lot of one's social circle and the standards that go along with that.  (Also, I am from the US.)

I hate giving cash as a gift, though it's tough for me to articulate why. Usually I recommend getting a gift card for the place they are registered if one doesn't want to actually buy stuff, but that's difficult since they aren't even registered.  Amazon, maybe?

Do they have some sort of hobby they do together?  Some sort of item relating to their hobby might be nice.  Even if I only got them something small and gave the rest in cash, I'd feel better about it than *just* cash.  But that might be my own weird issue.  I do know there are gifts we got for our wedding 13+ years ago, that I still recall the giver and think of them when I use the item.  I love that connection to people, and cash doesn't offer that.

My husband says the exact same thing regarding gifts vs. cash! I think I'm just bitter about random gifts that people get me that I don't use. I recall feeling bad about giving/throwing away such gifts that my friends gave me that took up too much space in my tiny apartment, lol! I've always preferred cash. But I do see your point of giving something that they will remember came from us.

In terms of a hobby they do together, I really wouldn't know. The groom is into jiu jitsi,surfing and hiking, while all I know about her is that she's crazy about zumba. I was thinking of getting them a picnic basket set (http://www.gigisgiftcreations.com/store/p153/2_Person_Picnic_Basket_Set.html) then supplementing that with cash. My husband says the picnic basket idea is super corny, but offers no alternative ideas. Sigh...

MrsPotato

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 01:47:17 PM »
My closest friends gave me for my wedding:

-$300
-$300
-nebulizer and scents from Saje, plus chocolates plus tea plus a cheese board
-card
-card
-$450
-crystal vase from registry

Personally, I found the money to be incredibly generous and useful! And the gifts, I treasure, because I got so few of them (it was mostly cash gifts).

Disclaimer: I have a gifting problem, and I spend way too much money on gifts, but for my friends I plan on doing $250 + something thoughtful, like a framed photo or _fill in the blank_.

Yep. For the record, my two bffs that gave "just" a card, the cards were so thoughtful and the trip cost them ~$1000/each, so it was SO generous of them. I think if your relationship is close enough, no gift is necessary. But that is a big "it depends".

Thanks so much for this, it's very helpful! I like the idea of a cash amount plus a gift. That way my hubby and I are both satisfied. I'm not close to them at all, but the couple was very generous the last time I was in their area and paid for my dinner. My hubby and the groom have been friends for 6 years and both immigrated from Eastern Europe and speak the same language, so they are pretty close.

MrsPotato

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 01:48:29 PM »
$250 sounds huge to me.

My experience from my wedding was that couples gave gifts in the $50-$100 range.  So that's what we do.  But I'm in the US.

Thanks for the reply. This is helpful indeed! Back home wedding gifts usually start at $500. Glad I live in this part of the world now!

GizmoTX

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 01:49:23 PM »
We grew up & married in the Midwest, where a check is THE preferred gift at weddings. It's very portable, far less likely to be stolen (assuming a Grandma or other trustworthy relative is watching over the collection), & of course can be used for anything the couple needs. Actual gifts are for showers, where they can be opened in front of the group & there's more time to deal with them. Unfortunately there's always the duplicate problem, even with registries. Gift receipts help.

We give $250 to only our very closest recipients. $75 - $150 is more typical.

Guesl982374

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 01:53:21 PM »
It sounds like the groom is a very close friend. IMO, it pays not to be cheap in situations like these. I say you're in the right range: $200-250.

For a typical wedding where you aren't in the wedding, aren't that close, etc the $50-75/per person is about right.

Lis

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 02:03:19 PM »
I'd say your price range is spot on.

I think with a wedding that small, and considering your hubby and the groom are so close, it's definitely not out of line to ask what they need. Something the lines of "we're so happy to be a part of your wedding, we want to make sure we get you something you want and need." Hopefully they say something in your price range. If not, I'd say cash/check is perfectly acceptable.

With your husband being the best man, his speech/toast/everything he does for the groom will be what's memorable!

garion

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 02:08:41 PM »
If they don't have a registry, I say cash is best. It sounds like you can afford to be generous, and my tendency is to always be generous if I can afford it. A gift of $250 is generous.

It's risky to give a physical gift if there is no registry because 1. they might not want/need it, 2. they may already have it, 3. someone else may give them the same thing. It's also harder to return/exchange things if there is no registry.

Some items that are useful for most people though: nice sheets (if you know what size bed they have), nice towels, nice pots/pans... Okay I can't even think of anything else. You can also ask a relative what the couple would like.

I'm not the hugest fan of gift cards (especially if they aren't registered) because it's pretty much giving them cash and telling them how to spend it. Plus sometimes gift cards don't even get used, and you've basically given money to a company for nothing. At least if the bride and groom never cash a check, you keep the money yourself!

PEIslander

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 02:56:14 PM »
I'd say your price range is spot on.

I think with a wedding that small, and considering your hubby and the groom are so close, it's definitely not out of line to ask what they need. Something the lines of "we're so happy to be a part of your wedding, we want to make sure we get you something you want and need." Hopefully they say something in your price range. If not, I'd say cash/check is perfectly acceptable.

With your husband being the best man, his speech/toast/everything he does for the groom will be what's memorable!

I'm in 100% agreement with Lis.

Sometimes the reason people are uncomfortable gifting someone money as a wedding present is they feel the gift should have a lasting presence in the recipients lives together. If they use the money to buy groceries then that sure ain't lasting. If that might be your husband's concern then perhaps try to think of a gift that will be kept and treasured by the newly married couple. Think future family heirloom. Something they'll pass on to their kids or grandchildren - so not a vacuum cleaner or toaster oven! A few ideas come to mind... First, how about a high-quality picture frame of the kind you might put on a desk or a shelf? They can put a wedding picture in it. It may be possible to find a nice silver one in a timeless style that can be engraved. Engraving shops typically sell such frames. A second idea, also from an engraving shop, is a mantel/desk clock. A nice clock can be a lasting reminder of their wedding -- the engraving can be something as simple as the date. If at an engraving shop you might also check out their candlesticks. So a third idea could be a nice pair of quality candlesticks. Nice ones can also likely be found at an antique store too. If I were buying candlesticks I'd get two different sizes that are compatible in appearance --- they would be symbolic of the 'couple'. Then if they have a child you can gift them a little candlestick to add to their candlestick family!

lifejoy

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 03:44:49 PM »
I should also mention that me and my friend group are mostly from BC, Canada. I think these things can vary a lot depending on your circles and your location!

Some other random gifts that we really enjoyed:

-a silver cake knife
-a glass cake platter (ok I don't know what these are called but they display the cake in a nice way)
-wine
-gift cards for date nights! That way we were forced to go on a date, guilt-free!
-a hotel night
-high tea at a fancy place for two people (we love high tea)
-chocolates

I feel very blessed that we received such thoughtful gifts. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me AT ALL what people give, as long as I can see that care was taken. The cards with heartfelt messages meant just as much as the $400 that helps us start our life together.

Check out www.apracticalwedding.com for sound wedding advice. Good luck!

MrsPotato

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2015, 05:52:47 PM »
I should also mention that me and my friend group are mostly from BC, Canada. I think these things can vary a lot depending on your circles and your location!

Some other random gifts that we really enjoyed:

-a silver cake knife
-a glass cake platter (ok I don't know what these are called but they display the cake in a nice way)
-wine
-gift cards for date nights! That way we were forced to go on a date, guilt-free!
-a hotel night
-high tea at a fancy place for two people (we love high tea)
-chocolates

I feel very blessed that we received such thoughtful gifts. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me AT ALL what people give, as long as I can see that care was taken. The cards with heartfelt messages meant just as much as the $400 that helps us start our life together.

Check out www.apracticalwedding.com for sound wedding advice. Good luck!

Thanks so much for this! This is amazing advice, so many great ideas! I'll definitely get some date night gift cards, chocolates and wine along with the cash gift. Thanks for the link as well :-)

daymare

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2015, 06:49:23 PM »
Quote
So is $250 enough, too much, or too little as a gift (for mustachian standards)? And is cash a bad idea (I've never been to a wedding here in Canada so I wouldn't know)?  If so, what is a good generic wedding gift (you can tell I'm clueless about this stuff, right)? We were also planning on using our travel points to cover the hotel but since the bride said we can crash at their place we get to save our points. So does this give me room to be more generous with the gift?

To echo what others have said - that dollar amount sounds very reasonable for a gift for the marriage of someone you have such a close relationship with.  I got married last summer, and we did not have a registry.  This was actually very intentional - we didn't want stuff, and not having a registry was a signal of that (so ... perhaps that is the case here).  This meant that when friends asked if we had a registry, we could gracefully deflect and say something along the lines of 'Nope, no registry - living in a small apartment, we have to be cautious about accumulating kitchen and other stuff".  So I would recommend asking the couple if they have a registry for gifts - this would allow them to deflect the focus away from stuff for gifts (if they'd prefer money), or alternately let you know they'd love to upgrade their kitchen with stuff from Crate & Barrel (or whatever - then gift accordingly).

It's totally your call on whether them letting you crash and not pay for a hotel changes how much you'd like to give - on one hand, I think a lot of people probably don't tie their gift-giving precisely to their expenses (i.e., I've paid $350 for flights to a wedding before ... I've never given that much as a gift, even to a wedding that was low-cost.  But I have felt really appreciative of the friends who got married and provided accommodations to me, their guest, and been more generous in my gifting.)

Just wanted to put in my 2 cents about how awesome money is as a wedding gift ... simply the best, in my opinion.  You can combine it with other people's cash gifts to buy larger things - fancy kitchen stuff, furniture, take a trip, fund investment accounts (what we did :)), etc.  We mostly got cash - a bunch of my girlfriends (including my bridesmaids) didn't get us anything, which is cool.  Some people surprised us with their generosity - many couples gave $200, single people gave $100, and some of my husband's family gave checks of $300 or $400, which totally blew my mind.

One idea that might be cute, since you're staying at the couple's place, is to put together a nice package for them to come home to after the wedding (or honeymoon, or whatnot).  So maybe put together a nice basket of their favorite snacks or whatnot.  Maybe a movie they like but don't own, a bottle of wine?  Or if they're not going on a honeymoon, perhaps stock their fridge with food and get some flowers so the place looks nice?  In my experience (and that of many friends), the days around a wedding are hectic, or at the very least schedules are all messed up and daily-life habits (like grocery shopping) can sometimes fall by the way-side because you're doing so many things you wouldn't normally be doing.  So maybe stocking their fridge and making some nice meals while you're staying with them would be the most appreciated.

Also, you can never go wrong with a thoughtful card!

Mrkineticz

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2015, 07:30:09 PM »
i just went to 2 wedding this weekend. my fiance and I are not very close to them. We gave both weddings 200 dollars for 2 people to at least help the bride and groom cover for the dinner plates.  for people who are either family, cousins, groomsmen,bridesmaids. people in my daily lives that are close to me  i wouldnt hesitate to put out 300-400 per wedding.

ABC123

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2015, 08:37:50 PM »
I am not a big fan of stuff. We got a lot of stuff when we got married,  and I hated having to figure out what to do with it.  I think I got 8 picture frames. If you don't know what they like, I personally would either give cash or gift card, or at least give a gift receipt with it. I do like the idea of a picnic set if you decide to go for a real present. It might be cheesy but it's fun.  Date night gift cards are a great idea, as long as you know what restaurants and activities are in their area.

Spondulix

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2015, 09:18:14 PM »
I follow this etiquette rule I read years ago - spend as much as they are spending on you to be there. A $10k wedding with 100 people would be about $100/each (although, it can be hard to gauge that with a couple you don't know well). At our wedding, we got gifts that were clearly regifted! (don't do that.) Other friends spent hundreds, and some gave us nothing.

To me, the key is to include a gift receipt. We got a few gifts that were just totally not our taste - we live in an earthquake zone and people gave us fancy glass crap, we had a tiny kitchen and got cutting boards from multiple people... there is a legitimate reason to exchange gifts. When in doubt, buy something that you would want and use (appliance?) - I'd stay away from picture frames, decorative items, sheets, towels etc if you don't know HER color and style tastes.

It's unusual that they don't have a registry... are you sure about that? (try http://www.registryfinder.com or https://www.theknot.com/registry) Did they tell you that, or have you just not found it? If they really said "we're not registering" then I think it's totally appropriate to ask for ideas - especially if you're in tight with the groom.

anon-e-mouse

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2015, 10:15:44 PM »
Some gifts can be thoughtful and not all that expensive.
I've seen some gifts that feature unique ideas to help with the marriage.
Example:  A fancy wooden box with a lock on it and a slit on the top so you can insert paper notes.
Leave instructions for the Bride and Groom to list all of the traits that they admire about each other, dreams they may share, words of advice from themselves to themselves.  (read on for explanation)

If they have an argument, they open the box and take out a letter (or letters if need be).
They get reminded that the argument is temporary and that the box holds so much more because THEY are together.

Heck... I'm planning on buying a book on mustachianism for an upcoming wedding and placing a $100 bill near the end of the book.
If they read the book, they get two gifts!  Knowledge on how to save and a fat Benjamin to get it started.

Spondulix

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2015, 10:59:11 PM »
Any sort of cute relationship stuff (i.e. games, things for romance) really depend on the couple. Not everyone is into that kind of thing. I'd prefer a nice bottle of wine or whiskey to share with my husband over a cheesy game - even as a wedding gift!

One easy gift that stood out for me - someone had our wedding invitation framed. It was a very simple/tasteful frame and the matte was one of the wedding colors. Simple and easy, but classy.

mtn

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2015, 11:16:58 PM »
We haven't gotten our friends wedding gifts when one of us was standing up in the wedding. Seeing as the favor is being reciprocated, we don't feel bad about it either.

After that, the general rule of thumb is that you spend around what they are spending on your plate+drinks. If you don't like that (and can afford it), decline the invite. (I'm not saying you were trying to be cheap, because you really did not come off that way at all. This was just a general statement, and the wedding of your friends isn't a time to start challenging the nuptial norms of our society, no matter how stupid they are)

Signed, somebody who is right in the middle of planning a wedding and is utterly disgusted at the entire thing. Seriously, what would have been wrong with a kegger and pizza for everyone? At least I won my Costco sheet cake argument.

Villanelle

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2015, 06:16:26 AM »
If it matters, I don't believe traditional etiquette accepts the "cover your plate" philosophy, and for good reason IMO. (Emily Post, considered by many to be the go-to etiquette maven, simply says to give what you can afford http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/wedding-registries-gifts-and-thank-yous/169-wedding-gift-tips.  No ties to what the couple decides on their own to spend.) My gift is about my relationship with the couple.  Their choices on what to do for their wedding have no bearing on that.  And their choices don't get to dictate what I spend.  I should spend more of my money on a friend who serves lobster at the Ritz than someone I'm equally close to who chooses more modestly?  Nope. It is a gift, not a cover charge.    If I am as close to Ritz guy as I am to the woman who has a backyard wedding at which her father grills burgers (or a kegger and pizza), then they get the same level of gift.  How they choose to spend their money in no may dictates how I spend mine.  Gifts are about relationships, not quid pro quo.   

If someone is looking to recoup their costs in some gift vs. expense matrix, they are looking at it all wrong. They might as well just charge an admission price for guests and be done with it.   You spend what you want on your wedding, and I'll spend what I want on a gift, and they two are unrelated. 

I'm a red panda

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2015, 06:33:00 AM »
The cover your plate notion is silly.  Many times, I have no idea how fancy a wedding is until I get there.  How should I know what they spent to feed me?

Yankuba

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2015, 06:36:20 AM »
In NYC, wedding gifts for typical catering hall weddings are $100 to $150 per person. When we got married 95 percent of the gifts were checks. I think physical gifts are fine for showers but checks are preferred for weddings.

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2015, 09:47:25 AM »
250 seems overboard.

It's the thought.

Many people won't bring anything!

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2015, 04:32:20 PM »
Before I got married I was scared to give cash.  Now I think it's the most thoughtful gift of all.  If your husband is the best man I don't think $250 is excessive, especially if you're staying at their house, but I wouldn't give more.  He'll probably end up paying for random stuff anyway.

daymare

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2015, 07:19:50 PM »
Quote
I follow this etiquette rule I read years ago - spend as much as they are spending on you to be there.

I've heard this many times, and I think this is the crappiest advice ever.  If you don't have extensive experience with wedding planning/the wedding industry, you're going to have no idea what everything costs.  And even if you do have this knowledge, it can be hard to judge what an event costs - and probably you have no idea what kind of catering/decor/etc the couple has chosen, until you're at the event.  I'd say it's super rude to ask someone how much they spent on their wedding (unless they're close friends and you talk about things like that), so even if you wanted to, there's no way to follow this rule.

Assume the best of anyone who invites you to their wedding - they want your presence, not your money.  You are under no obligation to provide a gift equal in the amount of how much the couple spent on you (which you are never gonna know with accuracy anyway).  I/my husband generally give $100-$150 per person.  But the bottom line is that when someone has a wedding, and they invite you, they are inviting you and happy to receive whatever gift you are comfortable with giving, and able to give.  A really thoughtful card is always appreciated. 

OP - you've gotten some great ideas on gift-giving, and I hope you have a wonderful time attending the wedding.

JetsettingWelfareMom

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2015, 09:48:52 PM »
Ditto $250 sounds spot on...it's very generous of them to offer for you to stay at their house. Make yourselves gracious guests helping in any way you can before and after the big day...it goes a long way. Enjoy the time and hopefully you'll have two good friends in the future!

LRM

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2015, 11:58:36 PM »
Why doesn't this couple have a registry? Per Emily Post, it is incredibly rude to get someone a gift not on their registry, because they didn't ask for it. Registries are meant to be large enough to accommodate guests for showers/events/wedding and all budgets.

I think your idea of $250 in cash is a great idea: appropriate amount, and best possible option if they don't have a registry.

Good luck and have fun at the wedding.

Megma

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2015, 05:50:30 AM »
I'd say your price range is spot on.

I think with a wedding that small, and considering your hubby and the groom are so close, it's definitely not out of line to ask what they need. Something the lines of "we're so happy to be a part of your wedding, we want to make sure we get you something you want and need." Hopefully they say something in your price range. If not, I'd say cash/check is perfectly acceptable.

With your husband being the best man, his speech/toast/everything he does for the groom will be what's memorable!

I'm in 100% agreement with Lis.

Sometimes the reason people are uncomfortable gifting someone money as a wedding present is they feel the gift should have a lasting presence in the recipients lives together. If they use the money to buy groceries then that sure ain't lasting. If that might be your husband's concern then perhaps try to think of a gift that will be kept and treasured by the newly married couple. Think future family heirloom. Something they'll pass on to their kids or grandchildren - so not a vacuum cleaner or toaster oven! A few ideas come to mind... First, how about a high-quality picture frame of the kind you might put on a desk or a shelf? They can put a wedding picture in it. It may be possible to find a nice silver one in a timeless style that can be engraved. Engraving shops typically sell such frames. A second idea, also from an engraving shop, is a mantel/desk clock. A nice clock can be a lasting reminder of their wedding -- the engraving can be something as simple as the date. If at an engraving shop you might also check out their candlesticks. So a third idea could be a nice pair of quality candlesticks. Nice ones can also likely be found at an antique store too. If I were buying candlesticks I'd get two different sizes that are compatible in appearance --- they would be symbolic of the 'couple'. Then if they have a child you can gift them a little candlestick to add to their candlestick family!

I would like to add my agreement to Lis' comments.

Also I don't see how a gift card is any more personal than money and frankly, is a worst gift imo. It almost forces you to buy something at a specific place when maybe given the choice you would save it or buy the same thing from another store. Maybe I'm unique in this regard but if I have a gift card and can get something I need there I will even if another store has the same thing for less money. Cash/Check is better.

Villanelle

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2015, 06:00:39 AM »
Why doesn't this couple have a registry? Per Emily Post, it is incredibly rude to get someone a gift not on their registry, because they didn't ask for it. Registries are meant to be large enough to accommodate guests for showers/events/wedding and all budgets.

I think your idea of $250 in cash is a great idea: appropriate amount, and best possible option if they don't have a registry.

Good luck and have fun at the wedding.

Actually, that' incorrect.  It is fine to buy a gift not on the registry.  Even Emily Post agrees.  http://www.emilypost.com/weddings/a-guide-for-guests/763-reuters-be-a-gracious-wedding-guest-not-a-royal-pain  SHe does suggest consulting the registry to get an idea of tastes and what has already been covered.  But it is fine to buy something for which they aren't registered.

These are *gifts*.  They are not cover charges.  As such, you certainly aren't obligated only to buy something someone specifically asks for. A wedding gift is no different than a Christmas, birthday, housewarming, thank you, or other gift.  You buy something for the amount you want to spend, that you hope the recipient will like.  If there'a wish list and you want to work from it great, but you are no more obligated to buy from the registry than you are to only buy from someone's Christmas list.  And they are no more obligated to provide a registry than they are to hand out wish lists before their birthday. 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2015, 06:04:18 AM by Villanelle »

starbuck

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2015, 06:40:45 AM »
I like the idea of a cash amount plus a gift. That way my hubby and I are both satisfied. I'm not close to them at all, but the couple was very generous the last time I was in their area and paid for my dinner. My hubby and the groom have been friends for 6 years and both immigrated from Eastern Europe and speak the same language, so they are pretty close.

I also typically do cash + gift if it's someone very close to me. $100 minimum for those that are not close to us, and $200-$500 for very close friends and siblings. The average amount has gone up as we are able to afford much more at this point in our lives (and don't go to many weddings!) The gift we give is usually handmade as my spouse is quite the craftsman. You could give them a hostess gift for staying there (wine, fancy food stuffs), plus the cash+nicely written note for the wedding.

We didn't have a registry either because a) cohabiting for 5 years before marriage and already furnished a 4 BR house and b) small wedding (50 guests) with no bridal shower, and c) I didn't give a shit what we got for presents. I think one aunt asked about a registry and that was all I ever heard about it. The majority of gifts we received were cash, plus 3 (?!) embroidered blankets with our wedding date on it, placemats, an awesome antique bookcase, a handpainted mirror, 1000 paper cranes, and a tree for our property.

Jouer

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #32 on: March 25, 2015, 07:30:04 AM »
Another Canadian perspective here. Though not in BC.

My wife and I usually give cash as a present. We loved getting cash as presents at our wedding. We did not have a registry but I told the best man to pass along to guests that we preferred cash - or at least be ready to answer in case anyone asked. I got him to do my dirty work since it would be rude for me to do it. Hey - that's what the best man is for! I made sure he had all the info he needed in case people asked....since they would be too polite to ask us.

I wouldn't imagine anyone thinking that $250 is a low-ball gift, especially since you are traveling to attend the wedding (even with staying at their home). For close friends, we do give more than $250; $300 or $400, depending on fanciness of the wedding. And we always know the fanciness of the wedding ahead of time based on venue and quite frankly, we find out.

Cash is absolutely a thoughtful present. Think of it as going towards a fun trip as opposed to a vacuum.   

MrsPotato

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Re: Appropriate Wedding Gift?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2015, 03:17:12 PM »
Wow, thanks so much for the many responses! I really do appreciate it! I finally got my hubby on board with the cash idea, and we'll supplement it with some goodies (wine, chocolate etc).