Author Topic: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?  (Read 2062 times)

Tay_CPA

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Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« on: February 17, 2017, 04:46:20 PM »
My mom invited me to attend her best friend's backyard (aka casual) wedding with her next weekend. Second marriage for both bride and groom, in their 50s. I knew both of them while growing up but haven't seen either one in many years. Mom says she's thinking we could give a gift together.

I said I was planning to write in a nice card and asked what she was planning to get for them. She said she looked up "second wedding etiquette" and that "it's appropriate to give a gift card for dinners/food" and suggested Starbucks or an Italian restaurant.

Am I being too frugal here for wanting to stick with a card and telling my mom I'd prefer not to go in on a gift with her? I understand and appreciate that the couple is likely paying for the wedding and reception, but at the same time, they don't seem like people who expect anything from anyone and just want to enjoy the time with loved ones.

Basically, I don't enjoy giving a generic gift for the sole purpose that it's etiquette or expected - does that make sense? This is not a major dilemma by any means, but mainly I'm curious as to what other Mustachians think about this subject/have done in similar situations. Thanks!

Del Griffith

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 04:56:51 PM »
If I were me, I would bring a gift. Small as it maybe, I don't think I'd show up empty handed. Even something as small as a nice bottle of wine since it sounds like a casual affair, although I like your mom's idea of the restaurant gift card. The newlyweds throw a reception to thank you for being there for the wedding ceremony, and then you give a gift to thank them for inviting you to the reception. These may be dated rules, but nonetheless, I think a gift is appropriate for the occasion.

Tay_CPA

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 04:59:01 PM »
Thanks for your feedback! Very helpful. I like the bottle of wine idea, that's something I hadn't thought about.

GreenSheep

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2017, 10:21:25 AM »
I always thought (and seem to have confirmed by a brief Google search just now) that the purpose of a wedding gift is to help a couple establish their new life together, NOT as a repayment for whatever you estimate they probably spent on your part of the reception. It drives me crazy to hear brides and grooms discuss what they think they "deserve" from each guest, given that the dinner is costing them $100/plate or whatever. The wedding gift is a gesture of goodwill and a desire to see them have a happy life together, not a reimbursement for your dinner.

That said, I agree with the above, and I think I'd take a gift of some sort. I'd feel awkward and unfriendly showing up without a gift unless they specifically said they want no gifts. It doesn't have to be anything over the top -- just something that shows that you appreciate their friendship and wish them well on their new journey together. The more thoughtful and specific to them, the better -- and that doesn't always require a lot of money.

ltt

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2017, 03:20:32 PM »
I would definitely go in on a restaurant gift card with your mom.  You don't necessarily have to go 50/50 since this is your mom's best friend, but could give $15 or $20 toward a gift card.  After all, it's not like you are going to a stranger's wedding. 

iris lily

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2017, 03:26:54 PM »
If I were me, I would bring a gift. Small as it maybe, I don't think I'd show up empty handed. Even something as small as a nice bottle of wine since it sounds like a casual affair, although I like your mom's idea of the restaurant gift card. The newlyweds throw a reception to thank you for being there for the wedding ceremony, and then you give a gift to thank them for inviting you to the reception. These may be dated rules, but nonetheless, I think a gift is appropriate for the occasion.
Attending an event with a card in hand not "empty handed." Even if there was no card, bringing yourself to the event is the main idea of the host and hostess. Most people just want the invited guests to attend.

I tire of the general sentiment that hauling along things, objects, physical items  are the only acceptable thing to do to celebrate.

A card with a personal note is very nice in this day of generic gift cards and bottles of wine.

OTOH I always will like bottle of red wine!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 03:37:00 PM by iris lily »

Tay_CPA

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Re: Wedding gift or no wedding gift?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 03:19:37 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the feedback and suggestions! I brought a bottle of wine and a card with a personal note, and my mom got the gift card. The couple appreciated both! I saw very few actual wrapped gifts given; it looked to be mostly cards (likely with some monetary gift inside).

The wedding was a lot of fun! I'm glad I didn't show up empty-handed and will use the bottle of wine idea again in the future.

Thanks again!