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Wedding etiquette question

22go

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Recently traveled to a friend's wedding. That same couple had traveled to my wedding several years ago and did not give us a gift (that we are aware of, I suppose it could have gotten lost in the mail, etc).

What is the proper etiquette - do I need to buy them a gift or is traveling to/attending their wedding enough since that is what they did for us?

If it matters, the couple are not close friends but acquaintances that we've kept in touch with on and off through the years.

I hate to ask the question and sound stingy, but traveling to the wedding was already expensive (flights, hotel, etc)!

Thanks!
 

DaveNV

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I'd take the high road. Since you don't know for sure they didn't get you something, maybe buy them a small gift card to a store or restaurant you think they'd enjoy, and enclose it with a note in a nice Congratulations greeting card. That way you can enjoy the day and not feel like you skimped on the gift. The modest cost can be factored into the amount you're already spending to attend their wedding.

If these people appreciate you going to the trouble and expense to attend their wedding, they'll appreciate your gift as well. If they only invited you out of obligation or because they expect a gift, they'll be disappointed with anything you do. In either case you'll have covered the bases, and you can have a good time with a clear conscience.

Dave
 
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swift

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The gift thing can sadly be such an issue.
When we were married the best man loaded all of the gifts that were brought to the reception to be taken back to our home to be opened when we returned some of the gifts had cards attached on the outside of the gift instead of tucked away inside the gift and they were detached in the transport. When we came home from our honeymoon we didn't know who some of the gifts came from and some of the givers, in particular a great aunt, were insulted that we did not send them a thank you note. And look how even you still remember who did not give you a gift. Gifts do not have to cost you an arm and a leg especially since as you say you are more acquaintances than close friends. However, you must be at least a little closer than that for both of you to invest in your friendship in such away. So I vote yes, a gift is still appropriate.
 

Talent312

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Many restaurants have deals whereby if you buy $100 in cards, you get a bonus $20-$30.
Give 'em $25 and use the rest for yourself.
 

pjrose

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I hope I can add a wedding etiquette question here....

What, if anything, do you do when you don't get a thank-you note and wonder if the present was ever received?

We bought an expensive (for us) present from the couple's gift registry at an expensive store in Beverly Hills. It was to be wrapped and delivered/shipped by the store. We never got a thank-you.

We recently saw the couple at an event in NYC; thought about asking them, but didn't.

This was close to a year ago.
 

Timeshare Von

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I am always challenged by the "value of a gift" issue. That said, I think $25 is pretty chincy for a wedding gift. I seem to recall reading that it should be the approximate value of the cost of your total meal expense at the reception (assuming you're invited to the reception).

I remember once being invited to the wedding but not the reception. In that case, I believe no gift was given as the couple was not really a friend but more like a friend of a friend who I knew.

All of that said, I've never traveled far (overnight) for a wedding. When my nephew back in VA got married, we couldn't swing the expense to go so instead we sent them a gift card from the money we didn't spend on air travel and hotels.

Regarding asking about the gift when no thank-you card was received . . . I would definitely ask. Maybe they didn't get the gift or didn't know something was "from you". Also, it is possible their card to you was lost in the mail (or worse, in cyber-space). Yes, I had someone say they sent out digital thank-you's and unfortunately, they had a bum email address for us. (Those darn millenials!)
 

am1

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If you do not want to give a gift then do not give one.

I think the custom is outdated as people who are getting married are usually older and have their own house or at least an apartment.
 

wauhob3

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I would definitely give a gift if they were good enough friends to attend their wedding and reception. I wouldn't have traveled and incurred a big expense for acquaintances though.
 

Kay H

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I would never attend a wedding without giving a gift. I don't know where the custom of giving the am't of the cost of the dinner came from but I don't abide by that. If you purchase the gift before the wedding, how would you know how much the dinner cost. How would you know anyway.

Todays young couples don't seem to be inclined to send thank you notes. I can't tell you how many weddings I attended in the last few yrs for which I never received a thank you note.

If I mailed a gift and saw the person later or talked to them, I would ask if he/she received the gift but not otherwise.
 

Sea Six

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Sometimes I think people invite you to a wedding just so you'll send them a gift. They don't really care if you show up or not.
 

Talent312

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When DW and I married (our 2nd), she invited as many folks as she possibly could in an effort to turn out a large crowd, primarily to show off to her boss+coworkers. Vain and silly, but it wasn't for the gifts, and it made her happy to have such a large crowd.
 
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glypnirsgirl

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I think that you should definitely ask if you have given a gift and you have not received a thank you note --- otherwise, who knows what happened.

And, if you feel like giving a gift, give one. If you don't feel like it, why would you even go? Just send a card.

For my first marriage, I got an incredible number of presents. I sent a thank you note for every single one. To this day, I remember who gave me most of the gifts. One that I have the most vivid memories of was a cold meat fork in my silver pattern. It came from someone that I had never heard of --- so I knew it was from my (ex) husband's side of the family and asked my mother in law. who is James Gordon? With a funny look, she asked my why I asked and I showed her the present. She started crying. It was from one of her old boyfriends. I received afghans that had been crocheted. And one of the more unusual gifts was a felt covered brick that had been detailed like a dachshund --- it was a door stop.

elaine
 

heathpack

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Always err on the side of generosity. Things like this are remembered forever.

As to the thank-you card question, I would only ask if I knew the recepients well enough that they would not be mortified if I brought this up and they had in fact neglected to send a card for a gift received. Like a sibling, cousin, niece or nephew. Otherwise I would let it go.

H
 

Passepartout

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I'm sticking to the high ground here. A modest and practical gift that could be appreciated for years would be great. Or blow it off and terminate the friendship. 'Magine, me giving wedding etiquette advice! Hah! :) :)

Jim
 
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Timeshare Von

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I don't know where the custom of giving the am't of the cost of the dinner came from . . .
I'm not sure if it is a custom or just advice. Maybe the same sorta people as the ones who suggest that the engagement ring should cost the man two month's salary. No wait, that would probably be the jewelry or diamond industry/association.
 

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Yes, I think you do have to give a present, but it doesn't have to be a lavish one. You don't have to give the cost of your dinner--it's rare that a couple thinks in that tit-for-tat way.

When you can't afford much, it's better to give a household-type present rather than a check or a gift card. It shows you put some thought into your gift. Can you get something off their wedding registry? Or if there's something you just think is a nice item to have--maybe you like blenders, or toasters, or tea kettles, or down comforters, or picture frames, or something like that.

Maybe you have something that would make a nice gift--we have some older friends who were downsizing and they gave their Waterford wine glasses to a couple that was getting married. (The couple already had similar wine glasses on their registry, and they were thrilled.)
 

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On thank you notes not received I have two stories. ~25 years ago a cousin married a small Minn. town bankers dtr where no one ever got a thank you note. The gifts sat unopened in a spare room last I heard from an Aunt. More recently (~6yrs) my other half's nephew married a gal in a March destination wedding in Aspen CO, from a well off family. No one got a thank you card for any gifts. It was a very elaborate wedding/party week her parents paid for.
 
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Patri

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Years ago we gave a co-worker a gag gift and nice present. Eventually we got a thank you. Later it dawned on me the TY was only for the gag gift. I wondered if the two gifts got separated and they didn't know the nice one was from us, and just thought we were cheap. Didn't run into them for a while so never asked if they got both. DH didn't think a thing about it.
 

pjrose

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On thank you notes not received I have two stories. ~25 years ago a cousin married a small Minn. town bankers dtr where no one ever got a thank you note. The gifts sat unopened in a spare room last I heard from an Aunt. More recently (~6yrs) my other half's nephew married a gal in a March destination wedding in Aspen CO, from a well off family. No one got a thank you card for any gifts. It was a very elaborate wedding/party week her parents paid for.
One weird, and one tacky. These people are very well off, and perhaps couldn't be bothered with such niceties? On the other hand the bride does seem to have been brought up well - manners and so forth - so maybe it just got mixed up somehow.

I think first I'll check with the store and confirm delivery.
 

geekette

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Recently traveled to a friend's wedding. That same couple had traveled to my wedding several years ago and did not give us a gift (that we are aware of, I suppose it could have gotten lost in the mail, etc).

What is the proper etiquette - do I need to buy them a gift or is traveling to/attending their wedding enough since that is what they did for us?

If it matters, the couple are not close friends but acquaintances that we've kept in touch with on and off through the years.

I hate to ask the question and sound stingy, but traveling to the wedding was already expensive (flights, hotel, etc)!

Thanks!
Gifts are not an obligation. If you are so moved to purchase something for the happy couple, then do so. If you are inclined to only get them a card, then do that. Just don't use cost of trip as an excuse. I mean, not openly. go and enjoy the occasion, regardless of what you do about gift vs card.
 

geekette

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the "cover your plate" thing is NOT a custom here, I heard about it on Tug and believe it to be an east coast tradition, tho exactly where east, I cannot say.

A wedding invite should not be construed as an attempt at extortion. In my view, a couple should have a wedding that they can afford and not expect to "make up their costs" from the guests.

If you sent a gfit and it was never acknowledged, definitely ask about it. If it was lost, you want to know, and you want them to know that you thought enuf of them to send something.

To not send a thank you note is just plain rude, I don't care what the age of the couple. Texting and emailing thank you's is not, in my opinion, good enuf. If you want to let people off the hook and accept their medium of choice, that's fine, but I send/expect Hand Written Thank You's and never quite shake the "they were rude" thing if it doesn't happen that way.

I also remember who gave me what, and I enjoy thinking about the givers as I use the items. My parents would have shot me had I not sent thank you's to every single giver, and that includes those who sent only a card.
 

esk444

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One weird, and one tacky. These people are very well off, and perhaps couldn't be bothered with such niceties? On the other hand the bride does seem to have been brought up well - manners and so forth - so maybe it just got mixed up somehow.

I think first I'll check with the store and confirm delivery.
After my wedding, I had to move, go on a honey moon, fill out a ton of paperwork related to insurance, leases, investments, car titles, etc. It was a real hectic time and had a bunch of gifts stuck in room that was basically not touched for a couple of months.

My wife was super gung ho about the thank card stuff and give me my assignments and harrassed me for weeks until I finished my share. She had a spreadsheet and everything. If I was in charge, I could see things falling in the cracks, losing some cards, or assuming someone else was going to right the card for a particular person when it was my responsbility.

I'd cut them some slack, it's a real stressful time and probably not meant to be an insult on purpose.
 
L

laurac260

We had a small wedding, but it worked for us. Most of the day is a blur, I'm happy with the end product, which is 13 (and counting) years with a wonderful man.

But there are a couple things that DO stand out. #1, my mom's brother showing up late (completely missing the wedding), and not so much as even bringing a card, let alone a gift (he did help himself to the food though), and a brother of my dad's that had attended his other brother's 3rd wife's daughter's wedding, but not my wedding. He was mad at my dad, so didn't come to my wedding.

Moral of the story, bury hatchets (if only for a day), and bring a gift, even if it is a trinket. And don't walk in after the ceremony is over and then comment, "well these things NEVER start on time!" :doh:
 

pkyorkbeach

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Here people are EXPECTED to gift to cover the dinners. At work one day I over heard a mother talking about how cheap people gving wedding gifts to her daughter. An example she gave was a wedding gift of one hundred dollars when each plate cost 150.00...So, the parent expected the guest to give three hundred or more for a wedding gift.

Too bad many feel this way. I am glad that I do not attend many weddings.
 
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