Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 31st Aug 17, 3:29 PM
    • 93Posts
    • 54Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I give my younger sister a smaller wedding gift?
    • #1
    • 31st Aug 17, 3:29 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Should I give my younger sister a smaller wedding gift? 31st Aug 17 at 3:29 PM
    This week's MoneySaver who wants advice asks...

    A few years ago, my older sister got married - my husband and I were doing well so gave her £500 as a wedding gift. My younger sister is getting married later this year and we are not doing as well and also now have children. Have we set a precedent and should we give £500 again as a wedding gift or can we give less based on our circumstances?

    Unfortunately the MSE team can't always answer money moral dilemma questions as contributions are often emailed in or suggested in person. They are intended to be enjoyed as a point of debate and discussed at face value.

    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 07-09-2017 at 11:48 AM.
    Grab the latest MSE Deals
    Follow the Deals Team on Twitter: @MSE_Deals
    Get Martin's Money Tips
    Join the MSE Forum
Page 1
    • John Gray
    • By John Gray 6th Sep 17, 7:15 AM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 2,636 Thanks
    John Gray
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:15 AM
    • #2
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:15 AM
    Perhaps when your older sister married you should have foreseen that your younger one might also in the future, and put by £500 (+ inflation!) for that rainy day?

    What did they give you when you got married? Match that, plus whatever else you can afford.

    Incidentally, £500 isn't going to go far towards the cost of the average marriage, so you will have got off lightly...
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 6th Sep 17, 7:19 AM
    • 1,634 Posts
    • 4,397 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:19 AM
    • #3
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:19 AM
    Give what you can afford and what you feel comfortable with.
    • cjdavies
    • By cjdavies 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    • 2,592 Posts
    • 2,536 Thanks
    cjdavies
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    • #4
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    Give what you can, if she makes a fuss then her true colours are shown = greed.
    • an1179
    • By an1179 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    • 1,662 Posts
    • 16,216 Thanks
    an1179
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    • #5
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:23 AM
    Difficult one really I agree with both the post above perhaps you should have saved £500 for younger sister but as you didn't you should only give what you can afford now.
    • indiepanda
    • By indiepanda 6th Sep 17, 7:53 AM
    • 946 Posts
    • 6,388 Thanks
    indiepanda
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:53 AM
    • #6
    • 6th Sep 17, 7:53 AM
    A few questions I would have (not that it will be answered as you never get any more info than on the original post on these dilemmas) is:-

    - What did the younger sister give as a gift when you married? Was that more, less or the same as the other sister?
    - What is your approach for other presents - do you automatically give the same value gifts to everyone or do you tailor so you're exchanging gifts of similar value?
    - Does the younger sister know how much you gave her sister for her wedding - i.e. has a precedent actually been set?

    I would never recommend getting into debt for the sake of a present, but be careful not to be too stingy either - not doing as well and money having to go further is not the same as not being able to find £500, and if your younger sister does know what was given previously and there is a family tradition of buying gifts of equal value for all then it might be worth scraping the money together to avoid friction.

    If there's any lesson in this, it's that it's not worth flashing the cash around when life is good if you think it's going to set a precedent that can't be backed down on when money is tighter. £250 would have been a generous enough gift (I certainly didn't spend that much when my sister got married 16 years ago) but compared to £500 it sounds stingy.
    • GlasweJen
    • By GlasweJen 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    • 6,229 Posts
    • 11,241 Thanks
    GlasweJen
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    • #7
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:06 AM
    I got lambasted on this same board for expressing that I was hurt that my sisters got £10K each from our parents towards their weddings and I got £2K with my mum complaining to other family members that I had taken her last penny (utter lies).

    So based on that I'd say give what you can but don't expect the recipient to be happy about it though if she does complain you get to put it about that she's selfish and greedy (not just feeling hurt and overlooked) and it's not that you favour one sister over the other or that you're now a bit stingy because your financial priorities have changed.
    Bounts, Quidco, Shop and Scan, Receipt Hog, Costco Cashback, Debit card cashback

    NOT BUYING IT
    (unless it's on offer and can get my loyalty points)
    • Deblou
    • By Deblou 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    Deblou
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • #8
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    Hello, if you were my sister I wouldn't mind at all you not giving me the same amount, after losing family members and friends I know that family are much more important than all the money in the world. £500 seems a lot to give for a wedding present so don't feel bad if you can't manage it, does she have a gift list you could pick something off of instead. I'd suggest talking to you sister and explain your situation rather that worry your self unnecessarily
    • gaving7095
    • By gaving7095 6th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    gaving7095
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    • #9
    • 6th Sep 17, 8:22 AM
    LOL of course just pay what you can afford :-) It's a marriage so the people concerned aren't children, so there needn't be any "Waah - You love them more it's not fair!" etc.

    You previous gift should have been kept secret anyway - I'd find it distasteful for either side to reveal the specific figure of a monetary gift in those circumstances.
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 6th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    • 491 Posts
    • 2,485 Thanks
    Teacher2
    £500 seems an enormous sum for a sibling to start with!

    If your younger sister knows what you gave your older sister then I should explain to her that you would like to give the same but that your financial circumstances are tighter and that you now have children's costs to contend with.

    She should be reasonable and accept this.

    Perhaps she won't as people are not always reasonable. However, you cannot get into debt and jeopardise your children's security over a present which most would find overly generous anyway.

    Good luck. Weddings are meant to be all sweetness and light but they can be an emotional minefield as well as horrendously expensive.
    • Oakie
    • By Oakie 6th Sep 17, 9:15 AM
    • 74 Posts
    • 149 Thanks
    Oakie
    Maybe you could help her out in kind. Are you creative? Bake the wedding cake,make bride maids dresses,bunting !
    Offer the spare room/sofa to distant wedding guests .
    Or perhaps offer to help with decorating her home or even mow her lawn for a year.
    • Bellisima
    • By Bellisima 6th Sep 17, 9:29 AM
    • 59 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    Bellisima
    £500 as a wedding present! My goodness that's a lot! I usually give £50 to £100 depending on whether we are going for the whole day or just the evening do. Give what you can afford and keep the amount quiet!
    • pippinpuss
    • By pippinpuss 6th Sep 17, 9:35 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    pippinpuss
    Unless you buy off the present list(where price is usually listed) no one should know what you give except the couple involved.
    • Ian-RS
    • By Ian-RS 6th Sep 17, 9:42 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Ian-RS
    As indicated above you should have thought about these things to come in the future. If it was me I think I would try and give the same to each, however I wouldn't be putting my self into debt for it. And I also think £500 was very excessive!
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 6th Sep 17, 9:56 AM
    • 467 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    tallgirld
    Give what you can afford!


    My niece is getting married in Florida in November and I will be doing just that....
    • JayD
    • By JayD 6th Sep 17, 9:58 AM
    • 483 Posts
    • 301 Thanks
    JayD
    Whilst I do understand that this is causing you some concern, it really is a matter of what you can truly afford, and if that is less than £500 so be it.

    However, a frank conversation with your sister about your inability to match the previous £500 wedding gift, and how uncomfortable that is making you feel, should help to relieve any tension it might otherwise cause between you.

    Honest and open communication between you and your sister is the key to stopping you fretting over this dilemma. Take the bull by the horns and talk to her. I am sure she will be just fine with whatever you give her as a present.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 6th Sep 17, 10:03 AM
    • 28,247 Posts
    • 71,857 Thanks
    Mojisola
    Honest and open communication between you and your sister is the key to stopping you fretting over this dilemma. Take the bull by the horns and talk to her. I am sure she will be just fine with whatever you give her as a present.
    Originally posted by JayD
    And if she isn't and thinks that her present should take priority over your children's needs, then step back and let her strop!
    • Trina90
    • By Trina90 6th Sep 17, 10:36 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    Trina90
    Both my siblings would understand in this situation and would be grateful for what I could afford. I, too would understand if it were me at the recieving end. All of us have been through different financial situations and have obviously been brought up the same - I guess it depends on your/your siblings views, and how you were brought up.

    In my opinion though, if the sister had a problem with you giving less (or you think thats what shed be thinking) to suit your financial situation, she doesn't deserve it.
    Mortgage started 2015: £150,000
    2016: £130,000
    Currently: £118,000
    • crmism
    • By crmism 6th Sep 17, 10:41 AM
    • 71 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    crmism
    Wedding gift
    The £500 you gave to your elder sister seems more than generous to me, but maybe it's my age that's kicking in as, when my older brother got married in 1969, all he and his newlywed got from anyone in the family were practical things for their home. That's what my wife and I, and virtually every other young couple, got then but it seems that people's expectations today are much greater and they turn their noses down at basic but essential items like toasters, dinner sets, etc.

    You strike me as a victim of modern trends, where society appears to have got carried away with the expense of marriage regardless of how long it lasts, and where successive generations always want to outdo the previous ones. They are digging a very large hole for themselves and those who follow.

    I can't tell you how much you give to your younger sister. If you can't afford £500 this time around, so be it. Surely it's the thought that counts?
    • Malthusian
    • By Malthusian 6th Sep 17, 10:46 AM
    • 2,887 Posts
    • 4,127 Thanks
    Malthusian
    That's what my wife and I, and virtually every other young couple, got then but it seems that people's expectations today are much greater and they turn their noses down at basic but essential items like toasters, dinner sets, etc.
    Originally posted by crmism
    That's because they already have toasters and dinner sets and who needs two toasters? It's got nothing to do with expectations, unless they specifically ask for £500 in the wedding invitation.

    Re the MMD, as with all these questions along the lines of "Should I do something that I don't want to and am not legally, morally or socially obliged to", the answer is no.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

148Posts Today

1,619Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @iiSteveJonesii: @MartinSLewis After watching you talk this morning about me burning £300 I got on a comparison site tonight & sure enou?

  • In or near York? This Wed the @itvmlshow Roadshow" will be at the York Food & Drink Festival - do come and say hi; St Sampsons Square 11-4.

  • It's the subtle poetry and lyricism of tweets like this that I find so endearing https://t.co/XhSKBCGyXe

  • Follow Martin