'Wedding etiquette...' blog discussion

edited 28 April 2011 at 11:18AM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
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  • I got married last year - there was no mention of wedding gifts in the invite (mainly because we hadn't decided at the time what we would like as a present if anyone asked!!).
    If our guests asked about gifts then we said that vouchers would be very useful, as we could use them towards updating the house.
    We didn't feel that we could ask for money, but we had a number of people who sent us money instead of vouchers (which was very welcome!).
    We had both had houses before we got together, so didn't need any particular items - hence we did not have a wedding list.

    One of my bridesmaids organised and paid for the flowers as a wedding gift, which was a lovely gesture!

    I have been to a number of weddings where we have been sent a wedding list, and I find that useful when I don't have any particular ideas for presents.
    I would rather give the couple a present that they would like than one that they might not need.
    If they don't have a list then I would give gift vouchers, then they can choose their own present.
    I would definitely give a present if I went to a wedding - I see it as a 'thank-you' to the couple for the invite (letting me share their day) and a 'good luck' for the future.
  • It is actually rude to ask for money or add a gift list inside a wedding invitation. I looked up proper etiquette when I got married.

    BUT, if someone asks you what you would like, if you have a gift list... then it is more then okay to ask for money or tell them where you gift list is located.

    If I am invited to a wedding where cash is requested or a gift list is inside the invitation I am insulted. And I don't respect their wishes, only because I handmake them a gift instead, as this is what I want to give them. I actually find it offensive that people get married and don't care about the romance or the love of the occasion.

    95% of the time my gift is appreciated more then a cash gift would have been anyway.

    Oh and what is it with people asking for £50+ gifts on the wedding lists???? Not everyone can afford £50!!!
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  • coupleukcoupleuk Forumite
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    A good idea is to invite guests to pay for their ticket for the reception.

    Simply state that Gifts arent required but you would appreciate help with the high cost of the reception ie ticket purchase.

    That way, you dont have that cost burden, you don't have the vulgar cash question and your guests dont have the hassle of finding gifts.

    You don't even need the hotel etc to sort the tickets - its cheap to get some printed and you can send them out yourself on receipt of payment.

    It's also a good way to know how many will be there - like an RSVP

    Sorted.
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    Nothing wrong with a wedding list lodged with a strores Bridal Deptartment. It's only a list, not an instruction !
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  • themull1themull1 Forumite
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    coupleuk wrote: »
    A good idea is to invite guests to pay for their ticket for the reception.

    Simply state that Gifts arent required but you would appreciate help with the high cost of the reception ie ticket purchase.

    That way, you dont have that cost burden, you don't have the vulgar cash question and your guests dont have the hassle of finding gifts.

    You don't even need the hotel etc to sort the tickets - its cheap to get some printed and you can send them out yourself on receipt of payment.

    It's also a good way to know how many will be there - like an RSVP

    Sorted.[/QUOTE

    I wouldnt be doing that. If you cant afford a wedding dont get married.
  • annie-cannie-c Forumite
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    It doesn't matter at all what random people on the internet think, Martin. However, as a host, it is likely to split opinion among the guests and the host has to decide whether or not their particular guests will be offended.

    Personally, I think that the 'It's your special day, do whatever pleases you' is a good attitude to have towards the things you are providing as host - ege whether it is a sit down meal/buffet/dancing/evening do etc. But I think it is important to put yourself in your guests' shoes when it comes to their contribution.

    I think the best solution, as others have said, is to have a gift registry prepared, or to be ready with the suggestion of vouchers/cash if and when asked by guests as to what you might like to be given. But putting gift lists or requests for cash in with invitations could cause offence or embarassment to guests and that is the part where etiquette boundaries are crossed, I think.

    As to the MSE side of things, I really liked the old-style gift lists (before department store registries became the norm) whereby the suggested gift items were written in a duplicate book, each item on a separate page, and passed around the family and friends, who would tear out the top copy of the item they would like to give, thereby retaining anonymity, but leaving a clear trail of what was left on the list. That way, guests were free to shop around and get the best deal possible for the price, rather than be tied to buying from one over-priced store. Obviously it relied on good coordination and guests being close enough to get to view the book in time, but it worked well.

    I remember my thrifty great aunts always used to produce lavish gifts very triumphantly, because for example they had shopped around and found half a dozen high quality sheet sets at a bargain price, when the bride and groom had only expected one or two at full retail price. That sort of gifting made everyone happy
  • couldn't agree more with Martin - he is bang on!
  • minerva_windsongminerva_windsong Forumite
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    I agree with those who said there's a difference between telling people what you want (on the invite say) and having a small list or idea of what you'd like in reserve for when/if people ask if there's anything that you want. Both my sisters asked for donations to charity as wedding presents when relatives asked what they'd like, and had a small gift list for those people who wanted to buy them a physical item. They did get cash and vouchers as well and a few off list presents but ultimately got things they wanted and some lovely gifts they wouldn't have asked for as well.

    I have to say though I really dislike the idea of buying a 'ticket' to someone's wedding. I would hate for my family or friends to think they couldn't come to my wedding if they couldn't pay their way. To me a wedding is about celebrating with the people that you love and care about and as the host of that celebration the couple and/or their parents, depending on your way of thinking, should cover the cost of you attending that party (at least in terms of food and entertainment - I wouldn't expect to get my hotel or travel or anything like that paid for as a guest!). If you can't afford to have a big wedding, then you shouldn't have one - just invite fewer people or do something else to cut the cost.

    If I was putting together a wedding list I'd think of it the way my family thinks of 'wish lists' for Christmas or birthdays - they're things that you'd like to get, but you certainly don't expect to get all or indeed any of the items on the list if people want to get you something else. But as others have said, to each their own.
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  • Torry_QuineTorry_Quine Forumite
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    It is actually rude to ask for money or add a gift list inside a wedding invitation. I looked up proper etiquette when I got married.

    BUT, if someone asks you what you would like, if you have a gift list... then it is more then okay to ask for money or tell them where you gift list is located.

    If I am invited to a wedding where cash is requested or a gift list is inside the invitation I am insulted. And I don't respect their wishes, only because I handmake them a gift instead, as this is what I want to give them. I actually find it offensive that people get married and don't care about the romance or the love of the occasion.

    95% of the time my gift is appreciated more then a cash gift would have been anyway.

    Oh and what is it with people asking for £50+ gifts on the wedding lists???? Not everyone can afford £50!!!

    This is what I feel, it is the height of bad manners to ask for a present and especially to include a list or a request for money. If someone asks what you would like them to get for you that is very different. I especially dislike the idea of asking for money for the honeymoon again you book the one you can afford, and why do couples seem to delay the honeymoon these days?


    To me you have the wedding you can afford and invite the people you want to share your day with you. Any gifts they may give are an added bonus and not to be expected to fit in with your requests.
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  • Mark_HewittMark_Hewitt Forumite
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    When people asked what we wanted we just said that if you can't think of anything, Argos vouchers will do, and most people got those. We've been buying household stuff with the vouchers ever since!
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