Money Moral Dilemma: Can you go giftless to a wedding?

MSE_Jenny MSE Staff Posts: 1,311
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
MSE Staff
Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

Can you go giftless to a wedding?

It’s wedding season. You’ve been invited to five different weddings over the next two months, each with a long gift list; expecting you to spend £25 - £50 per person. You’re broke, but they’re all good friends of either you or your partner. Should you borrow money to pay for the gifts, not go, or go without buying anything from the gift list? Enter the Money Moral Maze: Can you go giftless to a wedding?

Click reply to have your say

Previous MMDs:
Would you ask for your sponsorship money back?
Should you demand a last-minute property discount?



  • Thunderbird_2
    Thunderbird_2 Forumite Posts: 613
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    No, I can't go giftless. Either to go with a gift or not to at all. I would borrow money to go though. It is a special occasion that happens to those friends once in a life time.
    Be nice, life is too short to be anything else.
  • lydia_dustbin
    lydia_dustbin Forumite Posts: 251 Forumite
    no you have to provide a gift. but it could be something homemade eg a cross stitched framed picture or it could be yummy homemade hamper or a promise to cook for the newlyweds or valet their car.

    surely only a cheapskate would give no gift but eat the buffet
    save energy - stay in bed x

  • poor_person
    poor_person Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    You would only be attending a wedding of 'true friends' and they will know your financial situation and want you there for 'your support and company' they will not wish to burden you financially to buy them a gift!
  • Alison1604
    Alison1604 Forumite Posts: 9 Forumite
    When I got married (both times!) I'd have been horrified if I'd thought people felt they couldn't come just because they couldn't buy a gift. I invited folks because I wanted them to share our day, not because of what they would bring. Have a quiet word with the couple beforehand, explain your situation, perhaps with the promise of a gift when your situation improves or maybe just buy a small gift or as someone else has suggested something that is homemade.

    You could offer to do something practical towards the wedding arrangements or in helping the couple set up home.

    The list is could help with decorating, diy, gardening. For the actual wedding you could offer to arrange flowers for church or reception, help with making wedding "favours", help with transport, accomodate a guest overnight, make invitations, service sheets, placecards etc. I embroidered a ring pillow for a couple when I found myself in a similar situation.
  • sparrer
    sparrer Forumite Posts: 7,543
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    I've been in this situation myself, three weddings and a christening within the space of 5 weeks last year. I'm an MSE'er and pensioner so no, I couldn't afford £25/50 each and certainly wouldn't borrow to buy. Fortunately all three of the marrying couples had gardens so I bought them a 'Warm Wishes' pink HT rose, which has a beautiful scent. The cost of each bush was £9.95p. For the baby I gave, with the blessing of her very understanding parents, a donation of £10 to the maternity unit where she was born.

    As these people are such good friends it won't hurt to speak to them, explain your situation (which they'll probably know anyway) and just use a little imagination to buy a long lasting, inexpensive and 'different' gift.
  • mmsparkle
    mmsparkle Forumite Posts: 29 Forumite
    no you have to provide a gift. but it could be something homemade eg a cross stitched framed picture or it could be yummy homemade hamper or a promise to cook for the newlyweds or valet their car.

    surely only a cheapskate would give no gift but eat the buffet

    Last time I gave a homemade cross stitched framed sampler, the kit cost around £16 from ebay, but took me nearly a year to complete... For the time it took me, I could have worked some overtime I'd have been able to buy something nice for 5+ weddings much sooner!

    Still it looked great and the couple were really pleased to have something with so much thought put in to it.
    When DH and I got married last year we were delighted to accept help towards wedding rather than gifts, much more useful. Our beautiful wedding cake was made by friends, the table decorations were made by friends and mother-in-law, the pew bows in church were made by friends. All the photography was done by the guests!
    It all looked amazing and made the wedding feel very personal and special.

    We're actually struggling to find a use for some of the gift vouchers we were given. Don't be afraid to offer your help!
  • jennybridger
    jennybridger Forumite Posts: 113 Forumite
    you need not go gift less if you can't afford something off the list surely.

    i know wedding lists are full of things newly weds want and need, but something handmade to commemorate the day, like a painting or cross stitch or a decorated photo frame for a small copy of the wedding picture are so much more personal.

    and i'm sure that way you will remember who the gift is from rather than thinking "thats a nice cutlery set - who gave us that again?"
    Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
    Rejuvenate, Reinvent.......
  • Claire_Jones_3
    Claire_Jones_3 Forumite Posts: 765 Forumite
    I'd feel really bad if I couldn't get something so I'd offer my help in organising the day - anything from driving the bridesmaids, making favours or even the washing up!
    :heart2: Charlie born Aug 2007 :heart2: Reece born May 2009
    :heart2:Toby born Apr and taken by SMA Dec 2012
    :heart2: Baby boy failed M/C @ 20 wks Oct 2013 :heart2: Sienna born Oct 2014
  • Dorrie
    Dorrie Forumite Posts: 66
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I would go - they are my friends after all. If I couldn't afford anything, I could give a note promising something in the future - such as babysitting once a month for a year (or six months) or something like that. Real friends wouldn't mind. Also I personally don't think real friends would try and insist that you paid out that amount of money for a present from the gift list! One of my husband's cousins married a few years ago. The cousin hadn't bothered to come to our wedding in the first place (had gone to a Michael Jackson concert instead) and he was marrying a 'posh' young lady - the gift list was really expensive stuff. We didn't bother going. Gift lists, if used, should cover gifts of all amounts.
  • bigbadandy
    bigbadandy Forumite Posts: 38 Forumite
    None of my wife's family had such a moral dilemma they didn't bother bringing any gifts and weren't the least bit embarrassed about eating and drinking all the spread we'd put on. The thing is, none of them were even particularly skint!

    A few friends who I knew to be broke didn't buy presents, I knew the expenses of getting to the wedding inc overnight accomodation was quite enough so a present was not required.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 338.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 248.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 447.5K Spending & Discounts
  • 230.6K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 600.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 171K Life & Family
  • 243.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards