'Wedding etiquette...' blog discussion

edited 28 April 2011 at 12:18PM in Martin's Blogs & Appearances & MoneySavingExpert in the News
54 replies 6.9K views
1246

Replies

  • gailygaily Forumite
    190 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    shiny76 wrote: »
    We have a bit of an awkward situation.

    Despite our precarious financial position (I'm juggling £23k of debt, meaning we could have done with money for our honeymoon), we have asked for people to donate to the DEC through our justgiving page. We both had our own houses until recently so are fairly well equipped with household items.

    Trouble is people seem to want to give us gifts rather than donate. The mrs-shiny(-to-be) is quite militant about it all and thinks people should respect our wishes, whereas I respect their freedom to choose (no gift, gift or donation). One couple donated to comic relief and told us that it was on our behalf - a worthwhile cause but not the one we requested.

    It's enough to give a bloke a headache ;)

    This brings back memories of a friend's wedding where we were asked to contribute to the Honeymoon pot. We later found out that all monies had gone to the CSA, as his previous girlfriend had taken him to court, who demanded back payments :mad: - (Silly boy had made payments to her without making records, and she abused that loophole)

    Not quite the place we wanted our hard earned cash to go to (she was a complete cow) but it kept him out of jail, and with his new wife!

    I suppose you can't force people to spend their money as you wish, as a giver, or receiver.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are:smileyhea
  • gailygaily Forumite
    190 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    shiny76 wrote: »
    We have a bit of an awkward situation.

    Despite our precarious financial position (I'm juggling £23k of debt, meaning we could have done with money for our honeymoon), we have asked for people to donate to the DEC through our justgiving page.

    I respect their freedom to choose (no gift, gift or donation). One couple donated to comic relief and told us that it was on our behalf - a worthwhile cause but not the one we requested.

    It's enough to give a bloke a headache ;)

    This brings back memories of a friend's wedding where we were asked to contribute to the Honeymoon pot rather tha give gifts (Yes I know the situation is different, just brought back memories). We later found out that all monies had gone to the CSA, as his previous girlfriend had taken him to court, who demanded back payments :mad: - (Silly boy had made payments to her without making records, and she abused that loophole)

    Not quite the place we wanted our hard earned cash to go to (she was a complete cow) but it kept him out of jail, and with his new wife!

    I suppose you can't force people to spend their money as you wish, as a giver, or receiver.
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are:smileyhea
  • shiny76shiny76 Forumite
    534 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    gaily wrote: »
    This brings back memories of a friend's wedding where we were asked to contribute to the Honeymoon pot rather tha give gifts (Yes I know the situation is different, just brought back memories). We later found out that all monies had gone to the CSA, as his previous girlfriend had taken him to court, who demanded back payments :mad: - (Silly boy had made payments to her without making records, and she abused that loophole)

    Not quite the place we wanted our hard earned cash to go to (she was a complete cow) but it kept him out of jail, and with his new wife!

    I suppose you can't force people to spend their money as you wish, as a giver, or receiver.
    Ooops! Even worse they had the pot somewhere that was accessible!!!

    We've got nothing to fear in that respect (nor our guests) and although a large sum, the debt is manageable.
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    shiny76 wrote: »
    We have a bit of an awkward situation.

    Despite our precarious financial position (I'm juggling £23k of debt, meaning we could have done with money for our honeymoon), we have asked for people to donate to the DEC through our justgiving page. We both had our own houses until recently so are fairly well equipped with household items.

    Trouble is people seem to want to give us gifts rather than donate. The mrs-shiny(-to-be) is quite militant about it all and thinks people should respect our wishes, whereas I respect their freedom to choose (no gift, gift or donation). One couple donated to comic relief and told us that it was on our behalf - a worthwhile cause but not the one we requested.
    I'm with you on allowing the guests the freedom to choose. But I suspect my wife would be with your wife.
    But I really can't understand the couple who donated to Comic Relief. That's just odd. They're very similar charities.
    I can imagine someone not wanting to donate to, say, Help for Heroes or the Cats Protection League and donating to Comic Relief instead. Or someone not wanting to donate to the DEC and donate to, say, Cancer Research instead. But to make the substitution they made almost sounds as though they were trying to be awkward.
    Or maybe they didn't actually make the donation / made a smaller donation than they made out. With justgiving you can see exactly how much each person has donated.
    It's enough to give a bloke a headache ;)
    The headaches will die down after the wedding. Remember it's a very stressful time. I wonder if half the point of it is as a sort of "survival of the fittest", to weed out couples who can't cope with the pressure of it.
  • shiny76shiny76 Forumite
    534 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    But I really can't understand the couple who donated to Comic Relief. That's just odd. They're very similar charities.
    I can imagine someone not wanting to donate to, say, Help for Heroes or the Cats Protection League and donating to Comic Relief instead. Or someone not wanting to donate to the DEC and donate to, say, Cancer Research instead. But to make the substitution they made almost sounds as though they were trying to be awkward.
    Or maybe they didn't actually make the donation / made a smaller donation than they made out. With justgiving you can see exactly how much each person has donated.
    To be honest I was a little annoyed, it was as if they'd wanted to donate to Comic Relief and were killing 2 birds with the 1 stone. OH had drafted a letter thanking them for their donation but pointing out why we'd nominated DEC - I suggested it's not worth it. We also donated to Comic Relief but have no intention of adding to the donations (sounds harsher than it's meant) for our wedding.

    As for survival of the fittest I'll let you know in 4.5wks (or 7wks to cover the honeymoon :D ) but thanks for the reassurance!
  • Old_GitOld_Git Forumite
    4.7K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Cashback Cashier
    ✭✭✭✭
    Many years ago a relative had a list for wedding presents .
    On the list was a carving knive .The grooms man was unemployed so didnt get the list .
    Another relative was also unemployed but did get the list .
    Both bought a carving knive .
    A year later another family member got married ,and they received a secondhand carving knive ,the blades where water marked and the box was covered in grease . guess who gave it to them ..LOL
    "Do not regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many"
  • I agree that a list or a request for cash is socially expected/acceptable although there are humble ways of presenting it so that it looks nicer. But the issue questions if it is OK to ask for cash.

    If you were going to a fancy restaurant with champagne, the restaurant would tell you how they wanted reimbursing and would not accept payment in any kind other than the with something they wanted/could use...ie money.

    You know that Weddings are expensive...why wouldn't you effectively reimburse the hospitality you have received by giving the happy couple a gift that they want and can use.

    I understand that some people still want to give a personal gift but would urge you to think of this as the tip at the restaurant. Give the couple money if that is what they want and any token gift you choose should be a bonus because you love the couple and because you want to give an extra something.
  • edited 5 May 2011 at 12:16PM
    hamedb0001hamedb0001 Forumite
    7 Posts
    edited 5 May 2011 at 12:16PM
    Most of the comments on this thread that are so outraged about cash instead of gifts are attacking a straw man. “How dare the bride and groom DEMAND cash instead of presents! They should just be happy that I have deigned to accept their invitation!” Let’s get a few things straight:
    • I know of no couple, either at weddings to which I’ve gone or from third-party stories, who have REQUESTED (let alone demanded) presents or cash.
    • Since people have been giving wedding gifts since forever, it’s fair to assume that most guests will want to give a gift.
    • Unwanted and inappropriate gifts are a waste of time and money.
    • Buying the happy couple a set of dinner plates from John Lewis has NO more sentiment, romance or meaning than giving them some cash in an envelope. (This is also true of vouchers.)
    I got married in Rome in 2008. Like many engaged couples we had been living together for a while, had plenty of household goods and didn’t need a load of extra stuff. So when we prepared the info booklet that went out with our invitations (details of hotels in the area, transport links, arrangements for drinks and meals the day before and after the wedding itself etc.) we included a mention of wedding gifts. We said that we expected no presents, but that if our guests would like to give us something they could make a contribution to the bridal purse. (Every wedding that I have been to where the couple wanted cash worded the request in this way.) On the day we had a silk purse thing that people could put their wedding cards and envelopes into. Totally anonymous if people wanted it to be, which relieved them of the pressures (when buying from department store lists) of having to spend a certain amount.

    A couple of our guests gave us gifts instead of cash (or maybe in addition to, no way of knowing). One of them gave us a selection of wines to be aged and drunk on our anniversaries; another gave my wife some jewellery. It’s entirely possible that some of our guests didn’t give any sort of gift. But because the whole thing was done without attribution (unless people wanted it) I have no way of knowing who gave what, and it worked great.

    No one actually demands presents or cash. Couples correctly anticipate that the vast majority of their wedding guests would like to give a gift, and so they include a suggestion of what would make the most appropriate gift. That’s not rude, it’s considerate and thoughtful. If you’re uncomfortable with it, you have four options:

    Give them some cash anyway, remembering that it’s not your wedding and these people are buying you dinner and inviting you to share a special event with them.

    Give them a different present: it’s not as though they’re going to reject it.

    Give nothing: gifts are not compulsory.

    Decline the invitation: since you’re such a stickler for etiquette and propriety you’ll probably find such a wedding far too vulgar for your refined taste.
  • edited 5 May 2011 at 12:55PM
    tara747tara747 Forumite
    10.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 5 May 2011 at 12:55PM
    I think that it is unbelievably rude to ask for cash! I wouldn't go to a wedding if asked for cash, especially in the invitation. :eek:

    If your guests want to, they will give you cash. If they can't afford much or simply want to give you a lasting gift that you will treasure, they will buy or make you a gift. Don't forget - people can feel awkward about giving cash as it is perfectly obvious what is being spent, whereas we MSEers can usually buy a gift for far less than RRP, which enables us to give a more generous gift than may be expected.

    Have the wedding you can afford. Don't automatically expect gifts, although you will probably get them from most, or all, of your guests. Receive them gratefully. If someone ASKS you what you want, feel free to specify something in particular - no problem with that. But please lay off the begging-bowl unsolicited requests for cash.
    Get to 119lbs! 1/2/09: 135.6lbs 1/5/11: 145.8lbs 30/3/13 150lbs 22/2/14 137lbs 2/6/14 128lbs 29/8/14 124lbs 2/6/17 126lbs
    Save £180,000 by 31 Dec 2020! 2011: £54,342 * 2012: £62,200 * 2013: £74,127 * 2014: £84,839 * 2015: £95,207 * 2016: £109,122 * 2017: £121,733 * 2018: £136,565 * 2019: £161,957 * 2020: £197,685
    eBay sales - £4,559.89 Cashback - £2,309.73
  • edited 5 May 2011 at 5:04PM
    tara747tara747 Forumite
    10.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 5 May 2011 at 5:04PM
    Old_Git wrote: »
    Many years ago a relative had a list for wedding presents .
    On the list was a carving knive .The grooms man was unemployed so didnt get the list .
    Another relative was also unemployed but did get the list .
    Both bought a carving knive .
    A year later another family member got married ,and they received a secondhand carving knive ,the blades where water marked and the box was covered in grease . guess who gave it to them ..LOL

    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    Primrose wrote: »
    I do think it's cheeky to enclose a gift list with a wedding invitation but if people ask, then it's OK to either direct them to a wedding list or to say that cash would be equally acceptable. We ended up with about 17 different sets of glasses when we got married years ago, and not a single item of bedlinen which we desperately needed so it's much better to give a couple what they actually need.

    What I find most offensive of all, and I've noticed it happening increasingly these days is that the bridal couple then don't even bother to write a "thank you" letter for the gift after the wedding. That is just plain bad manners and leaves a very bad taste in the mouth, especially when people may have spent money they couldn't really afford on the gift. After one wedding we attended without a "thank you" letter, I had to write to the couple twice to ask if they actually received the gift, as it was selected from a departmental store's gift list. I only got a reply when I wrote to tell them I was going to make a complaint to the store that the wedding present I'd selected obviously hadn't been delivered.

    How rude of them. :mad: This really annoys me, it is just a lack of manners, pure and simple.
    Strapped wrote: »
    I wonder - is the ettiquette different when one, or both, of the bride and groom are marrying for the second (or third etc) time?

    I know a divorced woman who is in a serious new relationship... I attended her first wedding and gave a very generous gift, the marriage was over within a year. For a second wedding I wouldn't be as generous! :cool:
    Get to 119lbs! 1/2/09: 135.6lbs 1/5/11: 145.8lbs 30/3/13 150lbs 22/2/14 137lbs 2/6/14 128lbs 29/8/14 124lbs 2/6/17 126lbs
    Save £180,000 by 31 Dec 2020! 2011: £54,342 * 2012: £62,200 * 2013: £74,127 * 2014: £84,839 * 2015: £95,207 * 2016: £109,122 * 2017: £121,733 * 2018: £136,565 * 2019: £161,957 * 2020: £197,685
    eBay sales - £4,559.89 Cashback - £2,309.73
This discussion has been closed.
Latest News and Guides