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    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 29th Apr 08, 10:19 AM
    • 1,233Posts
    • 3,567Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    Money Moral Dilemma: Can you go giftless to a wedding?
    • #1
    • 29th Apr 08, 10:19 AM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Can you go giftless to a wedding? 29th Apr 08 at 10:19 AM
    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

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    Should you demand a last-minute property discount?

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    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 29-04-2008 at 10:22 AM.
Page 1
    • Thunderbird
    • By Thunderbird 29th Apr 08, 8:33 PM
    • 612 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    • #2
    • 29th Apr 08, 8:33 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Apr 08, 8:33 PM
    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.
  • lydia dustbin
    • #3
    • 29th Apr 08, 8:37 PM
    • #3
    • 29th Apr 08, 8:37 PM
    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
    • #4
    • 29th Apr 08, 10:37 PM
    wedding 'giftless'????
    • #4
    • 29th Apr 08, 10:37 PM
    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!
    Sarah x
  • Alison1604
    • #5
    • 29th Apr 08, 11:19 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Apr 08, 11:19 PM
    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
    • By sparrer 30th Apr 08, 2:38 AM
    • 6,784 Posts
    • 53,686 Thanks
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 08, 2:38 AM
    • #6
    • 30th Apr 08, 2:38 AM
    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
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 08, 6:27 AM
    Wedding gifts
    • #7
    • 30th Apr 08, 6:27 AM
    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
    Originally posted by lydia dustbin
    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
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 08, 6:56 AM
    • #8
    • 30th Apr 08, 6:56 AM
    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!
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  • Claire Jones
    • #9
    • 30th Apr 08, 7:10 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Apr 08, 7:10 AM
    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!
    Charlie born Aug 2007 Reece born May 2009
    Toby born Apr and taken by SMA Dec 2012
    Baby boy failed M/C @ 20 wks Oct 2013 Sienna born Oct 2014
    • Dorrie
    • By Dorrie 30th Apr 08, 7:11 AM
    • 66 Posts
    • 46 Thanks
    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
    My wife's family
    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.
    • olly300
    • By olly300 30th Apr 08, 7:52 AM
    • 14,312 Posts
    • 13,632 Thanks
    It's not a money moral maze it depends on the people who are getting married and their attitude.

    Some of the friends' whose weddings I've been to specifically say they don't want anything as they have been living together for years and are rich enough to buy every material thing they need.

    Other friends' have gift lists but are happy that people who know them well buy something that is both meaningful and useful for them.

    There as others are happy if you buy them a present a few months after their wedding as on the lead up to the day and straight afterwards they are too busy to work out who got them what.

    The people I've had most problems with are some of my female relations demanding things from the family. They seem to forget that we are the people who will be supporting them and their families for the rest of their lives so whether the gift is expensive or not, or appears immediately shouldn't matter.
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 30th Apr 08, 8:06 AM
    • 427 Posts
    • 230 Thanks
    Wedding Gifts
    Work out how much you can afford to spend on total gifts and divide it by the number of weddings you want to attend. Then purchase a gift of your own choosing for each couple. Ignore wedding lists, they are often motivated either by greed or false impressions of people's financial status.
    • Phuddles
    • By Phuddles 30th Apr 08, 8:09 AM
    • 26 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    I've just been to a wedding where the bride & groom have amalgamated two households, so didn't need things - they asked for, if anyone wanted to get them anything, money or holiday vouchers towards their belated honeymoon. Other friends didn't want anything, and a group of us put 10 each & bought all the flowers to decorate the venue. Most wedding lists I've seen have small inexpensive stuff on them as well as big items.
    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 30th Apr 08, 8:17 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    Speak to the people getting married - if they are good friends you can surely speak to them. If they want you at their wedding they will not mind if you cannot afford a gift. If they insist on a gift, they are not a good friend.
    • golddustmedia
    • By golddustmedia 30th Apr 08, 8:18 AM
    • 796 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    What about something homemade?
    I got married last year and very much like the handmade porcelain bowls we were given by a friend who's girlfriend is a potter/artist.

    Gifts don't have to be pricey, just put some thought into it!
  • Zoay
    We specifically told people in the invite not to worry about a gift - we knew many people were having to travel and stay over, and not everyone is well off. As it happened only 1 person didn't give something - and I'm glad she could still come.

    Our best present was 4 cows and several chickens! (Happily bought directly by the family of the little girl we sponsor in Africa with the money our guests spent on them instead of us.)
    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 30th Apr 08, 8:23 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    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!
    Originally posted by bigbadandy

    We had something similar at my wedding last year. Wife's cousin came plus wife plus four kids. My wife hadn't even met the four kids before, but her mother insisted they came as they are "family". Multi-millionaire family, six people attending, all dripping with jewellery. They made it clear they were considerably more richer than us (as in the Harry Enfield sketch). First time and last time I will ever see them.

    Present = two pillowcases. Didn't even get the right ones, they didn't match the set we asked for.
    • ringo_24601
    • By ringo_24601 30th Apr 08, 8:29 AM
    • 17,148 Posts
    • 27,896 Thanks
    I'm getting married in 6 weeks time, it's costing a LOT of money. There's only one couple who is coming that I know don't have much money. I think i would be deeply upset if any of our guests came empty handed - except for that couple.

    In the last year, I've been to 5 weddings and given around £500 in presents - we've got another 2 in the coming year. The social norm with my peers is to give gift of around £100 per couple for a wedding present.

    Right, back to the moral dilemma - I would rather my poor friend came to my wedding than didn't, just because of the gift issue. If i was in this position, i would probably talk to the couple and explain my situation. Possibly offer a 'gift in kind' - how about I'd do some decorating for them or gardening.

    They'll want you at their wedding more than a present anyway
    • janineo
    • By janineo 30th Apr 08, 8:43 AM
    • 56 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    At our wedding we weren't going to have a gift list, until we got lots of requests from family wanting to know where it was.
    So we set one up with a range of gift values (we even put wooden spoons on it!), but made it clear that we didn't expect anyone to buy anything.
    We also had lots of help from family and friends in the organisation, e.g my sister made our cake, her and her BF and others did the evening buffet, a friend did the flowers, etc.

    If you are true friends with the bride and groom, then they should be inviting you because they want to share their special day with you, not because they expect a gift.

    If you cannot afford a present from the gist, but don't feel comfortable going without one, then offer help, a homemade gift, even just a small token gift. Your friends should understand.
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