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  1. #1
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    Default Gift idea for a wedding reception

    So, DHs cousin is getting married Friday. We were called on the phone to be invited to the reception - only a few people are attending the ceremony. The reception is at 4 pm on Friday, which I found odd enough, but hey, DH isn't working, so it's not a huge deal (though, I have a class that lasts until 3). Anyways, at one point I asked the groom, before the official verbal invite if he and his fiance were registering and were going to have a bridal shower for her. He didn't know about the shower, but said they weren't registering because they just wanted cash and that people should go out and add up what they would spend on a gift and then not buy the gift and instead give them cash.

    I asked his mother a few weeks ago if they had registered anywhere yet. She replied no, that they really need cash and that's all they need. I replied that "oh, I understand needing cash, remember DH is laid off".

    I'm a queen bargain hunter, so I could get them something decent for under $20 - if I could see a damn registry.

    I feel that we should NOT give them cash under any circumstance, because I think that both he and his mom were rude (the mom especially considering the shitty ass gifts that she gave when we and all the other cousins got married 6+ years ago). I suspect that he has no clue about etiquette.

    DH doesn't care what we give them and thinks cash is easiest.

    I can whip up a great apron and pair it with several little kitchen items and be out less than $5 - maybe a large mixing bowl, a cookbook (I have some brand new ones already that I bought intending to give as gifts to someone) and a whisk. Still, I understand that the gift would be more bridal shower like and less wedding like.

    If they had sent actual invites, I would have happily framed it and made it a nice keepsake, but they didn't send invites, so that's out.

    Keep in mind, DH is unemployed, otherwise, we'd give our standard of $50 to $100 gift ....unless the above, greedy "we need cash" statements ticked me off. I don't know if they would, they'd make me roll my eyes, but right now, well they probably made my ears steam a bit more than normal.
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  2. #2
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    What about a card, a bottle of wine and an invitation to your place for dinner (where you could do a lovely italian dinner for pretty cheap)?

    Or do you have any credit card points you could cash in for a GC to a restaurant. I know with our Discover card, we can get $25 GC for $20 worth of points.

    Do you think others will show up gifts? If so, can you do embroidery? You could pick up a set of towels at TJMaxx and embroided their monogram on it. Oh, do you crossstich? You could make a nice cross stich and frame it for them.

    Given your situation, and the informality of the wedding, I think they have to be a bit understanding.

  3. #3
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    I say go with your apron/cookbook gift idea. Who cares if it's more shower-like? It's not like it's a faux pas, just not really the norm. So they are rude and don't send invites and ask for cash, and you give a non-traditional wedding gift. I think you still come out ahead etiquette-wise.

    Also, isn't the rule of thumb with cash gifts to give the equivalent of whatever the bride & groom have spent on the guests' dinner? So, with this being a backyard BBQ I think they should be looking at much smaller cash gifts than they probably are hoping for.

  4. #4
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    FTR - I'm fine with the phone call invite. I don't think it's rude, for sure it's not the norm in the family, but whatever. I think the constant grubbing for money is rude though. But, I want to make sure I'm not rude by showing up with a gift - especially with a pretty apron/cookbook - that's what seems more bridal shower to me.
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  5. #5
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    Jenny, what would be rude is for them to judge your gift. They are family, they know what is going on. You are doing your best to celebrate with them. Mayeb you could also include some of your favorite recipes or mark a few in the cookbook that you find great for date night or something like that. But some humor and thought into it and it could be a really fun gift to go through.

  6. #6
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    Also, isn't the rule of thumb with cash gifts to give the equivalent of whatever the bride & groom have spent on the guests' dinner?
    NO, for heaven's sake it is not. The rule of thumb is to give what a) you can afford and b) what is appropriate given how close you are to the couple. In other words, pretty much the rule of thumb on all gifts.

    As for the OP...

    Jenny, I would go with boilermaker's ideas, all good ones. A bottle of wine (assuming they are drinkers) would be perfectly fine; I would have loved that personally. It really, really gets me when people don't register so that (they think) people will only give them cash. It makes me want to give them something I know they won't like. I don't go that far, but neither do I give them cash. I never give cash at weddings anyway.

  7. #7
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    What type of reception are they having? I realize some people might think it's rude to base a gift off the type of reception, but it might help us get a better sense of the event. I am used to very large, fancy ethnic receptions where people give a minimum of $100 per person. But now I've moved to an area where smaller, more casual receptions are the norm and gifts are much smaller (which I learned the hard way at a bridal shower where I gave the largest gift BY FAR, but which I was actually worried was a bit on the small side as I was driving there).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    The flat out asking for cash (or gifts of any type) is incredibly rude IMO.

    I like the apron/mixing bowl gift. In Wisconsin, it's not uncommon at all to have a huge gift table at the wedding - i.e. people bringing shower type gifts to the wedding.

    You're super crafty, I know you can whip something up that's cute and inexpensive. You're creating something from the heart that works within your budget. If you *really* want to give them cash, give them the equivalent of what you would have spent on your apron gift - you found great deals and kept things inexpensive. So a $5 gift it might be.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimichanga View Post
    The flat out asking for cash (or gifts of any type) is incredibly rude IMO.

    I like the apron/mixing bowl gift. In Wisconsin, it's not uncommon at all to have a huge gift table at the wedding - i.e. people bringing shower type gifts to the wedding.

    You're super crafty, I know you can whip something up that's cute and inexpensive. You're creating something from the heart that works within your budget. If you *really* want to give them cash, give them the equivalent of what you would have spent on your apron gift - you found great deals and kept things inexpensive. So a $5 gift it might be.
    Side note: it is always so interesting to see/hear about different customs. Where I am, people don't bring gifts to a wedding. Well, they bring cash/checks, but not big, wrapped gifts. I think 3 people brought wrapped presents to our wedding, and the gifts were quickly taken away and hidden out of sight. Most people send a gift from the registry (obviously not an option in this situation ) or bring a check or cash with a card to the reception. I can't recall ever seeing a gift table at a wedding.

    (Not judging )

  10. #10
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    Just to comment, it must be social circles because I have been to about a dozen Chicago (downtown and suburbs) weddings and there is definitely a gift table at every single one of them. Around here, they are the norm not the exception.

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