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Louis
03-26-2011, 05:17 PM
A friend of mine is getting married this summer on a holiday weekend in a place that's not terribly easy to get to and also happens to have a huge event going on that same weekend. Airfares are expensive, and hotels are scarce and ridiculously overpriced. Plus, I have some serious family stuff going on that makes travel risky and unpredictable. While I would love to go to this wedding of two people I genuinely adore, I'm not sure I see the wisdom of spending $1,000 - $1,500 to do so, especially when there's at least a 25% chance I'd have to cancel the plans.

Both the bride and groom are in societally important but not especially well-paying jobs. They can barely afford the wedding and don't have enough money to go on a honeymoon. You can see where this is going.... Instead of spending $1,000+ to go to this wedding, I would like to write them a check for $1,000 and tell them to put it toward a honeymoon. Would this be terribly rude? Is it too ostentatious? I know it's a big gift for a wedding, but it's what I would've spent anyway just to get there.

Opinions/advice appreciated. Friend knows about the family stuff and wrote a nice personal note with the invitation that they completely understand if I can't make the wedding due to what's going on.

IceAlisa
03-26-2011, 05:23 PM
One thing to consider is how socially acceptable it is to give large cash gifts like that in your circle.

For instance, in a case of a traditional Russian wedding, the guests bring cash and there's rarely a registry. So while this kind of gift would be considered extremely generous, it would acceptable and welcome.

If it is, I think they would be over the moon if you can afford it and couch it in the right terms.

milanessa
03-26-2011, 05:32 PM
Since they know your personal situation it sounds as though they are very close friends. Your gift idea sounds completely appropriate to me and I'm sure would be much appreciated.

soxxy
03-26-2011, 05:37 PM
Instead of spending $1,000+ to go to this wedding, I would like to write them a check for $1,000 and tell them to put it toward a honeymoon. Would this be terribly rude? Is it too ostentatious? I know it's a big gift for a wedding, but it's what I would've spent anyway just to get there

This is mind-blowingly generous and considerate! I can't think how to improve it.

ETA: Do some cultures consider giving cash gauche? My Italian culture certainly doesn't! lol

BittyBug
03-26-2011, 05:46 PM
I'm one who tends to err on the side of more not less, but I think $1,000 in cash is simply too much money for a wedding gift to a non-family member. And while the grand is what you might have spent to actually attend the wedding, that sum would not have gone directly to the couple. In my circles, cash is always welcome but the typical range would be $250 to $500 per couple, max. Four figures is aunt and uncle territory.

I guess I'd turn it around and ask you how you would feel if you and Sweets were getting married and a friend of similar proximity but more means gave you a check for $1,000. Would you feel comfortable accepting the gift? Or would it feel patronizing?

It's a very generous sentiment and it's extremely thoughtful of you to be concerned for the financial impact that their wedding expenses will have on this couples' finances, but maybe instead of outright cash you could find a way to contribute to their day in a way in which the exact amount of your expenditure would not be as obvious - perhaps a gift certificate to a dinner paired with a gift certificate for some activity (like a couple's massage, much as you hate that yourself) for their honeymoon. Alternatively, would you be interested in sponsoring some aspect of her wedding? You could tell her that you really want to be part of her celebration, and since you can't be there in person, you'd like some aspect of the wedding to be there because of you. Could be the cake or flowers or the limo ride or something. Just a thought.

emason
03-26-2011, 06:04 PM
ETA: Do some cultures consider giving cash gauche? My Italian culture certainly doesn't! lol

Yes, in some places it is considered quite tacky. I would never, ever give cash for a wedding present. I would give an actual gift, which is so much more personal. Cash is a no-no where I come from, unless the bride and groom have everything they need and specify that they want no presents but would like gifts to their favorite charity instead.

millyskate
03-26-2011, 06:15 PM
Yes, in some places it is considered quite tacky. I would never, ever give cash for a wedding present. I would give an actual gift, which is so much more personal. Cash is a no-no where I come from, unless the bride and groom have everything they need and specify that they want no presents but would like gifts to their favorite charity instead.

In my circle also.
However, in the case of an exceptional and very generous gift like this, it would not be tacky.

I've benefited from great generosity from people I wasn't closely related to in the past, and I'm very grateful for it. I think your friends would be as well.

vesperholly
03-26-2011, 06:19 PM
Both the bride and groom are in societally important but not especially well-paying jobs. They can barely afford the wedding and don't have enough money to go on a honeymoon. You can see where this is going.... Instead of spending $1,000+ to go to this wedding, I would like to write them a check for $1,000 and tell them to put it toward a honeymoon. Would this be terribly rude? Is it too ostentatious? I know it's a big gift for a wedding, but it's what I would've spent anyway just to get there.

That sounds wonderfully generous and kind of you. If you have the money to spend, do it. You might send it with a nice card and something small like a photo frame from their registry.

I don't understand what's gauche about giving cash (like a registry of "here, buy us these presents we picked out for ourselves" isn't gauche?). Personally it's my favorite gift :lol: For that amount, especially knowing I couldn't pay for a honeymoon otherwise, I'd be laughing, crying and kissing your feet all the way to the bank.

soxxy
03-26-2011, 06:22 PM
For that amount, especially knowing I couldn't pay for a honeymoon otherwise, I'd be laughing, crying and kissing your feet all the way to the bank

I'd name my first-born Louis(e). ;)

barbk
03-26-2011, 06:25 PM
I think it would be lovely -- but maybe accompanied by a memento?

Maybe a little smaller, and keep back enough money so that you and your sweetie can visit them later in the year for a wonderful weekend?

I hope your "family stuff" settles down in the best possible way, Louis.

PDilemma
03-26-2011, 06:29 PM
I'm one who tends to err on the side of more not less, but I think $1,000 in cash is simply too much money for a wedding gift to a non-family member. And while the grand is what you might have spent to actually attend the wedding, that sum would not have gone directly to the couple. In my circles, cash is always welcome but the typical range would be $250 to $500 per couple, max. Four figures is aunt and uncle territory.

I guess I'd turn it around and ask you how you would feel if you and Sweets were getting married and a friend of similar proximity but more means gave you a check for $1,000. Would you feel comfortable accepting the gift? Or would it feel patronizing?

It's a very generous sentiment and it's extremely thoughtful of you to be concerned for the financial impact that their wedding expenses will have on this couples' finances, but maybe instead of outright cash you could find a way to contribute to their day in a way in which the exact amount of your expenditure would not be as obvious - perhaps a gift certificate to a dinner paired with a gift certificate for some activity (like a couple's massage, much as you hate that yourself) for their honeymoon. Alternatively, would you be interested in sponsoring some aspect of her wedding? You could tell her that you really want to be part of her celebration, and since you can't be there in person, you'd like some aspect of the wedding to be there because of you. Could be the cake or flowers or the limo ride or something. Just a thought.

It sounds as if Louis is very close to the couple. And if cash is a typical gift in his place/circle, there's nothing wrong with it. (Side note--are any of you saying cash is considered a tacky gift in the U.S.? Because in my experience of several different regions, cash has become a pretty standard gift for nearly all occasions. I prefer not to give cash myself, but I've yet to encounter a region where it is considered unacceptable).

I actually think that telling someone you wish to pay for their wedding cake, limo, flowers, etc...would be much more patronizing. It's like announcing to them "I know you can't pay for your wedding; please let me--your wealthier friend--do it".

Lacey
03-26-2011, 06:48 PM
I'd lower it to $500 and then decide whether to make it a present gift or cash.

BittyBug
03-26-2011, 06:58 PM
And if cash is a typical gift in his place/circle, there's nothing wrong with it. Louis is in NYC, and in NYC cash is almost always appropriate. So it's not the cash itself that's at issue, it's the amount, and I'm guessing that if gifts of such large amounts were routine in his circle, Louis wouldn't have initiated this thread.

Skittl1321
03-26-2011, 07:13 PM
Cash (Well, a check) was a very common gift at my wedding, but I would feel very uncomfortable with this sort of gift from a friend. I don't think many of my friends gave me money in excess of $50, some gave me gifts that were worth about $100 off my registry. (The dinner was about $30 a plate- so I think they went by the rule of thumb of 'pay for your meal' but of course, they didn't really know what the meal cost.)

Getting $1,000 from anyone other than family is just too much. $500 would be overly generous, in my opinion, but a little easier to accept. $250 is in the range where it's more "gift from weathly friend". $100 is what I'd call "generous, but normal"

my little pony
03-26-2011, 08:01 PM
among the people I know, actual gifts are frowned upon, cash is the way to go

however, $1000 or more may make them a little uncomfortable, $100 - $200 is normal so maybe $500 is about right