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taf2002
05-15-2012, 03:44 PM
When couples are older or have been married before, the no gift rule makes sense. Their taste is probably set in stone & they don't want a hodgepodge of stuff. Also they likely can afford what they want, unlike young couples just starting out. And IMO wedding showers are fun for the bride only if it's the 1st marriage & she is relatively young.

When I married for the 2nd time, I was in my 30's. I had zero interest in the shower experience - been there, done that. What I really liked were the things that took thought & effort, like my uncle hand-making us a wooden paper towel holder. People who say no gifts probably mean don't go out & buy me a gift. They would still like it if you did something thoughtful for them - frame a picture you took of them or cross-stitch a sampler of their wedding invitation. One of my mother's friends who was an artist took a ceramic floor tile & painted a floral scene on it & made a beautiful hot pad.

cruisin
05-15-2012, 03:52 PM
When couples are older or have been married before, the no gift rule makes sense. Their taste is probably set in stone & they don't want a hodgepodge of stuff. Also they likely can afford what they want, unlike young couples just starting out. And IMO wedding showers are fun for the bride only if it's the 1st marriage & she is relatively young.

When I married for the 2nd time, I was in my 30's. I had zero interest in the shower experience - been there, done that. What I really liked were the things that took thought & effort, like my uncle hand-making us a wooden paper towel holder. People who say no gifts probably mean don't go out & buy me a gift. They would still like it if you did something thoughtful for them - frame a picture you took of them or cross-stitch a sampler of their wedding invitation. One of my mother's friends who was an artist took a ceramic floor tile & painted a floral scene on it & made a beautiful hot pad.

All lovely ideas. :)

Actually, I thought that bridal showers were only done for first time brides. I didn't think showers were typically given for a bride remarrying.

Rob
05-15-2012, 03:53 PM
I would listen if the bride and groom request no gifts, but I personally prefer it if they at least suggest a charity or two.

Rob, in your case, if your husband is still willing to do the piece of furniture even if gifts aren't required, I might wait until after the wedding and they have a chance to get settled and then talk to her and see if she'd be comfortable accepting the piece. For some reason that gift seems more personal and somebody who doesn't want to look like they're soliciting cash from friends for a second wedding may still want such a thoughtful, personal gift. But I'd talk to her before spending that much time and effort on it.

This piece (well 2 pieces) is definitely something she wants - my husband made her a patio table for her house in DC years ago, and it has no matching chairs or benches because she couldn't decide what she wants. So she pulls her kitchen chairs outside when she eats out there. Their other house is in PTown, Cape Cod (where the wedding is), and they are keeping the house so they don't have double patio furniture to get rid of. She finally decided she wants benches, and the drawings are all done, but she told him she has to hold off till she pays for the wedding. And because this is a destination wedding during peak season with peak hotel rates, she has planned a dinner event every night for 4 nights so that her guests don't have to pay for dinners. Since we are helping her plan the wine and food for the wedding (my husband is also a chef), we were accidentally emailed a couple of the invoices for the wedding :eek: So if it were me, it would be 10 years before I could pay for the benches. When she gets back, her neighbor is having a little party for the DC group who couldn't make it to Cape Cod -- these parties spread out across both backyards. Seeing as she'd only use the table in spring/summer/fall, and it would be really handy for this party, we thought it might be fun if the benches miraculously appear in her yard when she gets back to DC from the wedding. Poof! She'll know where they came from, but there will be no fanfare.

Added info: This is a person who has bought a huge amount of furniture from my husband and has referred multiple customers so it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to "throw in" a free piece completely separate from the wedding concept.

Garden Kitty
05-15-2012, 04:04 PM
Rob, I know I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, because on the one hand I'm saying respect the bride's wishes and don't give gifts if so requested, but on the other hand I think that is an extremely thoughtful and personal gift that I'm sure she'd really appreciate and can use. :lol:

If you ask her, she'd probably feel compelled to offer to pay for them, or decline because she knows the value of hand crafted furniture and wouldn't want you to be the only one giving a gift of substantial value. But I do like the idea of just having them "appear" (assuming you don't get arrested or shot delivering them :) ) or giving them to her as a thank you for the parties or something other than a technical "wedding gift".

milanessa
05-15-2012, 04:11 PM
Rob, I know I'm speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, because on the one hand I'm saying respect the bride's wishes and don't give gifts if so requested, but on the other hand I think that is an extremely thoughtful and personal gift that I'm sure she'd really appreciate and can use. :lol:

If you ask her, she'd probably feel compelled to offer to pay for them, or decline because she knows the value of hand crafted furniture and wouldn't want you to be the only one giving a gift of substantial value. But I do like the idea of just having them "appear" (assuming you don't get arrested or shot delivering them :) ) or giving them to her as a thank you for the parties or something other than a technical "wedding gift".

I agree - and done with thoughtfulness and love rather than form. :)

cruisin
05-15-2012, 04:41 PM
I would venture to say that when most people give gifts it is with thought and love. I always make a sincere effort to find something the recipient would want. Often, I don't pick something I would want or like, but know the person it's for would. And the discomfort in not giving a gift is because I like to do something nice to show my appreciation for having that person(s) in my life. As I said, it doesn't have to be a store bought gift, it can be as simple as a hand made card. That is just as much a gift as a piece of crstal.

MacMadame
05-15-2012, 04:50 PM
Two separate situations. This bride has not requested no gifts. She is just not registered.

Then why did you bring it up as an example of how, even though no gifts were requested, you're going to give on anyway because it makes you feel so good? :confused:

cruisin
05-15-2012, 05:08 PM
Then why did you bring it up as an example of how, even though no gifts were requested, you're going to give on anyway because it makes you feel so good? :confused:

If you go back and read my post, you will see that I said I had a different sort of gift dilemma. You are responding to other poster's misinterpretation of what I actually said. I will get the bride a gift card, though I wish I could get her something special that she wants. But, no storage, so she can get what she wants when she and her husband have their own place. I am respecting her wishes. I am not just getting her - whatever, since she is not registered. I asked the bride where she was registered, she explained her dilemma. Then I called her mother and asked what would be the best place to get a gift card for her.

JasperBoy
05-15-2012, 05:26 PM
Throwing another ember on the burning fire......

I know of one big problem with bringing gifts to the reception or, worse, the church. The bridal party then must arrange to transport the gifts and money to safety after the reception. The chances of anyone bringing their pickup truck to the party is fairly slim, and the possibility of having money stolen is quite large.

Back in my day wedding gifts were delivered in the weeks before the wedding. Then a neighbour sat in the house during the wedding to scare away thieves. The only people who brought stuff to the wedding were thought to have no manners.

I also know of a couple who had thousands of dollars stolen from their hotel closet, where it was hidden. The hotel didn't have a safe.

The concept of a gift opening party after the wedding was new to me when my daughter told me about hers. It felt awkward to me, but that seems to be the way things are done now. Must move with the times.

One last comment. When I have my big birthday party I plan to specify a couple of charities in lieu of gifts. I don't want more stuff!

PDilemma
05-15-2012, 05:36 PM
I know of one big problem with bringing gifts to the reception or, worse, the church. The bridal party then must arrange to transport the gifts and money to safety after the reception. The chances of anyone bringing their pickup truck to the party is fairly slim, and the possibility of having money stolen is quite large.



At the place where our reception was held, the event manager had an office that they used for the purpose of storing gifts during the reception. A staff member was by the door of that office as guests came in and my teenage nephew and cousin took cards and gifts from guests and carried them there. Once arrivals ended, the office was locked. My parents-in-law went back in the morning, picked everything up and delivered it to our house for us.

Things can be arranged if you make a bit of an effort. Many venues will help you arrange it. And it does save the guests the extra expense of delivery. Around here, I have yet to attend a wedding in my entire life that guests did not bring the gifts to. As a young teen, I was in fact in charge of taking gifts from guests to a designated place at my cousin's wedding. His daughter did it for mine.

cruisin
05-15-2012, 05:51 PM
When I got married, 30 years ago, the material gifts were sent to our home, during the weeks prior to the wedding. Cash gifts were given at the wedding, in a card. Though we received no actual cash, it was checks. It was/is tradition in Italian weddings for the bride to carry a "boosta bag". It is a white satin and lace bag, made to put the cards (with money) in. My grandmother made mine and gave it to me, at the wedding. I felt very uncomfortable carrying it around, like I was Trick-or-Treating :lol:. So, I asked my grandmother to hold it for me. I told her that I was afraid I'd lose it and would she hold it and let me just bring the cards to her. She was happy with that. The bag, itself, is a very special memento from my wedding.

That seems to be pretty much how it's still done at weddings I currently go to. Material gifts to the house, money/cards to the wedding. Though I have not seen a boosta bag, since my wedding :). I should add, though, that probably 95% of wedding gifts, at the weddings I've been to were money.

FigureSpins
05-15-2012, 07:01 PM
I agree that "no gifts" means "no gifts." I usually write a nice letter by hand on fancy stationery to the person/couple, reminscining and giving them some insight as to what I respect or admire about them. It's different, it's not a "gift," so it fits the bill and is always appreciated. People don't write letters anymore, so it's unique and quaint.

A donation to the couple's favorite charity (in their honor) would be more appropriate than picking a random charity, especially something overseas. A friend of mine raves about the "buy a goat" for third-world nations and encourages anyone that mentions "contribution" to donate to her favorite charity for any occasion. One of my relatives always remarks that you should "take care of your own" first; he would prefer a donation to the local home rehab charity. Unless you know the person well, don't assume they'll like your favorite charity. It does come across as somewhat selfish. For example, I support the Red Cross, yet other people hate the Red Cross. Everyone's different and entitled to their opinions.


I have a friend who celebrated his 50th birthday with a huge party at his church's hall. Very beloved guy and he was very clear about "no gifts." Repeatedly stated, in writing, that he didn't want/need anything, just the guests' attendance at the celebration. He was clever in saying "no thank you" in multiple languages, roflol!

Apparently a lot of people pressured him about it before the party, so he quietly let it be known that contributions to his church's boy scout group would be very kind. (He was an Eagle scout and scoutmaster, still very active.)

Everyone had a wonderful time at the party and remarked how they felt better not arriving "empty handed." (Love his parties - his Greek family and friends always get me to dance with them, even though I'm terrible and can't remember the steps, lol.)

Rob
05-15-2012, 08:43 PM
If you ask her, she'd probably feel compelled to offer to pay for them, or decline because she knows the value of hand crafted furniture and wouldn't want you to be the only one giving a gift of substantial value. But I do like the idea of just having them "appear" (assuming you don't get arrested or shot delivering them :) ) or giving them to her as a thank you for the parties or something other than a technical "wedding gift".

Oh, she'll know who did it and offer to pay, but she won't succeed and she won't decline them. We do these things to each other all the time regardless of weddings. I once drove her blind uncle down to the beach for her (I was going there anyway). Later, I came home to find a new painting hanging on my wall (she has keys) - I had been admiring one at her house by the same artist (a friend of hers). "What painting?" she said. My husband snuck into her house and retreated her table/fixed some shelves while she was gone because she said she needed to get around to it (we have keys). She asked to pay - he pretended it wasn't him. This game extends beyond her too -- my neighbor once tore up a rotten wood walkway to my deck and replaced it with Aztec calendar stepping stones he had made. Tried to pay. He said he was throwing them away and dumped them in my yard instead. I ran out of ice at a party so I broke into my vacationing neighbor's house and stole all their ice and left wine (I have keys for putting their mail inside). "Did you leave this wine?" "Yes, you traded it for ice."

Actually we have an even better ruse now. She's had a friend living in her basement apartment for over a year (free of charge - she nearly always has someone there for free) - the friend had sold her house and was retiring to Colorado when her mother got sick. So she kept her job and stayed till her mom died. She's leaving at the end of July after all the wedding stuff is over (she'll feed pets while bride and groom are away). She wants to do something nice for the bride, and she just called me about the same benches. So she wants to buy the wood and my husband won't charge for the labor and poof! They'll appear in the yard and we'll all pretend a fairy did it. Ok, they'll obviously be my husband's design, but when she asks, I can honestly say it didn't cost us a thing. She'll figure it out.

Rob
05-15-2012, 09:36 PM
Two separate situations. This bride has not requested no gifts. She is just not registered. I asked her if she was and she told me no. Because they have no storage space. Not because she doesn't want to receive things.

Come to think of it, my friend is saying your presence is our gift but if you must, you can make a donation in our name to XYZ because (i) she thinks people are having to spend enough just to stay the 4 day minimum that the B&Bs in PTown require, and (2) the XYZ are places she or her fiancee is on the Board of Directors so they need to either raise or give a certain amount. So whatever people give is an indirect gift in that they don't have to give it.

AND:
I had a 50th b'day party with a most clear "NO GIFTS" on the invitation. I got plants, flowers, bottles of wine, vodka, a couple of books, gift cards, a gourmet food basket, an ipod shuffle filled with music, jewelry, artwork, framed photos, a handmade quilt, a Margaritaville blender, an extra battery and carafe for said blender, and from said Bride-to-be: a painting from a well known PTown artist. (She's big on supporting the local artists). So much for her no gifts policy. Bah, she gets benches. I can assure you, I didn't get angry with anyone who gave me a "no gift" gift, I just said "Oh how nice, you didn't have to do that, i love it" and sent a thank you note.

taf2002
05-15-2012, 09:43 PM
Actually, I thought that bridal showers were only done for first time brides. I didn't think showers were typically given for a bride remarrying.

I've been to bridal showers for women who were married multiple times. The worst one was a 5th time bride. She married my brother who was marrying for the 1st time. The marriage lasted 2 weeks. (And she kept all the gifts, even from our side of the family. My brother got squat.)