Does "No Gifts" really mean NO Gifts.

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by jkl, May 14, 2012.

  1. jkl

    jkl Well-Known Member

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    A former coworker is getting married next weekend. She is a widow and is marrying a widower. She has told everyone that they are combining two households and don't need any wedding gifts. Of course one coworker is organizing a group gift.:rolleyes: It's not the $20 or $25 dollars that is concerning me. I just need to know what others would do. Do I look like a cheapo and pass on the gift or do I pretend I don't understand her wishes? What would you do? As always thanks so much!
     
  2. PeterG

    PeterG Hanyuflated

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    Did you ask your co-worker why he/she is collecting for a gift when the couple was asked for no gifts? Isn't it rude to go against the wishes of someone during their special event?

    If your co-worker insists on continuing with the collection, suggest that the money goes to an organization that does operations for blind children in third world countries so that they can see. A card and certificate about those you gave sight to could be given to the couple. :)
     
  3. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Yeah. I'd like to hear the answer to that one.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    I have the same question. A good friend is getting married - her second, his first. They have 2 households to combine. Plus, it is a destination wedding for her friends so she doesn't want people to spend on resort hotel and gifts. The invitation says "Your presence is our gift, but if you feel you must do something, a small donation may be made to the following charities: (list of 4 charities)." She did this after getting a kinds of calls about where she was registered (she's not registered). This friend is a client of my husband's woodworking business so he was going to make her a piece of furniture he knows she wants before we got the "no gift" message. Nothing over the top. But it says no gifts or make a donation.

    My feeling is that "no gifts" is considered good etiquette for people who are on second marriages and are not just setting up a household, but if you happen to send a thoughtful gift, no-one is going to get insulted. Don't bring it to the wedding though (which used to be taboo, but I see it a lot now). And you don't have to give a gift or make a donation at all.
     
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  5. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    If the couple really wanted no gifts, I might donate to a charity in their name if I really felt like giving them a gift.

    My coworker who got married joked that they had a registry at Wells Fargo. :lol: Cash was a lot more useful than the typical wedding gift! I have no idea where the mister and I will be after the wedding, so receiving actual stuff to trudge around doesn't really sound fun...

    When my best friend got married, I helped design and print her wedding invites, and gave her my old iPod Touch (which she used for music!) so that was my gift to her. :)
     
  6. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Really. Why does co-worker presume to know more about what the bride wants than the bride?
     
  7. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    ^^ Being Italian, we always give money for weddings.

    I appreciate and respect that a bride and groom might request no gifts. But they also need to appreciate that some people will feel uncomfortable if they don't give them something. A donation in their name is perfect. If that is not what the guest wants to do, a gift card would be appropriate.

    I have a different kind of dilemma. We are invited to a bridal shower (and, of course the wedding) for the daughter of a dear friend. Because the bride and groom will not be in their own place (AKA no storage), for a while, they are not registered. While, I always give money for a wedding gift. It is customary to give a physical gift for the shower. I will get a gift card, but I feel bad that the bride won't get to open stuff :(!

    kwanfan1818, I don't think the co-worker is presuming to know better than the bride. I just think that some people feel very uncomfortable attending something without bringing a gift of some sort. I would not even go to someone's home for dinner or a party without, at least, bringing a bottle of wine. So, how do I go to a wedding and not bring anything, it would make me very uncomfortable. While I would not go out and get an extravagant gift, I would want to do something to show my happiness for the couple and my appreciation for being included in the celebration.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  8. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    So, your feelings are more important than the bride's and groom's?
     
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  9. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :rolleyes:

    Really.
     
  10. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    So umm...in the case that the couple have no idea where they're going to be after the wedding and do not want actual physical gifts, how would one tactfully let the invited guests know? I mean, we obviously wouldn't say no to gift cards or cash (although we would be fine with nothing and will not be judging people!), but from what I've seen, it's "tacky" to request them. :eek:
     
  11. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it makes no difference whatsoever to the bride.

    And here I thought that you were going to suggest that the money for the operation go to the co-worker. So she can have her vision fixed enough to see the "No Gifts" request on the invitation :EVILLE:
     
  12. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    That's where your network comes in: they spread the word that you have no place to put any gifts and that storage would be an added expense and burden. Then they lead the brainstorming effort about what would be the best thing for you, and, hopefully, people don't conclude that lawn furniture is the answer to your predicament, unless they also offer to store it themselves and ship it to you when you're ready.
     
  13. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I said that. And I seriously doubt that the bride and groom would be offended if I make a donation to, say, St. Jude in their name. Sometimes you have to accept that others want to do something generous, from the heart and be gracious.

    You could say that you are not registered, as you have no storage space. That would probably indicate that cash or a GC would be best.
     
  14. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    I know this bride pretty well.
     
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    I agree with those who say respect the "no gifts" request. I don't like to celebrate my birthday, repeatedly request "greeting cards only", but people don't feel comfortable with that and give me stuff anyway, to avoid feeling guilty/cheap/whatever. Which in turn makes me uncomfortable. I'd really rather have just a card. why is that so terrible?
     
  16. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    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.
     
  17. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

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    Sure you did, if you do what you feel comfortable with, not what they asked.

    Maybe some people will feel uncomfortable if there is meat served at the reception, with an interfaith service, with the bride's ex-fiance's presence, with the length of the groom's hair, with the pregnant-but-unmarried bridesmaid, with the bride's nose ring, with the club where the reception will be held, etc.

    If you're a guest, and you can't live with whatever, there's always the option of declining with regret.

    What if St. Jude has policies the bride and/or groom disagree with which the bridge and/or groom disagree?

    So they should suck up their feelings, because you were too uncomfortable following their wishes and followed your own definition of generosity? There's nothing to stop you from making a donation to St. Jude on your own.
     
  18. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    That would be exasperating AND hilarious. :lol:
     
  19. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    It's not so terrible. For a very long time, I never asked for help, I felt uncomfortable/guilty if someone helped me, did something nice for me, gave me something. But, I have always loved to help other people, give them gifts, etc. I realized, as I got older, that I was being selfish. It gave me pleasure to do something nice for another person, why should I deprive them from the same good feeling.
     
  20. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I have had that problem for years. It is as if they dont wanna hear my no gift request. I have requested that for ages and they still ask for what I want for bday or xmas.
     
  21. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    :rolleyes: A little bit of an overreaction?
     
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    :confused: Who's talking about help?

    No.
     
  23. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    IMHO, if people would just go back to the tradition of sending wedding gifts to the bride prior to the wedding, therefore giving her time to get the thank you cards out of the way before the honeymoon, people wouldn't have have worry about showing up to the wedding empty handed. It would also save us all from those very long, very boring, gift opening parties. Yikes, who ever thought that was a good idea? Yes, I know, I'm stuck in a time warp (Rocky Horror is now running through my head!) When it comes to a request for no gifts, I think it should be respected. I love buying gifts, but hey, if someone really doesn't want one they shouldn't get one. As to giving a donation in someone's name, that can be tricky. A donation was once given in my name to an organization I find appalling. When they sent me a copy of their newsletter with my name listed as a supporter, I almost had a fit!

    As for the employee taking up the collection, I second the idea of asking why. I would also talk to the other employees about it. If people are really set on giving something, then ask the bride if there is somewhere you all could donate money in her name.
     
  24. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Ummm, it's got nothing to do with "help" or being "selfish". I don't need or want lots of stuff. If you really want to give me a gift, do it at Christmas. But my birthday is (like a wedding) "my day", so please respect my wishes. If a card isn't enough for you, take me out to lunch, or a movie, or a museum. I'll appreciate that so much more than some object you got in a store because not giving a tangible gift feels weird to you. I'd rather spend time with you than get some random, token thing from you.
     
  25. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    But those are gifts. Just like a donation is a gift. I never said a gift was defined by tangible things.
     
  26. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I think it is rather simple, no gifts means no gifts! However, I see the conundrum whenever someone is trying to put together a group gift. You know the gift is going to be given and you have to wonder if they will notice the absence of your name/contribution. That one is a bit tougher. I would stick to their wishes though. Ultimately this is their wedding and their request. Just politely decline to contribute while pointing out that they asked for no gifts.
     
  27. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Then why are you talking about being sad that a bride can't have a big gift-opening party? Because that's all about tangible gifts. And showing them off.
     
  28. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    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. Part of the fun of bridal showers is watching the bride's excitement when she gets something she really wants. Sorry if that makes me a terrible person.
     
  29. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    People don't do that any more? At least when my friends got married, yes, there were showers (I didn't go to either one despite being in the wedding parties as I was already flying out for the weddings so two trips like that in weeks wasn't feasible) but plenty of people sent gifts ahead. I vaguely recall going with my parents when they were trying to find something off my one cousin's registry and they had it sent to her before the weddings. I think bringing cards (with or without money in them) to a wedding is one thing, okay, maybe bring an actual gift to the wedding/reception if you simply CANNOT send it, but even when I've seen that I have never seen anyone sit there opening them.

    And I would feel somewhat uncomfortable about not at LEAST giving a card, and maybe a fairly inexpensive gift card for something I know the bride/groom/both like/will use, but I wouldn't go buy something. To me "no gifts" generally translates as "please don't give us a ton of crap we already own/have no place to put/really don't need like nine glass pitchers". If they don't want gifts and aren't registered, I'm not going to buy them a fondue set or a bath mat on the assumption they're just being coy.

    Charity donations I always find iffy unless the gift-ee has specified one in lieu of gifts or I'm CERTAIN they're involved with that particular charity (for example I have a friend who does triathalons for a particular cancer charity so I can safely assume she supports it.) I wouldn't feel comfortable just randomly selecting one no matter how benign.
     
  30. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

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    The last three weddings I attended I was the only one to send the gift ahead. The bride, in one case, and the brides' mothers, in the other two, actually thanked me for doing so. I had no idea that so many people took the gift to the wedding. At one wedding, a guest was visibly upset because she took a rather large, heavy looking gift to the church and there was no table set up for put it on. I seems to me to be a bit presumptuous to assume that there will be a table at the church. I've seen them at receptions, but the church? Off course, showers are different and people take the gift with them to the event.

    When I got married, 20 years ago, most of the gifts were sent ahead. My dh and I opened them as they arrived. It was really nice because there was never more than two at a time to open. We were able to really enjoy opening each gift. We left the day after the ceremony for our honeymoon and planned it that way mainly to avoid a gift opening party.