Wedding attendance/gift dilemma

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Louis, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Not if you are Catholic. That's why my husband's parrish would not marry us even though he was at Alter boy there for his k-12 life. They would not marry us in his boyhood church because we lived outside of a 100 mile radius, even though his family sent and paid for 6 kids to go to parochial school. They told us that we would have to invite everyone who is Catholic within a 100 mile radius to celebrate as a community. So I gave in again and got married at St. Paul's Monestary which was basically a wedding factory (very nice) to give in to my Catholic side of the family. Yeah, I could of got married on the side of Mt. Kilminjaro backpacking or something but I chose to think of my family and not my own wants which again must be old-fashioned to not put yourself first...
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  2. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    and why would it be "better" to have a smaller wedding an go on a honeymoon instead??
    Following your logic, they're actually putting their guests first by investing in the wedding rather than the holiday... :shuffle:

    Anyway, it could well be that it's a small wedding and even that is stretching their finances. Nowadays, everything is expensive, even (very sadly) hiring a church /officiant.
  3. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    ^ but the guest can't afford to get to the destination and even if they can there are NO hotel room available to stay at:confused:
  4. millyskate

    millyskate Well-Known Member

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    Has it not crossed your mind that Louis may have friends who, gasp, live in a different city? Surely it's not the couple's fault if all of their friends don't live in the same place? :yikes:
  5. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    Everyone I've ever talked to about their wedding wishes they got more cash gifts. Presents are more for showers. Weddings are expensive, and money is always appreciated. I am part Italian and Italians almost always give lots of cash. I think it is more tacky to get a picture frame (which I got as a wedding gift, and also was dropped in taking to the car and destroyed). Most couples have to take out loans to have a small but nice wedding and would appreciate cash to pay off the loan.

    But I must say $1,000 is awfully generous!! If you can afford it and don't mind and are very close with this couple, then go for it. I'd think they'd be happy with even just $100 if you couldn't make it. Just sayin'.:)
  6. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    Not everyone's finances allows destination weddings. Hence weddings for the masses locally, honeymoon destinations for the couple who can afford it...

    Admin Edit: Please learn how to use the quote feature. You didn't even specify what was the quote and what was your reply to it, let alone attributed the quote to the person who wrote it.
  7. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    That is absurd! I have never heard of a parish that did such a thing. I suppose that our service was technically open, and any member of the parish could have come in, but our reception was entirely seperate so we did not have to host them. (We invited the priest, but he declined, since it was New Years Eve, he said people often felt uncomfortable "partying" when the priest was present.)

    I've been to many many Catholic weddings, as most of my family is Catholic, and I've never heard of a church that required everyone in the area to be invited. My sister also used a "pretty" church to get married at where no one in the family was a member of. They just required a note from our parish that she was a member there, and requested a donation be made to the church (no different from a rental fee.)


    As for the original question of the wedding being about the couple- my mother told me, the ceremony is about the couple, the reception is for the guests.


    And to "destination" wedding- I guess ours was for us, as we got married in our hometown, but neither of us lived there anymore (Austin TX, I lived in Houston, he in Ohio). Much of my family had to fly in too- as not everyone is from Texas. But it wasn't destination in the sense of going to the Carribean. But the idea of a local wedding seems very quaint to me- I don't know anyone whose family and friends all live in the same city- it's always a destination for someone.
  8. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Really? You know enough people who have done this that you said "most"? I've never heard of such a thing. I didn't realize a bank would even loan for this sort of thing. Learn something new everyday...so glad I didn't have to do that!

    (Also, the best wedding gift I got was a week at a timeshare. We got to pick any destination we wanted, and did so ahead of time so we went just after the wedding. Originally we got a Hawaii timeshare, but the flights were too expensive, so we switched to a lovely ski vacation in Durango, Colorado. My Aunt gives her timeshare as a gift for most every wedding.)
  9. timing

    timing fragrance free

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    I don't interpret that in the same way. If the jobs are not-well paying they may be using all their income on regular living expenses and having a very simple wedding could be hard to afford.

    Louis - the gift is a nice idea. I have friends who would love a thoughtful gift like that and others who would feel obligated to return a gift of equal value.
  10. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    ^ Saint Francis Cabrini of Allen Park Michigan refused to marry us even though the new Father/Priest was younger than my husband at the time! I refused to beg (evangelical Christian/ not tied to Catholicism) said adios and found the Monastery to be a wonderful place that still placated my Catholic in-laws. We now attend a Bible church btw...and my DD attends private Christian school thanks to that experience.
  11. Cupid

    Cupid Well-Known Member

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    Credit card, loan, whatever you want to call it. I paid for my own wedding because I lived at home and was able to save a lot of money for my big day. I had 200 guests, a live band, sit down dinner, and people still say it was the best wedding they had ever been to.

    So glad that you were able to learn something new today.
  12. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Even a bargain-basement wedding can easily be $5,000.

    Louis didn't say he couldn't afford it, nor did he mention any other person having difficulty getting there or finding a hotel. Perhaps Louis is one of the only out-of-town guests?

    Who said anything about a destination wedding?

    :wall:
  13. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I feel dumb- I don't use my credit cards that way, so it didn't occur to me to think of them as a loan. You're right- many people do put weddings on credit cards and aren't able to pay them off right away.

    It is always expensive for guests to go to weddings. I had to miss my college roommates and a best friend from high school's weddings because the plane tickets were about $400 plus a few nights in a hotel, and time off work. I've gone to as many as I can, but it's not always easy. None of these are destination weddings, in the true sense of the word- it's just that no one lives in the same place anymore.
  14. numbers123

    numbers123 Well-Known Member

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    I assume that you deleted the
  15. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    No I had the wedding of my dreams in spite of the priests and other factors like my mother-in-law to be suggesting that her version of the rehersal dinner would include cold cuts in her basement complete with views of stuffed killed things on the wall that gramps had killed over the last 30 years...
  16. nlyoung

    nlyoung Active Member

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    When my sister got married, her fiance asked his best friend to be best man. The friend couldn't attend the wedding as he was out of the country for work, but as a wedding gift he gave them the equivalent of what he would have spent on airfare to attend. At the time my sister and her fiance were still students and the money was very much appreciated, though certainly not expected. They were overwhelmed by his generosity, but knew he could afford the gesture and were touched that he had done this. Of course, while not "family" they had been best friends for years. You are the only one who can judge whether or not a large gift of money would be appropriate in your situation.
  17. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Louis, you're in the best spot to evaluate how the gift might be received. Weddings run a wide spectrum, and at some while a $1,000 would definitely be a generous gift, it might not be out of the range of what other people might give.

    At some weddings, a gift of that size could well exceed what everyone else would give by many mulitples. Even if that were the case, some people might feel uncomfortable and wonder how they could ever reciprocate, while others would appreciate the generous spirit with which it is given and just enjoy the money.

    I think the background story (I had planned to attend and this is what I allocated for the wedding, and since I can't come now, I just want you to use this for something special) would help a recipient understand and appreciate the spirit behind the gift and help them receive it with an open heart. If you're not sure how they'd react, I think you're definitely safe giving $500.
  18. topaz

    topaz Well-Known Member

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    I say give what you can afford. If they are dear to you and you want to help them out, that's fine. Gifts are to show someone your appreciation towards them and to give them something USEFUL. Giving a monetary gift would be just that.
  19. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    Louis, if I ever get married, I am inviting you, and I would accept any check you decide and be grateful for it. If this is what you want to do for them, you should do it. If they cannot accept your generous gift graciously, it says a lot more about them than it does about you. :)

    The problem with these threads is weddings are so specific to culture, to family, to religion, to budget that it's almost impossible to get advice that's relevant to the OP. They also seem to devolve, rather quickly, into MY wedding is better than YOUR wedding, and posters that are perfectly reasonable in other threads forget that just because someone else doesn't make the same choice as you did, it's not an equally valid choice. The projection and judgment of people's own weddings who are different religions, live in a different place and time, want different things in their wedding, and have different cultural norms is just :rolleyes:

    (If I ever get married, I've already decided it's going to be about pleasing my husband and myself. The minute you try to please family, friends, coworkers, officiant, etc., you end up pleasing NO ONE. I have learned much from these threads. :p I will also accept any gift anyone chooses to give me without acting prissy.)
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  20. Myskate

    Myskate New Member

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    You should have tried St. Constance Church in Taylor, Mi. Only a few miles away. Both my sons were baptized there even though I went to a different parish. The priest told me that he was happy that we were getting our kids baptized. That was what was important. Not if you were a member of the parish or not. I don't know if they are still this way. My youngest was baptized 15 years ago.

    Cabrini is a pretty church--my mother went there when she was young-but there are quite a few nice looking Catholic churches in the downriver area that are much more liberal in their beliefs.
  21. mrr50

    mrr50 Well-Known Member

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    Louis, I like your style.

    You know these people best.
  22. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    You must be a very special person, bless your heart.

    If I were to get such a gift from a friend, I would look at it in these terms--can the gifter afford this?

    If it would be painful for you to write such a big check, don't do it; if not, well, all things are relative. If they know you can easily afford it, then they will probably accept it gratefully. But only you know whether this would hurt their pride or not. None of us know them.
  23. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

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    ....is none of your fecking business.

    How many times do people have to ask you, HOW DO YOU KNOW THIS IS A DESTINATION WEDDING? It might be a local wedding for the couple. How can you possibly judge when you do not know?

    Louis, that is an incredibly generous gesture. I can't advise you because I don't know your relationship with the couple, or what is common in your circle, but your judgment to me has always seemed very sound, and I'm sure you'll make the decision that is right for you and your friends. :)


    ETA: Prancer, :rofl: at "bless your heart!"
  24. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    I think if you are not sure if you can make it because of your situation, then your idea about the gift of cash towards their honeymoon is a lovely idea. It also doesn't muck the couple around having a "tentative" person on their guest list (which I don't think anyone has mentioned here). By saying no now that you can't go it means they have a definate idea about who is going or not.
  25. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    I'm not inviting Louis to my wedding. I want he and Sweets to adopt me. I promise to have no family issues. :)
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  26. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow dancing

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    At the risk of being judgmental, I somehow think you didn't have the wedding of your dreams. If you had, you would not be posting the things in this thread that you have.

    Louis, in my circle that amount would be over the top. However, in my circle, paying what you guys pay to live in New York is definitely over the top. :p I think it is a lovely gesture.
  27. Norlite

    Norlite New Member

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    I'm beginning to wonder if there really is a wedding and this is just some ploy to get people to send big cheques.
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  28. genegri

    genegri Active Member

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    Louis, if I were your friend, if you could attend my wedding, I would be very honored. If you could not attend but write me a check instead, I would be very surprised and touched at the same time by your generosity.

    You know your friends better than we do. Do they usually have strong opinions about this kind of so-called "etiquette"? If they do, it might be easier to conform to a more average gift. If they are easy going, then I think your idea will be perfectly fine.

    Personally, I think it's always those who know all about these "etiquettes" and have strong opinions about "the right way to throw a wedding" cause more frictions than those of us who don't understand these "etiquettes" to begin with and do not know what is the right way and what is the wrong way. .
  29. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    :respec:
  30. nubka

    nubka Well-Known Member

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    ITA! :)
  31. JumpinBug

    JumpinBug New Member

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    You know them well - you know if they'd feel indebted, like they have to explain where/how they were spending every penny (which can make things uncomfortable).

    I wouldn't go by what you would have spent to go, but what feels right. For example, the cost of a weekend away, or, are they trying to save to go somewhere and you'd be helping to cover airfare.

    I discovered this summer that I am SO not a wedding person... very close old family friend got married, and I found the gift part quite absurd - masses and masses of STUFF, and huge sums of cash... yes, they're both young, but they're both healthy and educated and employed... just not in my comfort zone.

    But, it's not about MY comfort zone, or anyone else on here. It's about you and your friends. Do what feels comfortable, and what you think they'd feel comfortable with.
  32. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

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    This. Our society is so very mobile these days, it's very rare for both members to come from the same area and have all of their family and friends still living in the area.

    When I marry in the future, I could have my wedding in my hometown. It's a safe bet that the person I end up marrying will not be from here. Most of my dad's family and my mom's family are around here, but not everyone is here. I went to grad school on one coast; I have many friends from that state. One of the people I went to grad school with who will be part of my wedding party (and their daughters either flower girls or junior bridesmaids) live in yet another state now because of where a job took them. I'm hoping to land a job on the opposite coast I went to grad school on; I'm assuming I'll make new friends there. At the end of the day, no matter where I end up getting married someday, there are going to be people who are going to have to travel. On the flipside, because of living in different places, I now have friends spread out all over this country. On occasion, even if they're having a wedding that is local to themselves and where they grew up, I still have to travel to get to it!
  33. marbri

    marbri Hey, Kool-Aid!

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    I haven't seen this part addressed although I suppose it may have been buried in the great wedding debate that followed ;) But as it was part of your question my answer would be that if you do give cash I wouldn't dictate how they should spend it ie..tell them it's to go towards a honeymoon.

    They might not care about a honeymoon and would prefer to use the cash for something else BUT if you write them a very generous cheque and then suggest it goes to a honeymoon you create a dilemma for them.

    As for the amount only you know how they would react to that so only you can decide.
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  34. KikiSashaFan

    KikiSashaFan Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning on having a destination wedding one day. My family and friends are primarily in British Columbia and Quebec. My fiance's are in Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. We now live in Ontario. No matter where we have it and what we do, most people will have to travel, so why not make it a level playing field and get everyone a vacation out of it.

    I don't think it sounds like Louis is talking about a destination wedding though, just that it isn't where he lives.
  35. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Uh...this is not the norm. The CEREMONY would technically have to be open to anyone wandering by (in fact most Catholic churches I know don't ever lock their doors) especially if it's a Mass. I've NEVER encountered a parish (and I used to attend in the Diocese of Arlington, probably the most conservative in the US, as in 'no girl alter servers, Latin Mass every third Sunday or whenever the youngest priest is officiating') where you would be expected or somehow MANDATED to invite everyone to an off-site reception, too. A MASS, regardless of purpose, is always open to worshipers. You can't refuse communion to a Catholic who is in communion on the grounds "Oh, I'm sorry, this is a private affair." Kind of makes the whole thing invalid.

    And in any case to the original point, just because it's a DESTINATION for Louis does not mean it's a destination wedding. I suspect you might be "old fashioned" in assuming everyone marries someone from the old home town and wouldn't know anyone who might live far away to invite. Off the top of my head, I live in Michigan and the four people I would want in my wedding party are in Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta, and the Hudson Valley. Heck, my BROTHER lives in Westcester County, and even my parents are three hours from me. How exactly does one arrange a wedding so that no one has to travel inconveniently when it's not 1955 and you're not marrying the guy next door right out of high school? When my friend in Vegas got married, yeah, most of us had to travel, but that didn't make it a destination wedding--she and her husband live there! A lot of her friends don't. His family certainly didn't--should she have had the wedding in Japan so they didn't have to travel? Or just found someone to marry whose family was more conveniently located?

    Louis, honestly, if someone gave me a gift like that, *with that explanation*, I would probably just accept it in the spirit in which it was intended. I would not second-guess your ability to give the amount and while I'd never expect someone to give their travel cost in lieu of a gift, I'd understand the reasoning and not find it offensive. It's a very generous way of addressing the situation.
  36. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    So this all should have been different because your husband was older than the priest? What does that have to do with it?

    I have been in three Catholic weddings and got married in the Catholic church.

    I assure everyone, there is something else to this story that has been left out. Probably involving it being an interfaith wedding and someone not meeting some requirement related to that. :eek:

    Not that meeting the requirements is that difficult anyway. Two of my friends married non-Catholics in the most conservative diocese in the United States without any difficulties.
  37. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    Diocese of Arlington?

    And yeah, I was wondering if the real stink was the priest needed the whole 'sign the agreement about raising the kids' thing. I did have a friend who opted to be married in her fiance's church (Baptist? I don't remember, vague Protestant denomination of some sort) because the local priest was very insistent on the 'waiver' being signed.
  38. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    The issue that I see isn't about whether it's tacky or not or even if the amount is too much, it's that they weren't planning to have a honeymoon.

    So you've given them $$$ for something they weren't planning to do and now they have to decide if they are going to change their plans or not. Plus, if the honeymoon they want costs more then $1000, then they might feel pressured into having one sooner than they planned and spending extra money on it that they weren't planning to spend.

    The other thing that could happen is that they are pressed enough for money that the $1000 ends up going "up in smoke" being spent on little things here and there and then they are in the position of feeling guilty for not spending the money as you intended.

    So, if it was me, I'd give them some money but I wouldn't make any stipulations as to what to do with it and maybe I wouldn't give quite so much.

    Alternately, I'd see if you can get a bunch of people to go in with you and give the money as a travel agency gift card so they do have enough for a real honeymoon and also won't know exactly who gave what (so no embarrassment if they think your contribution is too much) and also there won't be the issue of the money not going towards a trip of some sort.
  39. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Oh, and I forgot to say, I had tourists at my wedding. :cool: That's the consequences of getting married at a Catholic Church that's also a National Historical Monument, I guess. :lol:
  40. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I also believe that if Louis would like to give this couple that amount of money, by all means he should do so. They're his close friends, so I don't anticipate a huge amount of awkwardness, unless everyone is present at the gift-giving ceremony and knows exactly what the couple got from whom. :p

    And besides, it's very likely that their reactions to such a large cash gift would be tempered knowing that Louis wouldn't go broke in providing it. I don't expect any of my relatives or friends to give gifts as $$$ as my rich uncle, for instance. We're used to his generous ways by now. :eek:

    He said "barely afford" the wedding, not "they're going into debt for it." I know people who work for nonprofits and despite scrimping and saving, they'd still be hard-pressed to afford a wedding they'd like. For the moment, they're foregoing the honeymoon because they know they can't afford both.

    If he feels they deserve a honeymoon, he's free to provide some of the means for that.

    Hmm, that's a good plan. I'll have to keep that in mind when I'm in dire financial straits - fake a wedding and then my rich uncle will send me the :bribe:

    I fully expect my uncle, if he hasn't indirectly paid for my wedding thanks to my middling-in-everything aunt, would send over a check much larger than Louis's...:shuffle: