Wedding/showers..advice, ettiquette, and general bitching!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Smiley0884, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. moojja

    moojja Active Member

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    Same here. If all the guests are from the same culture, it's not an issue, but but what's a polite way of telling people to give money instead of a gift if they're from a different culture?
  2. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    On our wedding website, we directed people to the Wikipedia entry for "red envelope." :saint: I'm Chinese so it actually works out! Of course my relatives are already aware, and nobody on Alf's side has given us grief about it, so I think it's okay.

    I did have a friend at my bachelorette party yesterday ask me where I was registered. :lol: I assured her we didn't want any stuff! We live in a studio apartment and will probably stick to small living spaces. They're more affordable!

    She also noted that this is probably how I've stayed so calm and sane. I just forego all the "traditions" I don't want to do. No fighting about the registry, no fighting about the seating chart, no stressing out about flowers....Bliss! :saint:
  3. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    My niece had a page where she asked - discreetly, if there is such a thing, for contributions to their Paris/Amsterdam/Iceland honeymoon.
    They will be guests at the May wedding (Paris) of the couple who helped coordinate their hotel/rehearsal dinner arrangements.
    Apparently, most of their guests chose to do so.

    This was new to me.
    I felt more comfortable contributing toward the cost of her dress; so I did that, instead.
  4. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    It used to be, that you would never tell a guest to give money. However, it has become popular (recently) to ask guests to contribute to something like a honeymoon or a house. I don't love the idea, but it seems to be acceptable.
  5. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    I had friends who asked for contributions for their honeymoon, but instead of asking for money they used some service where you could put in your itinerary and they guests would pick from a list of things such as hotel nights and romantic dinners. That way it felt like you brought an 'item' rather than giving money, we gave them 2 nights in Florence specifically because I love Florence (they were touring Italy).
  6. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I just accepted whatever the guests felt comfortable giving. For example, I had guests at my wedding that were Nisga'a (which is a small First Nations group). As part of their culture guests contribute to the wedding or reception in some way. Things like the dishes the wedding party uses, dress, suits, photography, cake, etc... are all gifts from the guests. At the reception, they gave my dad an envelope of money to contribute to the costs of the wedding. Not what I would have done or expected, but my dad just let me know so I could write the appropriate thank you.
  7. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Other than in cultures where a money gift is the usual thing, I think it's a bad idea to hint to people like me (i.e. older people) that you want money. I find it offensive & it makes me want to not give them anything. Parents of the bride & groom are going to invite their own friends - these are people who usually are in a place in their lives where money isn't much of an issue. So you can expect a pretty nice gift. My usual gift used to be a piece of Waterford but now with registries I just get something off the list. The only time I give money is if it's an out-of-town wedding that I'm not going to, & then only if it's my idea & not requested (demanded).

    I have heard brides gripe about the value of their gifts, as though the value should be at least equal to or exceeding the cost per guest. I think people forget that weddings are a party & a rite celebrating a marriage, not a gift grab. You wouldn't give a regular party & expect your guests to compensate you for your hospitality. It's supposed to be just what the invitation says: the pleasure of your company.
    Smiley0884 and (deleted member) like this.
  8. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    So there was a time without registries where the bride and groom might be stuck with 3 sets of China? :yikes:

    I think there are some customs that expect that... I think in Japan the expected monetary gifts are from $200 and up, depending on the location of the wedding, how close you are to the couple etc etc...


    Anita, I think what you did with the wedding website is a very nice idea :)
  9. taf2002

    taf2002 Well-Known Member

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    Waterford is not a set of China. It is cut leaded glass. And haven't you ever heard of returning duplicates? BTW, registries don't eliminate the problem of duplicates. Some people aren't savvy enough to have the clerk take their choice off the registry.
  10. Smiley0884

    Smiley0884 New Member

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    Yeah, I know people who have gotten duplicates from a registry, so it's definitely not a guarantee that you won't get any.

    Anita, I know tons of people who are already living together, so they forgo the registry too. I tend to give money, just because most of the weddings I've been to don't have a registry.

    Awkward situation...my friend has been hosting lots of "ladies night" bonding type of events so all of her female friends could get to know each other before the wedding....I got to know one of her friends pretty well, and she had recently sent me a facebook message saying that she was super bummed out that she had been UNINVITED to the wedding !! :yikes:

    Apparently, a few distant family memebers had originally RSVPed "no" so the bride used her "no's" to invite some extra friends. Well....one of those family members changed their RSVP to a "yes", so she decided to uninvite one of the "extra" friends.
    Is that something that is considered ok? Am I out of line to think my friend is being super tacky and rude?? Honestly, I would just suck it up and pay for the extra person to come, and if that wasn't possible, I would inform my distant family memeber, that unfortunately, their last minute change of plans could not be accomodated. I wouldn't dis-invite a guest a WEEK before the wedding! :scream:
  11. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've heard of that. I do like that better than just asking for cash. Though, as I already said, Italians give money at weddings. It's cultural - the "boosta bag" :lol:! And, again, it is customary to "cover your plate". But that is just a guesstimate, hopefully no one would actually tell guests what they are paying per person.

    I am sure that at one time there were no registries. But, I am married 31 years and there were registries when I got married. They just were not on store computers or on line (obviously :p). So, you almost had to go to the store they were registered at. Not just Macy's, but the Macy's they went to. Now all of that is shared. And there are web sites that have all of the couples choices at all of the registry stores combined into one list.
  12. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    That is beyond rude and tacky! It is one thing not to be invited, people understand budgets. But to be uninvited because someone else changed their mind - wrong, wrong, wrong! You either explain to the first invite that there is no longer room, or you suck it up and have both. They chose to invite the second choice, they should honor that.
  13. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Most caterers have a few extra meals ready just in case - they should have accommodated both guests. Honestly if I got uninvited to a wedding like that, it would be a relationship dealbreaker for me.
  14. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    My favorite "general purpose" wedding gift is a set of crystal candlesticks.
    Brides and Grooms alike seem to appreciate it; yet, it's something they don't think about.

    I can tailor the choice to suit how much I'd like to spend.
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  15. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry if this comes off as rude, but to me this is one of those gifts that is graciously accepted, but not necessarily 'appreciated' (other than that the giver gave a gift at all, which to me is always appreciated). At least, if someone gave me crystal candlesticks I'd sure wonder why they did. (I got a lovely Waterford candy bowl decorated in a Christmas theme at my wedding. After 6 years of it being in the storage closet I gave it to my Mom who uses that sort of thing.)

    Of course, you know the people you give gifts to, so I'm assuming you wouldn't give it to someone who lives a casual lifestyle and didn't register for anything similar. My sister registered for tons of China, formal silver, crystal goblets- formal dining, I didn't register for any of the traditional things like that.


    I feel ackward giving people my age money, but it is a gift that you really can't go wrong with (unless of course it is a culture that doesn't do such a thing. Does that exist? To me, it is rude to ask for money, but perfectly okay to accept it.)
  16. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    ^^^
    Sorry, if I offended you!
    To each their own.

    Even people who have "casual lifestyles" can enjoy a little "romance/glamour" now and then.
  17. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Registries were not really common when I got married in Denmark 13 years ago. We included a note with the invitation saying that my mom were gift coordinator or some such thing - basically people would call her and tell what was picked. We got a few more dinner plates than we wanted, but nothing really duplicated, so it worked.

    That seems incredible rude. I would either have told the family members it was past the RSVP date, sorry, or accommodated an extra guest.
    I also think in general it would be strange to 'second class' invite...
  18. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    We had a few "second class invites", though I prefer to think of it as second round, not second class. We had to cut a number of people on our first list because we wanted to keep the guest list below 200. When flights turned out more expensive for family members they decided to not bring their kids, so we had room available. People who weren't invited originally, but knew about the wedding were extended verbal invitations. ("hey, what are you doing New Years Eve? If you want to come to the wedding, you should!") Most accepted, a few attended the ceremony but went to pre-planned parties, a few skipped the ceremony and came just to the reception. I think in all it was about 10 people. I felt really bad about not inviting them in the first place, but there is only so much money... I did lose a friend permanently who wasn't invited to the wedding, she did not understand at all (and since I didn't see her in the days proceeding the wedding, she was not one who got a last minute invite, so that isn't waht offended her.) I've since not been invited to good friend's weddings, and I understand- you can't have everyone.

    One thing we thought was weird was a guest had a +1, who was also a friend of my husband's, but didn't get her own invitation. The day before the wedding, the +1 called to see if she could bring a date. We had space so we said yes, but I've never heard of a +1 taking a +1!



    skatesindreams-no no, you didn't offended me. That wasn't the point, in fact, I hope I didn't offend you. Rather that to me, that would have been one of those ??? presents I was talking about. You're right though- to each their own. To me, it's unwanted clutter, to you it's romance.
  19. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    I imagine it happens but the 'second class' people shouldn't know that :shuffle:
  20. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    In my 20s, second tier invites were common. Weddings for people getting married that young were usually paid for by parents, so everyone understood that there was a budget and that family came first. Plus, people that age often have a lot of friends from high school and college, and it was usually understood that only the closest friends rather than the wider group would be on the main list. If spots opened up, those additional friends were happy to be able to come.

    One couple I know dealt with this challenge by suggesting that some of their single friends bring some of the wider group as dates, and it worked out quite nicely.

    And I admit we do this today when we throw parties - we confirm that a date is going to work with our closest friends before we send out emails to a broader group of friends and then depending on who is coming, we might also then invite a few additional people as well.
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    This was my case. My parents paid for my wedding (I was just about 24)- and the invite list was family, my/my husband's closest friends, their friends, and then our broader range of friends. We had a very large number of my parents friends there, to some extent at the expense of my friends. I also have a huge family, so just to invite my aunts/uncles I couldn't have a small wedding.
  22. DAngel

    DAngel Active Member

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    I did google Waterford and did not mean to imply that it is a set of China... And no, I have not heard of people returning wedding gifts to the store (do you need receipts for that?).
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I would not know what to do with a Waterford. :shuffle: Or china. Alf's aunt passed and she left behind some gorgeous china. If we had more storage AND hosted more parties (we don't host any parties, being introverted hermits...), I'd take it, but since we fulfilled none of those requirements, I had to pass. It was really gorgeous china too....

    And it actually wasn't my cousin or his wife that griped about the amount of money contained the red envelopes at their wedding - it was my aunt! :rofl: We thought it was tacky she was judging guests for not giving enough. But for many Chinese weddings, you can actually MAKE money from your guests!

    My friend who asked where I was registered - I don't expect her to give a gift, especially since I know she can't afford it. Some of my relatives are very generous and that's always a pleasant (or guilt-tripping) surprise. We're paying for the wedding ourselves and kept the guest list small so it'd be affordable. If we make no money from this, that's perfectly fine.

    That is uber, uber lame! Especially if she's been hosting parties! :scream:

    Seriously.
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Silly girl! I'm sure someone will chime in and say they're my age and they don't care for it, but there's a good chance that as you get older you will wish you'd accepted it. I was the same way when I was young - not interested, didn't think I'd ever use it, didn't suit my style of entertaining. As the years went by though, I came to appreciate the idea of having a lovely set of dishes to use at holiday meals, or to serve tea when relatives, neighbours or friends come over, or you host a shower or the like, or even just a nice dinner for two. About 10 years ago, I finally bought my own set of china - chose the pattern, bought 10 place settings in one go, and have been adding serving pieces (and let me tell you, it was quite an investment - would have been nice to have someone give it all to me!). I love my china, and I love setting a beautiful table for special occasions, even if that special occasion is just me having a rough day and wanting something pretty to cheer me up.

    Plus, you might find yourself getting more interested in family roots in the future. Maybe Alf isn't interested, but the longer you are together the more you will feel that his family is your family, and hopefully you'll cherish things that are passed down. Years ago my husband's grandmother gave me a china tea cup and saucer (her being of the era when many women collected tea cups) - wasn't my thing then, and I ended up giving it away to someone who wanted it more, but had no connection. I regretted it later, and when my MIL gave me a tea cup and saucer that had been her mother's - a woman who died long before I met my husband - I was delighted to have it. It's a little piece of my husband's history, so it means a lot to me.
    cygnus and (deleted member) like this.
  25. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    My brother gave my Norwegian grandmother's silver (service for six) to my niece, as a wedding gift
    She was very glad to receive it.

    Don't be so quick to refuse the accouterments of "gracious living" because they don't fit your current lifestyle.
    In a few years you may need them.
  26. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I think getting a family heirloom is a bit different!

    I got married 9 years ago. I haven't needed china, silver, or crystal in the years between, and since I've moved a number of times, I am very glad I did not have them. If a family member were to offer me a set now, I may take it as I now live in a large house, but I have enough dishes to nicely serve a dinner party of 12, and don't need china for that. I certainly have no interest in polishing silver! My sister was married 10 years ago and her china and crystal are still in my mother's closet. She has a beautiful house, but never got a china hutch, and never removed them from storage. What a waste.

    Besides if I later decide I 'need' (that is a bit of a stretch of the word need...) them, I can buy them later. If I don't need them until 20 years after my wedding, why would I get them and let them collect dust for 20 years?


    I care very deeply about family history and have many of the family heirlooms (grandmother's tea cups, great aunt's sewing machine, grandfather's teddy bear). But I don't want anyone buying me gifts of these things new. They may be nice quality and expensive, but they don't suit my lifestyles or tastes.

    And this is why registries are fabulous things. Because I can decide what price I spend on a gift and then if one friend wants two silver forks, I can buy her that, while I can buy another friend a massage on her honeymoon, or dish towels. (My most recent gift was a ski rack- because that's what they wanted)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  27. cruisin

    cruisin Well-Known Member

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    We are not planning to send out "second invites". But, we had to keep the numbers down. So, what we had to do is limit the + ones. We decided that only married, engaged, or living together couples could bring a date. What we will do is, as we get the responses back, if we see that our number goes lower than what we planned, we will call the people invited without a + one and ask if they would like to bring a date.

    I always include a gift receipt. That way the person can return it, and I don't have to know :lol:.

    I agree. I registered for fine china and crystal (Waterford). I did not register for sterling silver place settings, I didn't want to care for it. So, I asked for really nice stainless flatware. About 10 years ago, I didn't have enough of my stainless to set the table for Christmas. So, I called my Mom and asked to borrow her sterling flatware. She was very happy to bring the chest over and "loan" it to me. A week after Christmas, I called her and said I was coming over to return her silver. she said - hell no, you keep it! :lol: So, now I have my mother's silver to take care of. Honestly, it's not as bad as I thought, if it's kept in a good case. But it has to be hand washed (my dishwasher has a stainless interior).

    The only drawback with registering for china et al for your wedding is that your tastes can change. I still love my crystal, but I don't particularly like my china anymore. What I loved at 28 is not what I would love at 60.
  28. Cupid

    Cupid New Member

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    I never liked my fine china 25 years ago, and I don't like it now. The ex insisted on the pattern, which I hate. I also never used it and is now being stored at my mother's as I havent had the inclination to carry it back to my new house :shuffle:
  29. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Cupid- have you considered just selling it?
  30. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Or offering it to a relative?
  31. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Remember the Antique Roadshow once commenting that they get a lot of china and silver sets brought in, but rarely do they have much value because most others are trying to unload their sets as well. So people pay a lot for a gift that is used little if at all, and has very little resell value.

    Course, that tends to be the case with most wedding gifts :shuffle:. That's why I never understood the point of giving things instead of money, or getting upset over requests for money instead. If it's for the couple, give them something they can actually use--cash.
  32. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

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    Skittl1321, I don't think we'll agree about this.
    That's OK.

    I'm old enough to be grateful for the heirlooms I have; particularly those things that belonged to the relatives I didn't know.
  33. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    Or regift it at another wedding, if it's still in new condition? :shuffle:
  34. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Gifts that are given new are generally not heirlooms (I say generally because I will make exception for exquisite handcrafted things). Maybe in 50-100 years they will be.

    I am very grateful for the heirlooms I have.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2013
  35. ilovesalchows

    ilovesalchows Well-Known Member

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    Years ago I worked at Macy's in the Fine China department. Once a couple came in and wanted to know if they could get more waterford stickers because the little stickers had washed off the stemware they had received as a wedding gift. When I told them those were to be removed before using and were not meant to be permanent, they wanted to know how they guests would know they were drinking out of Waterford?

    I love my fancy china, by the way, but I can understand why a young couple wouldn't want it. I am lucky enough to have some built-ins in my old house so I can display it. (Until the next earthquake) I prefer to give money to newlyweds. Most people just seem to want to buy a house or pay off debt to start their new life. Can't say I blame them. They will probably inherit lots of china anyway. I did. I like to eat my Trader Joe's salads in style.
  36. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

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    :wideeyes: Good gracious -- maybe they didn't even have Waterford crystal to begin with and just wanted to impress their friends. Although I am :rofl: at the idea that they had been using the stemware with the stickers on them. Could all of their acquaintances been so clueless as to not give them a hint?

    The only silver flatware I have are several forks and spoons that I picked up at garage sales (several of them were so blackened that I got them for less than a quarter, but it didn't take much time to polish away the tarnish). I enjoy eating ice cream with one of the spoons, but I usually forget I even have the forks. :shuffle:
  37. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    I am another person with expensive china neatly packed away, along with crystal glasses, vases, and candlesticks moved from house to house. They take up storage space now (since we downsized) and will all be sold or given away before our next move (further downsizing) sometime within the next 10 years. Much to my Mom's dismay, I have gotten less formal with age, not more, and none of this can be considered heirlooms. Honestly, unless I know the newly married couple's first choice would be to buy china if they had extra money to do so, I just give them cash and let them prioritize their purchases. It has been at least 10 years since I have seen china and crystal on a wedding registry.

    Anyone here looking for Lenox china, Lowel pattern?
  38. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    My entire kitchen, except for two pans, was completely furnished from yard sales and garage sales (I moved here with absolutely nothing as a grad student). Our parents were highly amused by all the mismatched plates and bowls, but I love all the bright colors and pretty patterns!

    Coincidentally, I got invited to my first wedding today, not counting the one where I got accidentally hired at the last minute as an impromptu babysitter and didn't know either the bride or the groom :lol: Unfortunately I don't think Boyfriend and I will be able to make it as it's an 8 hour drive away, but it was still super exciting to get the invite, with its pretty stamp depicting a wedding cake, the thick paper and embossed names. :swoon:
  39. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. Plus, Alf is very minimalist and would refuse to rent a storage unit just to store china we MIGHT need in 20 years. :rofl: We live in a studio apartment. There is not enough room for china. We only have one cereal bowl already. :rofl:

    I did feel bad since it was his aunt's, and it was really pretty. But for us, it felt better to pass it on to someone who would be able to use it and appreciate it. :)
  40. made_in_canada

    made_in_canada INTJ

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    I've inherited my Grandma's teacup collection which I love and use regularly. I've also told my mom that I want her extensive china collection when she no longer wants it. It got used a ton growing up and I have fond memories of "princess dinners" :) My childhood was somewhat tumultuous in a lot of respects but I have many positive memories associated with that china. When there was no money at all and my mom was feeling guilty about feeding us spaghetti yet again because it was cheap and would fill us up sometimes she'd break out the china, light candles, and make us get dressed up to make it seem special. I understand it's not everyone's taste though.