Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Louis, Mar 26, 2011.
Louis, I like your style.
You know these people best.
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.
....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, at "bless your heart!"
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.
I'm not inviting Louis to my wedding. I want he and Sweets to adopt me. I promise to have no family issues.
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. I think it is a lovely gesture.
I'm beginning to wonder if there really is a wedding and this is just some ploy to get people to send big cheques.
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. .
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 $$$ for something they weren't planning to do and now they have to decide if they are going to change their plans or not. Plus, if the honeymoon they want costs more then $1000, then they might feel pressured into having one sooner than they planned and spending extra money on it that they weren't planning to spend.
The other thing that could happen is that they are pressed enough for money that the $1000 ends up going "up in smoke" being spent on little things here and there and then they are in the position of feeling guilty for not spending the money as you intended.
So, if it was me, I'd give them some money but I wouldn't make any stipulations as to what to do with it and maybe I wouldn't give quite so much.
Alternately, I'd see if you can get a bunch of people to go in with you and give the money as a travel agency gift card so they do have enough for a real honeymoon and also won't know exactly who gave what (so no embarrassment if they think your contribution is too much) and also there won't be the issue of the money not going towards a trip of some sort.
Oh, and I forgot to say, I had tourists at my wedding. That's the consequences of getting married at a Catholic Church that's also a National Historical Monument, I guess.
I also believe that if Louis would like to give this couple that amount of money, by all means he should do so. They're his close friends, so I don't anticipate a huge amount of awkwardness, unless everyone is present at the gift-giving ceremony and knows exactly what the couple got from whom.
And besides, it's very likely that their reactions to such a large cash gift would be tempered knowing that Louis wouldn't go broke in providing it. I don't expect any of my relatives or friends to give gifts as $$$ as my rich uncle, for instance. We're used to his generous ways by now.
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
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...
That and doing the required premarital counseling. Or there was a problem in premarital counseling. In the case of one wedding I was in, the couple was so far apart in values and attitudes on the premarital survey that two priests refused to marry them and they had to look pretty hard to find a Catholic church to get married in. They are divorced now; so the first two priests were right!
Not the Diocese of Arlington. It may be conservative, but it probably has nothing on the Diocese of Lincoln which has even refused to participate in the mandates to prevent and detect child abuse.
How do you know this couple isn't thinking of their guests. Just because where they are getting married is difficult for Louis to get too, doesn't mean its difficult for all of the guests. Perhaps its one of the bride/groom's hometown.
I know for example my mom was saying how her cousin's wife was from Dallas, and he was from Chicago. They feared if they picked one or the other it would be too difficult for the other's family. So they got married someplace in the middle.
Even if its I always dreamed of being married her-so what. And perhaps this destination wedding may end up being cheaper than a BIG wedding.
I don't think there's a right or wrong answer to how people choose their wedding. Some may want a big shindig, some may not. Some may want a big fancy honeymoon, some may feel the big fancy honeymoon is not as necessary, give them the wedding.
I think your an amazingly generous friend, Louis.
They're not hoping for a payoff by inviting you. They genuinely would like you to attend, but they didn't want to pressure you if your family situation is a conflict. Don't feel guilty about not going and definitely don't let guilt drive your gift-giving.
I think the $1k is excessive in this case since it's inflated due to the travel. It would make them uncomfortable, especially since you've indicated that they can't reciprocate if the tables were turned. If you really adore this couple, I could see sending a gift of a few hundred dollars, but not a grand. You can always give them gifts for other occasions: housewarming, babies, etc. and put a little extra in because you care so much about them, but I wouldn't shock them with too much generosity. Just mho.
Since you really can't commit to attending the wedding, send your regrets now and a gift after the wedding.
If the stars align, and you can make the wedding as it comes closer, call and ask if they can fit you in somehow, then go if you want to go! I've found that any big affair will involve a few guests cancelling at the last minute. If it's past the "final headcount" date, the host/hostess have to pay for those meals anyway. So your joining them unexpectedly means you fill empty, paid-for seats and wish your friends bon chance on their happy day.
Sometimes, reading between the lines helps. At first glance, it might seem that Louis indicates that they are society people, but that's not what it really says, imo. To me, that quote means the couple both work in jobs that don't pay well but contribute to the betterment of society such as charitable groups, food kitchens, outreach centers, etc. In many areas, teachers are underpaid as are social workers and caregivers.
Louis just said the location was inconvenient, not that it's a "destination wedding" It sounds like they're having the wedding outside NYC, probably where one or both of them have a personal connection. If they were from Orlando and going home for their wedding, that would fit the description aptly.
They're paying for the wedding themselves and chose to have a celebration instead of paying for a fancy honeymoon trip. A little old-fashioned, who knows why, but not unheard of and it doesn't sound like they're going into debt; they're budgeting their money.
Louis - if they're upstanding public servants and you like them, go ahead and give them the gift in advance with a note that it's so they can have a nice honeymoon. I think it's an excessive amount that might make them go and say "Why did Louis do that? That's too much." It sounds like you want to help in a way that you're able to manage, but consider how it might affect this wonderful relationship that you have with them.
ITA with the above. Louis, if the amount of the gift would cause an indebted feeling that may put a damper on the friendship, then it's too much.
Did you sell postcards?
She charged admission. Had to split it with the church, though.
After reading here, I still cannot tell from your first post whether it is a destination wedding or if they live out of state and you would have to travel because of that. It also sounds like other posters here cannot decipher that either.
My suggestion to you would be to send a cash gift of $100-$200. This is very generous considering the fact that they aren't paying for your dinner at the reception. And also indicate that you'd like to fly out there to see them one day after your family situation is settled. This way, you can spend the rest of that money you were going to send them for your expenses when you travel there (again, if indeed they do live out of state). If they can barely afford a wedding and not a honeymoon at all, what are the chances that they will ever be able to afford to fly out to see you? Just my two cents.
Louis, I would give an amount you feel comfortable with and you think they will be comfortable with, but not make any suggestion as to how they spend it. I would also consider giving less, but giving a note saying you'll visit them later in the year and celebrate with them then.
As someone so wisely said upthread, the size of a cash gift varies widely based on region, culture, socio-economic status and the age of the people getting married. Only Louis knows what is considered "generous" given the situation.
Why are people saying this? Louis asked: