>Reply to an anonymous commenter

>I received this from an anonymous commenter on this post:

“I have a comment on your complaint that not enough of your wedding party have sent gifts. It is very expensive to be in a wedding-especially a destination wedding at a resort. Added to the other expenses-shower gifts, dresses,parties etc. that are required, I think that you expect lot from your friends who may be on a budget. Perhaps you should focus on the fact that so many of your close friends made the financial commitment to share this special time with you and focus a little less on receipt counting. The pleasure of having your friends share your wedding should be much more important to you than how many gifts you receive.”

This commenter of course does have a good point to make, but I have mine to make as well. I think that my family and I were very generous toward the wedding party throughout the planning process. We did not have an engagement party. I had just one bridal shower (unlike the Southern tradition of having SEVERAL). Two out of five bridesmaids attended that shower and gave gifts, and one other who could not attend sent a gift. I had an informal lingerie shower the night before the wedding, and four out of five bridesmaids were there and gave me some really awesome gifts.

The costs for my bridesmaids were:

1) The dress, which ranged in price from $120-$150 depending on where it was bought.
2) Alterations for their dress.
3) Travel to and from the resort.

My family graciously paid in full for accommodations for 2 nights for my bridesmaids, and my mom also paid for the bridesmaids’ sandals and manis/pedis. And of course their meals were provided during the rehearsal dinner and the wedding day. So honestly I don’t think the expenses were that outlandish for my bridal party. Beside the fact that most of them got me a gift anyway.

The costs for the groomsmen were:

1) Their shirts, which were $20 apiece.
2) Khaki pants if they did not already have the correct shade of khaki.
3) Travel to and from the resort.
4) My family paid for a portion of their accommodations, and the groomsmen each paid another portion since they stayed in the NICEST penthouse on the property…it was much more expensive than the bridesmaids’ condo.

The groomsmen received Rainbow sandals as part of their gift for serving in the wedding party and they wore those for the wedding. And only the best man got us a gift — and an extremely generous gift at that.

Blueprint Bliss wrote this comment on the last post: I do think the non-gift giving is rampant these days with people under the age of approx 25. Both girls and guys are bad about it… I’ve seen that some people give a shower gift (bridal shower) and count it as their wedding gift… guys just don’t buy gifts.

And I really have to agree with this…single guys and those still in college just don’t give gifts. As for the wedding party, it’s not like I was ever expecting for each of them to buy us a china place setting or anything like that. But I did make sure to load up our registries with several gifts at price points below $50. I myself can’t give gifts over that amount because I work as a Web journalist and I’m certainly not made of money. And I don’t expect my friends, especially those in the wedding party, to be made of money either.

But really, the wedding party is just cracking the surface of the non-gift giving. I failed to mention this before, but there are family members who did not give us wedding gifts. And like I mentioned before, there are married couples that I either attended their wedding or sent them a gift, and we have yet to receive anything from any of those couples.

I don’t mean to assume anyone’s financial situation. But not receiving gifts, let alone an RSVP, from family and from friends who I once considered to be close is very disconcerting and it makes me feel as if I’ve been FORGOTTEN. Maybe this is because I’m an emotional person, or maybe it’s because I’ve always gotten a lot of pleasure out of picking out gifts for my friends and family.

Believe me, I know that once you hit your mid-20s and start getting those Save the Dates and wedding invites in the mail that the cost can really add up. I’ve already attended 2 other weddings this year, sent 1 gift and will buy 2 more this weekend. Then there are 2 more couples that I need to give gifts to later on this year. And 4 out of 5 of my bridesmaids are still single, and I fully expect to invest as much in their weddings as they invested in mine, both time and money-wise, because they are my 3 closest friends and my sister-in-law.

What this really boils down to is The Golden Rule: Do to others what you would like to be done to you. It’s about reciprocity and mutual respect.

10 thoughts on “>Reply to an anonymous commenter”

  1. >I don't care what their financial situation is. If you come to a wedding, you bring a gift. End of story. It is flat out rude and disgraceful otherwise. Single men in their twenties are totally oblivious, but married couples? Couples our parents' age? Hell, if times are that tough just bring a card! But to bring nothing, enjoy a fabulous dinner and usually a night of free drinks and dancing…that is just totally wrong.If you are in dire straights financially, don't agree to be in a bridal party. Everyone knows that it is expensive and that you are expected to buy a dress, pay for flights/hotels/meals, etc. If you can't do it, simply say no! No need to make the bride feel guilty about it!Sorry, this is one of my biggest pet peeves, ha!


  2. >I agree with D.A.R. – it's impolite to not get a gift when you're attending a wedding! You are getting a nice dinner so you should never come empty handed!!


  3. >I have an ettiquette question:If you are not a member of the wedding party:I have always been under the impression (based on my family's practices) that you purchase both a shower gift (if you attend) AND a wedding gift (if you attend). If don't attend either, you DO send a wedding gift. If you attend a shower but not the wedding, the shower gift is sufficient.My (southern, married) friends have told me that I'm crazy for purchasing 2 (or more, if lingerie shower is involved) gifts. They have told me that they generally only received 1 gift per invitee…be it from either a shower or the wedding itself.What is proper protocol, as I don't want to offend anyone!I ask this from the "non-wedding party" standpoint, b/c generally if you are a member of the wedding party you are an EXTREMELY close friend and at that point there is lots of stuff involved (purchasing multiple gifts, the expense of throwing showers, etc)


  4. >dar said it perfectly! Not giving a gift is RUDE!!! You didn't force anyone into going to or being a part of your wedding. I don't care what the financial situation is, plan ahead. Skip dinner out one night. Give something small. No gift at all is just plain rude. If u have 0 bucks to your name then write the bride and groom a poem for crying out loud.


  5. >Melissa — I think that's generally correct. All the folks I'm referring to who did not get us a wedding gift either attended the wedding and did not get us a gift, or were invited to the wedding, shower, etc. and did not attend, did not RSVP and did not send a gift. If I can't attend a wedding and was not invited to any showers, I always send a gift. And if I physically go to an event, be it a shower or the wedding itself, I always give a gift. Now I'm just confusing myself!I think the moral of the story is that you attend an event, a gift is expected. And if you are invited to just the wedding but cannot attend, a gift is expected to be sent.Like, for instance, I was invited to sorority sister's bridal shower and wedding. I attended both, so I gave gifts for both.I've never attended a shower but not the wedding, so I'm not sure what I would do in that situation. I would probably budget for both and get smaller gifts for each.Personally, I know who got me gifts — be it shower, lingerie shower, or wedding — and who gave nothing.


  6. >I am sorry if my prior post led to a misunderstanding. I totally agree that if you are invited to a wedding event, and most especially if you attend, you need to give whatever present your budget will allow. It is rude not to do so. But a scorecard has no place in social relationships, especially those with your closest friends and family. And I take exception to your using a public forum to air your dissatisfaction with the number of gifts that you have received. If invitees do not send a gift, that should be their private sin, and to bemoan in public the fact that your expectations of receiving a gift were not met seems, to me, to be an equal breach of etiquette. These are your closest friends. Be gracious in ignoring their lapse. It is, as you say, about mutual respect.


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