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Old 07-24-2008, 12:12 PM   #61
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What's an appropriate wedding gift if you are invited to one of these pricey weddings? My niece and her fiancee invited all four of us (me, hubby, and sons 21 and 24) but I really don't know her all that well. She's the daughter of my deceased brother. She was estranged from him (her choice) and he was estranged from our family. She and her siblings were raised by their working class grandparents. Her fiancee's family is putting on the wedding.

She came out of that mess of an upbringing as valedictorian of her high school and had full scholarships to private undergrad and graduate school.

I won't buy them a blender or towels, I want to give a check. But we are living within our means, still have a kid in college and my husband is planning on retiring in 5 years.

If they are paying $100 a plate or more, how big of a check is appropriate? Yikes!
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:17 PM   #62
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What's an appropriate wedding gift if you are invited to one of these pricey weddings?
I always check to see if the bride and groom are registered and purchase an item or two...but I don't spend a lot of money.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:18 PM   #63
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What's an appropriate wedding gift if you are invited to one of these pricey weddings? My niece and her fiancee invited all four of us (me, hubby, and sons 21 and 24) but I really don't know her all that well. She's the daughter of my deceased brother. She was estranged from him (her choice) and he was estranged from our family. She and her siblings were raised by their working class grandparents. Her fiancee's family is putting on the wedding.

She came out of that mess of an upbringing as valedictorian of her high school and had full scholarships to private undergrad and graduate school.

I won't buy them a blender or towels, I want to give a check. But we are living within our means, still have a kid in college and my husband is planning on retiring in 5 years.

If they are paying $100 a plate or more, how big of a check is appropriate? Yikes!
Would it help to know that I only remember what ONE guest gave us at our pricey wedding? (Mrs. Kelly gave us a drawing of the dove of peace, and I was marrying a Navy man shortly after VietNam so I guess that was a statement of sorts. Never knew what to make of it.) We got so many gifts that it was unreal. Writing the thank-you notes was such a chore and I did that all in one day - - I hardly noticed who I was writing them to or what they gave us, and used nearly the same verbiage on all of them.

I'd go for the blender, myself, or something requiring about that level of expenditure on their list. But then, I'm kind of a tightwad.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:42 PM   #64
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What's an appropriate wedding gift if you are invited to one of these pricey weddings?


I'm wondering the same thing . My niece is getting married next year in Long Island New York and I know it's a least $175 a person so what is an appropriate amount . Her mother gave my daughter $200.00 and my daughter's wedding cost a lot less of course it was in Lakewood ,NY . So I'm thinking $300 is about right .
It's really varies by were you live . When I lived in new Jersey the weddings tended to be big lavish affairs but in Florida there seems to be more emphasis on the location then the food. In New Jersey even the showers were elaborate . It was nothing for the bride to get a $400 vacuum as a present . The first shower I went to in Florida I took a typical New Jersey shower present . Everybody was a little shocked by the expense of it .Oops !
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:48 PM   #65
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Seriously??!!!?? Hundreds of dollars for niece/nephew wedding gifts? What if they were casual acquaintances (like old high school friends or former/current co-workers, etc)?

Does me and DW giving $50 seem cheap when I know they are shelling out at least $150-200 total for our plates at the reception?

Sort of a bizarre situation - someone spending a lot of money throwing a big expensive party but expecting financial remuneration in return. I always assumed that the gift value should be constant whether you went to the wedding or not and regardless of the cost/value of the wedding festivities.
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:56 PM   #66
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Does me and DW giving $50 seem cheap when I know they are shelling out at least $150-200 total for our plates at the reception?

Yes, I would give $100 or a real nice gift .
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:04 PM   #67
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Great scene in the Sopranos of Carmela writing down in a little notebook the amount of the check she and Tony are gving Johnny Sacks's daughter--she kept a list of what wedding gifts ($) they gave, so that she could compared them with gifts her daughter Meadow would receive at her wedding.

Just saw this happen in real life--bride's family feels stiffed because a guest did not pony up a reciprocal amount.
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:09 PM   #68
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I went to a mafia wedding once . It was unbelievable . The food went on forever .
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:13 PM   #69
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So I have recently had reason to think about this a bit How have folks resolved this including for guys buying rings and the cost of the weddding itself...I have casually heard people go into major debt on this issue... How does being frugal fit into this or does it not?
Don't mean to be a downer here -- my ex's engagement ring/wedding set was $5K back in 1990; under our state law it was a "gift" to her and thus her separate property in the divorce.

The wedding/reception itself cost $3K total and we paid for it ourselves for the most part. Marriage lasted 15.5 years, which in retrospect was probably pretty good considering everything that happened.

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Seriously??!!!?? Hundreds of dollars for niece/nephew wedding gifts? What if they were casual acquaintances (like old high school friends or former/current co-workers, etc)?

Does me and DW giving $50 seem cheap when I know they are shelling out at least $150-200 total for our plates at the reception?

Sort of a bizarre situation - someone spending a lot of money throwing a big expensive party but expecting financial remuneration in return. I always assumed that the gift value should be constant whether you went to the wedding or not and regardless of the cost/value of the wedding festivities.
I have read numerous instances of the bride and groom figuring what the "break-even" gift is per person. If their wedding averages out to $100 per plate that's what they hope to receive in "gifts" in return. This attitude seems more prevalent in cases where the cost of the wedding is relatively high and/or the bride and groom are not in control of the planning. I think it's gauche and I'm not saying that this is the case in your particular situation, but just sharing that this kind of thinking goes on.

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Old 07-24-2008, 01:35 PM   #70
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I have read numerous instances of the bride and groom figuring what the "break-even" gift is per person. If their wedding averages out to $100 per plate that's what they hope to receive in "gifts" in return. This attitude seems more prevalent in cases where the cost of the wedding is relatively high and/or the bride and groom are not in control of the planning. I think it's gauche and I'm not saying that this is the case in your particular situation, but just sharing that this kind of thinking goes on.
In that case, I guess I may have insulted some folks who didn't deserve my respect anyway.

It seems we can't get away from the quid-pro-quo financial exchanges even among family and friends...

I did observe at our wedding, DW's older sister and DW's mother literally kept a list of all guests that gave gifts and the dollar amount of the gift. I think it is used as a reference later to determine how much to give at future weddings, bday parties and graduations, etc. Must be an asian thing... The list was the center of gossip among the family for a while - "ooohhh - they only gave $20! We gave them $50 at the last bday party!"

"What?!? Just $40? They just bought a new Mercedes. They must be broke spending all their money on their car".

(Gifts at our asian wedding were probably 95% cash in white envelopes with the donor's name written on it)

I tend to eschew weddings (including my own!) due to their commercial nature. In hindsight, I realize that our wedding was a carefully orchestrated effort by DW's family to maximize money extraction from their family and friends to repay what they had paid out over the years. As if it were seeking vengeance. Not something I wanted to have associated with what is supposed to be one of the happiest days of one's life.

I have also seen news articles about couples planning their wedding strategy to maximize payoff. For example, they will intentionally register at really expensive stores for really expensive high dollar gifts to increase the average gift price. And they do this with the intention to get really nice gifts and then ebay them or return them for store credit and then ebay the store credit gift cards. Tacky!
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #71
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no no no .. go for the open bar.. just invite fewer people (and ones you really want to have a good time with).
....
As usual, LaDel, you are right! I was just thinking about two weddings I attended, in one the caterers were delayed for three hours; luckily the bride was a dot.com millionaire and her new groom was "old money." The other couple paid off the bar tab for years.

Eat, drink and be merry, Maddie!
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:32 PM   #72
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I'm not the type of girl who grew up dreaming about her wedding day. I didn't want the fairy tale, princess wedding. I got the wedding my parents wanted, what they felt other people expected. Kind of sad, but they were paying and doing the planning. In the end, I felt like it was their wedding, we were just the main act.
I think that many people go through life in this manner. It's never what we want, it's what other people think we should want, and often we think we want what we are told we want.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO
Seriously??!!!?? Hundreds of dollars for niece/nephew wedding gifts? What if they were casual acquaintances (like old high school friends or former/current co-workers, etc)?

Does me and DW giving $50 seem cheap when I know they are shelling out at least $150-200 total for our plates at the reception?

Sort of a bizarre situation - someone spending a lot of money throwing a big expensive party but expecting financial remuneration in return. I always assumed that the gift value should be constant whether you went to the wedding or not and regardless of the cost/value of the wedding festivities.


I have read numerous instances of the bride and groom figuring what the "break-even" gift is per person. If their wedding averages out to $100 per plate that's what they hope to receive in "gifts" in return. This attitude seems more prevalent in cases where the cost of the wedding is relatively high and/or the bride and groom are not in control of the planning. I think it's gauche and I'm not saying that this is the case in your particular situation, but just sharing that this kind of thinking goes on.
How is one to know the appropriate amount? Does the invitation include a suggested dollar amount?

Will a gift be sent back if deemed inadequate?

I'm not up on proper etiquette.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:47 PM   #74
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How is one to know the appropriate amount? Does the invitation include a suggested dollar amount?

Will a gift be sent back if deemed inadequate?

I'm not up on proper etiquette.

I think women are more atune to these types of things . The gift will not be returned but you'll forever be known as the cheapskate who gave a crummy gift . A stuffed squirrel is never appropriate or squirrel jerky even if it is wrapped nicely .
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:56 PM   #75
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I think women are more atune to these types of things . The gift will not be returned but you'll forever be known as the cheapskate who gave a crummy gift . A stuffed squirrel is never appropriate or squirrel jerky even if it is wrapped nicely .
And with any luck, never get invited to another wedding.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:00 PM   #76
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This is a depressing thread. Weddings are depressing enough without having to add all this crassness.

I used to entertain myself looking at the young matrons at the wedding of a young bride. A lot of sad eyes.

Ha
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:01 PM   #77
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I'm heartily in favor of blowout weddings, but as a guest and not a groom. Heck, 20 years later we remember almost as many details about a friend's Pebble Beach CC wedding as we do about ours. And I remember details about another friend's bachelor party that almost broke up the wedding.

The best way to avoid overspending on your wedding is minimize the advance notice. In our case it was six weeks, when spouse and I got married because we had to.* 35 people in a restaurant, had the JP ceremony in the middle of the room before everyone sat down to eat.

*No, no, not that way-- we were up for orders and the Navy wasn't going to send us to the same duty station unless we were married to each other.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:11 PM   #78
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*No, no, not that way-- we were up for orders and the Navy wasn't going to send us to the same duty station unless we were married to each other.
Hey thats a good one. I'll have to try that out.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:46 PM   #79
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1939 - New York City marriage license - no wedding (parents)

1976 - start of a 29 year one night stand - no fee, no paperwork, no marriage.

heh heh heh - cheap but I came by it honestly. . I will find a way to be frugal at my funeral also!
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:08 PM   #80
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I will be giving them a check for $1500...it will not be unusual for my brother to receive thousands of dollars at the wedding.

I wish my parents would give me the dowry already.....I would be able to semi-retire in 7 years instead of 12!
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