Wedding Gift Etiquette

Sun 24 Feb, 2013 09:51 am
Is it appropriate/acceptable for the bride and groom to ask for 'donations toward their life together' in lieu of gifts?

We just received a wedding reception announcement with this request on it from his nephew. I'm a little out of the loop on these matters, so I'm looking for feedback.

Sun 24 Feb, 2013 10:35 am
Yes I believe it is. Most people getting married these days aren't moving out of Mom and Dads home. They've lived on their own, or have been married previously. They don't need all the little things people would traditionally give. Gift cards can be a royal pain especially if you don't shop at the stores or need/want products from them.
Most weddings I've been to have a wishing well, it seems to be the preferred method of gift giving. It prevents headaches on both sides.
Then again, it can seem a bit presumptuous if you don't know the bride or groom very well. But, in that case, an invitation would seem odd too.
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Sun 24 Feb, 2013 12:04 pm
When and where I grew up, I don't recall anyone (to my knowledge) getting gifts at the wedding. It was all cold hard cash (or checks I suppose)

The bride carried a pretty satin bag over her arm, and as each man danced with her, he deposited an envelope into the bag.

Ah! I just looked up "money dance" and pulled this Wikipedia article. No wonder that seems like the norm to me, as according to this, it originated in Poland in the early 1900's. All the weddings I went to growing up were Polish weddings. From my recollection, the money was used for things like a down payment on a house.


This seems like an eminently sensible practice to me. I don't need a toaster, I need cash to start my life with my spouse.

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Mon 25 Feb, 2013 08:55 am
I've given cash and a small gift at the last few weddings we've been invited to, even if we didn't attend, but I'm more wondering about being requested for money.

I remember when registries first began in my neighbourhood. At first, they would just list things they needed or wanted, and then they progressed to specific gifts, like a so-and-so iron and whatnot. Now they want money. Yes, I know it makes sense, but it just seems kind of grasping or something.
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Thu 28 Mar, 2013 05:56 am
It feels a bit awkward when written in an invitation because then it sounds compulsory or donation instead of gifting something to the married couple. Everyone has a way of giving gifts so it must not be subjective on what to give on a wedding ceremony.
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Thu 28 Mar, 2013 06:33 am
It seems the norm to me.

Around here, it's an expected minimum of $100/guest for couples you know sort of peripherally. For family members/close friends the range is $200 - $1000 per guest.

They don't put the amount on the invitation but "everyone knows".

I've told people to take back gifts they've bought for weddings we were going to as a group. It's cash in an envelope. You hand it to the off-duty cop at the front of the reception hall. That's how it works.
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