To actually want to be able to choose 'something' for them

(49 Posts)
FlutterShyPinkiePie Tue 10-Sep-13 21:03:33

I have just spent the last 30 minutes carefully choosing from a wedding gift list for my friends.

The list was only of things for the honeymoon eg trips, meals etc

I was about to make the payment and realised that the whole list is actually meaningless, the cash can be given on the day or is just transferred to their account, to spend on whatever they like. I would not actually be choosing and buying them 'anything' and its all a bit of a farce!

I do appreciate that money is probably all they want but it feels like a bit of a sneaky way to do it. I have no problem giving cash if requested but don't make me stare at a list of nice things that I'm not actually buying!

AIBU to think that if I take the time to choose something off a wedding list then that is what the couple should actually get!!

CoffeeTea103 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:10:24

It's rude to ask for cash as a gift or even offering the bank details. To even expect gifts is a bit much. Why should you fund their honeymoon.
Yanbu

MimiSunshine Tue 10-Sep-13 21:19:28

I doubt they'd go to the effort of putting a list together if it was all just a sneaky way of getting money to spend on whatever they like.
Just give / transfer the money and if possible put in the reference "champagne at sunset" or whatever they've put on their list.

The only problem with wedding gift (money requests) lists is that the giver forgets its not about them. All you ever hear on theses threads is "I don't / wouldn't..."

And I speak for myself as well, the last wedding I went to had a really boring list of practical homeware. I was really looking forward to picking something lovely from the nice shop but was really disappointed by what my friends had put on their list. I still bought something off it though as I was definitely going to buy a present so made sure it was something they'd identified rather than something I wanted to buy.

Haggischucker Tue 10-Sep-13 21:25:28

I disagree. My best friend got married and did not have a traditional gift list as her and husband move around a lot for work. They had a list of honeymoon activities and people chose what activity they would like to contribute too (they did not ask for specific amounts) they then took photos of themselves enjoying said activity and sent as a thank you for the contribution. I thought it was a fabulous idea! I would much rather contribute to creating a special memory rather than buying a traditional gift that they really didn't need/want. They didn't ask in a cheeky way at all and as a friend I was more than happy with going with whatever they wanted smile

JRmumma Tue 10-Sep-13 21:29:48

If you don't have a list or ask for cash etc, You are going to end up with a load of crap you don't want or need. What a terrible waste of money for everyone!

DontmindifIdo Tue 10-Sep-13 21:30:19

I bet what you pick is what they will do, unless there's one thing on there that they really want to do and noone goes for. i wouldn't be surprised that they've done it this way so that they'll get a note saying who's paid for what, and you'll be able to get photos of them doing what you've paid for, or they will on the day think "oh we're off to do XXX, FlutterShy treated us to this! Must tell her all about it when we're back."

JRmumma Tue 10-Sep-13 21:33:56

Posted too soon! Just want to add that its so annoying when people give gifts of things that THEY think is right, regardless of the wishes of the person they are giving to. Thus applies to all occasions not just birthdays.

I'm a nightmare to buy for, i only ever get book vouchers or cash as presents as everyone knows i don't like 'stuff'

WafflyVersatile Tue 10-Sep-13 21:34:48

Unless you have a special insight into their tastes and desires then why would you want to get them something they haven't asked for?

Maybe a couple of personalised gifts that have meaning between the giver and the receiver then either get them something from the list, even if it is just money or don't. You're not obliged to buy a present at all.

I don't think it's sneaky, I think it's a way to help the givers visualise where their money is going rather than just thinking, cash, especially as some people seem to find 'cash' offensive.

WafflyVersatile Tue 10-Sep-13 21:38:07

I also don't get 'why should we fund their honeymoon/wedding'? People seem to say this a lot.

Why do people never say 'Why should we fund their 44 piece cutlery set'?

lifesgreatquestions Tue 10-Sep-13 21:39:00

I think it's awkward, best to not ask for gifts at all a far add I'm concerned, but personally I would hate being given loads of stuff I don't want. Likewise I would hate having to take pics of all my honeymoon activities so I could send grateful photos later... it's a lose lose situation from my pov!

Cupcake1985 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:39:07

I think you are. It's a normal thing for people to ask for honeymoon money - we did. They are actually going the extra mile by showing you examples of what they will do, presumably so you can give a preference. Weddings are stressful enough without the couple wondering if they're offending friends and family by asking for a helping hand.

MelMack Tue 10-Sep-13 21:40:35

Lots of people spend an absolute fortune on their wedding, and if they have already lived together/have a house and contents, there's no point buying them a traditional wedding present that they may not like or may not go with what they already have.
If they've asked for help with the honeymoon, it's what they want and may need help with after all the other expenses.

You don't have to buy them anything if you don't agree with it, you could put in the card that you'd prefer to do/buy something special and when they're settled in after honeymoon you'd like to go to their house and fill any gaps they realise they have- but I think presents that they specifically haven't asked for risk being a waste of money.

BrokenSunglasses Tue 10-Sep-13 21:42:53

Yanbu.

FlutterShyPinkiePie Tue 10-Sep-13 21:56:42

I don't know, I mean I obviously I don't want to waste money on something meaningless they'd hate so I always go off lists and if they want money towards the honeymoon, great, easy.

However I just find it odd to spend the time to choose eg 2 of 8 'cocktails on the beach' and then give or transfer cash. They may have that cocktail, they may not, they may spend it on souvenirs which is fine but its not what I chose for them IYSWIM.

I have no idea why it bothers me but it does, will probably have forgotten all about it by the wedding though!!

raisah Wed 11-Sep-13 03:08:58

Within the asian community it is expected to give cash or gold jewellery. There is usually a sentence at the bottom of the invitation which usually says something along the lines of:
"We kindly request that no boxed gifts are given" something like that but nobody is offended by it because atleast you know thst your gift won't be gathering dust in an attic.

AngusAndElspethsThistleWhistle Wed 11-Sep-13 03:26:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SmallBee Wed 11-Sep-13 03:36:48

Wedding gift lists are a tricky one as its a touchy subject to make a list at all for some people.
However I do find with any type of gift giving, people are often very reluctant to buy something the other person/couple likes if they don't like it themselves. They want to buy a gift they would like rather than what the person/couple actually want.
For our wedding we did a mixed gift list of charity donations, material items & 'experiences' for our honeymoon. We used the money exactly what we said we would use it for, it never crossed my mind not to, it's just lying to loved ones otherwise. That was also the part of the list we got most excited about & the most pleasure out of.
We had a lot of people but things from off the list. As a result we ended up with 22 champagne glasses (I'm not sure what this says about us) some lovely one of a kind items which mean a lot to us and also one or two one of a kind items that I'm sad to say have never seen the light of day as they were so horrendously not to our taste. They live in a box, in a cupboard, in the attic.

I don't know if this helps but maybe it provides some insight from the other side of the fence?

LouiseD29 Wed 11-Sep-13 03:46:05

OP - we did what you're talking about. We're both in our thirties and really didn't need or want lots of stuff, so decided this was the best way for us (and we clearly explained in the invite that we didn't expect a gift, but this is what we'd prefer if people really wanted to give us something). On the honeymoon we took pictures of all the activities we did and included the relevant one in the thank you card to each person, showing how their gift was used. We had an incredible honeymoon and yes, always think of the people who enabled us to have such a special and memorable time.

That said, plenty of people went off list and got us something personal, or didn't get anything at all which was equally fine. If they are you're friends then you should be able to judge what's appropriate for your friendship rather than feeling obligated to do something you're not comfortable with.

SlangKing Wed 11-Sep-13 04:55:25

Like Louise touched upon - I'd like to think that if somebody knew me well enough to invite me to their wedding, I'd know them well enough to have some idea about an appropriate gift for them. I can appreciate that people want a flawless ceremony and botulism-free vol-au-vents,,, but all this planning stuff to the nth degree?! Not too long ago, people used to find it funny when they got 3 sandwich makers and half a dozen coffee perculators. They'd give the spares to people who didn't have them (i.e. People who hadn't had a wedding yet). It was the things that went wrong that provided the X-factor,, the MEMORIES. What's to remember about these over-planned do's? "Was that the one that was the same as the the previous three?" "The boring, predictable one? I think so, I'm not sure." Cancel the local, very kewl DJ and bring back Sharon's dad and his mobile disco,, the one with the dodgy strobe light and the coloured oil pattern projectors. I wouldn't buy a gift from a pre-planned list on principle. (I won't expect a rush of RSVP's in my inbox anytime soon).

nooka Wed 11-Sep-13 05:07:18

dh and I really loved putting our wedding gift list together. We went up to John Lewis early one Saturday morning and browsed for two or three hours and fantasized about our new home together. Almost 20 years later we still use most of the things on our list, and that reminds us of the people who gave us each gift. We tried to include all sorts of things to appeal to the different tastes and budgets of our family and friends.

I've two family members getting married this year both over 40 and neither of them have lists because they have been living together for a long time and have established homes, so very different needs (dh and I were 25 and just about to move in to our first home together). I'd still like to give them both a physical memento, but it will be much much harder.

nooka Wed 11-Sep-13 05:09:14

Oh, ad our wedding was totally planned by my very traditional parents, and none of our friends got married for at least another five years, so no wedding fatigue, plus I'm sure my parent's ideas as to what a proper wedding should be like was rather different to our contemporaries!

ifink Wed 11-Sep-13 05:13:27

I hate the whole contributing to honeymoons/flashy holidays etc...if the bride and groom can't afford their 'dream honeymoon' then they should go somewhere cheaper or save up and do it later, not ask their guests to fork out for it....bah humbug!

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Wed 11-Sep-13 05:20:27

OP... We had a honeymoon list and also sent little cards to people afterwards saying this was what we did. I'm on no way casting aspersions on.your age as some of our younger friends did this too, but generally there was a generation split between who was comfortable with this. Our peers really understood that we define our life by experiences we've had, places we've been and people we meet along the way.

Parents and older seemed very intent on helping us accumulate 'stuff' regardless of whether we'd actually use/need it. MIL was intent on buying us a clock for reasons I don't really understand and we managed to divert this to a new bed.

In response to.someone who.said people invited to your wedding should know you well enough...yes and no!

One of my work friends and his wife gave us a tiny Barbour jacket for the dog they knew we were planning to get. We were quite taken aback with how thoughtful this was! My.own father on the other hand who knows I work in design and have a bizarre obsession with the 'correct' shape of wine glasses bought us some hideous flared silver champagne flutes that are destined to be relegated to thr back of a cupboard yet we feel obliged to keep as he obviously thought they would be special.to.us. (i'm aware I.sound ungrateful, I really cannot verbally convey how hideous these are!)

lastnightiwenttomanderleyagain Wed 11-Sep-13 05:28:44

PS. We were taken aback by people's generosity overall. We really didn't expect much and I really mean this when I say it was enough having people there. We didn't book our honeymoon.until we knew how much we would have to.play with and were astonished when we got enough to.do our dream honeymoon and spend a fortnight exploring an active volcano!

GreyWhites Wed 11-Sep-13 05:40:44

I have heard of this too and I think it's s great idea. If there were 'things' they needed your friends would have asked for them. As it is they would like to give you the opportunity to help them enjoy some activities together. From what I know of people who have taken this approach to gifts they have really appreciated it and do send pics and thank you cards afterwards. Obviously this list is just a way of giving you the opportunity to give then a gift they know they will want and enjoy. You're also free not to get them anything. Or if you're a good friend I'm sure you can think of an item which they will appreciate.

I really don't think it's a "sneaky' way to get money at all. Any more than asking for "things" is a sneaky way of getting new items for your home.

nooka Wed 11-Sep-13 05:41:32

I wonder if it's also to do with your expectations of what a wedding and honeymoon should be. It seems that as couples are generally older when they get married and therefore organising their own bash so weddings have become much more elaborate and honeymoons more lavish. dh and I spent a week in a cottage for our honeymoon and it was lovely, we've great (but quite ordinary) memories of the week. I don't think that things need to be extraordinary to be remembered. Plus I think that many of our wedding gifts are likely to last longer than my memories!

I do like the photos of the events your friends have contributed toward as an idea though.

Crowler Wed 11-Sep-13 05:58:06

Argh, I find this so cringy. I don't blame you, OP.

I really can't see the difference between funding activities on a honeymoon and funding items of kitchenware!
It is exactly because of people moaning about everything no matter what you choose to do for your wedding that I have been engaged for three years and am delaying it as long as possible. I can't stand the thought of guests whinging about things behind my back.
If you don't like it don't go,and save the couple the expense of paying for you on their special day!

Ememem84 Wed 11-Sep-13 06:46:05

When we got married we asked for money to put towards a trip to nz. Husbands family are from there, only some were able to come to uk for wedding. We found it very difficult to find the wording to actually ask for it. Very difficult as I felt so rude almost didn't add to the invites. I don't think people were offended if they were I doubt they would gAve been as generous as we were given enough to cover flights and accommodation for the entire trip - 4 weeks.

FlutterShyPinkiePie Wed 11-Sep-13 06:46:20

But that's my point, I may not be funding activities on holiday...I have no idea. I didn't choose cash, i chose a specific gift off a list which they may or may not have.

I have given cash before & don't mind it at all. I don't even mind funding honeymoons but if you want cash just say you want cash, it's the game I hate.

I just think it wastes my time to spend ages picking out things from a list, only to the be told by the website to put cash in their card (or bank transfer)

I could have put the cash in by my self had they just asked for it instead of playing this game, picking out imaginary things!

And I'm only 33, younger than the bride & groom!

meganorks Wed 11-Sep-13 07:16:12

I just did one of those and sort of felt the same. It does sound like from what they say at the end that they will just be transferred the money. I hope not though as we spent a bit more than we would have otherwise on something personally relevant to both of us.

I have never really been a fan of the honeymoon list but beginning to think might best for our wedding next year. Thought of a john Lewis one, but our house is already bursting at the seams and we don't have any storage space. I honestly wouldn't expect a present from guests and will do my best to emphasise this in the invite. But I know some people will insist. Those who say its rude to include a list at all I think are just terribly out of date and old fashioned. I have never had an invite without a list and never been offended.

MrsLouisTheroux Wed 11-Sep-13 07:28:09

Angus Sounds very lovely. You obviously have friends with taste/ enjoy shopping at John Lewis.
What if the coffee cups had been a horrible design and the picture not to your taste? Would you be so pleased?

I have never done the wedding list thing myself but I understand why it works. I ignore requests for money though. I am one of thise annoying people who buy people vouchers.

fluffyraggies Wed 11-Sep-13 07:29:07

We didn't have a wedding list and got no 'piles of useless junk' as presents. We actually said (to those that asked) that we were not expecting presents - their company was all we needed. We genuinely meant that as many guests had to have the day off work and travel a way to attend the wedding.

We were very moved by the amount of cash and lovely messages popped into the wedding cards from each and every guest. We opened the cards in our honeymoon suite at the end of the day and both got teary opening them all.

The money paid for the honeymoon in the end. (this was last year)

MummyBeerest Wed 11-Sep-13 07:30:07

Not sure if this is the same as what you meant, but wedding registries are very common here (North America,) so a lot of wedding guests more or less expect to be told what to buy. To straight up ask for money is seemingly "tacky" but personally, I disagree. I'd rather just give the couple $150 and be done with it rather than buy them, say, $150 duvet cover (--not bitter--)

I agree, if cash is what you want, just flipping SAY SO...

cory Wed 11-Sep-13 07:47:56

But MummyBeerest, what if you could only afford $ 5? Would you still feel as happy giving that in cash, or would you pray that you could find some useful little thing to give that didn't have the price tag written all over it?

The difference I see between letting people buy things and insisting on cash is that "things" are a way for poorer relatives to save face. They can get something slightly unusual that nobody knows the price of but which might even be quite nice, whereas if they put £5.99 on the list of cash contributions the bride and groom would see exactly how small the sum was.

I still use the wooden spoon and fork set we were given for our wedding by a kind friend 20 years ago. I don't suppose they cost more than a five and the donor would have felt horrified at having to hand over that sum in cash. But the gift is a daily reminder that 20 years ago this kindly (but possibly impecunious) person was wishing us well. Far, far nicer than having to worry that they couldn't pay the bills next month because of our wedding.

Of course, if people would genuinely feel happy about giving somebody a fiver in cash if that was all they could afford, then that's fine. But I would be worried that a cash stipulation was tempting people to go into expenditure they couldn't afford. I'd rather have ugly teacups than feel my wedding was a burden.

SmallBee Wed 11-Sep-13 07:53:11

I suppose it depends if you think this particular couple genuinely mean what they say when they ask for a contribution for 'cocktails on a beach' I would have been horrified at the though of someone assuming I wasn't going to use the money they gave for the purpose I'd said I was. It's lying and basically fraud. Do you think this couple are likely to be like that?

NoComet Wed 11-Sep-13 07:55:51

For my cousin and, I suspect many other couples these days, there honeymoon was their last big holiday before TTC and having their DS.

Given the stresses of having a baby on a relationship. I'd rather give them the memories of romantic nights in the bush than a house hold item they didn't really need.

FlutterShyPinkiePie Wed 11-Sep-13 08:04:39

I don't thinks its fraud exactly and I'm sure the couple will spend it on the honeymoon.

However I spent ages looking at the list, thinking of the 'things' which I thought they would enjoy the most, seeing which only needed 1 more to complete a 'set' etc.

Then at the end to be told ok your total is £x, put the cash in an envelope (or transfer to their PayPal)

I think I was just annoyed at myself for wasting so much time last night!

MrsBW Wed 11-Sep-13 08:11:05

When I think of the number of people I must have inadvertently offended when I got married, I'm surprised I have any friends left...

Fraud? hmm

MrsBW Wed 11-Sep-13 08:13:58

OP I'm sure you haven't wasted time.

The couple would hardly spend time putting together their experience list if they weren't going to do the experiences?

A lot of people when they do this send photos of themselves doing the activity as mentioned up thread...

If they do this, would that make you feel happier (ie they can show they actually did what you paid for?)

FlutterShyPinkiePie Wed 11-Sep-13 08:52:38

I had better get a photo, eg one of them really drunk on a beach, I need evidence! ;) it's ok I think I'll just forget the list and give cash in a card and tell them to have a fab time on the honeymoon smile

Lizzids Wed 11-Sep-13 09:20:53

Just wondering, is it possible that the website would log what you had chosen? So even though you were giving them the money direct they would still know what it should be used for? I've never come across one of these so I've no idea confused

We asked for travel vouchers when we got married (in a - 'we don't want anything' kind of way), but we also received non-money gifts and my more hard up aunt gave us some lovely, but not expensive, glasses. Some of the guests just gave us a card and, like another poster said, the messages inside were just as valuable as any gift.

As far as I know we didn't offend anyone wink

LouiseD29 Wed 11-Sep-13 09:53:42

Lizzids - yes, we used a website called HoneyFund where you can put in the experiences you want and how much they cost and then it keeps a record of who has chosen what, so two people don't think they have got you the same experience. We paid for all the basic travel and accommodation so the list was more specific items and activities everything from £5 donations to local charities in the country we visited to contributions to a helicopter ride (which was awesome and I know exactly who got us that without having to check, and will always remember their generosity)

Lizzids Wed 11-Sep-13 09:59:19

Thanks Louise, sounds great smile

VivClicquot Wed 11-Sep-13 10:05:18

YABU. We did this for our wedding and honeymoon.

We had loads of positive comments from friends and family that they felt like they were buying us something meaningful, rather than just giving us cash (or buying us another cutlery set), and we also made sure that we did everything on the list.

When we sent thankyou cards on our return, we included a photograph of us doing whatever it was that person had paid for. I genuinely don't see how it is any different from setting up a list in John Lewis and asking for teapots, photo frames or wine glasses.

As an aside, I have never heard anybody in RL sneer at the idea of gift lists. It is such a mumsnet thing.

MummyBeerest Wed 11-Sep-13 15:04:36

Cory I would hope that any gift a bride or groom received would be with gratitude, monetary value irrelevant. We didn't have a gift registry, didn't ask for cash either. We got all kinds of gifts and still were grateful.

I just hate gift registries. Buy your own duvet!

Honeymoon ones actually seem fine to me because wedding budgets take up enough planning, it'd be nice to give the couple something fun.

MrsKwazii Wed 11-Sep-13 15:16:05

Speaking as a woman with a big box of crystal and china languishing in the loft that I will never use, I think specific gift lists are a Godsend. I'd always rather buy people a gift they want or need rather than land them with something I liked but that is miles away from anything they would ever choose for themselves. It's such a waste of people's time and money buying a gift that will only ever gather dust.

AngusAndElspethsThistleWhistle Wed 11-Sep-13 15:25:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GreyWhites Wed 11-Sep-13 23:13:06

I actually think in this situation that giving cash is a bit weird. But its your choice.

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