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To feel a bit unsure about how much to give?

(64 Posts)
spangledboots Thu 27-Jun-13 21:23:00

Two of my best friends are getting married (to each other) in six weeks or so. It's the first wedding in my group of close friends for me (I'm 24) and I'm starting to worry a bit about the amount it's going to cost! I'm going to try not to spend too much on the outfit etc. but the venue is in the middle of nowhere so the taxi there and back will be pricey (although I'm hoping to find a few friends to share that with) and the price of drinks is also fairly high.

However, my biggest concern is the fact that they've said on the invites that they don't want gifts but rather a 'contribution towards their savings' as they're hoping to buy a house.

I've been invited by myself because I'm single at the moment - none of our single friends have been allowed to bring a plus one.

How do I decide how much to give? :/ I don't know where to start! I'm worried about looking tight if my contribution is too small but I'm not earning an awful lot at the moment. The whole thing is making me feel a bit uncomfortable!

missgrainger Thu 27-Jun-13 21:24:27

50 pounds?

HollyBerryBush Thu 27-Jun-13 21:29:59

You give what you can afford - if you would spend £20 on a gift, you give that. If you would have spent £50, give that.

Patchouli Thu 27-Jun-13 21:32:26

Or could you go in with a few of those friends and all sign a card with £100 in between several of you - might help keep it down.

spangledboots Thu 27-Jun-13 21:35:09

Patchouli - that's a good idea, I'd not thought of that!

If I'm honest I'd have probably spent £30-£40 on a gift if they'd had a list.

hermioneweasley Thu 27-Jun-13 21:36:54

Aaargh, feeling your pain. Why don't they just have a cheap wedding Ian registry office and then drinks in A room above a pub and then they would have the £ towards their house? Instead of spending house £ on a wedding and then asking guests to pay their deposit? It's so.....inefficient. (unhelpful)

Yonihadtoask Thu 27-Jun-13 21:38:45

I think you should give what you can comfortably afford .

What would you usually spend on a gift - for a birthday?

Truly, don't worry about it. A lot of people aren't flush with money.

£20 is probably sufficient.

CreatureRetorts Thu 27-Jun-13 21:40:29

They want a contribution towards their savings? hmm

money grabbing quite literally

BoysRule Thu 27-Jun-13 21:43:03

I think asking for money towards savings is pretty awful tbh.

I think it is a great idea to club together with friends and say it is from all of you as it will sound like more.

I really think anything from £20 is reasonable.

AKissIsNotAContract Thu 27-Jun-13 21:43:20

I would give £50 if we were going as a couple. Since you don't have a plus one I'd give £25

MackerelOfFact Thu 27-Jun-13 21:43:48

I have this dilemma too. For a close friend who was getting married I gave $100 for her honeymoon in the USA... for others it has mostly been £25 either in cash or vouchers. I feel stingy giving less than £50 though really but can't justify that amount on top of hen dos, travel, accommodation, outfit, drinks etc.

spangledboots Thu 27-Jun-13 21:44:20

I know what you mean hermioneweasley - I'm trying to save as much as possible for a deposit for a flat (it's a slow, painful process, eh?!) They're the same age as me and in the last year have spent all their savings on a car and wedding. I guess some people have different priorities.

Yonihadtoask - they normally only spend about £10 on a birthday present for me. I'd typically spend £15ish each on a present for their birthdays. We're not a massively generous bunch but that's probably because our student mentality is lingering! In fact...I think we were better off when we were students!

MelanieCheeks Thu 27-Jun-13 21:47:43

If they haven't got a house yet then towels and toasters and the like are not useful presents. Totally understand their request for cash rather than things. I'd give £20.

justmyview Thu 27-Jun-13 21:53:31

I suggest you sound out your friends, to see how much they're planning to spend. Not that you need to follow suit, but that may help you to work out what might be reasonable

FWIW, I would normally spend about £50 on my own, or £80 from DH and me

sunshinesue Thu 27-Jun-13 21:56:03

Give what you can genuinely afford, no more. If you feel it's not enough buy a cheap photo frame and put a pic of them in it to bulk out the present a bit (they then won't know exactly how much you've spent on them). My best friend (single) gave us 30 quid when we married (we didn't ask for money) and I thought that was just fine.

happygirl87 Thu 27-Jun-13 23:32:49

MelanieCheeks most of my friends and I who are saving for deposits are renting, and trying to pay lowest rent possible in order to save- so OH and I have way too much clutter in our shoebox flat already, and towels or similar would be a pain! Although we would of course be very polite and grateful (and hope we could regift them) blush

OP, I really think you should only give what you can afford- I think there's no shame in giving £10 if that's what you have, and I for one would be much more concerned that my friends were happy and not worried about money than abou what I received!

WhiteBirdBlueSky Thu 27-Jun-13 23:56:56

Thing is, with a £20 gift what you get in addition to the gift are...

A pleasant social ritual with a sense of surprise.
Mutual pleasantries about good taste.
Discussion of said object and it's meaning within the relationship.

And that all adds value.

When you're giving cash normally as a gift then it's often to buy something specific. So the cash is enough for the gift.

When asked to contribute to savings then £20 seems insignificant in relation to what's needed, so you're tempted to up what you would spend.

Definitely best therefore to contribute as a small group. That's very reasonable in the circumstances.

Presumably you like these people?

Elquota Fri 28-Jun-13 02:35:53

It's rude to mention gifts at all with the invitation. Also rude to dictate to guests what they're meant to give, if they haven't even asked for suggestions. And greedy to blatantly ask for money.

The group contribution idea is a good one. Otherwise just give them a gift as you would have done anyway.

Panzee Fri 28-Jun-13 02:48:23

If they are your friends it really doesn't matter, they will be happy with any amount. Better this way than something collecting dust somewhere.

ratbagcatbag Fri 28-Jun-13 03:26:50

If its a mega expensive drinks place and your a vodka and coke drinker rather than wine etcetc you wouldn't be the first person in the world to take some of your own in your bag and top up you coke with it ;)

Re present, we suggested money from guests if they wanted to do anything at all, we got between nothing and £50, £20 was definitely the most common amount by far, any amount (including nothing) genuinely was fine by us.

Lavenderhoney Fri 28-Jun-13 04:59:33

Even if it was next door, its still only appropriate to give what you can afford- you wouldn't think " oh, I've saved 100 pounds as its local, so that's for them" would you?

So give 20 as that's what you can afford, or then work out how much the whole wedding will cost you. If its too expensive for you, you can decline and send the 25 with apologies, or think " I've put aside 150 for this wedding, the cost is 140 so that's 10 for them"

FadBook Fri 28-Jun-13 06:27:56

I don't like giving cash as a wedding present and agree with previous posters that asking for money for a deposit for a house, when spending money on a wedding, is a little odd.

I've started to give a Cinema vouchers (like Vue or Odeon), you can normally get them as a gift card from sainsburys. I then make a note in the card that its something they can "do" after the wedding, to go out and have a night out (knowing normally that you're skint after a wedding but wouldn't necessarily spend wedding money on going out). It went down well with both weddings this year.

Even if I clubbed together, I still wouldn't want to give cash - a Debenhams or John Lewis gift card would be my choice. It might be me, but I just hate giving cash.

Yonihadtoask Fri 28-Jun-13 08:38:40

fadbook that's a good idea.

I also hate giving cash anyway. luckily have only been asked once.

Emilythornesbff Fri 28-Jun-13 08:48:15

Give what you can afford to "lose" as it were.
Good idea about clubbing together.
I truly, honestly was grateful for every gift (cash, vouchers, glasses....etc...) and felt no twinge whatsoever about ppl not giving anything at all.
I appreciated that guests had given their time and spent their money on attending our wedding.
Mind you, we specifically had no kind of gift list or requests for money. (had to field calls for weeks from ppl asking what we wanted.)I'm sure your friends will be delighted with whatever you give them.

Pennyacrossthehall Fri 28-Jun-13 10:16:49

Give what you want to/can afford.

(Back when I still had single friends) I told people getting married to make sure that their wedding list had both very cheap things on it (for skint friends) and some pricey things (because you never know).

When I got married, I only invited people who I wanted to be there. Whether they bought a present, or how much it was, wasn't important.

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