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To wonder if a couple that say "your presence is more important to us than your presents" actually mean it?lly ll

(215 Posts)
GrumpyInYorkshire Sun 16-Feb-14 11:31:43

Yep, it's another wedding-related one. Sorry.

Next weekend DH and I are going to an old friend's wedding, some five hours' drive from home. We are looking forward to it very much - it's in a beautiful part of the UK and it will also be the first time we've left DS for two nights in a row (lie ins! Boozy nights! Time in the spa! Bliss).

However. I'm in a bit of a tizz about a wedding gift, as we simply can't afford it on top of everything else.

We have very little money and will be spending an awful lot of cash we don't have on getting to this wedding and staying in a fancy hotel for two nights. This £300 or so on petrol and accommodation - plus, presumably, drinks and meals on top over the weekend - is cash we shouldn't really be spending.

While we are not utterly skint, as we have food in the fridge and petrol in the car, we have nothing left over each month. We will not, for example, be going on holiday this year. We also won't be doing birthday/ Christmas presents for each other, as we didn't last year, as we can't afford it. We have no savings, don't eat out and spend the last week of each month existing on beans or eggs on toast - but I accept we are in a much better financial situation than some.

To afford this wedding, therefore, I have set a little aside each month since we got the Save the Date.

Now, looking at the invitation this morning, it's one of those "your presence is more important to us than your presents - however if you do want to give us a gift can it be cash please." Well, words to that effect, didn't want to quote verbatim.

We can't afford to give a decent sum of cash (say £30) in the card. Not after spending so much on getting there. And I wonder if I put, say £10, in, it would look more stingy than giving them nothing at all.
If there wasn't the instruction to give cash then I would probably buy them a nice plant, some interesting second-hand books, or similar. But now I worry that this would again look stingy.

On the invitation it says all this about "presence" being more important than "presents" - but AIBU to wonder if couples who put this on invitations actually mean it?

When DH and I got married we didn't mention gifts on the invitations as we didn't want guests to feel like they should buy something. The mention of gifts makes me think that they do expect something, that that something is cash, and that we will look very tight indeed if we don't cough up.

Help please!

(Sorry for length, didn't want to drip feed...)

Joules68 Sun 16-Feb-14 11:33:45

These people just don't seem to realise the expense they put others too

I'd say that a tenner is absolutely fine

sooperdooper Sun 16-Feb-14 11:34:02

If they've said it then take them at their word, I think people do mean it, at least we did smile

WorraLiberty Sun 16-Feb-14 11:35:03

I think it means "Can we have cash please".

Tbh I couldn't turn up empty handed

I would have spent a little less on the accommodation and give £50 to the bride and groom.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 16-Feb-14 11:35:19

Hmm it's a tough one - you'll have to judge by the sort of people your friends are.

We cheekily put the gift list number on the wedding invitations, but would not have been / were not in the least offended by any lack of presents. It's not like you go through the guest list and cross-reference the gift list and say 'Aha! That person didn't buy us anything! They're off my Christmas card list.'

Tbh if you can't afford a present, don't get one. I truly believe your presence is the most important thing.

Twobusyboys Sun 16-Feb-14 11:35:21

Oh. I see where you are coming from. But in all honesty i think you will be seen as stingy not giving a gift. Coyld yiu not go one night? Drive there first thing in morning of wedding to keep costs down?

Panzee Sun 16-Feb-14 11:36:14

I meant it. If they didn't mean it there would be a list.

PlainBrownEnvelope Sun 16-Feb-14 11:36:41

My opinion is that people genuinely mean it when they say "No gifts please" with absolutely no qualifiers (a friend of mine did this this summer as they are well established, and were having a weekday wedding which meant friends were already taking holiday to attend). This invitation you received was qualified, so they do want cash. However, give what you can afford.

SayCoolNowSayWhip Sun 16-Feb-14 11:37:13

Really? People see it as stingy to not give a gift?

Where is the rule that says you MUST buy a wedding gift??

It's as if brides and grooms invite people just to get presents! Surely it's about celebrating the day and the purpose with your friends? I'm sure if they are really your friends, they wouldn't care about a present.

Sparkle9 Sun 16-Feb-14 11:37:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Panzee Sun 16-Feb-14 11:37:24

If you were my old friend and you told me you were skint I would completely understand.

WorraLiberty Sun 16-Feb-14 11:39:16

If they didn't want anything at all, they would have said "No gifts please" and left it at that.

They want money, otherwise they wouldn't have mentioned it.

littleomar Sun 16-Feb-14 11:39:39

We meant it. Some guests did, some didn't and 2 years on I can't remember who did what.

Punkatheart Sun 16-Feb-14 11:40:01

I would downgrade the hotel, go onto Laterooms - then go onto Etsy, where lots of independent artists are selling unique items. A beautiful vase, a silver spoon or a centrepiece.

If you truly cannot afford anything, write a letter, paint a picture or frame a meaningful picture. Listen too to what they are saying - they sound lovely.

MothratheMighty Sun 16-Feb-14 11:41:39

That's what we thought, but we got married years ago, when megaweddings were not so common.
Some of our fruends gave lovely things, some gave in kind instead of cash and some just turned up with a smile to be there on our special day.
I loved my wedding.
They are your friends, or his friends.So you shoukd know how they feel and if they meant it. I'd buy the a gift,

Limara Sun 16-Feb-14 11:42:54

If you can't afford it, make them some nicely decorated cupcakes and if you can afford it BUT don't want to spend anymore money on an already expensive wedding have a word with yourself (I mean this in a nice way, I have words with myself all the time smile ) and for goodness sakes don't analyses this to the umth degree, it isn't important in the grand scheme of things!

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 16-Feb-14 11:43:19

Urgh, I don't know why this bothers me so much as we have happily given a cheque to DHs cousin when they asked for money towards their honeymoon but that was for a specific thing, just asking for cash without saying what it is for seems tacky.

Did it have to be a fancy hotel? Could you have stayed somewhere cheaper to enable to give the £30 you would have wanted too?

Another cousin said similar about presents and presence and we didn't go to the wedding as the kids weren't invited but if we did give anything it would have been a cheque.

If people say it and didn't really mean it so get narked when they get nothing, then tough! They shouldn't have been so ridiculous.

I just think they are trying to be special by saying presence only please but to then say but cash is fine is just telling you what they really mean.

GrumpyInYorkshire Sun 16-Feb-14 11:44:59

Just to add, to those saying downgrade the hotel - already thought of that. This is a very small place in a remote part of the UK and I can't find anything cheaper than the £85 a night we're paying for the fancy-pants place (booked a long way in advance so got a decent deal!)

I don't think we can really drive up on the morning, either. It's five hours door to door if we get a clear run but this can't be guaranteed on a Saturday morning. What with dropping DS off at grandparents' (who are in the other direction!) and then getting up there, I think it'd be very tight indeed.

Punkatheart, I love the idea about framing a meaningful picture, but as other posters have said, I do suspect they want cash..... argh!!

VegetariansTasteLikeChicken Sun 16-Feb-14 11:45:02

They are your friends right? They know how much you are spending out to visit them? They mean what they say. Wedding guests tend to want to buy presents (if they can afford them) so nothing wrong with including a list so they don't get a load of crap they don't want/need. But they won't expect you to buy anything or give money you haven't got.

upyourninja Sun 16-Feb-14 11:45:17

I think you're spending enough to get there and share the day and they don't absolutely expect gifts. It probably means 'we already live together and have lots of household stuff. If you'd like to give a gift, cash is what we actually need and would be very much appreciated.'

So they probably don't want additional duplicate household items. If you say no gifts, people will still bring stuff they don't want/need.

Honestly, I doubt they'll notice. Take a nice card, and if you want to give a gift, you could hand make chocolates with their initials and wedding date (use an alphanumeric mould), or print a nice photo in a frame, see something etc. less than £10 but shows you've thought about it. Though they probably really don't want additional stuff to deal with.

OwlinaTree Sun 16-Feb-14 11:47:01

Don't give a gift, just a card. I travelled abroad for a wedding, 2 nights in a hotel, meals etc. Didn't get a present, we'd spent enough.

I think that's fine.

ercolercol Sun 16-Feb-14 11:49:18

we had this at a wedding we were invited to so I took them at their word and didn't give a present. Going to the wedding cost us a fortune also.

The bride didn't speak to me again.

However they've since divorced so I don't give a fig and am v glad I saved my money.

so if you don't give money be prepared for them to have the hump.

PsychicPaper Sun 16-Feb-14 11:50:21

Please don't worry.

We are getting married in a few weeks, and our invites say something similar (only we have a gift list).

However we know for some of our friends it will cost a fortune in travel etc as you describe, and would much rather they came and had a lovely time with us than spending any money on any of the things on our gift list!

upyourninja Sun 16-Feb-14 11:51:38

Yes but if they take the hump at the lack of cash gift - what will the OP actually lose? Certainly not a genuine friend, and not the money either.

DipMeInChocolate Sun 16-Feb-14 11:52:12

I certainly did. I was embarrassed that people got us gifts. We'd only got married FFS. A nice card with a thoughtful message would have been more than enough.

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