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No gifts at wedding

(17 Posts)
SquawkFish Tue 08-Nov-16 10:15:54

I don't want gifts at our wedding - we are just drafting some invite ideas and are now having a debate on whether it's rude to specify this?

Basically, I feel that with some people flying from far away places, they will have paid enough for flights and accommodation etc. Our friends in London are all at the stage where they are just on / trying to get on the property ladder, thinking about starting families etc. and money is tight in most cases. My family aren't particularly well off and my parents have already offered their garden for the wedding, the local community have all offered help with preparations (this is a very village thing to do and happens with all local weddings).

Partner thinks it's rude to say we don't expect gifts and comes across as ungrateful. He thinks we should supply a gift list as an option. I'd rather do something like a box of donations for Syria or financial donations to a charity if we are going to ask for anything. He feels like his family and friends would be quite insulted that we chose not to accept a personal gift from them to celebrate our day.

Mumsnet - what are your thoughts?

ChocolateBudgeCake Tue 08-Nov-16 10:22:50

I think you should offer a choice.

you can draft a 'your presence on the day is enough so please don't feel you need to give a gift.
If you really do want to give we have a small gift list with xxx or please give a donation on the day to CharityOfChoice '

And then verbally spread the word that you really don't want gifts.

Ultimately any gifts you get could be donated to a good cause. But if people want to give they should be allowed. To some it doesn't feel right not to give.

Is it more that he wants the gifts or will his family and friends genuinely feel insulted?

BarbaraofSeville Tue 08-Nov-16 10:27:24

If you mention presents, even if it is to say 'please don't buy us anything' you are presuming that people will want to buy things, hence that is rude and grabby smile.

If you say 'please don't buy us anything' you are denying people the chance to express their love for you buy buying you a piece of tat that they like and you might not thoughtful gift. That is selfish.

I think the charitable donations is absulutely fine (you could write in the invitations that there will be a box at the wedding) but I'm sure others will explain exactly why that's inappropriate too.

LarryLemur Tue 08-Nov-16 10:36:25

Don't say anything at all. Let people come to you and ask about a gift list then tell them that you're not expecting presents. IMHO it is rude to even mention gifts at the invitation stage. We didn't mention it, didn't have a list but most people gave JL vouchers or money (mainly family) or else lovely presents that they'd chosen themselves. Wedding lists existed to solve a problem that is no longer an issue in modern life. There is this notion that if you don't have a list then you'll end up with 7 toasters but I think that went out some time ago and most people now understand that if you've already set up house together, you don't need household gifts. Nowadays the invitees are close to the couple and so have a better idea of a suitable gift rather than in years gone by when a load of extended rellies would be invited that needed to be given pointers on what to buy because they hardly knew the couple as adults.

nearlyhellokitty Tue 08-Nov-16 10:41:11

I kind of disagree Larry. My experience is that you then end up fielding lots of questions about what you might want. So a gift list with a nice range of affordable gifts I reckon is actually that makes relatives feel comfortable, they're giving something you want and you can avoid too much back and forth. Many people really want to give something concrete. Feel free to stress that you really don't expect them!

MargaretCavendish Tue 08-Nov-16 10:42:02

Don't say anything at all. Let people come to you and ask about a gift list then tell them that you're not expecting presents. IMHO it is rude to even mention gifts at the invitation stage.

I would disagree with this. I think it's annoying and an extra hassle for guests to make them ask about it - a weird kind of social disingenuousness. Everyone knows it's normal to bring a present to a wedding, so it's ridiculous to think that hinting you might be aware of this tradition is a social taboo.

Somerville Tue 08-Nov-16 10:42:46

Gifts shouldn't be mentioned on invitations either way IMO.

We don't want wedding presents and have sent that message round via his mum, my mum and a few trusted friends. Various people have got back to us to double check though, or obviously haven't got the message yet and requested our gift registry details alongside their RSVP. We've let people know a charity close to our hearts to give a donation to in lieu of gifts if they'd like to. I'm sure we will get some gifts on the day too and of course that is fine.

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay Tue 08-Nov-16 10:44:02

I could have written this. Stealing ideas!

MrsDilligaf Tue 08-Nov-16 10:51:07


I understand completely your view - I felt the same about gifts at our wedding. We asked a lot of our guests: to travel at least 4 hours to our wedding, to use holiday, pay for accommodation etc

We were asked by lots guests if we had a wedding list when we sent out the invitations, and our response was we just want you to come and have a party....we ended up with a small list at John Lewis.

Call it traditional, old fashioned, but for some guests it doesn't feel right not to give a gift at a wedding. Even though we didn't want or expect gifts, the ones we received are wonderful mementos and we treasure them.

Have a wonderful day when it comes.

SquawkFish Tue 08-Nov-16 11:30:14

His family and friends would genuinely feel insulted.

They are really big on gift giving.

Somerville some of our guests don't know our families otherwise we would probably do this. Or at least I would.

I do understand that the traditional way to do things is to ask for gifts, and honestly, we could do with stuff for our new place, but so could so many of our friends as well. And, for the people who aren't in that position, I'd rather the money went to someone that was desperately in need of it. We have the basics for our house so we are more than happy to get the rest when we can afford it.

Found some poems, but really didn't like them.

Schmoochypoos Tue 08-Nov-16 11:35:40

If you put together a gift list e.g. John Lewis, you can pick the value of the items on there. We had a list with lots of gifts for around the £10/20 mark, so giving people the option to get us something if they wanted but equally we made it clear we weren't expecting anything, just for everyone to attend and have fun!

Rolopolo83 Tue 08-Nov-16 12:46:42

I disagree that it is rude to mention gift lists on invitations but that's a separate matter. You don't want gifts, I cannot see how anyone could object to you clarifying this on an invitation.

"We have everything we need and do not wish for gifts".

If anyone asks you, say genuinely don't need anything and suggest the charitable donation.

People may still buy you things but that's their choice. I would give you vouchers or something sentimental if you said this.

Coldilox Tue 08-Nov-16 12:50:59

We put on our invitations that we didn't expect any gifts and just wanted to celebrate with friends and family. For those who wanted to, we specified two charities that they could give to on our behalf (set up just giving pages). Some have nothing, some gave to the charities and we got gifts off a few people that wanted to give to us. We thanked everyone, nobody was offended and two charities got a reasonable amount of money.

NotHardUpNow Tue 08-Nov-16 12:58:49

DC2 did this recently. Like you they thought guests would spend enough travellling, hotels etc. They had been to plenty of weddings themselves recently that had cost them an arm and a leg. They are well set up and didn't need things. They asked people to make a donation to a charity of their choice if they wanted to. Some guests still bought presents but they were mostly smaller, personal types of things, rather than household goods etc. I don't think anyone was offended by it at all and they have some nice personalised bits and pieces.

80sWaistcoat Tue 08-Nov-16 13:13:55

We said no gifts. It was second time round for DH so asking his family for presents again seemed a bit much and all my family had to fly in which was really expensive.

People still did give us gifts, which was lovely, but we really hadn't wanted any.

I wouldn't start a war about it though - if your partner is adamant that people will want to give gifts then get a gift list set up with small items on it.

DisneyMillie Tue 08-Nov-16 14:32:24

We sent word round verbally (tell one aunt and it tells them all kind of thing) that we didn't want presents - just them there.

People mostly still bought things - mainly champagne / vouchers but hopefully didn't feel the requirement to spend lots.

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