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TAAT what is the etiquette then with wedding presents?

72 replies

BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 11:36

I get married later on this year, am about to send out invites.

What is the deal about wedding presents? When I got married twenty odd years ago I had a list at M&S because we had bought our first home and it needed decking out.

I haven't produced a poem or included a gift list as it's both our second marriage.

So aibu to ask, what is the etiquette for a second wedding?

OP posts:

RuggerHug · 26/06/2017 11:41

You don't ask for gifts at all. If people want to give one, lovely but don't assume.


GETTINGLIKEMYMOTHER · 26/06/2017 11:44

I've been to a couple inc. a dd's where the invitations said, 'No presents, just presence,' and these were first weddings, too, but couples had been together for quite a while. And presumably they felt that all the expense guests usually incur anyway - travel, maybe hotel, etc., was enough to ask.
Nice and refreshingly non grabby IMO.
However in the case of family nuptials, or dcs of close friends, we've always slipped some cash into a card anyway.


YesMadamDeputySpeaker · 26/06/2017 11:44

You may want to rethink putting "TAAT" in the thread title Grin

I don't think there's a set etiquette as such - no one will expect you to do one thing or another. I would ask for a donation to a local charity.


Babypassport · 26/06/2017 11:48

Good question Brighton! Placemarking as I'd like to hear the answers.


ajandjjmum · 26/06/2017 11:48

You send out invitations. People reply. If they choose to, they ask what present you would like.

Although it's become an accepted thing, I really struggle with the rudeness of including a present list with an invitation.


Stopnamechanging · 26/06/2017 11:49

Lots ask for charity donations which is nice I think.


WingMirrorSpider · 26/06/2017 11:50

When dh and I got married we were genuinely setting up home together for the first time so we did have a traditional gift list with stuff like towels, crockery, pans etc on it. However we didn't send it out (or even mention it) with the invitations, but if guests asked us we'd pass it on to them. This was pre internet days so it was just a handwritten list.


CMOTDibbler · 26/06/2017 11:50

If you want gifts, do a gift list (with a big range of prices). If you don't want gifts, say so and mean it.


BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 11:53

I don't need gifts we have a house and have more children we can shake a stick at.

I'd like a bloody holiday or a sleep in once in a while and for the children to stop arguing but I'm not sure the guests could provide that.

OP posts:

HipsterHunter · 26/06/2017 11:55

I'm not sure its the done thing to ask for gifts for a second wedding?

I'd say "no gifts required but a donation to [x] charity would be much appreciated"


Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 11:56

I don't think I've ever received an invitation without a wedding list. You don't have to include one, just prepare one so you can direct people when they will ask you, or tell them a contribution to whatever (honeymoon for example) will be appreciated.
Most people will have to ask you!

I can't think of anything worst than having to figure out a gift for a wedding: people have completely different tastes, and unless you are very close, it's an absolute minefield. There was a very entertaining thread about gift for a well-off couple: the favourite ideas of some posters were the worst nightmare of others.

A very big with very cheap presents to more expensive ones is so much easier.

What I do find extremely rude is inviting guests for the evening only (because they are not good enough for the main wedding apparently), or having a cash bar. If you can't afford 300 guests, just invite 50. I would never charge a friend for drinks when they come for diner, why should I charge them when they come to my wedding? It's so cringing.

Wedding gift lift, total non-issue. Who wants to end up with 20 toasters or 35 ill-matching photo frames?


daydreamnation · 26/06/2017 11:59

We didn't ask for anything and so many people said they found it so refreshing and such a nice change from the all to familiar greediness.


Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 11:59

Even if a couple says they don't want present, you have to do something. You rarely turn up for diner empty handed, let alone a birthday or wedding party, so you still let the guests having to waste time trying to figure out something nice.

Just tell them what you want, so much easier for everybody. Even a "we're going away to xxx as a honeymoon, you're welcome to contribute" as an answer is fine.


BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 12:00

Our wedding is very small as we have both been married before so we are putting x amount behind bar and then when it's gone pay drinks.

I don't think free bars all night are that common now?

OP posts:

notanevilstepmother · 26/06/2017 12:06

I think for a second wedding and already set up home it is polite to say no gifts.

You could suggest donations to a charity, or contributions to honeymoon, but maybe word it in such a way that sounds like it's not compulsory.


Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 12:07

free bars all night are that common now?

thankfully they still seem the done thing around me, I've haven't seen cash bars more than a couple of times.
If you don't like the drinks offered, too bad, but I don't get the concept of expecting guests to pay.


Syc4moreTrees · 26/06/2017 12:08

My DB didn't include a wedding list and ended up with 8 sets of knives and 3 kettles. I think generally when i'm invited to a wedding I want to get a gift so would just as soon know what gift someone wanted. I don't see it as grabby. I don't even mind the money poems all that much.

I don't have an extended family though so when I get invited to a wedding it's someone i actually like and am glad to buy for, I think some of the resentment comes from people who are invited to weddings because they are a cousin aunt nephew etc rather than because of any close relationship.

If you want money just ask for it. I don't see the issue to be honest, but the common MN thing is that it is rude so obviously some people view it differently.


TheCraicDealer · 26/06/2017 12:10

I've literally never been to a wedding (or birthday party or anniversary party or funeral or dinner party for that matter) where it hasn't been a cash bar or BYO. Once you put a few bottles of wine on every table and two glasses of fizz for each guest that's a significant outlay- if people want more than that they're welcome to use the bar.

OP we're just not mentioning it. If people ask we're saying that we're planning a honeymoon for next year when DP gets back from tour, and if they want to contribute it would be much appreciated. But there's no expectation. The poems are the worst. A colleague forwarded me the one her daughter is using (and they're good living so not living together- people that would normally have a list!) and I just cringed.


burnoutbabe · 26/06/2017 12:11

i really don't get why ANYONE would buy a couple who live away from parents a KETTLE???????? like that is the first thing people buy on setting up home (different if its a fancy retro one on their wedding list)


notanevilstepmother · 26/06/2017 12:12


MissMarpleSparkles · 26/06/2017 12:13

At our wedding (DH's second, my first) we had a cousin of his ring up and ask who got the wedding present he had bought 'the first time around'. After being reminded of what it was (it had been 15 years before!!) DH said he had got it in the split.

So the cousin said; 'Fine. That is my present for this time then'. i.e. he had already bought one wedding gift, was not going to buy another.

We had not actually asked for gifts and had been telling people we did not want anything, but I thought that approach (to be actually vocalised out loud to us!) was a pretty - unusual- way of going about things!

Anyway, some people insisted on gifts and so we asked for plants for our garden, which gives me a wonderful reminder of them too.:)


Itscurtainsforyou · 26/06/2017 12:13

We said no presents, but gave links to two justgiving pages to donate to in case people felt obliged (first wedding, it's a personal thing but I can't abide wedding lists, it's expensive enough to attend a wedding at times)

Didn't have a free bar either. We felt that a few bottles of wine on the tables and a meal was enough. But maybe we're just tight not very extravagant...Smile


DrSpin · 26/06/2017 12:16

We said we didn't want or need presents, and that we appreciated that going to weddings can be an expensive day out anyhow - but if people really wanted to get us something we would appreciate vouchers for John Lewis.
We provided all food and drinks all day and night.
We married 2 years ago but had been together for ages so asked by for presents seemed rude and not providing drinks seemed cheeky.


Helloitsme88 · 26/06/2017 12:17

I actually like it when bride and groom say what they would like Iike. Makes it easier for me to sort rather than chasing them up for anything. 6 weddings this year. I haven't the time to be asking what they would like.


towelpintpeanuts · 26/06/2017 12:19

I think MN is a parallel world wrt wedding rituals. I've never been to a free bar wedding (welcome drinks/wine on table as standard, but after that you're on your own); or a wedding where there isn't a wedding list (or more recently, money request). I live in a bog standard bit of SE England, with bog standard middle class mates.

Personally, I think a wedding list is OK for a second wedding, but I'd expect there to be a good range of cheaper items available. I'm not a huge fan of the 'money towards honeymoon' type lists, but have encountered lots of those (first and second weddings) too.

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