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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:
BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 12:21

I don't think we are going to get a honey moon we have five children between us. But a night away would be very much appreciated somewhere.

OP posts:
shinynewusername · 26/06/2017 12:21

The trouble with not having any list or guidance is that some people will want to give a present and you will end up with lots of stuff you don't want/need. And not everyone wants to give cash as a present, even to a charity - it seems so impersonal. What about having a list at Good Gifts - link? Your DC can have fun choosing the gifts and guests can feel they have donated an actual gift, not money - albeit to someone else.

Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 12:22

TheCraicDealer you've never been to a dinner party that wasn't cash bar or BYO?!?

And what do cash-bar afficionados do when there's no bar in the venue? Do the bridge and groom create one with a till to charge their friends?

BarbaraofSeville · 26/06/2017 12:24

I've never been to a wedding with a free bar either. All weddings have been in pubs, hotels, church halls etc and after the toast and a glass or two of wine on the table with the meal, you just bought your drinks at the bar. Never heard anyone complain either.

But OP, according to a lot on here, you've insulted them by merely inviting them to the wedding. Don't you know what an implication a wedding invite is?

I'm also astonished about the number of people who say they simply wouldn't go because of some minor disagreement in etiquette surrounding gifts.

Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 12:24

the bride* not the bridge Blush

carjacker1985 · 26/06/2017 12:27

YABU for asking for advice on Mumsnet, where all weddings are considered evil and whatever you do will be wrong.

Don't have a free bar if you can't afford it, and ask for whatever you like- if people love and care about you they won't mind, they'll just be happy to celebrate your happy day.

BarbaraofSeville · 26/06/2017 12:28

Venues that don't have bars are different and probably quite rare. In that case the B&G would probably provide some drinks but suggest if you want anything in particular, you are welcome to bring your own.

The difference is that if the venue sells drinks, the venue will expect to be paid bar prices whether this is by the guests or the B&G. If they don't have a bar, B&G are more likely to supply some or all of the booze for free because they can buy it much more cheaply from supermarkets/Majestic/France etc.

FakePlasticTeaLeaves · 26/06/2017 12:30

I have never heard of this - not getting gifts at a second wedding? What if it's the first wedding for one of you?

MaudesMum · 26/06/2017 12:31

If you really, really don't want anything, then saying so with your invitation would make life a lot easier for your guests and will stop the provision of unwanted items! I'm a guest at a wedding next month, and with my rsvp asked if there was a wedding list (which was what I was brought up to do - ask nicely). Didn't get an immediate reply but there was then a nicely worded circular from the couple saying that there was absolutely no need, but however if you really really wanted to give something would it be possible to donate some money as they were moving country and couldn't take much with them. So, I don't feel pressured to donate, but I probably will!

BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 12:32

At my original wedding we had caterers and did a booze run to France. I've only been to two or three where all drinks have been paid for.

OP posts:
ComtesseDeSpair · 26/06/2017 12:34

The Bride and Groom have to pretend that receiving gifts is not a wedding tradition and so must not give any indication that they are expecting to receive one and must act surprised and caught off-guard if asked what they would like. Guests likewise have to pretend that giving gifts is not a customary tradition and must feel affronted if any indication is given that it is assumed they might like to bring one before they make the first move to suggest they would like to.

As far as I can tell.

I'm from an Asian background and nobody bothers shuffling about with this disingenuous charade. You know you're expected to give cash and so you give cash and feel relieved that you don't have to go shopping.

user1483387154 · 26/06/2017 12:36

For my first wedding we asked for donations towards revamping our bathroom, either money or buying items on the refurb list.
For my second wedding (Husband's first) we did not ask for any gifts or money at all. Some people still very generously gave us money and gifts but I would have felt very awkward actually asking for something.

Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 12:37

You should only invite the guests you can afford.If you want and can afford Claridges, go for it. If you think their prices are too high for you, so guests should subsidise your wedding, then don't. Really it's cringing.

If you have friends for a barbecue, you don''t ration your guests to one beer do you? Why does it sound acceptable because it's a wedding? I am always puzzled by people who want a flashy wedding without paying for it.

same story

MrsOverTheRoad · 26/06/2017 12:39

We got married later in our relationship and were well established so we asked people to bring us something they'd made...funny or otherwise...but not to feel obliged was more a case of "If you've got an idea or something then go for it"

So one couple wrote us a song and played the guitar and performed was hillarious...another friend made us terrible and funny Fimo models of us...another brought us well me a pair of silver earrings she'd made.

We also got a poem and a few framed photos which people had blown up and mounted. Lovely!

Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 12:40

OP, just google "worst wedding gifts ever" and decide if you want a contribution to your weekend away or let people explore their creative side

Needmoresleep · 26/06/2017 12:46

I was happy when a couple gently suggested money rather than gifts, but without any pressure. (I think it was when I asked about presents.) They were emigrating, but the same would apply equally to people saving for a deposit or similar. I would much prefer to support people in a way they wanted than give them something that will clutter up cupboards for evermore.

BarbaraofSeville · 26/06/2017 12:48

You should only invite the guests you can afford.If you want and can afford Claridges, go for it. If you think their prices are too high for you, so guests should subsidise your wedding, then don't. Really it's cringing

No one said anything about Claridges. What about people with very small budgets? Even the simplest buffet in a pub may be beyond their budget if they are expected to pay for everyone's drinks too. Are you saying they should risk upsetting people by not inviting them to the wedding if they can't afford to pay for all their drinks?

None of the weddings I've been to have had a free bar and no-one I know seems to mind paying for drinks at a wedding.

TheCraicDealer · 26/06/2017 12:51

Cash bar or BYO. I've never been to any sort of party (except industry events) where I had drink fed to me all night. I've always expected to either bring a bottle or go to the bar- perhaps I move in the wrong circles. The fact that there are licensed bar services you can hire into venues with no licence speaks for itself.

I'm not going to cut people from a guest list in order to subsidise other guests who wish to have more than the equivalent of 3/4 of a bottle of wine which has been paid for by us. That's already a lot of booze, and as there will be (free) water on the tables they're hardly going to expire of thirst.

Lweji · 26/06/2017 12:52

Ahem, OP, TAAT means thread about a thread and it gets threads deleted. It's bad etiquette on MN. Grin

I'd leave it to the guests, or suggest a charity donation or cash if they ask.

jay55 · 26/06/2017 13:00

If people ask what to get you say an Expedia/Hilton/hotel gift card would be appreciated or a couple of hours babysitting Wink.
If they don't ask, don't worry.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest · 26/06/2017 13:10

I find it funny how cash bars are so awful on MN - the people saying this must move in much wealthier circles than I do. I've never been to a wedding where anything beyond table wine and a toast glass is provided and it's never bothered me at all - especially as I can imagine that some people would really take advantage of an open bar.

Apparently I must really offend everyone we invite for dinner as well - after all we have a few bottles of wine and soft drinks in but I'd be surprised if someone didn't bring their own drinks as well, or expected us to have a variety of drinks that I don't like.

BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 13:24

Jay55 a couple of hours in the local travel lodge would go a long way sometimes.

OP posts:
2014newme · 26/06/2017 13:28

2nd marriage just put no gifts.

Angelicinnocent · 26/06/2017 13:32

Don't put anything about gifts. Those that want to give you something will or they will ask you what you would like. Nothing wrong with saying a donation towards a weekend away would be lovely once you've been asked.

First time weddings I tend to give cash, second time around and I usually give a bottle of fizz and some nice truffles or something. Anytime I'm just invited to the evening do, a bottle of wine and a card

Funnyface1 · 26/06/2017 13:37

We didn't ask for anything. We received one gift voucher, a handful of gifts and the rest was money. It was entirely the guests decision.

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