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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:
Bumdishcloths · 26/06/2017 13:41

Coddiwomple could you be any more snobbish? Jesus.

We didn't have a free bar, we put some money behind the bar and gave people 'vouchers' for 4 free drinks, and provided wine at the table.

It's a wedding, not a free for all piss up. If you want to get bladdered at my wedding I'm not paying for it Hmm

Coddiwomple · 26/06/2017 13:52

Bumdishcloths I am the opposite of snobbish actually, I don't throw a grand wedding that I can't afford and when I have guests, I don't charge them for drinks (or food even)

I might have spend less on flowers - no one care about them anyway - to ensure my own guests have a good time, food and drink, and no-one got bladdered!

I have never been requested to bring my own drinks to any diner party I 've been invited to, not since I was a student.

What's next? You ask people to bring their own milk when you invite them for a cup of tea?

PinkSparklyPussyCat · 26/06/2017 14:04

We didn't ask for anything in the invitations but we set up a honeymoon account with Virgin Holidays as we knew that some people would want to give us something. We only gave the details to anyone who asked and actually got told off by a couple of people for not putting the details in the invitation.

PinkSparklyPussyCat · 26/06/2017 14:27

Reading Coddiwomple's posts I think we must have done everything wrong! We invited people to the evening do only (the registry office only held 50). No one seemed to mind and the evening guests enjoyed the party without having to sit through the ceremony! We also had a cash bar as I wasn't paying for endless drinks and in my experience putting a certain amount of money behind the bar doesn't work as the same people keep going back and others don't get anything.

LorelaiLeighGilmore · 26/06/2017 14:28

Why would you not deserve presents if it's your second wedding?!?

dontcallmelen · 26/06/2017 14:39

Have a lovely wedding Op, usually if nothing in the invitation regarding presents, most guest will ask or put cash in with card.
Mn is usually split on cash/free bar I have never been to a wedding with a cash bar, my dd has been to a lot more weddings recently than me & only a couple have been a cash bar, majority a free bar, all depends on people's budgets.

OlennasWimple · 26/06/2017 14:41

I'm so glad I got married before I was on MN...

Personally I hate the charade that presents at a wedding is some kind of obscure custom. If I go to a wedding (or birthday party, or christening, or anniversary party, or retirement party) I will take a card and a present. As will 99% of attendees.

I CBA ringing the B&G to ask what they want (or worse, the B' s parents), I would far sooner they just let me know upfront what their preference is. I've never had a cringey poem but I have sent cash towards a honeymoon, trips on a honeymoon, furniture, a conservatory, a car and many many charities. Gift lists make buying something simple, but if there's nothing left, I'll happily but vouchers. If I know the couple I am confident going off list, either completely or as an additional extra.


littlebrownbag · 26/06/2017 14:45

When we got married (DH second, my first), we said no gifts as we already had two of everything between us. Family & friends complained that they wanted to get us something anyway and we were making it too hard! So we ended up saying that John Lewis vouchers would always be useful. Some people were very generous Blush and we had a nice afternoon spending them.

Some guests didn't get us a gift, and that was fine too, we were touched that they made the time to come and celebrate with us, some of them from out of the country.

Laiste · 26/06/2017 14:46

Have the wedding you can afford.

We had a small do for 25 guests in the afternoon at a lovely country house. Paid for the champers for the toasts. Paid for a bit of grub and a cupper. Everyone sodded off home at 6pm and DH and i went up an enjoyed our room (which the venue upgraded for us for free) for the night Grin

We said no gifts please on the invites. Most guests just bunged some money in with their card.

Laiste · 26/06/2017 14:47

The country house was the wedding venue too. So easy for all.

IvorHughJarrs · 26/06/2017 14:57

ICoddiwomple Your posts are coming across as snobbish.

We have been to many weddings, mostly DH and my friends but, recently, some of the DCs friends. I cannot remember even one which was a free bar although the receptions have all been in hotels, pubs, golf clubs, etc. where there is a facility to pay. Most have reception drinks, wine provided with the meal and sparkling wine for toasts so guests only pay for evening drinks.
We, like many others, just give money if nothing is mentioned regarding gifts but I see nothing wrong in a couple suggesting gifts from a list, vouchers or cash as most guests would sooner give something needed and appreciated

diddl · 26/06/2017 15:06

We also didn't put anything about gifts in the invitations, but did have a list for people who asked.

Well, it was an actual list that we had made, so couldn't go in the invitationsGrin

If you are registered somewhere for gifts though, isn't it OK to mention that?

Mammylamb · 26/06/2017 16:37

Not a massive fan of asking for money; but have seen lots of folk do it. When we got married we did have a wedding list but nothing on it was over £30 an item and we had loads of small things on it (pizza cutter at 3 quid that sort of thing). Lots of my family came up to Scotland from down south and it was a big family reunion (in fact very special as it was the last time my granny had all her children with her; she died the following year). I made it clear especially to those who must have spent a fortune travelling that we didn't expect presents; we really were delighted with presence. Mind you I was shocked at the amount of money we recieved from my husbands family and parents friends (£500 from an uncle, £100 from family friends I had never met and my husband barely had seen since childhood. My favourite presents were actually personal ones (a painting of our neigbourhood, a hamper of lovely organic food in a plastic tub which became our well used laundry tub, and my wedding dress from my brother). My little brother didn't include any poem or gift list for his wedding as he thought it was basically begging and that weddings are expensive enough what with outfits and money to spend at the bar etc. Mind you, we are from a really working class family and didn't have a lot of spare money growing up, so we know what it's like having tight budgets and would hate to see someone not come to our special day due to money.

However, another close family member, who between the couple had already 5 marriages behind them were showing me their gifts from their wedding and were really snarky about a lot of the presents as they were small. I think they were expecting big cash gifts (we had bought a small personalised present; one of the couple was a very close family member who gave us nothing, not even a card or their best wishes on our wedding, so I wasn't going out to town on theirs))

BrightonBelleCat · 26/06/2017 16:54

Have spoken to dp.

We have decided to put a note in the invites saying.

In lieu of gifts why not make a donation to xxx charity.

Now him and I have to have battle of the charities.

OP posts:
RainbowsAndUnicorn · 26/06/2017 17:00

The etiquette is usually a discrete list available upon request. Asking or hinting at anything is grabby.

For a subsequent wedding, the ones I've been to have asked for no gifts. The couples felt it unfair for the guests to buy yet another wedding present for them. Many did take a bottle or flowers.

mnpeasantry · 26/06/2017 17:12

I disagree. I like receiving a wedding list and have never been affronted at someone directing me that way with an invitation.

The list should always contain things for a range of budgets obvs.

It's usually customary to say you do not expect gifts but if people really any to give you something a contribution to x or vouchers from x store would be appreciated. It's a dance. I wouldn't dream of turning up to a wedding without a gift so why pile more work onto the bride and groom by getting them to send you a gift list on request?

I would however avoid the poem.

n0ne · 26/06/2017 17:15

We used Honeyfund in case anybody wanted to to give us something. It allowed people to donate towards our honeymoon in £5 increments thus accommodating all budgets, but we made sure to say on our wedding website that it was ABSOLUTELY optional.

We also had a free bar Grin It was the biggest outlay of the whole day, but for us, a wedding is about celebrating with your nearest and dearest so no way would we charge guests for drinks.

SentientCushion · 26/06/2017 17:22

Do whatever you want there will be someone who moans about it anyway.

We didn't have a guest list and we didn't have a poem and we genuinely didn't care if people gave us something or not (lots of people didn't) but we had a honeymoon fund.

We also didn't have a free bar Hmm i think there's a bit of a north south divide about this, I have never been to a wedding with a free bar all night and I used to work the bar at the central hotel in Newcastle so have been to over 100 weddings.
It's common to have a tab but most weddings have wine on the tables with the meal, a toast and then you buy your own drinks.

n0ne · 26/06/2017 18:13

See, our reasoning was, we had guests from all backgrounds and situations and I would have hated it if the well-off people could drink to their hearts' content and the skint people nurse one drink all night. Also, my side of the wedding were all coming from a different country so had already outlaid $$ to be there, so the least we could do was water them for free.

But we only had 50 guests. If we'd had a massive wedding, we couldn't have afforded a free bar.

mum11970 · 26/06/2017 18:50

I've never been to a free bar wedding (a bottle of red and white on the table and champagne for toast but that's it) and have never turned up at a barbecue without bringing sufficient drink for myself and those who are with me (alcoholic and non alcoholic). We had no wedding list at our wedding (my first, dh's second) but ours was a very small affair with 20 guests.

SentientCushion · 26/06/2017 19:10

I would be really sad to think I hadn't been invited to a wedding because they couldn't afford to buy my drinks all night.

Decaffstilltastesweird · 26/06/2017 20:01

I like getting a gift list. It's not like I'd turn up to a wedding without a gift and it's a much neater way of buying something that the couple will like. As long as there I'd a good price range of items on it that is.

If there's no list, I usually put money or a voucher in a card. It's more of a pain in the arse for me to have to ask the couple for suggestions or a list tbh. It's not a major inconvenience, just a small one I would rather not have.

One couple I know didn't include a list and then said on the invite that they hadn't included a list... as it wasn't their 'style'. I thought that was just a bit wanky. Include it or don't ffs, don't broadcast on the fecking invite, the fact you haven't included one Confused.

Re cash bars vs free bars. We got married, fairly cheaply, when we were quite young and tbh, we just did the usual thing that we were used to; a church ceremony (which was important to us), followed by country hotel reception with 100 or so guests. If I had my time again, harsh as this sounds, I would want to massively reduce the guest list to only people we know well and are close to. Then I'd spend the same amount on a nicer venue, free bar maybe a first hand dress instead of my eBay one (not really - I was fine with my eBay dress). Most people who were at our wedding, we barely see or speak to at all anymore. It would have been so much nicer to have just close friends / immediate family and to really treat them. And definitely no evening guests. Ah well. Hindsight and all that.

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