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Wedding presents

(27 Posts)
gracesmum Fri 07-Sep-12 15:25:00

Where I was brought up in Scotland (and I dare say we were far from unique) it was the norm to give a wedding present to the daughter or son of a good friend, whether or not one was invited to the wedding. Either something from the list if there was one, or perhaps a pair or set of towels, a salad bowl, servers etc
I have always done this as well as a card and it gives me pleasure to do so. When eldest DD was married 3 years ago, a few local friends gave her a present although they did not know her very well, but when littlest got married 2 weeks ago, I was slightly surprised that close friends and neighbours who have known her since childhood made no move that way!! Even our former next door neighbour whose youngest is the same age and wo used to mind DD after school when I went back to work did not acknowledge her wedding in any way. Maybe this is because it was in London and not locally but while DD and SIL are the least materialistic people in the world and would not have expected anything, AIBU to feel a bit miffed on their behalf?

absentgrana Fri 07-Sep-12 15:27:52

I think it is not common to give a wedding present unless one has been invited to the wedding. It might be interpreted as angling for an invitation. It is still appropriate to give a present if one has been invited but cannot go.

HildaW Fri 07-Sep-12 15:36:17

OH I think this is going to get some varied answers gracesmum. In my (limited) experience, present giving seems to go hand in hand with actually going to the wedding. Its further complicated by many couples setting up home together for quite sometime before they marry. In tomorrow's biggish family wedding the happy couple carefully worded a sentance in the invites along the lines that we were invited to come and celebrate their marriage and our attending the event was present enough, but if we wanted to give a little something then they would like modest donations for a few extra outings on their honeymoon. I dont think its an unusual set-up. Needless to say as its my DH's son who is getting married we are giving them a generous cheque.

Hunt Fri 07-Sep-12 17:47:41

our next door neighbour's son got married recently and we certainly gave him a small present (a watering can with a copy of Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit inside) as we had known him from a little boy and seen him grow up.To be on the wedding guest list would not have been appropriate and it would have been sad if that was the only reason for giving a present.

baublesbanglesandb Fri 07-Sep-12 18:29:54

gracesmum when I was growing up it was very common for even acquaintances to give "a wee minding" to the couple with absolutely no thought of an invitation. The gift could be something as small as a pair of tea towels and was appreciated for what it represented - a kind thought from a neighbour or another member of the local community.

I don't think that happens so much now however people still give little gifts on the birth of a child to a family they may know only slightly.

harrigran Fri 07-Sep-12 19:30:11

Where we lived we always gave neighbours a wedding gift, now that people live together, maybe for years before marrying, it does not always seem the thing to do. When DS married they said no gifts but if anyone liked they could donate to the university hardship fund thus ensuring a student was helped.

HildaW Fri 07-Sep-12 19:34:47

Hunt, thats the sweetest idea!

gracesmum Fri 07-Sep-12 19:50:20

The wording on the invitation was "Presence is obligatory, presents are not!", but I still feel hurt that so few people even thought to send a card. Ah well! I suppose it could be that she has moved away from home and the wedding was not in the village, but it has made me think or rethink my own attitude.

Anagram Fri 07-Sep-12 19:52:53

baubles - absolutely! That was the custom then, and sometimes now it is still done, but as has been said, a lot of couples already live together and have the basics, so the tea-towel gesture is largely redundant....

Grannylin Fri 07-Sep-12 20:02:46

My sister,BIL, nieces and nephew and their partners all came to the weddings of my DS1 -and a year later,DS2 and gave nothing, saying that the travel and cost of accommodation was enough...I was pretty shocked sad

absentgrana Fri 07-Sep-12 20:22:41

Grannylin I think that is rude and mean. Did they have to pay for their own food and drink during the wedding celebration? I rather doubt it.

Grannylin Fri 07-Sep-12 20:38:32

It has left me very puzzled but think it may have something to do with the fact that my BIL has only one brother who is severely autistic and will never marry.He has a very jealous, bitter attitude towards our family and I think my sister has to tow the line.Their daughter will marry next year and it wouldn't cross my mind to mimic their behaviour.Families, hey!

Granny23 Fri 07-Sep-12 20:51:28

Gracesmum - I am used to the tradition that you and Baubles describe. When we married back in 1966 we had 60 guests at the wedding but over 300 presents, mostly of the pair of T towels, 6 teaspoons, butter dish sort. My older sister married after me and got far fewer presents. Similarly, when big sister had her baby (first Grandchild) she received lots of small 'mindings'. When my first baby arrived 6 months later I received very few. Same thing happened when my first DGC were born 6 months apart - many cards, handknits and small gifts from our friends and neighbours for No.1, very little for No.2 and when DGC3 came along 2 years later, nothing at all (well a couple of cards).

All that rigmarole to make the point that these 'token' gifts, sometimes pay back for gifts you have given to their sons & daughters, tend to be given once only.

harrigran Sat 08-Sep-12 10:14:51

I noticed that a fuss was made when we had first GD, cards etc, when second arrived there was absolutely no acknowledgement from close family. Lovely neighbour is more kindly than relatives.

Nonu Sat 08-Sep-12 11:05:55

Tha same happened to my son and dil , they invited a friend from Australia , and he said nigh on the same thing grannylin . Bit rude really , we also put him and girlfriend up , but heyho

gracesmum Sat 08-Sep-12 14:25:01

I am also put out that my sister in Canada has not even acknowledged that her niece was getting married! (PS this is the sister who was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's some months ago, but following a visit to a neurologist earlier this month has been told there is absolutely no evidence for the diagnosis!Now she'll have to find a different excuse for her forgetfulnessgrin)

FlicketyB Sat 08-Sep-12 18:12:09

Do you think the high divorce rate combined with the likelihood that the couple have been living together for sometime, and may even have children contributes to the tendency not to give presents? A wedding is no longer the big life event it was signalling a major change in the couples life because they have already set up home together and possibly got children, it is just another sign of progressin a relationship like buying your first house.

You cant reach the age to be a grandparent without attending weddings and later watching the divorce go through, for some people several times. I have bought four wedding presents for one friend.

Nonu Sat 08-Sep-12 18:36:59

FlicketyB , I " d give up

glammanana Sun 09-Sep-12 18:26:08

FlickertyB How true the wedding I went to yesterday although they are a well matched couple who would have lasted the test of time if they had met each other years ago,have both been married 3 times and my friends son who gave her away introduced her as Mrs M the third,a name that will surely be used within us close circle of friends when referring to her.The lucky couple where given some beautiful gifts but as some say here they have a beautifully furnished home and some people just wrote cheques or gave gift vouchers for her favourite department store.

nanaej Sun 09-Sep-12 18:58:58

I think that I would not give , nor expect to receive, a gift if I was not invited to the wedding but I might send a card. Is it Scottish custom for neighbours etc to give a token gift?

Many couples now, if they already have a home, nominate a charity and /or a donation towards the 'honeymoon'.
There are online sites where guests can choose to buy so many miles of travel etc.. basically it is a cash gift to offset the cost of the holiday.. I have done this as a wedding guest on a few occasions now.

HildaW Sun 09-Sep-12 21:01:28

I think some of the problems about people feeling they have spent enough just attending the wedding stems from the modern fashions that mean a wedding nowadays has be contain so much. A ceremony, all that waiting around whilst photos are taken, the meal and speeches then the next bit of hanging around then the evening do where sometimes a change of outfit is expected. The event often means an overnight stay in a hotel as well as a long journey. (Also more journies if you go the the Hen or Stag do) My first wedding over 30 years ago was in a church followed by a simple buffet and a few toasts raised. Started at 12 and was all over by 3. It was in the parish I grew up in and at least half the guests walked to the church. Very different nowadays.........lor I sound like my Granny!

whenim64 Sun 09-Sep-12 21:31:48

Hen do at country house and spa, hotel for two nights for the wedding, boarding fees for the dog kennels for both hen do and wedding, meals out on the eve of the wedding and lunch next day, new outfit for the afternoon wedding, wedding present. £550 pounds lighter so far and they still aren't married! I love my brother to bits - this marriage better be his only one! grin

Nonu Sun 09-Sep-12 21:48:44

When , love it .

Greatnan Sun 09-Sep-12 23:16:46

It has just cost my daughter £10,000 to attend her son's wedding! Four return fares from New Zealand, car hire for a month, accommodation for a month, three outfits, morning suit hire, etc. plus a generous cheque.
It cost me a good deal too - air fare to UK, car hire, hotel for myself and my sister, fuel from Manchester to Kent, and a decent cheque.
We all agreed it was worth every penny!

whenim64 Sun 09-Sep-12 23:46:13

Better get my cheque book out again, Greatnan grin