Gift or no gift?

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brix24 Posts : 165 Registered: 8/3/08
Gift or no gift?
Posted: Jun 30, 2009 1:01 AM

My DF's brother announced last week he and his girlfriend are getting married at the end of July. We have already brought our flight tickets, booked accomodation and are of course thinking about what we will wear and what gift to buy.

Trouble is - he doesn't want a gift.

We feel we would like to buy something for them, but he had a temper tantrum on Sunday night when he phoned my DF and we tried to discuss gifts. My future MIL has offered to give my future BIL $5000 to go towards the wedding, baby, whatever (shotgun wedding you might say), but that suggestion from her did not go down too well.

He is insistent we wear jeans (he is wearing jeans to his wedding) and not bring gifts. I will probably wear a skirt and dress for what is appropriate in my mind ( I would wear jeans to do my grocery shopping, not for a wedding), but of course not show up the bride as thats just mean, but I guess at the end of the day we do want to give them a gift.

Do we, but have it accepted on bad terms? DF's parents are as confused as we are. We like the bride and are genuinely happy for them so there are no ill feelings floating around about the impending marriage or baby.

Myra? AOTB? Anyone? I just find it hard that we should not bring something to celebrate their new life. Should we just shut up?


Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Gift or no gift?
Posted: Jun 30, 2009 9:20 AM Go to message in response to: brix24

I would give them a gift, but something that's not really a big deal. If they are going to be new parents, gift cards for restaurants in the area, especially ones that deliver might be nice. It saves a new parent some time if they can skip making dinner one night. Its a shame you don't like closer - I would suggest making up coupons for nights of free babysitting.

Why does he not want gifts?



P.O.O.P.E.R. - People Offended by Offended People Executive Recruiter


auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Gift or no gift?
Posted: Jun 30, 2009 11:36 AM Go to message in response to: brix24

Dear Brix,

If the guy has emphatically told his own brother and FSIL that he does not want a gift, then I'd consider that to be his final answer. He knows full well that you will have to shell out the dough for the travel arrangements, so it's not like you're getting off scott free.

Here is my suggestion.

Attend the wedding, wish them the best, then later when they are back home and everything is settled down, invite them to a nice restaurant and pick up the tab. If Brother protests, just say "Consider this our wedding gift to you, so keep your mitts off the check.".

As for what to wear, I suggest a compromise. Maybe an upmarket denim skirt and very nice knit shirt?


myra Posts : 5,550 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Gift or no gift?
Posted: Jun 30, 2009 1:25 PM Go to message in response to: brix24

Does his fiance feel the same way? I gotta say, he sounds wierd. I agree that there are ways to give gifts without "giving gifts." So, don't show up with a large, ribbon wrapped package. But, you could--give to a charity in their honor (especially if they have a favorite cause or special interest); be especially nice and generous with your baby gift; treat them to a night out; hold a shower in their honor; offer a service, like doing flowers or hair and makeup or a manicure (depending on your timing, level of skill, etc.). If all of that is rejected, then oh, well, you'll just have to do what he wants, since the whole purpose of gift giving is to make the receivers happy, not yourself.

As for "what to wear," since you're not in the wedding party, he has no right to tell you what to wear. Since he has indicated that this will be a super-casual affair, wear whatever makes you comfortable in a super-casual situation. If jeans don't do it, wear capris and a cute top, or a denim or cotton skirt, or a cute sundress. Leave the cocktail dress or Sunday church clothes at home.
myra at


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