Monetary gifts

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AyeshaandAndre Posts : 10 Registered: 11/3/09
Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 2:25 PM

My fiance is Chinese and the gift custom is a red envelope with money and blesings. We would like for all of our guests to do this, but I'm American and I'm pretty sure that my family will be offended by the request for cash. So I'd like to open the floor for discussion on how the approach the subject. I was thinking we could do a token registry for those who insist on gifts while leaving a message on the website about the Chinese tradition and how we would prefer the red envelops. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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TanisJ Posts : 2,669 Registered: 4/25/07
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 2:58 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

I think a combination of the two might work best. What if you had enough envelopes for everyone at the wedding but kept them discreetly in one location? The people accustomed to this tradition will seek out the envelopes and then the people who are not accustomed to this tradition may or may not join in. I used to work at a college for international students and we used the envelopes in our Chinese New Year. I found that the people who weren't used to the custom (which was the majority of the students the first year) loved the envelopes and loved learning about the custom. I would also suggest incorporating some other Chinese customs into your ceremony and reception so that you don't have any possibly thinking 'Well they chose that custom because it gives them money". I would also list a number of Chinese traditions on the website rather than just the one.

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 3:39 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

I really dont think its fair to request anything like that of any guests. You're not requesting the CHinese people bring actual gifts...so why the other way around.

I would think the Chinese family will bring their traditional gifts and the Americans, theirs. However being American myself, 99.9% of the time I bring cash anyway so I don't think it's something that would need to be specially requested. And it's bad manners to request cash only.

New Jersey: We have dumps, bays and cement boots and we know how to use 'em

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 4:07 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

It's really not polite to request a certain type of gifts - or to mention your preferences at all, without being asked. If guests ask for gift ideas or registries, it's Ok for you to explain the tradition, but you shouldn't phrase it so that it sounds like that's their only option. Do not offer the info to people who do not ask for it, however - and do not mention it in the invitations.

Here's what you can do: Tell a few people (your moms and WP) your preferences. Later on, when guests ask them about registries, they can say, 'Actually, they haven't registered. Chinese tradition is insert description of red envelope tradition, and many of the Chinese guests will be following that. If you prefer not to do that, though, I know they could use a blender and their living room is blue.' You can answer the same way if asked directly, but never tell someone your gift preferences if they don't ask first (neither should your friends or family). That just makes you look greedy.

Word of mouth works. We did not put our registry information on our invites or website, but all the guests (except those who gave cash) found out where we were registered, anyway.

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 5:20 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

Dear Ayesha,

It is poor etiquette to indicate, in any way, that you would prefer cash gifts. Just because you expect the Chinese-American guests to offer red envelopes with cash doesn't mean you can go begging for cash from other guests.

I'm American, and I would indeed be offended by a couple who says "Give us cash". Not only would I NOT give cash, but I would spend less for the gift itself, seeing as how the couple won't really appreciate whatever I get them.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 6:13 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

I was thinking we could do a token registry for those who insist on gifts while leaving a message on the website about the Chinese tradition and how we would prefer the red envelops.

My suggetion is different from those you've heard.

I think doing a token registry is a good idea. I also think that a message on your website explaining the Chinese tradition is fine as well. I simply would omit that you'd "prefer" red envelopes. Guest don't like to be told what to buy, unless it's on a registry (and some even resent that!). But I think that a section on your wedding website that has your wedding registry on it, and also on the same page something that says "In China, red envelopes containing monetary gifts are often given to a new bride and groom. These too are welcome." It's sort of like saying "Hey Americans! money's good!" and also saying "Hey Chinese guests! We're registered if you want to do that!"

You can say what's welcome, but stay away from saying what's "preferred." Good luck.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 6:14 PM Go to message in response to: MsDenuninani

I also second Tanis's advice above:

I would also suggest incorporating some other Chinese customs into your ceremony and reception so that you don't have any possibly thinking 'Well they chose that custom because it gives them money". I would also list a number of Chinese traditions on the website rather than just the one.



__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 7:48 PM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

I agree with the others, you really shouldn't request cash only. As an American not accustomed to this tradition, someone might think "Wow, their telling us what exactly to give them, and even how to wrap it!" Are you doing any other Chinese traditions? I really like the idea of describing the tradition on a website, but if your including other traditions, maybe describe them all on one page? That way it won't seem too much like your'e telling people what to give you.

When it comes to money I know different cultures vary soo much. You really have to watch what you do and how you follow the customs because you don't want to come off as rude, insulting, or greedy to people who aren't accustom to them. For example, some people do the money dance, while others think it's one of the rudest and tackiest things to do. My FH is Philipino and they have Godparents (AKA sponsers) for their weddings. His mom wants us to do this, but I won't ask anyone on my side to do this because for us it's not a custom for us at all and it'll probably come off as greedy and selfish, where if we ask someone on his side they would probably be really happy and honored.

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AyeshaandAndre Posts : 10 Registered: 11/3/09
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 10, 2009 8:17 PM Go to message in response to: FutureMrsDJLeo

Thanks for the advice. We are planning on fitting in several Chinese traditions, and it's a good idea to have a page listing those traditions; thank you for that. We also want to add elements of Asian/American fusion. I hadn't considered that people would think we are telling them what to do; I appreciate that mention. I just thought it would simplify things for people who are really busy these days but felt they had to take time out to go shopping to know we wouldn't mind if they didn't go to the trouble.

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Monetary gifts
Posted: Dec 11, 2009 3:01 AM Go to message in response to: AyeshaandAndre

One thing your friends and family (I probably wouldn't put this on the website or anything) can tell others is that your wedding is going to consist of Chinese traditions as well as American, and if they want to do something that the Chinese do, they can give money in a red envelope. Money is usually easiest, but I know that whenever I have to get a card for any reason, birthday, get well, good luck, graduation, wedding, whatever it may be, I'm always stopping at the store on my way to the event. What if I can't find a red envelope, or have to purchase them inbulk when I know I won't use them ever again. Plus, even if it is Chinese tradition, I wouldn't be happy being told what to give. I don't know, but to me just the whole idea of telling people what to do (at there own expense) because it follows what the Bride & Groom want is kind of like telling people, "OK, You have to dress up as _ to come to my wedding" or something along the lines of those aspects. I honestly don't think that's what your trying to do, but just give you some insight as to what some guests may feel.

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