Gift Etiquette Question!

Online Users: 1,286 guest(s), 1 user(s). Replies: 8

BrittonBride Posts : 3 Registered: 12/28/09
Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 2:14 PM

Hello everyone!

My father-in-law-to-be is generously going to allow us to move into his house with the intent of moving out sometime in the near future once he settles his finances. We will have a fully furnished house that will be paid off in 2 years, which is extremely good because my fiance and I are going to be paying for this wedding ourselves! Now, here is my problem... We are inviting nearly 140 people, and we just have no use for linens, pots or pans or anything like that... how do I stay within etiquette and ask for monetary gifts or donations of time/supplies/help to go towards the ceremony, reception, and our honeymoon without offending? Thank you for all your help!

The Future Mrs. Roland Edward Britton, III

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 3:13 PM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

Dear Mrs B,

"how do I stay within etiquette and ask for monetary gifts or donations of time/supplies/help to go towards the ceremony, reception, and our honeymoon without offending?"

There is no way you can go begging for money to fund a party without offending the guests/donors. There is no etiquette-approved way to say "Give us cash; we don't need your lousy gifts.".

This would be especially true if you are being given a fully furnished house. Most people have to pay for their own roof above their heads. Take the money you would have otherwise spent on rent or house payments and pay for your own party.

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HappyGirl13 Posts : 1,298 Registered: 4/21/08
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 4:30 PM Go to message in response to: auntofthebride

I agree with Aunt. If you prefer money over any more traditional gifts, you can't proactively advertise that, but what you CAN do is 1) not register anywhere and 2) if guests ask you, or your parents, for advice about what to get you, you/they can say "We've got everything for our house, so we don't need anything for that (or we're not registering anywhere)." And then stop there and let them draw their own conclusions, which will possibly or probably be "Then I'll give them cash."

Or if you say you don't need anything for the house and they press further, you can elaborate and tell them "We're saving for X" (a trip, home renovations, etc.) or "We love Target (or another store that you know you'll always need stuff from)". The only thing I WOULDN'T say is "We're saving money towards the wedding."

So with that approach, you may still end up with a few gifts you don't want or need, but you will have handled it graciously AND a lot of people will get the hint without you telling them directly.

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 8, 2010 5:16 PM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

My tips:

1) Tell close family and friends that if someone asks about your registry, that the bride and groom in this case prefer cash.This is the only etiquette-approved way of getting $$.

2) Do a traditional registry un-traditionally. There are websites that allow you to pull things from different places into one registry. You can register for stuff from Home Depot and for luggage from ebags on the same online registry. You can also write in charity dornations, or cash gifts. One of my favorite registries ever was a friend who found a website where she pulled things from Macy's, uncommongoods, charity gifts to the Humane Society, and a hotel room reservation all into the same list.

Your other option is a honeymoon registry. Some have issues with this, but they are becoming more popular, and I don't have a problem with them. The only thing is that honeymoon registries take a percentage of any donation, generally. Which is why if someone had a honeymoon registry, I'd just give them cash -- which would still work for you.


3) Whatever you do, I still recommend you do a traditional registry, because there is probably somebody who would be uncomfortable giving any other way, so you should try and identify some upgrades that you need. And while it behooves me to say this, Bed, Bath, and Beyond allows you to return gifts for cash. This was useful to me and my husband, who had second thoughts on a few of our registry gifts.

4) Relax. We wanted money too, and we got a lot of it. We also got some registry stuff that we wanted, and some non-registry stuff which was great too. So you'll probably get a decent sum no matter what you do.

__________________________________________

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

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loveisjoy Posts : 85 Registered: 2/6/09
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 9, 2010 3:40 PM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

I already have a house, and we don't need kitchenware, or bedding. So I'm not creating a registry, and when people ask my mom, his mom, and other family members they are going to tell them that we already have everything for a house, we would like monetary gifts, to help us purchase furniture for our home, that is the only thing we truly need. Don't put on your invitation that you want monetary donations, just let your parents and his parents know, and if anyone ask you then you can explain it to them.

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JerseyGirlVA Posts : 311 Registered: 9/17/09
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 11, 2010 11:19 AM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

As previously mentioned don't write that you want monetary gifts anywhere on your invitations.
By not registering anywhere for wedding gifts, guests may take the initiative to simply write you & FH a check.
Also word of mouth is a great way to get the word out, you certainly shouldn't be calling people to tell them that you want money as a wedding gift but mom & other close family members can casually be told. But only tell the individuals that you believe other guests may contact to inquire about a wedding gift- maybe a godmother, close cousin, sister & mom.
I'd assume that most of FH's family will know that you're staying in your FFIL's house so they will be aware that you have most household supplies. FH's family will most likely give you monetary gifts if they are aware of your living situation. It woulnd't hurt to mention that you're truly enjoying the many perks (pots & pans, linens, towels, kitchen supplies, etc. already available to you) of living in your FFIL's house the next time you talk to any of your guests as well.

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EmilyMaeA85 Posts : 3 Registered: 1/11/10
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 11, 2010 11:30 AM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

I am in the near same boat; we have a tiny apartment and no real need for all the knick-knack patty-whacks you get when you register. SOME things are helpful, like some pots pans and blankets, but when you don't need it or don't have room, it's totally pointless.

My fiance and I are doing a Honey Fund, where you register for your honeymoon expenses; basically, people give you money for your honeymoon. Try the HoneyFund website and see what it is about, that might help alleviate your costs.

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NJ4Life Posts : 3,358 Registered: 8/10/07
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 11, 2010 11:47 AM Go to message in response to: BrittonBride

Did anyone ever think that gifts like housewares are good "upgrades"? We also had our own apartment, with housewares but we still registered for real stuff. We both had been living on our own for a few years and our stuff was crap. So we took the opportunity to "upgrade" to nicer things. And even though we didnt open a lot of it until we bought our house, it was nice to have & nice not to have to buy all these things on top of buying a new house.

I have a friend who bought a house w/ her FH about a year before their wedding. And I distinctly remember her bitching after the wedding that they "really wanted cash" b/c as a young couple they are just "starting out". Well to me, if you already have a place (and especially OWN a house) you are not just "starting out". And now they go on pricey vacations and buy lots of expensive things...so I wonder if they are using their gift money for extravagent purchases and not a nest egg as I feel wedding money should be used. IDK, thats just my opinion. We took our wedding money and put it towards a down payment on a house...

And OP-are you planning on having a shower? If so, what kinds of gifts do you expect to receive there? Not many people give cash gifts at a shower.

I think a registry is just a nice option for people who like to give actual gifts. Knowing what I know now about my friend, I probably would not have given her cash as a gift and would have given her a gift card or something off her registry. I am not comfortable with funding your vacations when I can barely afford to take one myself...just my opinion.

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

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Gift Etiquette Question!
Posted: Jan 11, 2010 2:09 PM Go to message in response to: EmilyMaeA85

Dear Emily,

"My fiance and I are doing a Honey Fund, where you register for your honeymoon expenses; basically, people give you money for your honeymoon. Try the HoneyFund website and see what it is about, that might help alleviate your costs. "

Please think twice on this one. Many people, myself included, find honeymoon registries to be distasteful.

If I want to give you money for your honeymoon, I can hand you a check in an envelope with "For Your Honeymoon" on the outside. I don't have to go through a third party who will take their slice off the top. If I'm going to give you $100, I want you to get $100, not some fraction.

A honeymoon registry is like registering for cash.

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