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Is this poor wedding gift etiquette?


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#26 jayskette

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:34 PM

we had no gifts please written in the invite. still managed to amass quite a few, as we were going to walk a few blicks to the hotel afterwards carrying them was just a bit too hard. how about asking them to donate to your favourite charity.

#27 c.sanders

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:35 PM

I think go with no gifts please. It's just too much hassle. Lately for birthdays (we occasionally have super big ones)  I say no gifts but if you must,  chocolate is a great gift

#28 Chocolate Addict

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:42 PM

If you don't like registries how about organise with someone (mother, sibling, friend) to have a list of items (with cost and shop) and tell them to text that person for ideas?
Bit complicated but if it is mostly family they would probably ask your mum anyway.

I don't mind wishing wells if it is clearly stated what they want to do with the money.
The last wedding I went to, the couple had just moved in to their new build home. They wanted money so they could do the garden as it was just rubble.
They have and have shared photos. It is nice to know we all helped make their yard look lovely and they can look out knowing their friends help make it.

#29 Sui-yat

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:56 PM

Many of our guests had to travel a couple of hours for our wedding and were paying for accommodation to stay in the area so we wrote “the only present required is your presence” or something similar on the invitation. About half the guests bought presents (they mostly gave us cash) and the other half didn’t.

#30 Oriental lily

Posted 20 April 2019 - 09:58 PM

I would say nothing . If people ask those close to you what you want just say a voucher for Bunnings, ikea or an other ‘homemaker’  type store .

#31 ExpatInAsia

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:06 PM

I think a registry is fine as long as you have a range of gifts in a range of prices. A former SIL of mine had a registry where every gift was very expensive and I thought that was tacky.

Edited by ExpatInAsia, 20 April 2019 - 10:06 PM.


#32 lozoodle

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:33 PM

To be honest, I dont think you need to mention gifts at all. I dont know why anyone does that, whats the point? those who want to bring gifts will still bring them LOL.
I hate registries they make what should be a celebration feel like a business transaction.

we went to a wedding last year, granted it was a destination wedding in Mexico, but none of the 24 guests who went for it bought a gift, it was sort of an unspoken assumption that it just wasn't needed. There was also zero mention of gifts on the invite, so it was up to you what you wanted to do.

#33 Hands Up

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:34 PM

We said nothing for ours - 95% of guests bought gifts ranging from very low key to wow(!) We we’re touched by them all as a lot of thought had gone in to them.

#34 Treasure Island

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:44 PM

I think registries are fine for big weddings where you could end up with multiples of the same thing. I just gave Mum a list of a few things we needed or wanted for "if people asked" and most did.

#35 Dianalynch

Posted 20 April 2019 - 10:48 PM

We also didn't mention it for ours - didnt feel the need and people worked it out. If people are stuck, direct them to a relative who can give suggestions on your behalf.

#36 littlepickle

Posted 20 April 2019 - 11:09 PM

We had a destination wedding nearly 18 years ago and asked for no gifts from everyone.
Other than our parents and my grandparents everyone else adhered to the request - most people had provided gifts at our engagement party and those have become me the memory keepers.
Majority of our friends who had destination weddings requested the same. Those that were local ether had registries, requested contribution to a price of art or contribution towards activities on their honeymoon (for one family member my immediate family purchased a requested Halong bay overnight boat tour)

Do what feels comfortable to you..

#37 born.a.girl

Posted 21 April 2019 - 06:03 AM

View PostCaribou, on 20 April 2019 - 07:40 PM, said:

We did a very clear ‘no gifts please’ on our wedding invite.

No one listened. I mean literally no one in the party of 30 listened.

You can say no gifts but it’s ingrained in a lot of people gifts are to be given at weddings.

Maybe we weren’t clear enough. Maybe we should have said no gifts please. If you feel you need to give something, give to our preferred charity in our name.


I think that's the only way to stop most people buying a gift or giving you money.

I couldn't go to a wedding without some sort of gift - it just goes so much against everything I've ever known.  It's illogical because I'd be going against what they request.

Trouble is it seems to be used to soften specific requests sometimes:   all we want is your presence but if you do wish to give a gift... etc etc.   In one case the couple wondered why a few people had given nothing.  They didn't really mean it. It just sounded better than 'cash, please'.

I think for it to work, you would have to make it very easy for the guests to dontate - information leaflet/envelope with the invitation, or at the church.

#38 RynandStompy

Posted 21 April 2019 - 06:52 AM

We had a lot of people travelling to Melbourne for our wedding and like you didn't want to ask for presents nor want any. And didn't want people travelling to use up any time in a department store buying overpriced versions of something.

We went with a registry site not linked to any store where you just posted images of things you liked and also 'can contribute to' ...ie our cat's cattery fees for our honeymoon later in the year.
We could post lots of small inexpensive things so if someone wanted to get us something they knew we'd like it, they could buy at their preferred price and shops. Everyone was fine with it. And when people marked off they'd bought something, others could see not to get more of the same

Edited by RynandStompy, 21 April 2019 - 06:52 AM.


#39 Blue Shoe

Posted 21 April 2019 - 07:42 AM

In my experience any time an invitation says ‘no gifts, please’ at least 50% of people still bring something, leaving the other 50% feeling like inadvertent cheapskates. If nothing is mentioned on the invitation about gifts, often the majority bring something because nobody wants to be the only one turning up empty handed.
Personally, I love gift registeries. I don’t have the time or desire to traipse around the shops finding something I think the couple may want. Give me a gift registry with gifts of all different $$ and I’ll pick something that I think is useful or lovely, and I already know the couple want/need it so I’m not wasting my money. Win-win.

#40 Ellie bean

Posted 21 April 2019 - 09:54 AM

^^that’s exactly why I looove a wishing well, makes life so easy for me as a guest!

#41 Lunafreya

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:11 AM

We had a Myer gift registry as we had quite a few people travelling to our wedding. The gift registry meant they could purchase the gift and if they chose it would be wrapped and sent to us for $5 extra. Quite a lot of people went with this option, we included a range of gifts in different price ranges to make it easy for people. And it was fun to have the gifts delivered all at once! We also had gift cards from Myer, so we could purchase extra things we wanted from the registry at a discount.

I was told by Americans it was Very Bad Form to include the registry cards in with our invitations. But quite a number of guests told us how easy it was to purchase from the registry, knowing it was something we wanted and not have to worry about taking the gift with them and getting it damaged while travelling.

#42 Soontobegran

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:23 AM

I think we need to stop overthinking.

Gifts, wishing well, gift registry or no gifts......why do we scrutinise everything so intently?

Guests are presumably friends and family ( I would not invite someone who I had no close bond with) ......I think we need to stop expecting them to all to be like minded and receive or don't receive gracefully.

How do other guests find out what other people are doing? I don't understand the previous suggestion that if guests don't give they may feel like cheapskates....how do they find out?
If people are asked not to bring gifts and they do anyway it is because they want to....not to make others feel bad.

Back in my day ( yes I know )....there were no registries/wishing wells/honeymoon funds etc just actual gifts.....it was all so very easy and necessary as not as many people had built up their home already as they do these days ( it's hard to be well equipped when you are 20 ) I loved my 4 sets of brown towels, 3 Corning casserole dishes and 2 sets of Splayds.

#43 ~J_F~

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:34 AM

When you are walking in and nearly all the guests except you have presents then they are piled high on a table, it’s pretty easy to find out what others are doing at a wedding and feel like you cheaped out...

And maybe those feelings aren’t valid or maybe they are but either way they are real and can make what should be a nice occasion turn to a anxiety filled one pretty quick!!

Edited spelling

Edited by ~J_WTF~, 21 April 2019 - 10:43 AM.


#44 Lunafreya

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:42 AM

This is why sending the gift to us was so good. That way only we knew who was sending it and there was no competition. I admit I Do like selecting gifts to suit people. One couple we know liked Japanese things, we got them a lovely set of porcelain bowls.

#45 Riotproof

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:46 AM

It doesn’t matter why they do it.

Even putting the word gift on an invitation is setting up the expectation of them. Even if it is preceded with a no. It immediately puts gifts in the guests mind and so all these dwellings begin.

OP, share what you have with a few key people. Perhaps give them a list to cross off if there are specific things you would like. Then allow guests to consult them if they have any queries. Some may even just ask you directly.

I think you’ll probably end up with a lot of cards with cash inside no matter what you say. It seems to have taken over now because so many people have established homes by the time they marry.

#46 annodam

Posted 21 April 2019 - 10:57 AM

My friend Tanya travelled to London for her friends wedding, of course being such a big expense, she didn't take a gift & thought nothing of it.
Later, Tanya was told by another friend that the bride thought Tanya was a tight ass & criticised her for not bringing a gift.
Needless to say, they're no longer friends.

I hate weddings at the best of times & try to avoid them as much as possible but if I had to spend my own money to travel to be at this wedding, no I wouldn't bring.
And I would find it extremely rude if I saw gifts/registries mentioned.
So much so that I'd think twice about attending!

#47 Lifesgood

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:08 AM

Have a list of gifts ready in case people ask for some help, but on the invitation say no gifts please.

#48 eponee

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:10 AM

My brother was married recently and on their invitation was a note that said that in lieu of gifts, donations to a charity close to his and his husband's heart would be appreciated.  A few guests gave them gifts but 95% donated to the charity

#49 CallMeFeral

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:21 AM

Say "no gifts required" or as the PP said "your presence" etc etc.

Some people will still bring gifts, but it will be things they have chosen because they want to.
Some people won't, and putting that out there makes it clear that that's an acceptable choice.
"No gifts please" I feel creates more uncertainty because it's more like a demand, or that you may get annoyed at being given gifts. I sort of think none required or the other statement is a bit more accepting of what everyone wants to do. You can also say something like (if it's true) "our house is already set up so your presence is present enough" or something like that as it provides a reason.

Not providing a registry is fine. Especially if you're also saying no gifts required.

#50 Coffeegirl

Posted 21 April 2019 - 11:47 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 21 April 2019 - 10:23 AM, said:



Back in my day ( yes I know )....there were no registries/wishing wells/honeymoon funds etc just actual gifts.....it was all so very easy and necessary as not as many people had built up their home already as they do these days ( it's hard to be well equipped when you are 20 ) I loved my 4 sets of brown towels, 3 Corning casserole dishes and 2 sets of Splayds.


I think the difficulty in buying wedding gifts now is that the couple have usually already established a home.   Or it’s a second marriage.    They already have all the towels, casserole dishes and splayds they need.

Personally I like registries or gift idea lists as I know my gift will be something useful or needed by the couple.    And unless I really know the couple well and have been inside their home or know their sense of style, it’s hard to buy thoughtful gifts that will work with their layout/decor/personality







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