Weddings, Babies, Obligations, Oh My!

That season is upon us once again. No, not Spring or Summer, but Wedding & maybe Baby Season for some of you as well. And with all the upcoming nuptials and newborns of both friends and family comes a whole slew of obligation…especially for women.

(Sorry guys, but shaving + putting on that one suit + and maybe going to the carwash isn’t really on the same level as what we, as women, go through. YES, it helps that you look presentable as our dates, but again, it’s nowhere close to what we have to endure!)

About a month ago, I received the first evite of the season for the dreaded Bachelorette Party. As I anxiously skimmed through it, the details consisted of: spa treatments at a hotel downtown, a stripper, a limo, topped off by a wild night of club-hopping!  <– Who’s going to pay for all these things?  Can I opt out of some of the activities?  And how much was it all going to cost?

In addition, my friend, L‘s last night of being single was being organised by her much younger sister and it was going to be a joint-Bachelorette with their cousin who is also getting married at the same time.

At least it wasn’t going to be a Jack ‘n Jill, but I think the worst part of this roster of debauchery was the fact that it didn’t sound like ANYTHING that L would plan for herself! So I’m not sure how she’ll react to the whole thing.

Anyway, after a few days of humming, hawing, with a side of guilt thrown into the mix, I declined the invite without offering an excuse.

I figured that what was important was that I will be present, and honoured, to witness her nuptials as well as attend her reception. L doesn’t need me to hold her hand while a stuffed thong undulates in front of her…and a room full of strangers! 😉

Furthermore, I have a friend who just gave birth and another who is pregnant.  This is the second time ’round for both friends.  I haven’t looked up the etiquette, but can they have a second Baby Shower?  If yes, am I obliged to attend?

I don’t see a typical, White Wedding or baby in my near future, but what excuse can I use to throw a party where my family and friends are obliged to attend, plus they give me a whole bunch of gifts?

Am I the only person who feels as though I’m obliged to go to these things?  Being part of a Bridal Party, Bridal Shower, Wedding Ceremonies/Reception of close friends, Baby Showers of first-borns are fine, in most cases, but I draw the line at Bachelorettes, Jack ‘n Jills, and other moneygrabs.

83 responses to “Weddings, Babies, Obligations, Oh My!”

  1. Sally says:

    Hmmn, I wouldn’t be interested in the stripper thing either. Yuck. Honestly it does sound like a very expensive night with the spa and everything.

    For second kids if they are spaced apart, different fathers etc it all depends. I had a second shower but I also had moved and had a new set of friends and they insisted I have one.

    Weddings, We go but its a pita. Last year I was a bridesmaid in one while my husband took our kids to another wedding we were obligated to make an appearance at. Everyone assumed we were seperated since we weren’t together.

  2. red lentil queen says:

    I think your post is interesting but shouldn’t this be filed somewhere other than the blog/homepage? It’s more of an opt ed than a notification of a deal. The beauty of this website and why I visit it often is to get the latest *news* on consumer items and deals. A friendly boot but a boot none the less.

  3. tattoodprincess says:

    I HAAATE these sorts of obligations. My friend recently got married, thankfully there was no showers, or bachelorette party. But the whole finding an outfit to wear, buying a gift, sitting with people you don’t know at both the wedding and’s just blah. I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t put much thought into her gift because I knew she was going to return it regardless of what I bought (that’s how she is), but besides her and the groom, the only other person I knew there was my own sister. I kinda, sorta knew some of her co-workers, but it’s still awkward.
    I’ve already told my mom that if I ever get married, it’s going to be on a vacation so it’s also my honeymoon. I can’t put people through all the junk that goes along with a wedding.

    As far as second baby showers, I actually read in an advice column that it’s in poor taste to have a second baby shower. You shouldn’t expect the same people to essentially re-buy all new gifts. I can see exceptions like in Sally’s case where she’d moved, or if you had a boy and now it’s a girl or if your kids are really far apart.

    It’s just my opinion, but parties like showers and the like are just gift grabs. If someone really wants to buy something for you for your child, or your engagement, etc; they will, they shouldn’t feel forced to.

  4. sweetmomma says:

    No strippers for me–I always decline these invitations too. EW!Somethings can be fun but at what expense? I am sure the average person doesn’t have money for all that unless they use credit.

    I am not sure of the proper ettiquette for second baby showers but I was told most people only have one. I didn’t have a second shower nor did I want one. Most of my friends and family still brought gifts though. I think this depends on the situation. For example, if someone’s first child was a boy and the second child a girl chances are they would have a shower because typically they wear different things. It also depends on the generosity of the friends/family.

    Last year we attended a wedding of DH’s friends. It was inconvenient as these people were supposed to get married in Sept. Then all of a sudden they drop off an invitation and the wedding is in early August. WTH? So I had to find a dress for my huge pregnant belly(I wanted something nice and inexpensive but could wear again. I had to find sandals because it was outside, hot and my feet were swollen). Then we had to give them a gift and they only wanted money(they wanted to save for their honeymoon). DH gave them $200. I think that was too much. On top we had to buy our own dinner which was $25 each plus beverages. Just to give you an idea it was $7 for a glass of wine. At the reception you had to pay for drinks too which was by donation(what you could afford per drink). That was a big expectation I thought.

  5. Sally says:

    What is the etiquette for wedding gifts these days?

  6. Colleen says:

    If you don’t want to give a gift, don’t. In the last 4 years I’ve gotten married and had two kids, and would never expect a gift from anyone, and certainly wouldn’t want one that was not given out of love or sincere generosity. Keep in mind that if you are attending a wedding, the cost to have you attend (meal, drinks, invitation, favour, etc) will most likely be more than the cost of the gift you give. Consider it a fair trade for a fun nut out. If you don’t want to attend the bridal shower, don’t. Most people will have a variety of very affordable gifts on their registry. Your distaste for giving the gift will usually be felt by the receiver, especially if you are in attendance during the gift opening (baby shower for example). I had two kids fairly close together, 18 months apart. I would have been a little bummed if no one threw me a shower for the second one, as it was just as big of a reason to celebrate at the first one, but totally respect anyone’s decision to not attend. It was really nice that the people who couldn’t come to the first baby shower attended the one for kid #2. If you don’t want to attend second baby showers, then don’t! Don’t try to come up with excuses, they are always lame. The only reason I want someone to give me a gift is if they truly want to celebrate the occasion for the gift. People have long memories though. If/when you do get married and have kids…make sure you keep an open mind about not receiving gifts, and having low attendance at your showers!

  7. Melody113 says:

    You gals must be young. Lucky for me I’m in my 50’s so all they want is for me to buy a ticket for a stag or Jack and Jill or send a Gift of money to a wedding. You get the invite without the expectations but you still have to GIVE.LOL

  8. Stephania says:

    Buy your own dinner?? I would’ve definitely declined that invite. That’s GHETTO!

  9. Stephania says:

    @Colleen – It sounds like you’re addressing me, so I’ll respond. I’m not against gift-giving, but some people – none of my friends, thankfully – are TOO MUCH, having a bridal shower (gift), Jack ‘n Jill (money), stag/gette (money), Bachelor/ette (money), destination wedding (money/gift) all for one couple.

    I think all these activities are a bit much, especially if there is some kinda expectation for you to attend all/most of these events.

  10. jeo220 says:

    Although I do think some things need to be celebrated, I firmly believe they should not inconvenience other people. Don’t make them drive 1000 miles, pay for something they can’t afford and rough it in a camper on your front lawn (don’t ask!). It’s supposed to be fun – for everyone involved.

  11. sweetmomma says:

    It wouldn’t have been so bad to buy your own dinner if they had covered the drinks IMO. I was drinking water for Pete’s Sake! I made sure to take full advantage of the dessert(it was a buffet). Not only was I pregnant but dessert is my weakness. Plus a lot of the main course was gone the first sitting(pasta, salad, chicken, beef). Not to be rude but I thought I would atleast get my money’s worth considering the price we paid.

  12. starrynight8765 says:

    Weddings are super expensive. Both myself and my bf are standing in different weddings this summer plus are attending two others. Along with those come shower, stag/stagettes (which the wedding party are paying for) plus the cost of the dress/shoes/alterations/tux etc. I’m happy I finally have a job this summer to pay for all of this.

    Also with new babies, its very common here for the fathers to have a diaper party for all of his guy friends where they all bring a pack of diapers as a gift.

  13. Wilson says:

    My favorite money grab was a wedding reception that I went to a few years ago.

    It was literally a time where the couple invited everyone they didn’t want at the actual wedding and had some cheese and fruit trays so that you could drop off gifts. The bride and groom didn’t even dress up, they wore jeans and t-shirts and showed everyone pictures of the wedding that we were not good enough to attend, but close enough to the couple that we should buy them a gift!!

    I totally regifted something from my wedding! 😉

  14. C says:

    I think a second baby shower is fine. I think a baby shower for each child is fine! My mom had hers after I was born, so it was like a “meet my baby” party, and people did bring gifts, but it was post-birth. I wouldn’t expect gifts the second time around, but diapers and wipes would always be a nice gift!

  15. fahlinluv says:

    I hear what your saying!! I just had my second child two months ago and though people did buy me gifts it was NOT cause i asked them too (i actually told them not too and I did NOT have a baby shower). I agree with the money grabs but sadly one of the wedding I have to go to this year I am a bridesmaid for so I do feel obliged to be at the bridal shower (but she will make a great sister in law so thats ok).

  16. Carly says:

    Every Bachelorette party I have ever attended was not a gift giving occasion, more like a get wasted with your girlfriends thing. All the stags I know of are more for embarrasing the groom than gifts.

    If you don’t want to give a gift, don’t. If you can’t afford to go to all the parts of a bachelorette party, perhaps inform the MOH *maid of honor* that you will be joining the party later in the evening, and meet up while everyone is out for cocktails.

    Weddings/Showers/Partys are a time to celebrate, I think its a bit dated to think that they are gift giving occasions, everyone I know (mostly in their 20’s) doesn’t see it as such.

  17. C.. says:

    Second baby showers are not the norm in my circle of friends or culture. Personally, I would likely not attend a second baby shower if I were invited, but I would go to visit the baby and give a gift then.

    I see no problem in declining invitations if you aren’t particularly close to the individual, or if you feel like there has been “too much” in the way of events. I agree that you shouldn’t give a gift or attend an event just out of obligation.

  18. Ashley says:

    I always feel obligated to attend all these events. DH has a huge family, so it’s mainly his family that has all the weddings, showers, bachelorette’s, birthday parties, etc.

    DH’s grandpa turned 75 a few weeks ago, and I couldn’t make it so he went without me, and everyone was wondering where I was because I go to EVERYTHING! That made me realize, you know what…I need to start declining some invites…it can’t be expected that I attend EVERY baby shower, wedding, wedding shower, birthday, etc.

    It gets very costly very quickly! Especially when there are several weddings in a summer, and then I feel obligated to go to the wedding shower, Jack & Jill and bachelorette.

  19. Lori says:

    Speaking of weddings: A few years ago a family member was invited to his good friends wedding at a tropical destination. He was given all the brochures and info. for the resort. Having to give notice at work, he booked a few months ahead of the wedding. THEN they decided to go with a cheaper resort (his booking was non-refundable) with a few days difference in arrival. The day of the wedding, after the ceremony which took place in their hotel room as the bride was sick, he was approached by the groom to be told that he could not attend the supper/reception as he wasn’t a guest at the resort (the groom would have to pay for his meal otherwise). Also
    they were to have a make up ceremony in a day or two when she felt better. Well he was never contacted to attend the make-up ceremony. So he paid for a week at an expensive resort, his flights there and back, lost out on a week of pay, and the money for the wedding gift.

  20. Stephania says:

    @Carly – If you don’t want to give a gift, don’t??!! I think there is a level of expectation that comes with attending a wedding. For example, for standard hall receptions, a typical gift would be $100/pp as that’s the minimal it would cost the couple to pay for your meal, decorations, usage of the hall, etc.

    So you can’t exactly show up to a reception, empty-handed.

  21. Andrea Kralj says:

    Does anyone have a rule of thumb for ‘monetary’ wedding gifts these days? I mean, what is the norm? I’ve not been to a wedding for a while and I have no idea what people are putting in the envelope today.
    Any help/guidelines will be so appreciated….I’m lost!

  22. Shannon says:

    I’ve never had nor been invited to a second baby shower, but I recently read a FANTASTIC idea for the second baby scenario: in lieu of traditional gifts, the guests bring a meal for the family to put in the freezer. I would have LOVED that, either before or after the arrival of my second.

  23. SuperM says:

    sigh – too funny…

    I love baby showers – i have kids already and love to share some of my favourite things. I think many moms feel this way.

    Weddings I always give cash and unless they are SUPER CLOSE to me, it is always the same amount. I dont care that they spend $200 a plate… they didnt have to, that was their choice. And cash because no bride and groom want to worry about lugging gifts at the end of the night.

    If you are asked to be in a wedding party and accept – suck it up – its expensive. If you are concerned about the cost, ask the bride before accepting.

    Jack and Jills are to earn money but it is also to be a fun night out. Bachelor (ette) parties have always been for fun and not gifts…

  24. sarah says:

    I was invited to a wedding and it was a buy-your-own-dinner do. It was $100 per meal. Ummm no. I didn’t go. Talk about tacky!

  25. LARRY says:

    so where’s the freebie in this post ???????????????

  26. Christine says:

    Being cheap is one thing, but I can’t believe some of these responses. We have 3 children and only had a shower with our first (which was a surprise to me as well), but c’mon. If you have a friend that had a baby you would think you would WANT to give the new baby a gift whether it was the first or the 5th.
    As well as weddings, if it is a friend suck it up!

  27. carlyincanada says:

    Haven’t been to either in a long time, lol But one year (early 80’s) we had 7 wedding to attend…all good friends! yikes!! & then a couple years later the babies arrived…It was an expensive few years!!

    Now most of them are divorced!! Me too, but then I met up with a nice guy I went to high school with, lol (no wedding plans…we like it that way!)

    Anyway…just do what feels best & don’t go into debt for gifts! 🙂

  28. Karen L says:

    I always say, give a gift within your means. That way, you won’t begrudge giving it. When DH and I got married, we weren’t in it to profit. We had some couples give big gifts, and others with smaller gifts. I was just happy that they could attend and have fun with us, and even if it didn’t quite cover the meal cost, I figured it must be what they can afford, and that’s that. I like to hope that if one is invited to a wedding, it’s because the Bride and Groom are close friends or family and want that person to be there. And if that’s the case, then the person shouldn’t feel like they will judged based on wedding gift amount. With that being said, if the happy couple are the (selfish)type to expect to make out like bandits, and not appreciate the financial constraints of others, may their wedding debt outlast their marriage.

  29. giffy85 says:

    I have a wedding to go to on Saturday that I am really not looking forward to. It is for my old boss who I have hung out with outside of work once or twice. However the job we worked at together didn’t end well when I quit. The problem is all of the people I truly despise will be at this wedding and they make me super uncomfortable. I also can’t afford an outfit as I have been unemployed for 7 months up until the end of April. What should I do? I also have an out of town guest coming this weekend and work to do but I feel terrible to cancel even though either way I am giving a gift. Any advice??

  30. Greeklady says:

    Having helped organize a few “big fat greek weddings”, and having attended weddings of similar-culture of Italian and Portuguese friends, the “going rate” for monetary gifts for these cultures starts at $125/person, so if you and your partner attend a friend’s wedding, a $250 gift is the norm. This rate increases if you are in the wedding party and/or related. Parents and godparents are expected to give the largest monetary gifts, if the parents are not in a position to pay for the wedding.

    At least in the Toronto community, it started in the 80’s where the children of the first generation of immigrants from the 60’s were starting to get married. The idea was almost that of a community loan program, where friends/family give enough money so that the young couple likely “profits” enough from the wedding to have a small down payment for their first home (my people aren’t renters – you can live at home well into adulthood in order to secure enough money for a down payment, to avoid “wasting” money on rent).

    The problem was that as each “cousin” got married, there was an underlying competition to outdo the last wedding, thus increasing the costs. In addition to that, the immigrant mothers, who in the 60’s had very small and unremarkable weddings (e.g., my mother had a rented wedding gown and a few dozen people at her wedding) vicariously have, through their children’s insane weddings (my sisters each had 200 women at their wedding showers and 450 people at their weddings), the wedding they never had.

    At every Greek/Italian wedding, however, there is a table of non-Greeks/Italians, usually the couple’s co-workers, and there is no expectation of receiving the same type of monetary gifts from them. If however, someone of our culture, especially someone who benefited from the monetary gifts themselves, does not reciprocate with a monetary gift, well lets just say there will be some grudges held for quite some time.

    On top of the gift expectations for attending weddings ($125/person) and showers ($50/person), for family members or family friends who have attended your wedding and given a gift, if you reply “no” in your RSVP to one of their events, it is expected that with your RSVP, you also give a monetary gift in the amount that the couple would have profited, had you attended and gifted at the event (e.g., a cheque for $100 with a “no” reply for you and your partner to the wedding invitation). For some occassions, it is “cheaper” to RSVP “no” with a gift than to bother attending (dress, shoes, hair, etc.).

    I am sharing this with you not in support of the culture in which I grew up, rather, for your insight into this insanity.

    As much as is possible, I have removed myself from this culture and have taken it one step further: with all my friends and adult family members, I have created a “no gift” policy: no birthday, christmas, anniversary, whatever gifts are to be exchanged – you don’t buy me anything, I won’t buy you anything. While certain social situations require gift giving (e.g., to my assistant, to my young nieces), with my friends and family, with each last gift I gave them, I told them “and with this gift, I am also giving you the gift of never buying me a gift ever again.” Removing this social obligation is quite fantastic. With some close friends, rather than buying each other gifts, we agree to spend money on a joint “experience”: taking an African dance class together; going on a river rafting trip; eating at a restaurant that we would otherwise never eat at; or having a spa day together.

    One of my close friends who feels obligated to get me something when he travels, we have a rule of “only if its free” so he brings me back little free things acquired during the travels: the pen from the hotel, the “buy 5 get one free” sixth postcard, etc.

    I agree that gifts should come from the heart and be well-intentioned, but certain social situations require it, and it is in poor taste not to participate (albeit begrudgingly).

  31. vibrantflame says:

    giffy85 – did you RSVP? If not, I see no reason that you have to go. It’s not someone close to you.

    bachelor/bachelorette parties are in my opinion just an excuse to party, so don’t feel bad about turning that down if you’re not into it or up to it.

    As far as weddings and baby showers, I say if you aren’t close to the individuals/individual you don’t need to feel obligated to go.

    If you are close, but you just can’t afford to attend, tell them. I am sure they should understand and if they don’t, maybe you’re not that close. As far as baby showers go, I personally don’t expect anyone who doesn’t have a child to attend (because some people don’t like kids, some people feel sad at baby showers because they want a baby, others just feel uncomfortable, etc.). If you do have kids and you are close to the person, then yeah you probably just have to suck it up and put in an appearance.

    As for your question Stephania about second baby showers: I was always told that you shouldn’t expect a second baby shower because you should have all you need from the first. But I personally never liked this, because (a) what if you have a baby of the opposite sex and (b) it’s like throwing a big party for the first child and then saying “oh forget about the rest of ’em”. Just my opinion! Most will say it’s not proper to have a second baby shower. But if they choose to have one, or someone chooses to throw them one, I don’t think you’re “obligated” to attend, unless like I said you’re really close and have kids of your own.

  32. giffy85 says:

    I did already RSVP but I wasnt sure who exactly was attending and whatnot. Should I just not go and send a gift or send a quick note with a forewarning and than the gift?

  33. Jen says:

    Obligated? Boy! Do i feel obligated! I come from a family of five sisters, four of which have two to four children each. Now it’s their turn to get marry, have children etc. I just got invited to my neice’s baby shower and been given notice that an engagement party is coming for another niece. What’s worse, i’ve been given a wish list, not just the items my niece would like to receive, but the brand, the colour and the store to find them. I feel obligated all the time because all my sisters are into these sort of things and i am not. I am not in a financial situation either to make all these gift purchases or chipping in for the celebration. I’m the youngest in the family with two kids of my own and my husband just recently lost his job. Now, someone, please tell me how i can gracefully get out of it or is it wrong for me to do so?

  34. Before Feb, I had never even HEARD of a “jack and jill”… I thought it was simply a joint party of both sides of the wedding party…
    I am unemployed, but have a stockpile of new items from when I worked for one of those home party businesses… so with 2 big fancy decorated bags of whole kitchen sets I entered a party with just enough gass money to get my van filled… and had 2 kids in tow, who looked forward to a night of bowling. I dished out more money for a “party” than I would spend on groceries…
    Lesson learned. I’ll be skipping the fundraisers and just attending the weddings.

  35. ginasst says:

    No second shower for the babies, just get a little gift of clothing as a congrats. IF you are in the wedding party and can’t afford or don’t want to pay for that crap, just tell the bride instead ofhooing and hawing your situation. IF she is a real friend, I am sure she will understand. The going rate for weddings these days (depending on the wedding, ie. dinner and open bar the bare minimun $100/person, in major cities where its more pricey, $125-$150/person – you need to cover at least your plate) IF its a wedding not like the one I mentioned, use your discretion. Again, cover the cost of what you think it will cost the couple and give a little extra as a gift. YOu can get a good idea by calling the hall ahead and asking approx. how much a plate costs. Some couples register, so get them a gift, again spend so that you are at least covering the cost of you being there. Peace out. Oh and I agree with vibrant flame, if you aren’t close to the people/if you will not invite them to your wedding or shower, baby shower etc…then don’t feel obliged to go and vice versa.

  36. ginasst says:

    ANd Jen – send a gift that you can afford, family should understand your financial situation and not expect too much, but its rude to ‘get out of it’ and not send anything. You can even give them a gift that’s homemade. I have tons of family who have nothing, and I don’t expect anything from them, yet they tend to be the most generous. Also, I have ahd a family member tell me how bad he felt that he had literlly nothing to put in an envelope for mychilds baptism (Which I had known). THe important part was that hewas there for my childs baptism. This is why youshould opnly invite close family and friends to functions, and only go to the same – so that there is none of these feelings. IF you are close enough you should share these feelings with your fmaily and they will understand.

  37. Katie says:

    I’ve never really been to a baby shower, but apparently they come off as gift grabs? I’m not sure, that’s what my friend said about another mutual friend’s baby shower, maybe it was different since she was one of the only people who wasn’t in “family” mode at the shower either. Personally for friends who’ve had children, I’ve visited afterwards to meet the baby and give a small gift. I was busy putting myself through university and didn’t have money for expensive things. And none of my friends have gotten married, but I went to a stag and doe as my friends date. I mostly drank, didn’t do any of the money raising things…

  38. rockhopper says:

    Wow so many of you have just put in to words what I have been thinking for years now. I’m on here cause I like a deal just like the rest of us, HOWEVER, I do not do things I cannot afford (e.g., have a big wedding, kids, etc… that I cannot pay for MYSELF). Nothing annoys me more than someone who has decided to have a big wedding but cannot pay for it themselves, so what do they do? They have a Jack & Jill (Stag/Buck & Doe- whatever it is called in your neck of the woods) to FUNDRAISE. Honey, I should NOT be paying for your wedding, I already paid for my own!! Another pet peeve is Destination Weddings. Last year my BFF got married down south, so my DH and I went to the resort NEXT to this one since we wanted a quiet, adults only vacation. She made us pay for our own dinners and day-passes to her resort- almost $300! You should never never never never have to pay for your own meal at a wedding (or any event you are *invited* to by a host/hostess). And to boot, they got their trip for free! What ever happend to hosting an event to celebrate your love? Instead, these Destination Wedding crooks are essentially having their guests pay for the wedding- rediculous!! If you can’t afford to have your “dream wedding” back home, go to city hall. If you can afford to have your “dream wedding” and choose to do it down south (or whatever destination) then put what a real wedding would have cost towards bringing down the out-of-pocket expenses of your charished friends and family. How anyone in the right mind rationalizes this whole concept is beyond me.

  39. mommy2two says:

    I would hate for my friends to ever feel obligated to give me/my family a gift if they couldn’t afford it.

    I didn’t have a baby shower for my second child (girl, the first was a boy) …but alot of my friends stopped by with meals or baking! Which I appreciated soooo much!!!

    Right now with my kids being young I’m finding it really expensive to keep buying birthday gifts for all their friends birthday parties!!! I’ve started buying toys/kids clothes when they are on clearance and keeping them in my stokepile and when a birthday comes up hopefully i can find something that works! For my kids birthdays I’m throwing a small party with a craft that the kids can take home (instead of expensive goodybags) …and i’ll tell parents not to worry about gifts ..i know that lots will still bring gifts, but i don’t want those that are tight now cash to feel obligated to bring something. I much rather have someone just come and celebrate the day with us!

  40. meow says:

    I think attending weddings is sort of like passing around money. I’m at the age when all the people around me are engaged/getting married. I have a wedding to go to coming up next month and I DO want to attend and I’m giving them the same amount as they gave me. However, I would have rejected the invite if they didn’t attend my wedding (that way, i won’t feel obligated to give back money).

  41. Natalka says:

    Please don’t be feeling obligated to attend occasions where you truly do not want to – it’s not fair to the people, really – they have invited people to help celebrate their joy, not rain on their parade!

    No second baby showers – but of course, close friends and family will probably be getting lovely gifts for the baby!
    I love baby showers, and wedding showers, too!
    I’ve never heard of a bachelorette party being a gift-giving occasion, unless close friends want to give gag gifts.
    If you’ve been asked to be a member of the wedding party, accept only if you can accept everything which goes along with it –

    As for weddings themselves, yes, there are regional and cultural differences.
    We feel honoured when we are asked to attend weddings of family or friends – because we truly know they want us there to witness the vows and celebrate with them at the reception. Yes, of course we bring gifts, but as to what they are totally depends upon our situation at the time, as well as our relationship with the couple.

  42. Diamond says:

    i never reply to blogs….but this i had to shake my head in agreement to… the nonsense of all the things people want to invite you to, and at your expense…i dont think people use their conscience…and i’m a event planner…and i’m telling you its not necessary and never feel guilty when declining…shooo i would decline if i wasnt planning one of those unnecessary events…lol…and absolutely not, should a person who already had a baby shower request to have another….its poor etiquette….thats my two cents….enjoy your day ladies…and some of the men who probably posted under a ladies name…lol

  43. sampler says:

    Heres a question…. : Do I have to go to a wedding where my BF is in the wedding ? (I will be sitting by myself with strangers)

  44. melis84 says:

    I didn’t have a stag and doe and I only had a shower because it was thrown for me, no registry, which I completely appreciated.

    I don’t attend stag and does or baby showers, and I only attend wedding showers of people I’m really close to. I think stag and does are tacky (this is just my opinion!)- making money for your wedding? I don’t get it.

    I would rather give the mother a gift after the baby is born when I visit or something. (I generally can’t handle the company at baby showers!)

    Don’t ever feel obligated to give a certain amount, or even feel obligated to attend events. I’m at that age where EVERYONE around me is getting married – I have to pick and choose sometimes – guilt-free!

  45. kittyboom says:

    When you are invited to a wedding you are a GUEST! You should never be expected to pay for ANYTHING at the reception. On that note, you should not complain about what is offered either. As for gifts, it is up to the giver. I find it rude when people ask for money as a gift. If the register somewhere and you can choose that’s one thing, but a gift should come from the heart and appreciated by the recipient for what it is.

  46. stac says:

    i think that a meet the baby party is kind of more fun for the second third or whatever kid it is.
    and really the way we all coupon here diapers and wipes cost what next to nothing. so make a diaper cake go to the dollar store pick up some baby stuff bodywash, shampoo,wash clothes. and really you have a nice gift.
    as for the wedding if they are a friend of yours and you have been close for a number of years suck it up and go be there to support them on there day.
    Its not all about you.

  47. Stephania says:

    @sampler – I personally WOULDN’T go to a wedding where my bf is in the wedding party. You will never see him…’cept from a distance. Plus, you will be *obliged* to give a gift if you attend, so NOs all ’round!

    UNLESS of course, things are serious with him, money isn’t an issue, and/or you’re super social! Being forced to sit with strangers, especially for a looong dinner, can be awkward.

  48. Minou says:

    I never did have a baby shower for my son (first and only child). Plans were in the works on the part of my in-laws, but we had to cancel because my mother was terminally ill and getting sicker. She died a month and a half before my little guy was born.

    My husband has a very “close” extended family. At least, that’s what they’ve said as I’ve had to go to countless birthdays, weddings, showers, graduation parties, etc., etc., the majority of them for his many cousins and his cousin’s children.

    Only one of his cousins (a male cousin)actually gave a baby gift. The rest seemed to ignore the birth. What amazed me is that one of his female cousins (for whom I provided a great deal of help and baking and supplies for her hall wedding shower the year before) didn’t bother to do anything even though she was expecting at the time my son was born and talking frequently about the baby shower she was planning to have. Seven months after the birth of my son, her son was born. Of course, I was invited to the baby shower by her sister and mother (my husband’s aunt) and her SIL (whose children’s christenings and birthday parties I had attended and bought gifts for even in years we weren’t able to attend), none of whom had done anything at all for my son. I decided not to attend, sending along a fairly generic gift worth about $30.

    Well, was I the black sheep for not attending! The funny thing is, even after all this, we were still being summoned to my husband’s cousin’s children’s birthday parties! We finally let them know that we would be focusing on our nieces and nephew for birthday parties.

    I guess the thing is that having people acknowledge in some small way the birth of your child is kind of important, and it means a lot to me to have someone do something kind for my child. I guess, given the situation, that that support would have helped, given the recent death of my mother. The memory of the situation still stings. I really don’t feel the same about certain members of my husband’s family. I would never want a baby shower for a second child (we already bought everything for the first), and at this point, I’m not even sure what my gift-giving and baby shower attending policy should be for future births in my husband’s family. Anyone have any ideas?

  49. Eeyore says:

    I had a destination wedding a couple years ago and was touched to receive monetary gifts from friends even though their presence were more than enough. I did not expect this since they all paid for their own trip already, of which, was costly. I was so thank you that when we returned home, I used the money to treat them all to a nice dinner since I didn’t have to pay for their plate at the wedding.

    So, the debate is do you stil give gifts if you are attending a destination wedding?

  50. Cheryl says:

    What’s the bargain here? How to save at a wedding?

  51. Rachel says:

    I didn’t have a baby shower for my second even though she was a girl and the first was a boy. I had people offer to throw one and I asked them not to. My first was only 2, I had everything except clothes and we could take care of that. I can see having one if something major has changed but if you’re inviting the same set of people then it comes off as a gift grab to me. If they want to give you a gift they will, they don’t need a party to do it. To me a baby shower isn’t about the baby it’s about the woman and the fact that she is about to become a mother.

    I just turned down an invite to a second baby shower the other day. Baby #1 just turned 3, mom still has everything from him but she has decided that she doesn’t like that stuff anymore and wants all new stuff. I’m sorry but her friends and family are not obligated to supply her with everything she needs every time she has a child.

    My worst wedding story has to be the time I was invited to the bridal shower but not the actual wedding.

  52. TD says:

    I think you should stop thinking about what everyone thinks of you and do what is right for you and your family. I am from a large city, have been in the wedding party of 2 weddings, had my own destination wedding. I can tell you I have NEVER given $250 for a gift at a wedding, NEVER recieved $250 for my own wedding either. I have one child, my workplace threw a small baby shower, and I will EXPECT a shower or gathering at some point with any further children as it is a reason to celebrate. Weddings, showers, bachelorettes, etc are NOT about gift giving, it is about CELEBRATING an occasion, be it a wedding, a new baby. I can’t believe what some people are trying to profit off of a wedding, it is meant to celebrate a marriage, not to outfit the couple for the next ??years. We could afford to pay for everyone’s drinks and dinner, as well as a great rehearsal dinner for our own wedding, but we didn’t walk away from it having everyone “pay” for their own plate based on their gifts. Personally, I have gone to both a wedding and a baby shower, and not brought ANYTHING, as I couldn’t afford to at that time, but still wanted to celebrate the occasion. People are much to materialistic these days!

  53. momof5 says:

    Interesting topic. I have to disagree about the “gift grab” being the motivation behind all of these parties though.

    Around here, bachelorette/stag parties are about going out with your friends, getting a little rowdy & having fun. Generally no gifts are given (other than possibly gag gifts). Everyone usually pays for their own expenses (food, drinks, etc.) and additional party costs (decorations, bride’s expenses) are generally split up among the bridal party (if you’ve agreed to be in the bridal party, suck it up, it’s part of it). If the planned activities are out of your budget, find out when they’re meeting for cocktails and meet up there. Buy the bride to be a drink and pay for your own drinks. The point is to have fun with the girls, not to spend a bunch of money.

    Bridal showers are a chance for all the family members, family friends, girlfriends, etc. to get together before the wedding (you’re not going to invite your great aunt to the bachelorette party, but she wants to come to your shower). Yes, a gift is generally expected. But if you can’t afford it ($20 picture frame at Winners??) don’t go just because you feel obligated. Go if you want to take part in the celebration and fun.

    As for second (third, fourth…) showers, where I’m from, the shower is usually held AFTER the baby is born. It’s more of a “welcome baby” shower, and most people show up with a gift (an outfit, a pack of diapers). It’s about celebrating, welcoming and meeting the baby. Again, if you’re not interested in the party, don’t come.

    For most people, they’re inviting you because they think you will want to take part in the fun of the celebration (or they’re worried about hurting your feelings if they don’t send you an invite). If you’re not interested in going, DON’T GO! If someone was throwing a party for me, I would only want people there that wanted to celebrate with me. Personally, and I don’t think I’m alone on this, I’m not interested in the gifts, just celebrating life’s milestones with those I care about.

  54. Sally says:

    We went to an Italian wedding at a country club near toronto. 3 hour meal with 8 courses. Open bar, it was insanely expensive.

    Then we heard that each invitee was spose to be giving like 500 each.. opps, guess they would of laughed at our cheque for $100.

    We had just had a baby, bought a house, and a car. $500 each? No.

  55. Sally says:

    We got given a lot at our wedding (125 guests) but it was never expected or indicated what to give. We received about 10,000 in cash and quite a few presents. We were floored at the amount of money we were given, word spread that we were going to be buying a house soon.

  56. s360 says:

    wowwie, so much pressure!

    In my religion we are never to expect gifts/money from others.. oh with the exception of the groom giving his wife a dowry, that’s a must. But even that, he gives whatever is in his means… no taking loans for a shiny rock!

    we don’t celebrate birthdays. we do say happy birthday, some give cards and some immediate family members or real close friends might give a gift, but not every year and it’s not even expected.

    To give gifts is always extremely virtuous, to give to others is a way to increase love between people. We have 2 religious celebrations in a year, and there is nothing about gift giving, the thing made necessary is to give to the poor and the needy. People do give gifts/money to children, close family members and friends out of happiness and love.
    We don’t really celebrate mothers day, fathers day, anniversaries, etc, but we can give gifts on those days, we are however encouraged to show our love and appreciation and give gifts to our loved ones whenever we can, and however we can.

    no pressure to give, but to give sincerely is seen as very virtuous. To not expect in return is moral, and pleasing to God but to want in return and expect in return is sinful.

    to have lavish weddings is sinful. simple weddings are encouraged where the food is to be fed to people for free and food should be given to the poor or charity should be given if there aren’t any around…

    giving great hospitality to one’s guests is very much encouraged and commendable.

    I mean, not all Muslims practice all of the above, some do have lavish weddings, and birthday parties, etc and expect gifts, but that would easily be considered not right and sinful, especially if they go out of their means. People who can afford it, they’ve been blessed! but we can’t ever expect anything from our guests, only that they eat to their fill, are happy, and give their prayers to the couple/family.

    Oh and we don’t even have baby showers, what is in our religion is something called an ‘aqiqah’ where meat is sacrificed for the new born child and is then given out, or fed to the people, and given in charity to those in need. So people usually invite others for a big meai in celebration of their new born. and this is with every new born, not just the first. This is seen as a great deed in the eyes of God. Guests can bring gifts, but no one is obliged to, and no one takes it bad if someone doesn’t because that’s not what it’s about. People give out of their own happiness for the famaily and to please God, that’s all.

  57. Megs says:

    I have a strong feeling against second baby showers,my rule is if you have multiples, then by all means, you need another shower. I have two girls, 26 months apart, and my sister begged to throw me a shower for number two has my bf had my baby one shower. I said no way!! yes, every baby deserves to be celebrated, and she was, by the people who WANTED to come and see us in the hospital, and home and brought gifts. Don’t worry, she’s not hard done by and probably ended up with almost as many gesture gifts. I think at a baby shower there is an expectation in the type of gift, with baby number two i was touched that people felt no obligation of a set time to come and see her and brought meals, and cards and most importantly time to see us I am known for boycotting shower two’s my friend had one for baby number 4 one every time TACKY

  58. Ashley01 says:

    I think a baby shower for every child is okay, even if it’s number 5! For me it’s more of a meet the baby and celebration for the baby. So I think it’s fine 🙂

  59. Diane456 says:

    When I was married, ‘MANY’ years ago, there was one shower where the gifts consisted of things like electric griddles! I even got a lovely china tea cup which is a wonderful rememberence of that special day.

    As for baby showers, I firmly believe in waiting until the baby is born. I was given one near my due date and sadly my first son died at birth. When my second son was born, family got together and had a small one. Being able to bring the baby was no chore as there were many willing arms to hold him.

    I do agree in this day and age that we seem to be ‘expectaed’ to attened events that have gotten out of control financially or are invited to some where the person is almost a stranger. I was invited to a shower for my daughter-in-laws ‘friend’ whose name was not to be even mentioned at one time by them. I suppose one way to look at it is that it is nice they are friends again, but, I couldn’t help feeling it was all a show. Being a new mother-in-law at the time I felt it was I was obligated to go. I know I could have said no.

    AND I did not receive a thank you letter! Call me old school but with gifts for weddings & showers is it not a common courtesy?

    Obligated, yes that is a word that does chase after many of us. Perhaps, we need to put ourselves unselfishly first especially with the way economy these days, and those receiving gifts should be thankful for what they receive.

  60. rockhopper says:

    @Eeyore- That was nice that you treated your guests to dinner after the wedding- it is acts like this that make the thousands of dollars you need to spend to get there a little less of an ouch (it cost us over $4000 to go to my friends wedding and I did not feel I had a choice if I wanted the friendship to survive). The destination wedding I attended neither hosted a PAID gathering before or after the event. Also did not receive a Thank You card though i was their photographer and made them a nice album for their gift. It will be the last destination wedding I ever attend. Never again.

    There are etiquette rules for a reason. Bottom line, if we didn’t have some sort of list of acceptable behaviours, EVERY life event would be a money-grabbing-free-for-all for some people. No matter how many showers or destination wedding, jack and jill, etc… you decide to have, if you can remember these three simple rules you will avoid a lot of disapoinment and hurt on BOTH ends:
    1) the gift given is at the discretion of the gift GIVER- not the person who is receiving the gift. That is the whole point of gift giving, that we get to choose to give what is in our heart (or wallets!).
    2) ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS say THANK YOU. Not on Face Book, NOT in an email. Send a card. Suck it up, stamps are cheap. If I do not receive a THANK YOU, that person will NEVER receive another gift from me again. To me that means the receiver does not appreciate it, so why bother??
    3) To the person(s) throwing the wedding/destination wedding/shower/jack and jill- you need to 110% understand that attendance AND gift/money giving is a CHOICE for the giver. Never expect ANYTHING from ANYONE as it is their perogative to decide if they want to come.

  61. Kelly2800 says:

    I agree that these days showers and stag & does are complete money grabs. And just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t make it right. People looked at me like I had two heads when they found out I wasn’t having a shower or a stag and doe. My husband and I didn’t feel right about it. Usually it is the case that a couple is living on their own already and have everything, so why should I (or someone else) go out and buy them another set of towels? Just because they are getting married? Not when I am already buying them a gift for their wedding. I also agree with the comment about having a stag & doe to pay for the wedding. If the couple cannot pay for their extravagant wedding on their own, they shouldn’t be making others pay for it either. It starts them out on the road to financial irresponsibility. We all should be living within our means, but I think some find it hard when we live in a culture where everyone thinks they deserve everything (and they can buy it as long as they have credit or guests willing to shower them with money!). These traditions seem outdated in our current times and I am glad that others feel the same way. I was beginning to feel like the only one!

  62. Seniora says:

    I agree with every word you wrote. Well said!

  63. Dayanara says:

    I got married last April and we opted to not do a Stag & Doe, but we did do a bridal shower, bachelorette and a bachelor party.

    I would say about 75% of the gifts I received from the bridal shower were from my registry and honestly were much needed items since my hubby and I did not live together before getting married (he moved from the USA and did not want to lug everything he owned in the move for ease and I lived with my parents so we had nothing). Most of my bridal shower attendees were family members or close friends. I asked my bridesmaids to not invite everyone under the sun because I didn’t want it to seem like a cash grab.

    My bachelorette was hosted by my MoH at her place and was a Fantasia party where the proceeds from the sales went to my purchase. We had a good time and then everyone surprised me and took me to a male strip club…including my MOM! LOL! Was a blast though, we had more fun making fun of the guys and drinking than actually watching any of them dance. I was all dressed up in cheap bride to be attire and drunk as a skunk. Good times. It was not that expensive for the evening too, some of my friends did not buy anything at the party and others spent a ton, the club had a $10 cover and drinks were actually not that expensive.

    My hubby’s bachelor party was a night out with all the guys (including the dads) at a local strip bar that had pool tables and other gambling stuff as well. No idea how much was spent there, but I hear they had a good time, LMAO!

    As for the wedding, 50% of our guests gave us $200 per couple or more. The other half was about 30% gave $100 per couple and the last 20% was less than that. Now we had a lot of guests from the USA so in our opinion them making the trek to Toronto to see us get married was a gift in itself.

    Our wedding cost around $35k (thank god for my parents or we would have eloped though, lol) and we walked away in the end with just under $10k in monetary gifts, about $700 in gift cards and a few physical gifts.

    We did not set out to get married and strike it rich. We got married because we love each other and wanted to celebrate with friends and family.

  64. totti182 says:

    When I got married my mother paid for and hosted my bridal shower in lieu of giving me a gift. When we got married my husband and I paid for the whole wedding for 150 of close friends and family (full sit down meal and open bar) We had waited 3 years to get married and could afford to do this. My husbands parents said that they would have paid for half of the hall like they did for their other 4 children, but we declined. I did not expect guest to give us how much they had. It was overwhelming and not expected we just wanted to have a fun evening to celebrate. The only piss off was that of course we expected that both of our parents would give us money to celebrate our union (my parents did) his parents paid for their plates ($80) I just think that was rude, considering they had given at least $7,000 to their other children. Friends of ours had even given us more than that. I think that if the wedding is paid for and you agree to attend that you should give what you would pay for a night on the town.

  65. Chris says:

    These are occasions to be celebrated and everyone is upset because they have to give a gift? I have attended many weddings, baby showers and stag and does and am honoured to get the invite. (If it is for someone I know and talk to regularly.)

    A Stag and Doe is your choice if you spend any money beyond the ticket price. You are being fed a meal, seeing old friends/family and having a good night with free music. If you do spend money you can walk out of there with a fantastic prize for little money. A good deal in my eyes! And it is not easy to throw a “cheap” wedding anymore. In order to accomodate family and friends you need a decent size hall and catering and that does not come cheap. I am getting married in the fall and I know if I cut my guest list, alot of people would be offended. So a Stag n Doe is an easy way to raise a little money so that you can afford to invite those guests.

    As for the second baby showers, I do disagree with those if the children are close in age. If they kids are more than 5 years apart, then by all means have another one, as you have probably donated all your baby items to friends/family by then.

  66. cassandra says:

    $500 each for a wedding??? who has that sort of money just sitting around?? wow,I’m astonished at that. I’ve always stuck to $100 per COUPLE!!! and thought that was sufficient.

  67. Jody says:

    I know how you feel and don’t like to feel obligated to have to attend or bring a gift if I don’t agree with the situation or event.
    As for second baby showers I think it is okay in certain circumstances – moving, spaced far apart, different father but when it is same family, same sex baby and only a couple of years later I don’t agree. I also very much dislike when the mom throws her own baby showers for all 3 of her kids, personally I find this distasteful.

  68. Fee says:

    Perhaps the reason that so many people decide to just move in together is because of the cost of everything these days. A wedding is beautiful, but a smaller wedding can be beautiful. Baby showers and wedding showers are all sweet. Everything costs money and I agree with everyone that has stated that you should be able to give something from the heart. I believe that your real friends will know that what you are giving is truly from your heart. All others? You shouldn’t feel obligated to attend weddings or showers for someone who doesn’t mean anything to you.

  69. Cheryl888 says:

    2nd baby showers are fine, I think they put a lot of time/money into the shower, the least you can do is buy a nice gift. Same with the wedding. Its a time of celebration, and regardless how many times/how many kids they have, there is nothing wrong with spending $50 on someone you care about.

    On the bachlorette party…I think thats a pretty juvinille way to party, and to me its shocking that anyone over 22 would have a party this way. I would decline also, and not feel bad about it. People going usually have to come up with a lot of money (last year I flew to BC, and spent about 400 + flight…I was a bridesmaid….lol). I didnt go out to the “bar”, and was happy keeping my time in the overly expensive hotel room I had to share with 3 drunk girls lol.

    I think as of certain age, its nice to try and do something a little more sophisticated. If men can do it, why cant we? Nothing wrong with a nice all girls golf trip for the weekend. Or if money is tight, a nice all girls camping weekend. If you wanna get trashed, thats fine, but at least you can do it with a little dignity this way.

  70. ladyinred says:

    When you get engaged or have a baby then YOU will understand 🙂
    You give gifts to other people and then they repay you. It helps the couple out when they need it.

    You dont need to go into debt just be smart and look for sales at the bay or wherever they are registered, borrow a dress from a friend etc!

  71. vibrantflame says:

    @ giffy85 – Since you already RSVPed, I’d just send a note along with the gift. Something along the lines of “I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to attend after all”.

  72. carlyincanada says:

    FYI…..recently a couple in Windsor got married on May 7/2011 & someone came in the Hall & took their basket of envies with all the cash!!! So if your planning a wedding/shower etc….have someone in charge of watching the envies like a hawk!!!!

  73. Funkymunky says:

    I’m a bridesmaid for the first time ever this summer, and I was honestly shocked at the monetary value of everything:

    – we had to buy our own dresses ($200 right there)
    – the girls have to make their own way to the hall (no limo for us, just for the boys), since the bride will be decorating the hall and won’t be arriving with us
    – bridal shower gift
    – bachelorette party costs (prob another $100-200)
    – wedding gifts

    I’m not sure I’m a fan of all that 🙁

  74. Funkymunky says:

    @Chris “These are occasions to be celebrated and everyone is upset because they have to give a gift?” – yes precisely.

    Why should we be EXPECTED to spend that kind of a money just because? Not everyone can afford these costs.. esp if the girls are invited to a bachelorette and just told how much money to bring

    And I agree – $100 per couple is fine. It’s not our fault/problem if it is $100 per plate at the hall – we are not obligated to cover 100% of wedding costs.

  75. Lacey says:

    I am getting married this summer and I have not asked anyone to buy there own dress or throw me a shower or spend a dime of their own money, it’s more important that me friends and family come to my wedding than feel like they cannot afford to attend. however we are having a cash bar since we are paying for everything else!
    now if one of my girlfriends wanted to have a small bachelorette party for me I would be happy 🙂 but I certainly do not expect anything of people.
    as for baby showers, do people actually get to have those? lol I only have two or three best friends and I live away from my family (aunts etc) so if I wanted to have a baby shower there wouldn’t even be anyone to come! even if I through it myself 🙁 that sucks, it’s not about the gifts its about having an ice day with you gals since you wont be free to do so for a while! and celebrating your soon to be new arrival. My baby is due in December.

  76. Funkymunky says:

    @Lacey – of course 🙂 you just want to have the day of your life, and a good time, and it’s understandable

    I just never participated at weddings in Canada from a wedding party prespective, so it was a bit shocking – I love to give my friends gifts and take them out for a dinner and whatnot.. but when you feel expected to spend a chunk of $$, it just doesn’t feel as fun

    for example, our dress went from being “let’s buy a nice summer dress that can be reused lated” to a full on formal long gown which I have no use for after the wedding – I just didn’t like the idea of buying a dress that is not what I personally like but will be obliged to roast in on a hot July day 🙁

    I think this will just be a lesson for the future for my own wedding 🙂 to make sure ppl don’t spend tons of money for things that perhaps are not needed

  77. Nic says:

    We were just like Kelly2800-we got married at 27, had already lived together, and each and on our own. What did we need people to buy us presents for?

    The days of bridal showers are antiquated, IMHO. The purpose was to set people up to being their lives together. If you’re getting married at 21, go for it, have a shower. If not, chances are you have enough stuff to get by as it is.

    I don’t go to bridal or baby showers as a rule. Sometimes, if I’m close to someone or in the wedding party, I will. But I’ve been to too many gift-grubbing ones that turned me off. My favourite was the one where the bride returned doubles and then BRAGGED about buying clothes with the return money. This after people like single moms scraped together what they could in order to give her a gift.

    And yes, being a bridal party is so expensive:
    hen night/stagette
    bridal shower
    wedding gift.

    Those things add up mighty quickly.

  78. Nic says:

    Sorry, can’t leave this alone:
    “When you get engaged or have a baby then YOU will understand”

    So, if you don’t plan on having kids (we’re not), does that mean I get a free pass? 🙂

  79. Greeklady says:

    @Nic – my partner and I have also agreed not to have kids and not to get married for that matter, so I will never “get back” the many gifts I’ve given over the years, but I’ve always known that I wouldn’t, so never counted on it…

    @carlyincanada – there have been a few occasions of wedding-money-envelope-theft in recent years, especially from larger banquet halls. Knowing that this is happening, many banquet halls have safes that they let the couple use. For my best friend’s wedding, we got tamper-proof deposit bags from the bank, put the envelopes in the bag, signed on the seal, and kept them in the banquet hall’s safe until the end of the night. Pretty much as soon as all the guests passed through the receiving line (during which time the envelopes were given to the couple), the envelopes were stored in a safe place. Any stragglers/late gifts were given to the bride’s mother or godmother to look after (and guarded closely). This is why it is also preferable to write the couple a cheque (in case the envelope gets lost/stolen, the cheque can easily be cancelled and re-issued).

  80. Andrea says:

    My view is this: if someone is celebrating something big, like a wedding or a baby, they usually spend a fair bit to make their guests comfortable at said party. If you are being invited and accept/RSVP, you should bring a gift as a thank you for the nice party, just like you bring something to thank someone when you are invited over for a nice dinner at their home.

    My family’s Italian, so big weddings are the norm. Everyone knows they will have an amazing time, eat wonderful food, as well as an open bar, so the norm is usually $100 per person when it comes to a gift (for weddings held in a normal reception hall type of thing). If my husband and I cannot afford said gift, we do not attend, simple as that. If we are friends with the couple, we still send a smaller cash gift/cheque in a card through the mail. We never had issues with people who couldn’t afford a gift, we just wanted our families to celebrate our wedding, but what we did have issues with was family members who said they were coming (thus we paid for their dinner), and then they didn’t end up showing up at all! I wanted people to have a nice time but had a problem paying for food that was being wasted.

    For baby showers, we have a nice big party for the first baby with the typical gifts. For subsequent babies, it’s essentially if people want to come by on their own after the baby’s born and bring a gift, they do so. My girlfriend didn’t have a shower for her second even though the baby was a different sex, but all her friends still bought things for the little guy like diapers and blue clothes because we wanted to.

  81. Nic says:

    Impressive, it’s like nothing ever happened.

  82. Ciel says:

    What some hosts-to-be fail to comprehend is sensitivity to some of their guests’ situations in life (financial issues, divorce or job loss). Why does a guest have to tell a host no to an RSVP and have to justify it? Some friends and family that are hosting events will claim they wanted all to show up at their function when they realize some did not attend but that is not the time to be aware of the issue. I have basically not gone to family events because I cannot afford them.

    It might be a good idea to chip into a big baby shower item with a group so the new parents to be get the car seat or stroller they would like to have.
    If you are cash-strapped and really want to give a baby gift to someone you care for, see if you know of a neighbourhood lady who makes afghans-a baby one would be a nice gift and you can maybe swap your time to do something for her in exchange for the item. Or try a seniors’ centre and see if you can do a swap with a senior for a knitted cap and sleep set. Ideas to consider…
    Weddings seem to have become the stag-and-doe fundraiser disguised as a social event. Maybe all invitations ought to say that attending the event with cost $XXX per person and money is to be remitted with your RSVP cards.

    I feel sorry after reading about the groom’s best friend not being accomodated at the wedding supper at a different resort. If the friendship was real, the groom would have covered that friend’s meal but groom was cheap–bet that friendship burned up that night.

    I know of a personal friendship that was broken after one friend was dropped from a mutual friend’s wedding party on a superficial reason on the bride’s part. True friends would not do that.

    @Greeklady-I did not know that banquet halls had safes that could be used to store the wedding money gifts. That could be a handy detail to know–probably does come with a fee to use.

    @any woman who has found out how expensive being in a wedding party can be–don’t say yes without all of the details being told upfront. Satin dyeable shoes are something I never want to encounter again. For the SCer who’d like a bachlorette party–drop hints as to what manner of party you have in mind but be aware that champagne tastes might not be possible on hamburger budgets. If you don’t like the Chippendales type event, it helps you to let the bridesmaids know what kind of “fun” you’d like to have and hope that maybe it will happen on some scale. Not everyone finds male dancers their kind of “fun.”

  83. great blog. thank you for posting


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