Friday, July 13, 2007

Financial Wedding Etiquette

I was reading the WIR message board where the topic often comes up, "Is it rude to ask for cash for a wedding?" Emily Post/Ms Manners answer is yes. It is rude to ask for cash only. It is also rude to insert registry information. But many couples do anyway.

Now realize that things differ for people based on religion, race, and culture. So I try to not stick to the standard Ms. Manners answer of asking for cash is rude. It'd be politer to not ask but have the best man/maid of honor tell people who ask, "yes they'd prefer cash" or "they are registered at such and such." With that being said we got cash for our wedding, but well that's traditional where we come from. Also my mom had a "money box" to hold all the envelopes/checks from people. This is not rude, I did not ask for cash, but every wedding in Hawaii does it this way, and DH's side of the family totally understood because culturally that's how they do it to. We only registered for gifts from our friends, because both sides of our families gave us cash.

So besides asking for money, the next question is how expensive of a gift should you give? This I wrestle with, because many people give say $25/per couple says the WIR message board. But where we live, that won't even touch the cost of the meal. And my mother has always told me you give the price of the plate. Now she also said there is no reason to go to a wedding if you don't really know the people and they are just fishing for a gift.

So I feel pretty comfortable giving a $50-$100/per person gift depending on the location, time, and setting of the wedding. I also might add that for relatives especially my close family, I do and will give more generously but that's obviously because of our close relationship. But I'm curious what most of my readers do regarding gifts for a wedded couple? Do you give enough to cover your meal or not? Does it depend on whether you are close to the couple?

Finally thank you notes. The only thing I did promptly was my thank you notes. They were mailed within 3 weeks of the wedding. My mom would have killed me otherwise, she's a stickler for thank you notes. But what I've noticed is that for pretty much every wedding I've ever gone to I've never gotten a thank you note. I've never been told if the couple got my gift or not. I don't know if this is a forgotten tradition, but it seems like no one sends thank you notes anymore. Am I alone in wondering if my registry gift got there?

These are my few thoughts on financial wedding etiquette. Especially with it being wedding season right now.


Anonymous said...

I agree with the wedding note thing..I guess since techincally guests have a year to give a gift, the bride has a lot of leeway with the sending of a note. But yeah, I'm still waiting to know if my cousin actually got his gift I mailed!!!

As for amount of gift, I never have a set value. Sometimes it's just the perfect thing . . sometimes it's just a 'right' amount. Since you don't know what the 'plate' cost will be, then you can't figure it out that way. I don't give a gift because they are giving me a party/dinner at their wedding. In fact, I had the reception to give a gift back for my family and friends in joining us. If the bride and groom get too hung up on money value, then they probably aren't the people you want to give much too anyway!!!

Living Almost Large said...

I never got thank you note from my cousin nor my brother. Boy did my mom fume about my brother and his wife...