Registry and Gift Forum

Torn to give or not to give a gift

I had a friend from college and his now fiance attend my wedding two years back in the San Francisco area. They live locally in the SF area while my husband and I came back to the area from New York to celebrate our wedding. I enjoyed having them come to my wedding. They left kind of early but it was still nice to see them. They did not bring us a wedding gift. Now the tables have turned. They have invited my husband and I to their wedding, which will take place in Los Angeles area. After trying to figure out logistics, we've decided we cannot attend the wedding. This will be my first wedding that I've declined from the East Coast. I feel bad about not going but the expense and the fact that we have an infant son to take care of makes it impossible. If you were in my situation, would you still give a gift knowing that they never gave one to you when they came to your wedding? Being that my friend is a guy, I don't know if it's just something he didn't think about at my wedding. He doesn't seem to be bothered that I'm not attending. What is the appropriate thing to do?

Re: Torn to give or not to give a gift

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I had a friend from college and his now fiance attend my wedding two years back in the San Francisco area. They live locally in the SF area while my husband and I came back to the area from New York to celebrate our wedding. I enjoyed having them come to my wedding. They left kind of early but it was still nice to see them. They did not bring us a wedding gift. Now the tables have turned. They have invited my husband and I to their wedding, which will take place in Los Angeles area. After trying to figure out logistics, we've decided we cannot attend the wedding. This will be my first wedding that I've declined from the East Coast. I feel bad about not going but the expense and the fact that we have an infant son to take care of makes it impossible. If you were in my situation, would you still give a gift knowing that they never gave one to you when they came to your wedding? Being that my friend is a guy, I don't know if it's just something he didn't think about at my wedding. He doesn't seem to be bothered that I'm not attending. What is the appropriate thing to do?
    Gifts are not tit for tat.  Who knows what their financial situation was when they attended your wedding.   I would give a gift if I could afford it.....it doesn't have to be big or expensive.
    doeydo
  • If you like your friend and want to celebrate his wedding, then send a gift. It doesn't matter whether he got you a gift. Personally, I would probably send one.
    doeydo
  • AprilH81AprilH81 Columbus, OH member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would send a gift that you can afford and send a nice card/note saying how much you wish you could be there but you wish them the best.
    photo composite_14153800476219.jpg
  • i agree, if you can afford a gift I'd give one.  If you hadn't gotten married before him and where in this situation, would you be thinkign twice about it, or just give a gift?  Don't not give one just because he didn't give you one.
    doeydo
  • Give it if you want to, don't if you don't want to.
    Blue_Bird
  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    I always give gifts, but mainly because I like shopping and am better off financially than my friends so I enjoy sort of "taking care" of them.

    I wouldn't be offended if my friends didn't give me a gift, and don't think they'd "expect" one.

    I dunno, I just enjoy giving gifts, and haven't been in a situation where it's even a decision that I have to weigh on. :/
  • I don't think I ever regret being generous.  But to be honest it isn't always my first instinct either.

    If you give a gift that is nice, and generous.  Especially if you are giving it because you really want to.  If you don't, then it isn't a big deal and I wouldn't side eye you for it.

    I have a standard amount that I give for a wedding gift.  If I attend a wedding, that is what I give.  If I decline and it is family or a very close friend I give that same amount.  I don't usually get invited to weddings of people that I am not close to so I haven't thought about it much except for one time.  I declined for someone that I used to be close with but haven't spoken to in 13 years (family friend so I still see her family once in awhile but she has moved).  I ended up sending her half of the usual gift. 

    I think I would only not send a gift if it was someone I wasn't close to.  I usually decline shower invites without sending a gift if I don't know the bride that well.

  • Maybe your friend was in a financial pince back then like you are now. If you can afford to send them a gift, go for it. If things are tight then don't worry about it.
  • I have this discussion with my FMIL frequently. She is of the opinion that you give what you get (which essentially means everybody is trading money back and forth.) It is a problem when it comes to our guest list, because the opinion is, "Well, I went to their son/daughter's wedding and gave a generous gift, so we have to invite them to your wedding because they will reciprocate." To me, this is terrible. Tit-for-tat, or gifting out of expectation, cheapens what is supposed to be a generous, thoughtful gesture. Not only that, but it could put undo financial pressure on people if they are expected to give a certain amount, regardless of their financial situation. (We sometimes hear, "That's all you gave them? You need to open your wallet a little bit." We are not in a place financially that we can afford to be overly generous right now. That doesn't seem to matter t FI family.)

    Bottom line: give whatever gift you can afford or think is appropriate. Don't base your decision about what kind of gift to give on whether or not you've received a gift in the past. 
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Yes, I would send a gift.    I'm not petty enough not to give a gift solely because they didn't give me one.  If you don't want to give a gift for other reasons than don't, but since the cat is out of the bag it's hard to back on your reason why.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  •    I give a gift because I want to give a gift, not if the person gave me one first. Then again, I've given wedding gifts to people who I like, but weren't invited to the wedding (co-workers who I like, but weren't invited to their wedding because no one at the office was). I like helping a couple get started and maybe they are only having a small family only wedding. 

       I went to three weddings this past year and gave gifts at all of them. I really don't care if those couples give me a gift at my upcoming wedding or not.
    ei34
  • ei34ei34 member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited January 2014

    When I decline wedding invites I send the couple a nice card and a gift from their registry.  (When I attend weddings I give a monetary gift, but it always feels strange sending one in the mail.)

    I'm friends with a couple that never give wedding gifts.  Not my style, but that's their call.  They didn't give my husband and me a gift at our wedding, but it didn't stop me from giving them one at theirs.  You have to do whatever you're comfortable with.

    ETA: can't spell :(

  • I would send one. Be the bigger person...
  • I would always give a gift when I attend a wedding.  But I have also not sent gifts when I have declined invitations, mainly when I really didn't feel like I was close to the B & G.  (Often extended family, inviting all the first cousins once removed, whether or not they've spoken to you in 10 years kind of thin.)
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would send one. Be the bigger person...
    Huh?  What if the couple attending the OPs wedding couldn't afford to give a gift?  
  • Do you guys know any place for buying wedding gifts ?
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    Do you guys know any place for buying wedding gifts ?
    Um, any store that you normally would buy things at.  Target, BB&B, Macy's, etc, etc, etc.

  • So, OP, these friends traveled from SF to NYC for your wedding and didn't give you a gift, and you're still miffed about it?  Did you consider that it probably cost them at least a thousand dollars as a couple between flights and hotels simply to attend?  I would assume that a couple who was going to have significant cash outlay to attend my wedding wouldn't get me a gift. If they actually do, great, but i wouldn't expect one.  The fact that they spent a small fortune to attend is your gift.

     

    You are not going to this wedding, which means it's costing you nothing to attend.  I would probably send a gift in your position.

    JeeGooDowster
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