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Etiquette

Wedding Gift for Sister

My husband and I have an interesting family situation.  His sister is getting married soon and he is really struggling on what to give her as a gift. Here is a little background on our situation. 

My husband and I were married about a year and a half ago. We are both professionals with stable careers. We had a 200+ person wedding at a country club, we paid about 75% of the cost and my parents picked up the remaining 25% (mainly because they invited a bunch of people we did not know). We tried to keep his family included, his brother was the best man and I asked his sister to be a bridesmaid. His parents made negative comments the whole time telling us how we were wasting our money, but we did our best to keep them informed and gave them the ability to invite as many people as they wanted without question. The wedding day came and went and it was everything we both could have dreamed of and more! 

Upon return from our honeymoon were learned of 2 things. First we found out on Facebook his younger sister was engaged to her child's father, a man that she has been on and off with for the course of the child's life (about 3 years). Second his parents opted to give us a card with an IOU as a wedding gift. I know wedding gifts are not mandatory and should not be expected, but the gesture had taken us both by surprise. 

His sister and fiance have been living at the fiance's parents house for the past year and a half because they cannot afford to live on their own. They don't seem to have a plan to leave anytime soon and they are planning a wedding way out of their means. His mom has called complaining that they have to pay more because they signed a contract guaranteeing a certain number of people and fell short about 40 guests. The immaturity of this couple blows my mind! Especially with a child involved. The fiance has also been borderline verbally abusive belittling her on social media and in front of family members several times. He has admitted to my brother-in-law he doesn't even love his sister! At the end of the day these two just want to throw a big party.

With all of that being said, my husband loves his sister even though they have grown apart. He wants to give her something nice despite the circumstances. Under normal circumstances we give a monetary gift, however given the lack of maturity of these two he fears what will happen with the money. We were going to give them a little mini-moon so they could have a weekend away, but they are already doing something for the wedding weekend. My husband also thought about giving them an IOU stating we would pay to help them move into their own place, but I feel this is tacky and I know how this made me feel when his parents did it to us. Many people have advised me to just give what we would normally give as a wedding guest and leave it at that. Does anyone one have any suggestions? 

Re: Wedding Gift for Sister

  • labrolabro Hotlanta member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    My husband and I have an interesting family situation.  His sister is getting married soon and he is really struggling on what to give her as a gift. Here is a little background on our situation. 


    My husband and I were married about a year and a half ago. We are both professionals with stable careers. We had a 200+ person wedding at a country club, we paid about 75% of the cost and my parents picked up the remaining 25% (mainly because they invited a bunch of people we did not know). We tried to keep his family included, his brother was the best man and I asked his sister to be a bridesmaid. His parents made negative comments the whole time telling us how we were wasting our money, but we did our best to keep them informed and gave them the ability to invite as many people as they wanted without question. The wedding day came and went and it was everything we both could have dreamed of and more! 

    Upon return from our honeymoon were learned of 2 things. First we found out on Facebook his younger sister was engaged to her child's father, a man that she has been on and off with for the course of the child's life (about 3 years). Second his parents opted to give us a card with an IOU as a wedding gift. I know wedding gifts are not mandatory and should not be expected, but the gesture had taken us both by surprise. 

    His sister and fiance have been living at the fiance's parents house for the past year and a half because they cannot afford to live on their own. They don't seem to have a plan to leave anytime soon and they are planning a wedding way out of their means. His mom has called complaining that they have to pay more because they signed a contract guaranteeing a certain number of people and fell short about 40 guests. The immaturity of this couple blows my mind! Especially with a child involved. The fiance has also been borderline verbally abusive belittling her on social media and in front of family members several times. He has admitted to my brother-in-law he doesn't even love his sister! At the end of the day these two just want to throw a big party.

    With all of that being said, my husband loves his sister even though they have grown apart. He wants to give her something nice despite the circumstances. Under normal circumstances we give a monetary gift, however given the lack of maturity of these two he fears what will happen with the money. We were going to give them a little mini-moon so they could have a weekend away, but they are already doing something for the wedding weekend. My husband also thought about giving them an IOU stating we would pay to help them move into their own place, but I feel this is tacky and I know how this made me feel when his parents did it to us. Many people have advised me to just give what we would normally give as a wedding guest and leave it at that. Does anyone one have any suggestions? 
    Confession: I skimmed this. But I agree with that those people are saying. 1. I don't see how the actions of your in-laws should influence what you give your BIL and his future wife and 2. See the bolded. That's what you should do. I really love the mini-moon idea. I think that would be a nice and very generous gift.



  • I don't get what their maturity level has to do with what gift you give them. Unless you're debating between a coloring book or a nice set of sheets, maturity level has nothing to do with it. 

    From reading that, it comes across like you put too much thought into gifts in general. People give what they're able to give. That's perfectly acceptable. 


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    novella1186blabla89redoryx
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya mod
    Moderator 5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its
    Ditto PPs. But if you're set on gifting them something that pleases you more than them, maybe start one of those college savings accounts or something for the kid?
    Image result for someecard betting someone half your shit youll love them forever
    BrandNewJ
  • Where we live money is the standard wedding gift, the typical "pay for your plate." Under normal circumstances he would give more than that for his sister's wedding, however he fears the fiance may take the money and blow it, or even take the money and run.
  • Where we live money is the standard wedding gift, the typical "pay for your plate." Under normal circumstances he would give more than that for his sister's wedding, however he fears the fiance may take the money and blow it, or even take the money and run.

    But that's the thing, once you give the money as a GIFT, they can do whatever they please with it. That's why it's a gift. 

    You shouldn't be concerned with that. 
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    labro
  • novella1186novella1186 member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    edited March 2015
    Their maturity level and what they might do with money gifted to them is none of your business. The way they plan their wedding is also none of your business. And it sounds like you're being super judgmental about their relationship and lifestyle. Stop doing that. 

    Do you worry about what your monetary gifts will be spent on when you give them to other couples for weddings? I mean, they could stash it in savings to someday buy a house or they could buy 10,000 pink marshmallows. Either way, once that money leaves your hand it ceases to be your concern. 

    Give them a gift like you would for any other couple. Stop judging. Stop sticking your nose into other peoples' business. Stop worrying about how they're planning their own lives and their own wedding. Stop comparing your wedding and your in-laws gift and whatever else to these other people. It comes off as very rude and condescending. 
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    BrandNewJ[Deleted User]
  • paf001 said:

    Where we live money is the standard wedding gift, the typical "pay for your plate." Under normal circumstances he would give more than that for his sister's wedding, however he fears the fiance may take the money and blow it, or even take the money and run.

    It is definitely not your business what people do with your gift. How would you like your grandma to gave you cash and says,"you can only use it if you spend it on x" - even if you absolutely don't care for x (whether x is a vacation, new house, building a nursery when you have no intention to have kids, etc...). Telling people how to use your gift is rude and judgmental. Give what you can afford, and what you think they will like, but don't demand they use the gift in a certain way.

    Another point, you could get them something physical - like a nice cookware set - and they could still return it and use the cash however they see fit.
  • Dreamergirl8812Dreamergirl8812 your closet member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    If a few hundred bucks is all it would take for FI to run off, you writing an IOU isn't going to prevent that.

    Just give some money or pick something from the registry.



    Anniversary
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  • If they don't have a registry, buy them sheets, towels, and a plain white dish set for four.  If you want to spend more money, throw in some silverware.  Things they would need if they did decide to move out of their parents' home.

    It doesn't matter what they spend their money on.  Let them pay their Visa bill and buy a tank of gas if that's what they decide is the best use of their wedding gifts.  What is it to your husband?
  • paf001 said:

    Where we live money is the standard wedding gift, the typical "pay for your plate." Under normal circumstances he would give more than that for his sister's wedding, however he fears the fiance may take the money and blow it, or even take the money and run.

    It's not for you to decide how they spend your money so if that's a concern then buy a boxed gift.
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  • His sister: why did you give him money when you know he would just leave me if he got any money?!


    Seriously though, I know it is frustrating but I would just give what you normally give, I'm sure they will do plenty more frustrating things in the future.
  • If you know where they are going for their weekend away, could you call their hotel and upgrade them to a suite or have champagne and chocolates waiting for them? Or give them a gift card to a local fancy restaurant with enough on it for a really nice dinner including drinks and dessert?
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