Wedding Etiquette Forum

My 82-year-old mother's wedding guest dilemma

My mother has been invited to the wedding of the son of one of her friends. She is close to her friend, but doesn't know the son that well.

She happily accepted via response card. After accepting, she realized she needed a little more info regarding the time of day (her friend got a little confused and the invite was unclear), so  I helped her log on to the wedding website. 

 The site laid out a timeline of about 10 hours. It also mentioned in no uncertain terms that they did not register for gifts because they just wanted cash for their honeymoon. My mother panicked because she is on a very limited income and really cannot afford to give a sizable amount of cash. It's a lot less awkward for a person with a small budget to just pick out the, say, $30 item off the registry than to shell out cash, as those amounts tend to be larger.

Because of the grueling day, and because of finances, she is thinking of changing her yes to a no. I have to admit, I'm on the fence here.

OTOH, she has said yes, and the wedding is 2 weeks away. It would also be nice for her to go and support her friend. On the other hand, she really doesn't want to show up with a small amount of cash. I suggested that she and the other elderly guests could leave after the cake-cutting but before the dancing, and that she could give some nice cloth napkins, as they are eco-friendly and practical, but she doesn't want to be the only one giving a non-cash gift.

Of course it's rude as hell that they are insisting on cash, but she doesn't want to out-tacky them by going back on her RSVP this late.

Re: My 82-year-old mother's wedding guest dilemma

  • maine7mob said:
    My mother has been invited to the wedding of the son of one of her friends. She is close to her friend, but doesn't know the son that well.

    She happily accepted via response card. After accepting, she realized she needed a little more info regarding the time of day (her friend got a little confused and the invite was unclear), so  I helped her log on to the wedding website. 

     The site laid out a timeline of about 10 hours. It also mentioned in no uncertain terms that they did not register for gifts because they just wanted cash for their honeymoon. My mother panicked because she is on a very limited income and really cannot afford to give a sizable amount of cash. It's a lot less awkward for a person with a small budget to just pick out the, say, $30 item off the registry than to shell out cash, as those amounts tend to be larger.

    Because of the grueling day, and because of finances, she is thinking of changing her yes to a no. I have to admit, I'm on the fence here.

    OTOH, she has said yes, and the wedding is 2 weeks away. It would also be nice for her to go and support her friend. On the other hand, she really doesn't want to show up with a small amount of cash. I suggested that she and the other elderly guests could leave after the cake-cutting but before the dancing, and that she could give some nice cloth napkins, as they are eco-friendly and practical, but she doesn't want to be the only one giving a non-cash gift.

    Of course it's rude as hell that they are insisting on cash, but she doesn't want to out-tacky them by going back on her RSVP this late.
    I think if your mother wants to attend and support her friend she absolutely should. She should give the couple whatever gift she feels comfortable giving, be that cash (however much she wants to give) or a thoughtful gift she picks out herself. The couple should be gracious and thankfully for any gift they receive. 

    TBH it makes me really sad that your mother would think she can’t/shouldn’t go because of how much she can/can’t give. I think if she can give the couple $10 and say “have a drink from me on your honeymoon” then that’s lovely. 
    MobKazILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • Your mother shouldn't let the cash thing stop her from going to the wedding. She should give what she can afford, and if the couple is anything but appreciative, then they're tacky as hell. 

    What I find as astonishing as the asking for cash thing is the 10 hour timeline. What does that entail? Has your mother expressed any concern about that?
    image
    charlotte989875MobKazILoveBeachMusicshort+sassy
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I commend your mother for not wanting to back out at such a late date. WTF is this couple thinking? People can give what ever they want, and the couple should be thankful! I personally refuse to give cash when someone asks for it (yes, I'm just that snarky).

    If your mother doesn't want to go (because of the length of the day and/or the gift request), 2 weeks out may not be too late for canceling the catering. We had to give my DD's final catering count one week out. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • Your mom can still decline - and given a timeline of 10 hours for the entire event I think it's fine for her to send regrets.   


  • maine7mob said:
    Thanks, all. She is writing a note declining right now. I think it's for the best. Her friend has a couple of other people there to support her, and the couple will have their friends. I don't think my mom and her plus one will be missed, and it will save them a lot of stress and anxiety.
    I don't see anything wrong with that!  Especially since it's still early enough the couple probably hasn't given the caterer a final count yet.

    If she wanted to...though not needed...I think it would be a nice thought to send the couple a congratulations wedding card.  Of course, no cash/check needs to be included.

    I received some of those.  From guests who couldn't attend.  From people I didn't invite, but knew I was getting married.  Some with a check included.  Some without.  I appreciated all of them!  
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    charlotte989875
  • maine7mob said:
    Thanks, all. She is writing a note declining right now. I think it's for the best. Her friend has a couple of other people there to support her, and the couple will have their friends. I don't think my mom and her plus one will be missed, and it will save them a lot of stress and anxiety.
    I don't see anything wrong with that!  Especially since it's still early enough the couple probably hasn't given the caterer a final count yet.

    If she wanted to...though not needed...I think it would be a nice thought to send the couple a congratulations wedding card.  Of course, no cash/check needs to be included.

    I received some of those.  From guests who couldn't attend.  From people I didn't invite, but knew I was getting married.  Some with a check included.  Some without.  I appreciated all of them!  
    Agree.   I also think that while the couple isn't really following proper etiquette if she felt close enough to attend then a card and/or a gift would be a good gesture.   It doesn't have to be cash.   She can give a gift card or a basic picture frame.   I'm a big fan of "if you felt like you would have attended then send the couple something" protocol. 
    ILoveBeachMusiccharlotte989875
  • I will suggest the congrats card to her. She loves to write notes to people.
    MairePoppy
  • Sorry to hear she decided to cancel out... 

    At 82yo, it's a $10 or $20 day!  SNS...  (Otherwise this is why you register, because otherwise you get the totally random gift without a gift receipt - bath towels are always a good choice!)...  You tell her wear her best dress and go have dinner on the young'ns!




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