Wedding Etiquette Forum

Trading gifts?

One of Fi's closest childhood friends is getting married in Oct.  They are, of course, invited to our wedding, and we already have the STD for theirs.

We just received a pretty hefty check form them. (they are both lawyers).  It was probably twice what FI and I would normally give at a wedding (and we're not exactly skimpy either, but we're not nearly as well-off as they are!).

Now I'm wondering what to do for their wedding.  I'm going to feel cheap if we give them something less than they gave us (and I happen to know that they are paying a LOT more per person than we are - her and I talk about wedding stuff all the time), but I think it would be weird if we just turned around and gave them a check for the same amount they gave us too...

I'm not even sure if they will do a registry (not all Chinese people do - tradition/etiquette says everyone just gives cash), so buying them a nice gift might be out of the question....

What do you all-knowing-collective-of-etiquette think?

ETA: post & run, sorry...

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Re: Trading gifts?

  • Options
    I would look for a registry before making a decision. If there is one, I would send a gift from that before the wedding, maybe finding a more expensive item when it is on sale for example.

    Otherwise, I don't have too much advice. Personally, it wouldn't bother me if I received a gift of less than what I had given. I wouldn't think twice about it. However, I know some people would, so I would be unsure about what to do as well.
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    BisttiBistti member
    First Comment
    I believe that people give what they can and feel like giving. If normally you give X amount but she gave 2X it shouldn't matter. If your weddings were further apart you might not even remember what they gave and you would resort back to your X amount you normally give.

    I believe you have to do what you feel comfortable with, maybe to them their gift was their X amount they normally give. Because they more "well-off" then you as you stated you shouldn't try to match them.

    BUT if you feel like to need to match their amount but don't just want to write a checque back, maybe stick with your normal X amount in cheque and put teh rest in girft cards to places you know the bride and groom frequent?
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    I think you should still just give what you can afford and want to give.   Don't feel bad if you can't afford to give as much as they did. 
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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    aragx6aragx6 member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    You shouldn't feel bad about giving a present you can afford and are comfortable with, regardless of how much they gave you. But I do know how you feel -- I would feel awkward about the situation too if I'm being honest with myself.

    That said, definitely wait to see if they do a registry. I think it's much easier to spend what you can and not worry about it so much when an actual gift and not a check is onvolved.

    I went to a wedding for a coworker last week and they didn't register (When I asked about a registry the bride said "No, K and I just want cash for the honeymoon!") and I thought way more about how much to give them with my check than I would have for a present.
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    CellesCelles member
    Combo Breaker First Comment
    I agree with giving them a gift from their registry, if they have one.  Even if you end up spending less on them than they did on you (which is totally fine), you can always dress up the box or include a heartfelt note -- little touches that don't cost a lot, but definitely show that you care.  My best friend gives the best gifts, and it's almost always because of the presentation. 
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    If they don't register, i'd get them a personalize gift, something nice, not cheesy, but within your budget!!!
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    I also come from a world where cash is the norm. But I'd feel awkward giving someone a cash gift right after they gave me one if it was significantly less than what they gave me.

    In this scenario, I'd consider trying to find a nice gift that falls into your price range. I wouldn't necessarily go from the registry, but perhaps try to come up with some entirely different if you feel you know them well enough to do that. Without knowing them, here are a couple of ideas that fall into the $200 or so price range but don't have any monterary value written on them: wine of the month club for x months, a his and hers massage at an upscale place near them, or a nice picnic basket packed full of interesting/exotic things (a friend did that for my first marriage and I still use it -- the basket itself was probably about $100, has plates, napkins, glasses, wine opener, etc. as part of it and then she filled it with foods ranging from smoked salmon to exotic chocolates and wines).
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