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Is a wedding an interest free loan?

This was brought up in the gifts post yesterday. Something along the lines of, "If you give me x dollars and then I return it the next year at your weddings, it isn't a gift, it's a loan."I actually agree that gifts are exactly that! I never call it a "loan" but I use the term "paying it forward."I spend all year buying birthday presents, then on my birthday I get to collect them... in the end it's the same amount of money being spent but you get to have fun and get all your stuff the same day.The same is true for christenings, graduations, weddings, etc. When your a kid your parents buy gifts for other people and they do the same for you. Again, it'd be a better use of money for your parents to skip the parties and just deposit the money in your bank account- but where would the fun come in?The entire purpose of a shower is showering a couple with gifts and helping them get a start on life.Anyone agree? Disagree?
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Re: Is a wedding an interest free loan?

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    edited December 2011
    I agree.  And really I don't have anything to elaborate.
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    Danes983Danes983 member
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    edited December 2011
    Agree I was thinking about this the other day, you probably give out just as much as you get over the years.
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
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    edited December 2011
    I think the fun part is buying things for people that you'd think they'd like.  Otherwise, it just seems to be that if I'm going to give you $x in cash for your wedding, and then you're going to give me $x in cash for my wedding, might as well call the whole thing off.  I'd have the same answer if I gave you a glass vase for your wedding and you gave me the same one back to me for mine.  Giving me cash for me to give you cash in the future isn't fun to me.  And it doesn't really help financially with things like down payments, if the person gets married in the future.  Giving me a gift on my birthday and me giving you a gift on my birthday is.I absolutely love shopping for and giving people gifts (and hey, I also love receiving things I'll like) -- maybe that's why just stuffing cash/a check in an envelope seems kind of thoughtless and empty to me.  After enough paydays, those kind of lost their fun too.
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
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    edited December 2011
    Should be " Giving me a gift on my birthday and me giving you a gift on your birthday is."
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Oh, and with buying gifts, you avoid the whole problem of feeling like you have to give the same amount as they did because if you give less you maybe look cheap and if you give more you maybe make them look cheap.  With gifts it is a little harder to do that math because the numbers are more random.
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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
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    edited December 2011
    I don't think it *should* be, but it defintiely works out that way in most cases. I agree that I'd rather buy people a personal gift for most occasions, but sometimes it's just better to give money or a gift card. And I also agree that it's kind of pointless to give someone cash for their wedding if you're just going to get the same amount back at your own wedding. But there are so many factors where that might not happen ... like friends of my parents who were married before I was born, or friends who are my age but might never get married. If nothing else, we can probably agree that people are basically paying for their own meal with their cash gift to you (in theory). I see the point of giving someone a gift vs. cash to be a more "personal" thing, and that's fine, but I would frankly rather have the cash.
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    edited December 2011
    It only sucks if you are single/never married no kids. A few coworkers of mine are late 30s early 40s and SO bitter about the nonstop shower, kids birthday, wedding gifts they have dished out over the years.Its like that SATC episode, I told the woman to throw herself a single and fabulous party and register for gifts at high end shoe stores!! Ha!
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    edited December 2011
    How do you feel about gift giving, wedding presents, showers,etc, for someone that marries young and is starting with nothing, vs someone that marries in their 30's with a stable job, money, and a furnished house?
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    kewltifkewltif member
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    edited December 2011
    User- it doesn't really matter to me how old someone is. I'm not saying I sit there with a gift registry print out thinking, "Well you bought me a toaster so you get one too." But over the long haul, it really is a pay it forward system where we celebrate and reap the benefits at various points in life. 
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    uppereastgirluppereastgirl member
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    edited December 2011
    User, I don't know how I feel about that.  I'm kind of of the opinion that my gift should be based on my relationship with the people and not outside things like how much they're spending on the wedding, or how old they are (although if we were talking second wedding in their 50s, it might be different), or how much money and things they have.  Best friends or close family, rich or poor, old or young, are best friends or close family.  Random people who shouldn't have wasted an invitation on you, rich or poor, are not best friends. But -- we have a good number of friends who don't make nearly as much as we do and who therefore didn't spend as much on us as we would on them.  I would never give them less of a gift than I would to a friend who was able to give a bigger gift.  A $25 gift can be extremely generous and/or thoughtful, and could be even more of a burden to the person than a $500 gift from someone else.Also, I don't have much sympathy for those who get married young and start with nothing because I think in that situation it is wise to wait to get married so you can go into it more stable.  So I wouldn't give a bigger sympathy gift to them, probably (although I would maybe give them money or something more practical).
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    alliecarrie41alliecarrie41 member
    First Anniversary First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    i love giving gifts and taking time to pick things out, wrap, etc. for people, so i get joy out of this besides monetary value.  i suspect the same comes around back to me for most.  you're right that most everything balances out in the end... i give you $300 for your wedding, you give me $300... why even do it?  because it's a nice thing to do, it marks the moment. that said, sometimes i get to the point, and i have already done this with friends for xmas, i'd rather skip all the hoopla and just go out to dinner or something.  too much trouble somtimes.
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    mbcdefgmbcdefg member
    5 Love Its First Comment Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I'm also at a point in my life now where I just want less "stuff," for several reasons ... I'm trying to be more conscious of material items and waste, I'm trying to look at things on a "need" basis vs. a "want" basis, and we simply don't have the room in our place to store material things. Like Allie said, if someone's going to spend money on me and doesn't want to give me the actual money as a gift, I'd rather go to dinner or go out and do something together, rather than them getting me an actual gift. My friend asked me what I wanted for my birthday this year and I just asked if we could go grab a burger together.
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    edited December 2011
    My MOH got married less than a year before me, one of our GM's got married 2 weeks before us, and one of my BM's got married 3 months after us.  In all cases, I thought it was silly to give cash to such close friends, to have them turn around and give it back to us, in such a short period of time. So, I made agreements with them to do actual presents and not money.  And we did.  Besides those 3, I just give cash for the wedding. Sometimes along with a gift, sometimes just the cash.  I understand that is much less personal, but usually, it is just what the couple wanted anyways.  I do agree with MB, and do that with some of my friends now. One of my best friends has a b'day a week after mine. For several years now, instead of buying each other a gift, we just go out to a nice dinner and spend time together.
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    edited December 2011
    My cousin is getting married a few weeks after me...and a good friend the week after. We decided not to exchange presents (cash) because it would be pointless to just hand money back and forth.
    ~Chelsea~
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    edited December 2011
    I agree that's how it is in our circle for the most part regardless of whether it should be or not. My parents have a large social network and have been to tons of weddings and events throughout the years. So since I was the first of my siblings to get married, I feel people definitely gave it back to us. My dad made it a point to say that most of their guests were generous bc my parents had been generous to them.
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