Wedding Etiquette Forum

A charitable donation as a wedding gift?

So I'm not sure what to make of this situation. I received a card from a married couple (the wife is someone I've known for many years.) She wrote on the inside of the card that "a charitable donation was made in honor of our marriage." It struck me as weird because she talks poorly about a friend of hers who wanted to make charitable donations for her b-day in lieu of gifts. She made a point of saying how picky she was about her charities, yada yada yada, how stupid that friend was to even do something like that. So I'm not sure why she would go ahead and give a gift to a charity "in honor of our marriage" without asking us if we had any charities we preferred. It struck me as hypocritical. So what's the etiquette on giving charitable donations as gifts? And what are people's feelings about it?

Re: A charitable donation as a wedding gift?

  • I think it's weird that she didn't say WHAT charity it was to.I volunteer with a charity and if a guest knew that and gave them a donation in honor of our marriage, I'd think it was really thoughtful.If it was a charity THEY liked, not one they knew I liked, I'd be annoyed because it seems selfish to me.In this case, I would think this was a strange gift, given the history.
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  • To be honest, to me it almost sounds like she didn't actually donate. Why wouldn't she include the name of the charity?
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  • I think it's one of those things that sound nice in theory but have the tendency to look preachy.  And it's really odd she didn't ask about your favorite charities first.  Did you not register or give the impression you didn't want any gifts?I gave my mom a cow for Christmas last year (not a real cow, one was donated in her name) because she has always said she wanted one.  In the end she didn't seem too thrilled  about it.  Meh.  This year she's getting gloves again.
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  • I'd be curious if a donation was actually made.  I guess this isn't something you track or can verify (not saying it should be verified) - but it just seems odd.
  • Oops, forgot to add that she did specify the name of the charity.
  • Was it something that had some meaning to you or your H? If not, it's a little bizarre. Unless you made a request for donations to a particular charity, I can't understand why somoene would do this.
  • sun: not really. The charity wasn't one that I've ever donated to and doesn't really have any significance for us. We also had a registry. So here's another question - she didn't actually attend the wedding. She canceled at the last minute and her husband came without her. What should I say on the TY cards? Do I even address her on the card?  I've gotten out all my other TY cards save for theirs.
  • Send her a card that says: " A Thank you card has been sent to the Charity in your honor"
  •  anna, you always crack me up! How are you?! :D
  • I could be worse vee. My dad's sick, so I've fallen behind on my DIY stuff for the wedding.  Invites aren't fully assembled yet and they have to be out by Monday. But life isn't all bad.  I'm cementing music and decor details and the rumor is that I'm having a corpse bride/nightmare before christmas shower in a few weeks. Orange sherbert punch is on the menu.  yum!How have you been?
  • Hope your dad gets better and it's not too serious, ann. Invites and DIY stuff - I honestly miss having WR things to work on. I'm getting back into the swing of P&E and TK. It was hard right after the wedding to be on here - was having some serious wedding withdrawal. But we had a beautiful day and I'm happy that an anti-bride like me got to see the what all the fuss was about as a bride. Makes me (almost) want to get married all over again. :)I'm fascinated by orange sherbet punch - what goes into it? And what other yummies are on the menu please?
  • They won't tell me what goodies will be served.  probably a smart idea since i'd just try to micromanage.  Orange sherbert punch is just generic "orange drink" (you can use sunny D) with a 2 liter of ginger ale added to it and then you scoop out sherbert into it.  It's a delicious tie-dyed looking mess.I'm worried about wedding withdrawl myself.  Luckily I will have the holiday's to occupy me right after.
  • Well, I had a huge reply typed out, and then realized you were talking about donations as gifts, not favors. Reading comprehension FAIL. My SIL gave us a "donation" as a Christmas gift last year; apparently she donated to some charity that feeds starving kids in Africa. It pissed me off - there are several charities that I am active in and passionate about; that was not one of them. It would have been a touching gift, had she actually bothered to donate to a charity that we care about. Instead, it came off as if she was pushing her own agenda and being a total AW - "LOOK AT WHAT A GREAT PERSON I AM!!!" I also question whether or not the donation was actually made, as I received no literature about it in the mail. Not even a picture of a kid that I supposably "saved."
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  • I've received "gifts" like that twice. Both times I was kind of touched, but only because they were situations where it had never occurred to me the person would give me any gift to begin with. I think I would find it odd from someone who typically would give a standard gift. In my case, my cousin's husband's parents (follow that?!) sent me a card and a notice that a tree had been planted in my honor when I graduated from college. I thought it was nice since obviously I wouldn't have expected any gift from them anyway -- so it was a nice way to acknowledge my achievement and do some good. The other time was when DH and I got married. It was a second wedding for both of us and we didn't invite extended family. A first cousin sent a card and a notice that she had made a donation to a charity that had been established in her mother's name to fight the disease that had killed her mother (my aunt). Again, I was touched, but again because I didn't think cousin would send any gift AND it went to a charity that I also had a special connection to. So... I think they can work sometimes, but really only in special circumstances.
  • I would be very happy if someone went to the trouble to find out the charities I support and gave a donation in my name as a gift.Charities such as The March of Dimes (my fav), breast cancer charities because my BF died from that, and possibly the local charity I support, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.Outside of that, I would consider it odd.
  • Hey tide, you bring up a good point I didn't even think about. Charities that I've donated to usually send me some sort of thank you or literature. I haven't received anything of the sort from the charity the wife said she donated to.
  • I think next year for her birthday, you should send her a present of a donation to some off the wall, odd charity. And make sure you give them her name and address, so they can keep hitting her up for more money.
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  • she's a total idiot! 
  • I think it's odd if it isn't a charity you are known to be very supportive of and involved with. When someone decides to give a charitable donation to a random organization, makes me think 1.  Did they really do it?  and 2.  they wanted a tax write off. Last year I got a flock of chickens for Christmas.  I asked the kids to do something on instead of a regular gift.  I think our family will add a goat to things this year and hopefully the kids will get me another flock of chickens. If someone gave to a charity I opposed I'm not sure how I would react and remain graceful.
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