Budget Weddings Forum

Budget Wedding, holiday gifts

Hi Everyone!

I had a quick questions, me and my fiancé have booked our wedding date for next year and it will be a destination wedding. However since we have gotten engaged we had to relocate due to his job and we had to take a chunk from our wedding fund bc we had to move to a different state and buy a house. We are quickly coming up on the holidays and since we are budgeting and saving can you guys please tell me the etiquettes when it comes to Christmas etc. I have a fairly large family back home and was wondering if it is necessary to buy Christmas gifts for everyone or us just flying back home to see everyone is sufficient enough? I know everyone has their own opinion so please feel free to chip in a give some advice! Thank you!

Re: Budget Wedding, holiday gifts

  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    I think this varies by family. What does your family normally do? We got to a point in our family that there were so many of us that we started changing names instead of buying for everyone. 
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think this varies by family. What does your family normally do? We got to a point in our family that there were so many of us that we started changing names instead of buying for everyone. 
    Ditto this. 

    If you usually exchange gifts with everyone, can you maybe put the word out that you won't be able to do it this year due to budgeting for the wedding?

  • Once my sister was out of college a few years ago, we discuss it every year.  This year the 6 of us (Mom, Dad, Sis, Gma, DH, me) are drawing names and everyone buys one and gets one present.  Last years we did no gifts, the year before that we did no gifts.
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    It depends on your family. My family hasn't done gifts for ten years. My husband's family would die if they didn't do gifts (even though they always give each other $100 gift cards that cancel each other's out). I think it's silly of them but it's what they prefer. Are your parents big on gifts? Do you have younger siblings who will expect them? Maybe if they are the type that are big on gifts, you could do something hand made like photo collages or something.



  • In my family, not giving to others because you're spending all your money on yourself buying a house and throwing a destination wedding would come off as selfish, but we're a gifting bunch.

    Doesn't mean gifts need to be expensive though. But in general, I think if you know someone is going to give you a gift, you should try and give them one too.
  • It definitely varies by family.  However once my brothers got married years ago I said let's draw names instead of buying smaller gifts for everyone, and then after they were divorced we decided to just do none at all for each other and just buy for my parents and niece.  My family has never gone overboard with gifts anyway so it wasn't a big deal.

    You could be proactive and set a new tradition for drawing names.  I bet others would appreciate this too instead of buying for everyone in the large family, people just usually don't want to be the one to bring it up.

  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I would try to still get everyone I normally got gifts for something small. I make a lot of truffles for holiday gifts, maybe try something like that?

  • Hello Everyone! thanks for the great advice. My fiancé side is smaller and everyone is very sentimental so they like handmade gifts etc. Like everyone is just happy that we are flying back to visit and his mom just wants a framed picture from our engagement photo shoot! However my side is larger ( I have 9 bridesmaids and majority are sisters) We usually try to get gifts for my sisters but this is before we got engaged and had to budget out money for the wedding.  We don't want to com off as cheap this year but we are just tryin to be smart with our budgeting.
  • @knottie59772407 We are trying to cut back this Christmas, also! I'm going to make sugar body scrub for all of my bridesmaids as a little gift.  Still have to see about my parents- but a framed picture is a great idea!  Try to get creative with gifts, you will save a lot of money!

    We usually send out a photo card but we have to send our save the dates out in December, so we are going to skip that this year.  
  • kk111415  Yes I decided to just make really sentimental gifts for everyone. I make lotion bars & candles as a hobby so I was decided to just do that and make everyone like a little "spa" box with the items that I make. We usually send holiday cards as well but we decided to skip it since the save the dates are costly.

    Thanks for everyone input it definitely helped and made me feel less worried about holiday gifts especially for just one year

  • For your sisters, what about going through old photos of you with them & framing them? Also what about some homemade treats like cookies or chocolates.
  • I would just be honest with everyone in advance and propose an alternate solution. In my family, H and I just paid for our wedding and are saving for a house, my mom just bought a new house, and we all have entirely too much CRAP. So we're doing a $25 grab bag gift - bring a gift (which would be suitable for anyone), get a gift. It can be hand-made or store-bought. If you don't want to participate, you just don't put a gift into the pile (or put one as a couple rather than individual, etc). But everyone knows ahead of time, so they don't show up with a $100 gift for me only to get a mug of homemade cocoa in return. We all leave with the equivalent of what we brought.

  • It definitely depends on your family. However, I do think you can talk to your family about it. Maybe say, hey, we would really love to visit you guys but money is tight. Can we agree to skip presents, or do just do stockings or maybe a yankee swap this year instead? 

    My mom actually approached me this year about doing something along these lines with our family and close family friends. My parents are divorced and remarried, but we are doing Christmas in a way that will at least allow me to buy five fewer gifts than I usually do. Given that we are paying for a wedding, just bought a house, and plane tickets are costing us $900, this is very welcome. 
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