Wedding Woes

Feeling feelings is OK, acting on them probably won't get you far.

mrsconn23mrsconn23 member
Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
edited December 2016 in Wedding Woes

Dear Prudence, 
My daughter was married a few months ago, and we recently found out that most of the relatives on my husband’s side of the family who attended did not give the couple a gift. Now, I know gifts are not supposed to be expected, and we were happy the family joined us to celebrate the happy occasion, but traditionally a gift would be given. We have attended the weddings of these relatives’ children. We always gave a gift for these weddings. These family members are well off, so that is not the problem. My husband is very embarrassed and hurt, and he is not sure if he should say something to his family. There is going to be a wedding on this side of the family next year for one of the cousins who came to our daughter’s wedding, and truthfully, I do not want to even attend. Do you have any advice for this situation?

—Disappointed In-Law

Re: Feeling feelings is OK, acting on them probably won't get you far.

  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    @mrsconn23 I don't think that's dickish at all. 
    mrsconn23PrettyGirlLost
  • Nothing should be expected, but it is.

    Did these family members even thank bride and groom for coming? I'm wondering if they don't know manners ...
  • My MIL was super annoyed that her nieces didn't come to our wedding or send gifts. She gives them and their children generous birthday and Christmas gifts every year and so was hurt they didn't do the same for us. I didn't care (I barely know them), but I don't think they got Christmas presents this year. 
    DrillSergeantCat
  • I understand LW's feelings. A very close relative of mine didn't come to DD's wedding, send a gift or a card! I have been there for him a lot. I haven't said anything and never will but it still stings. His brothers are still pissed at him for not coming to the wedding - they don't know he didn't send a gift.
    short+sassy
  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yeah, you can't say anything w/o looking like a materialistic ass, even if you're intent is just to explain manners to ppl.

    I'd go to the other wedding and give a small gift, like @mrsconn23

    And I agree that gifts are expected, and I understand why.  When you're raised in an environment where you are taught that you always bring a host/hostess gift to a formal dinner or party or holiday event- and that's really all a wedding reception is, a very overpriced party- then I can see where you'd expect ppl to be like mannered.

    I understand LW's feelings. A very close relative of mine didn't come to DD's wedding, send a gift or a card! I have been there for him a lot. I haven't said anything and never will but it still stings. His brothers are still pissed at him for not coming to the wedding - they don't know he didn't send a gift.

    Maybe there was a valid reason why he couldn't come?

    I don't typically send gifts to weddings I can't attend.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • You can't demand a present.

    I do think it's hella rude to not give a gift.  True, presents are never required, but it is a social obligation to give something when you attend an event that is considered to be a gift-giving occasion.  A wedding falls into that category. (Virtually) No one is so poor that they can't afford a $5 hand towel from the registry.  It's not about materialism, it really is the thought that counts.  And it's thoughtless to not bother with a gift.
    short+sassy
  • Yeah, you can't say anything w/o looking like a materialistic ass, even if you're intent is just to explain manners to ppl.

    I'd go to the other wedding and give a small gift, like @mrsconn23

    And I agree that gifts are expected, and I understand why.  When you're raised in an environment where you are taught that you always bring a host/hostess gift to a formal dinner or party or holiday event- and that's really all a wedding reception is, a very overpriced party- then I can see where you'd expect ppl to be like mannered.

    I understand LW's feelings. A very close relative of mine didn't come to DD's wedding, send a gift or a card! I have been there for him a lot. I haven't said anything and never will but it still stings. His brothers are still pissed at him for not coming to the wedding - they don't know he didn't send a gift.

    Maybe there was a valid reason why he couldn't come?

    I don't typically send gifts to weddings I can't attend.
    I know why he didn't come and understood that but the not acknowledging the wedding with a gift annoyed me. We are very close - almost like siblings. If it were me I would have sent a present. At least a card would've been nice or a phone call. My niece is getting married this spring. I probably won't be able to attend. I will still send a present because we are closely related. My brother, with whom I am not at all close sent DD a gift even though he couldn't attend (again I know why and understood).
  • I know this doesn't come up in the letter, but was it a wedding in which the couple explicitly said that gifts weren't expected?  My husband has a lot of stuff, and I was a little stressed at the time about getting too much unnecessary extra stuff, so I told everyone that merely attending was more than okay with me, and I'm pretty sure there were people who took me up on that (thought I didn't really look that close, because it wasn't a big deal).  I'm sure if my MIL didn't realize this and found out that some people didn't give gifts, she might be appalled.  

  • PrettyGirlLostPrettyGirlLost A Land Filled with Unicorns and Cat Hair member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Yeah, you can't say anything w/o looking like a materialistic ass, even if you're intent is just to explain manners to ppl.

    I'd go to the other wedding and give a small gift, like @mrsconn23

    And I agree that gifts are expected, and I understand why.  When you're raised in an environment where you are taught that you always bring a host/hostess gift to a formal dinner or party or holiday event- and that's really all a wedding reception is, a very overpriced party- then I can see where you'd expect ppl to be like mannered.

    I understand LW's feelings. A very close relative of mine didn't come to DD's wedding, send a gift or a card! I have been there for him a lot. I haven't said anything and never will but it still stings. His brothers are still pissed at him for not coming to the wedding - they don't know he didn't send a gift.

    Maybe there was a valid reason why he couldn't come?

    I don't typically send gifts to weddings I can't attend.
    I know why he didn't come and understood that but the not acknowledging the wedding with a gift annoyed me. We are very close - almost like siblings. If it were me I would have sent a present. At least a card would've been nice or a phone call. My niece is getting married this spring. I probably won't be able to attend. I will still send a present because we are closely related. My brother, with whom I am not at all close sent DD a gift even though he couldn't attend (again I know why and understood).
    I don't think anyone who couldn't attend our wedding sent a gift.  In our circle we don't really do that, I guess.  We do send cards though.

    "Love is the one thing we're capable of perceiving that transcends time and space."


  • This is why it's best not to look into who gave vers who didn't, or compare who gave how much, or compare sides, or groups of friends, or what have you. 

    The best thing to do is simply make a list of the gifts you did get, write a note a thanks to the giver and be happy with the gifts you got. Not everyone who came to our wedding gave gifts, but I have no idea if more came from my side, his side, or what have you, but making a list and comparing is definitely not a good idea.
    image
    short+sassyOurWildKingdom
  • This is why it's best not to look into who gave vers who didn't, or compare who gave how much, or compare sides, or groups of friends, or what have you. 

    The best thing to do is simply make a list of the gifts you did get, write a note a thanks to the giver and be happy with the gifts you got. Not everyone who came to our wedding gave gifts, but I have no idea if more came from my side, his side, or what have you, but making a list and comparing is definitely not a good idea.
    I've definitely got a list, but it was solely for "thank-you" card purposes.  DH loves excel (as do I, actually), and we still have saved who gave us what for our shower and wedding.  I could so use it to compare, but I just don't care enough to make that effort.  But it was darn handy for planning purposes when it came to thank-you cards!  

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