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Planned Elopement: to gift or not to gift

Old 04-25-05, 09:25 AM
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Planned Elopement: to gift or not to gift

My fiancee and I were debating. We planned to marry in Mexico without inviting anyone. We planned an informal "reception" with friends upon our return, and a more formal one with family the following day. So our debate was whether or not we would receive gifts.

Her argument was that if we didn't invite anyone to a ceremony, we wouldn't get gifts (except from family and maybe close friends).

My argument was that people give gifts to help celebrate our love and our union, so it doesn't matter if they get a ceremony...they'll give us something for the marriage.

Well, the time has come and gone. We're married. But before I get to the answer to our debate, I'd be interested to hear what others think on this idea. If your friends were planning to elope, would you get them a gift for their wedding? What if they had a ceremony but didn't invite you, would it be the same answer?
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Old 04-25-05, 09:39 AM
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I would gift. And be grateful to not feel obligated to spend an entire Saturday at a wedding and reception.
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Old 04-25-05, 09:41 AM
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I agree with you James. While it's kind of disappointing not to see the actual ceremony, when I've had friends that eloped I still bought a gift. It is a nice gesture to have a reception though, makes you feel like you had a part in a wedding somehow.

Last edited by iggystar; 04-25-05 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 04-25-05, 09:49 AM
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A close friend would receive a gift regardless. A not as close friend would receive a gift if I was invited to the reception. No invite to the reception would get a card.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:10 AM
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I would still give agift, but I think it would be appropriate to put down that it is not expected.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:11 AM
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I guess it all depends on the "reception" -- my guess is that it would be a very small one (say, 20 or less friends and/or close family only). In that case, gifts would be OK since presumably these are people that would give you a gift regardless.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:14 AM
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Of course people would still give gifts. It has nothing to do with the wedding ceremony... many people ship them these days any way. You will almost certainly receive fewer gifts the fewer invitations you send out, however.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:34 AM
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For us, each member of our family brought us a little something. My mom even paid for nearly the entire "formal" reception. And her closest friend bought us something, too. We figured on all of that.

Where we were both way off base was what our other friends and coworkers would do. A girl here at my work got married in January and didn't invite anyone from work to her wedding, yet the office pitched in for a $300+ pot/pan set plus a few random cards of congratulations. I figured that I have lots of friends here whom I see outside of the office and that I would get about the same. Well, I was wrong. Two guys pitched in for a small gift card to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, but other than that, nothing. [to be honest, I'm a little disappointed....not even a card from the rest of my coworkers, with whom I've been working with for nearly 4 years...and so far today, only 3 people have even said congratulations]

Her office, on the other hand, pitched in and gave us $300 cash. Which is odd because we didn't expect anything from them. She isn't really "friends" with any of them, and there are only 10 people working with her (compared to the 30 working with me).

I'm not upset in any way, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm a little hurt that my friends here at work didn't go out of their way somehow.

Last edited by James W. Powell; 04-25-05 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:43 AM
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Well, I dont' see you getting gifts from anybody who is not either invited to the reception, or at least simply sent an announcement or something (I think such a thing exists. Although I think it's very, very uncommon to use, it's almost a hitem up for gifts imho), else how else will people know, other then in conversation?!

The gift isn't for being invited to the wedding or reception, but I would imagine those who aren't told in a personal way, either of the two ways I listed above, would probably just send you a card.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:43 AM
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Eh, I expected nothing at all from coworkers. We got quite a bit though. About $150 in gift certificates from the people at my wife's work (there aren't many people there, so that was pretty generous I think) and one of my clients paid for all of our custom invitations. That was probably one of the biggest gifts we received, period. I did a similar favor for him when his first kid was born.

We had a small wedding out of town so not many were able to attend. She has family in 4 states, I have family in three states... there was no easy central location for everyone to get to. But everyone still sent gifts.

We did hold another reception in Seattle for my family here so they would have an event to come to. But those who were unable to attend either event generally sent something. Heck, we got gifts from people I don't even know (friends of the family).

This may be different than "eloping" in that we did send invitations to everyone and they were welcome to attend if they could make the trip.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Thor Simpson
Eh, I expected nothing at all from coworkers. We got quite a bit though. About $150 in gift certificates from the people at my wife's work (there aren't many people there, so that was pretty generous I think) and one of my clients paid for all of our custom invitations. That was probably one of the biggest gifts we received, period. I did a similar favor for him when his first kid was born.

We had a small wedding out of town so not many were able to attend. She has family in 4 states, I have family in three states... there was no easy central location for everyone to get to. But everyone still sent gifts.

We did hold another reception in Seattle for my family here so they would have an event to come to. But those who were unable to attend either event generally sent something. Heck, we got gifts from people I don't even know (friends of the family).

This may be different than "eloping" in that we did send invitations to everyone and they were welcome to attend if they could make the trip.
You sent invitations to people you didn't even know?
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Old 04-25-05, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by PrincessT
I would gift. And be grateful to not feel obligated to spend an entire Saturday at a wedding and reception.
Totally agree
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Old 04-25-05, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
Totally agree
How would you guys gift, if you're not told about his wedding in some way? I"m just curious how you would know, unless he/she tell you directly somehow.

I also am suprised people don't like going to weddings, and would be happy not being invited, just because you're invited doesn't mean you have to go, if you don't want to. Weddings are always a blast, and would be a bit down if I wasn't part of it personally.
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Old 04-25-05, 10:59 AM
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I guess I don't understand. Is it the "receiving a notice in the mail" that instigates the gift purchase?

As far as coworkers go, most of them I don't even really think about as far as this topic goes. But there's a group of 10-12 people that I talk to regularly at work and outside of work. Poker night. Happy hours. Exchanging DVDs and discussing movies. That kind of thing. The idea that these people didn't consider even picking up a card for them all to sign....that's surprising and a little hurtful.

Of course, I'm terrible at this type of thing too. I have a friend who just adopted and I don't think I sent him a card either. Man, I'm a loser.

Last edited by James W. Powell; 04-25-05 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 04-25-05, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBoy
How would you guys gift, if you're not told about his wedding in some way? I"m just curious how you would know, unless he/she tell you directly somehow.

I also am suprised people don't like going to weddings, and would be happy not being invited, just because you're invited doesn't mean you have to go, if you don't want to. Weddings are always a blast, and would be a bit down if I wasn't part of it personally.

Card + check = gift.
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Old 04-25-05, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by James W. Powell
I guess I don't understand. Is it the "receiving a notice in the mail" that instigates the gift purchase?

As far as coworkers go, most of them I don't even really think about as far as this topic goes. But there's a group of 10-12 people that I talk to regularly at work and outside of work. Poker night. Happy hours. Exchanging DVDs and discussing movies. That kind of thing. The idea that these people didn't consider even picking up a card for them all to sign....that's surprising and a little hurtful.

Of course, I'm terrible at this type of thing too. I have a friend who just adopted and I don't think I sent him a card either. Man, I'm a loser.
I would guess that they didn't feel involved in the wedding so they didn't gift. If you didn't invite them to a reception that may be the problem. I would be a little hurt though too if you do socialize with them outside of work.
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Old 04-25-05, 11:17 AM
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The reception is a natural transition from the ceremony. Attendees experience the actual ceremony so it is natural to want to share their first day as a married couple... wishing them well...sharing the joy of the event.

It is similar to a funeral. There's a memorial or funeral service, maybe a graveside service after that, followed by a gathering at a restaurant or home for a meal together. Mourners get together to share their sorrow, exchange anecdotes involving the deceased to comfort one another.

------------------

I don't know... a reception without the ceremony doesn't make much sense to me. An informal get-together at the couple's home to celebrate the event is more appropriate, IMO.
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Old 04-25-05, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by sracer
An informal get-together at the couple's home to celebrate the event is more appropriate, IMO.
This is exactly what we did, except we did it at a sports bar (our house wouldn't accomodate 30 people). For our family, we got a room at The Fourth Story, the fancy restaurant on top of the Tattered Cover bookstore.
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Old 04-25-05, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Kittydreamer
Card + check = gift.
I'm not saying what you gift as a gift.

I'm saying how would you gift, if you didn't know the couple was married? To me, you would do one of the following to take care of this aspect.

1. invite them to the wedding
2. invite them to the reception
3. both 1 & 2
4. send an announcement (I would rather not get a gift, then send these out, since to me are just a form of saying hey this happened, can I have a gift please. ha)

Without any of those, I don't see how a person would really know, other then in passing, and in which case, the couple should most likely expect be told congrads in passing and that is it.

I wouldn't expect somebody that I didn't invite to be part of my event, or at least go through the work of putting something together for them, to get me a gift. It would be appreciated but wouldn't expect it at all, and feel bad if I got one. At least that's my thoughts.

Originally Posted by beavismom
I would guess that they didn't feel involved in the wedding so they didn't gift. If you didn't invite them to a reception that may be the problem. I would be a little hurt though too if you do socialize with them outside of work.
I would guess this also. You being a little hurt by not getting a gift, is probably the same as those guys being hurt they weren't invited to the reception etc. They prob wonder why did he not even bother to invite us, or tell us (besides verbally).

I can't see why you would be hurt not getting a gift, it's not something you should expect to begin with, just like you can't expect or care if you get back a gift that doesn't cover the cost of the person's place at the reception. Just look at it as bonus, so you didn't miss out.

Last edited by SpaceBoy; 04-25-05 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 04-25-05, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by SpaceBoy
I can't see why you would be hurt not getting a gift, it's not something you should expect to begin with, just like you can't expect or care if you get back a gift that doesn't cover the cost of the person's place at the reception. Just look at it as bonus, so you didn't miss out.
I'm not really hurt per se, but it does bother me to a point that my friends pitched in for a gift for the other couple, but not for me. The only difference between her wedding and mine is that she had a "real" ceremony. No one from work was invited. No one got an invitation or announcement. Hell, at least we had the informal reception type party for our friends and coworkers.

Oh well. It's not like I'll stop being their friend. I guess I'm just curious what makes my wedding/marriage different then this other one (as far as gifts go)?
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Old 04-25-05, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by James W. Powell
This is exactly what we did, except we did it at a sports bar (our house wouldn't accomodate 30 people). For our family, we got a room at The Fourth Story, the fancy restaurant on top of the Tattered Cover bookstore.

Ok, I'm confused. Your original post stated that the reception you're having would be held for friends. If that's the case would these co-workers that you're more close to be invited?

I was just wondering if they were holding off on giving gifts until then.

Also, I had a co-worker that I would go out to lunch with, etc. She eloped and didn't really tell anyone. However, we gave her a surprise "party" at work with gifts and things. Perhaps these co-workers are planning something like that (if they aren't invited to the said reception).

Either way, no acknowledgment of the wedding would hurt my feelings too.
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Old 04-25-05, 01:19 PM
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I can totally understand where you are coming from. You have ponied up for all these other occasions and when yours came around you didn't get the same treatment. It may also be because you are a guy and sometimes people think guys don't want that kind of thing. Is there someone that you are close to there that you can make a subtle comment to? Maybe a comment about the really thoughtful gift your bride's co-workers gave. It may trigger something but they may figure it is too late.

I know that it isn't all about the gift, but the principle involved. I got really upset once when my brother and his wife came to visit for a holiday that happens to coincide with my birthday and they didn't even say happy birthday to me. Then when they found out I was upset they wrote me a check which I tore up and gave back to them... it was the principle, not the gift.
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Old 04-25-05, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by iggystar
Ok, I'm confused. Your original post stated that the reception you're having would be held for friends. If that's the case would these co-workers that you're more close to be invited?
Actually, the reception already happened. We had the informal one with friends on Friday. Basically, we pretty much invited all friends and all co-workers since many of our co-workers are our friends. Plus, we didn't want to neglect anyone by not including them.
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Old 04-25-05, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by James W. Powell
Actually, the reception already happened. We had the informal one with friends on Friday. Basically, we pretty much invited all friends and all co-workers since many of our co-workers are our friends. Plus, we didn't want to neglect anyone by not including them.
So they didn't support you in the informal ceremony? Yikes, that's kind of messed up. Unless they're still planning a surprise one. Hey, send me one of their e-mails so I can tell them they've messed up.
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Old 04-25-05, 01:49 PM
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My first thought was that they didn't go all out like with your female co-worker because you're a guy. Double-standard, I know, but pretty much none of my guy friends would want a party/celebration/lunch/cake/etc. situation for their wedding while at work. They'll tolerate that stuff (and maybe even enjoy it a bit ) if their significant other is there (so SHE could be the focus of attention) but they wouldn't want it just for them. Sucks for guys like you who seem to enjoy the whole wedding thing more than other guys.

As for the gift, if it was a close friend I'd send one if I was invited or not (assuming the only reason I wasn't invited was because they eloped, not because I didn't "make the cut" ) - but if it was a co-worker, eh, probably just a card. I do have two friends at work that I would probably give a gift to anyway, as we go out to lunch and treat each other, buy b-day gifts, etc., but I'm not close to any of the others. If it was an acquaintance and I didn't get an invite, probably wouldn't do any more than say "congratulations!" since they only told me verbally as well. But then I'm pretty bad at making those type of gestures - just doesn't occur to me unless it's a loved one (friends or family).
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