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Should Couples Expect Wedding Gifts?

Your Two Cents: Should Couples Expect Wedding Gifts?

Wedding etiquette is remarkably touchy and unfortunately complex in some social circles. Some of the tension is centered in the gift-giving ritual, which is a way for guests to help the couple complete their home together.

According to a survey by market research company GfK, 90 percent of people who attended weddings in the past two years said they bought gifts, while just 28 percent of couples said they expected to receive them. Some respondents suggested it's rude to assume guests will give gifts, while others don't think it's fair to the couple if a gift isn't given.

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SimchaBucks SimchaBucks 7 years
We build the following tool to help couple plan for how much money to expect from the wedding :
Daisy-Duke Daisy-Duke 7 years
Of course a couple should expect gifts at their wedding. I can't believe this is even a topic. I ALWAYS get a gift for a wedding. I love to treat the couple. They deserve it!
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
I think it depends on the couple and their station in life. For my two friends who are fresh out of university and have never lived together, I don't mind buying them a gift (much less the existence/non-existence of their gift-receiving expectations). Now, for my cousin and his now wife who had lived together for 10 years prior to getting married, I think the expectation of gifts was highly inappropriate. They took their wedding as an opportunity to register for name-brand articles (things that they cannot afford on their own). I'm sorry, but if you've lived together for 10 years, chances are you have measuring cups. You do not need to register for KitchenAid measuring cups simply because you can.
cotedazur cotedazur 8 years
This is apparently bad manners in the US, but in France it's pretty standard - since my fiancé and I have been living together for a year and don't need household items, we're just putting out an urn at the wedding that people can put cash in for our honeymoon. Sure, asking for cash could be tacky, but this way it's anonymous and guests participate only if they want to. Also, is it really classier to ask for a 160 euro dinner plate (the least expensive item on our friends' registry)?
cg130 cg130 8 years
I wasn't really sure which answer to pick - I think that perhaps it is a little gauche to EXPECT gifts at one's wedding, but it is tremendously bad manners not to bring a gift. It doesn't have to be expensive, but it is a nice way of showing your excitement over the new couple's nuptials.
ksmithcolo ksmithcolo 8 years
I don't think it's right to expect gifts , especially if the bride and groom are living together. And I think if the bride and groom are living together they shouldn't expect their parents to foot the whole bill for the wedding. But that is just me.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I don't think it's appropriate to expect gifts, but I do think that if you're attending a wedding, you should try to give the couple a gift because they ARE paying for your dinner and drinks that night. When my husband and I got married, we were fresh out of college and didn't live together beforehand, so we had to start from scratch as far as setting up a house. We definitely appreciated all the gifts we got, but we definitely didn't expect them.
J-Rabbit J-Rabbit 8 years
I think it's OK to expect gifts because it's tradition, but to let yourself get upset because you didn't receive the gifts you wanted or didn't receive any at all is ridiculous.
kia kia 8 years
I didn't expect gifts. I'm a grown woman who can afford to furnish my own home. I also had a destination wedding and couldn't fathom people bringing a gift or money on top of covering their expenses. We had several receptions in the U. S. after (where our families and hometowns are) and didn't expect gifts there either. It is a celebration, not a gimmie-party. With that said I will expect gifts if we have a child. I won't expect anything extravagant but at least a small token from those close few who will be a part of my child's life (quilts, pictures, homemade trinkets, etc.)
julieulie julieulie 8 years
I don't know about EXPECTING gifts (I rarely expect anything from life...), but I also cannot even begin to fathom NOT giving a gift. I always bring a gift to the hostess of a dinner party... and all she is doing is inviting a few people over for an easy meal, not reaching a major turning point in her life. While it is inconsiderate to demand gifts, I think it is just as inconsiderate to be a guest at a wedding and NOT give at least a little something. As far as people who are anti-registry, I think the biggest benefit is to generate matching sets of things. What if 30 guests each purchased a totally different, non-matching set of china... and the couple hated all the patterns? Isn't it better for 12 people to each purchase one set of a pattern that matches, that the bride and groom actually like? I've always found it far more useful to know what exactly someone wants so that I know they will actually use it, rather than just regift it. Of course, there is no rule that you have to shop off the registry, but I think it is extremely useful to have one.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 8 years
The couples shouldn't expect anything. That implies a sense of entitlement, or that it is "owed" to them or that it is their guests "dues" or payment for attending an event the couple invited them to. To invite someone is to request their presence (note: not "presents" ;-) )
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
Yeah I think there's definitely a play between "demand" and "expect" here. I think skigurl said it well--it's not like you need to go into hissyfit mode if you didn't get one from somebody, but yeah, it's in the back of your mind that it's just courtesy to bring SOMETHING, even if it's $3 tealights.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
I would never dream of NOT bringing a gift--so I really could care less if the couple "expected" them or not. I mean I WANT to give a gift--as a celebration for two friends or family members getting married! It's common etiquette ( as supercoolnat said) to bring a gift to brithdays and a ton of other occasions, so why would it be acceptable NOT to bring a gift to a wedding?!?! I do not get stuff like that?? Just last week we were talking about how guests EXPECT open bar (i.e. cash bars were tacky--and believe me I hate cash bars), but here are those same guests saying its rude for couples to EXPECT gifts! I mean people are throwing a party, you bring them a gift! (Not to mention as I said above you WANT TO give them a gift as a sign of your happiness for them starting their life together). The only time I could see a couple really not expecting a gift is an exotic destination wedding that is super expensive to travel to--and even then I would still bring one (even if small). And (since I have so many friends getting married) the whole covering your plate thing is not only rude (i totally agree) but also an oxymoron..even though $50 would indeed usually cover your food, it is never enough to cover the money spent on the alcohol per guest, or reception hall, or decorations, couples never can recoup what they spend per guest.
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