Gift etiquette?

20Jul10

IB and I don’t want gifts from our guests. That might seem a bit rude, but our guests are spending considerable amounts of money just to come to the wedding and their attendance means far more to us than presents.

We also rent our flat furnished, we have everything we need and no storage space for anything else. Logistics are an issue – IB’s aunt recently got a whole room full of gifts at her wedding in Ireland. If a similar thing happens at our Ireland party, we will need to hire a truck to get the stuff home then find rented storage somewhere!

Both sets of families dislike gift lists and asking for money (and would probably ignore both requests!). We are also a little uncomfortable with the asking for money thing. (I was once at a wedding where the bride spent the next day at breakfast discussing how much cash people had given her in comparison to how much it cost her to feed them!)

We’re doing our wedding website just now and are a bit stumped on how to word the no gifts message.

If we say nothing, we will get gifts that we don’t have space for, or need. If we just say “We don’t want gifts”, people will probably buy something anyway. If we say “We live in a rented flat and really do have everything we need”, it sounds like we are sneakily asking for cash. I’m not a fan of the poems, but they are usually for couples who are requesting money anyway.

If someone put “no gifts please” on their wedding invitation, what would you think and do?

(I just re-read this post before publishing and I’m aware I come across as a bit of an ungrateful cow. It’s not that we wouldn’t appreciate gifts that people buy us, it’s just that we barely have room in our flat for ourselves, never mind gifts!)

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3 Responses to “Gift etiquette?”

  1. 1 rebecca

    ‘GB & IB are immensely grateful that you are taking the time and spending money on travelling to be with them on their wedding day, so they will not be asking for any gifts. Your presence is more than enough! thank you!’

    and get your parents to spread the word that you are serious, if you really dont want anything, or plant a couple of thoughts with them of little things you would really like (photo frames/money/euros for the honeymoon/vouchrs for john lewis? ) so that they can answer for you if anyone asks? thinking about it, vouchers are good, they wont get spent on food, and electric bills, but they last for ages so you dont have to buy something straight away. I know of someone who asked for money to put central heating in, did it, and then moved within a year. they now have nothing to show for what their guests gave them.

    if someone put no gifts please on a wedding invitation, I’d maybe speak to someone else going, to see what they’re doing? think about it from the guests side, if they are the only person to take you literally, and not bring a gift, it might make them feel bad. thats not to say you shouldn’t do it, but you maybe need an option hidden away in case someone really wants to buy you something. its just what gets done at most weddings.

    hope that helps, rather tha sounding like a rant, cos its not what I meant to do!

  2. Not sure I can really help as we did have a guest list but we wrote on our invites:

    Your presence rather than presents is required. However, if you would like to buy us something, we have set up a gift list at John Lewis. As we are hoping to move this year, John Lewis vouchers would also be gratefully received.

    We figured that people are always going to want to get you something and if we have gone to weddings where there has been no list etc we have always taken vouchers.

    We also got presents from our parents friends who werent even invited to the wedding so think you will always get some gifts.

  3. 3 Mel

    I’ve only just stumbled on your site and I love it.

    You could always set up a charity page on just giving and suggest that if people do wish to give a gift, you’d like them to make a donation instead. My sister went to a wedding at the weekend where that was in place of a gift list.


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