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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wedding gifting

This summer two of my childhood friends married and I was unfortunately unable to attend either wedding. The first was actually a private, family wedding anyway, and I am going to see this friend in October anyway when I'm in West Virginia for the Freedom's Run marathon. I plan on bringing a gift when I visit, and I need some time to think about this one because the couple isn't registered at any of the big name stores where I usually look (Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Target; Macy's; etc). The second wedding is in New England early next month, but because of my last-minute job changes I'm unable to swing that one. It falls on my weekend to work and another pharmacist is already on vacation that Thursday and Friday. I feel terrible about missing it because this girl and I were pretty close in junior high days.
So I compensated by spending a lot of money. I bought her a few items (since I missed her shower, too), including this guy:

Yeah, a mop. Nice, hm? This brings me to two questions:
1. If you can't make a wedding, do you automatically spend more on a gift? I always do. I find myself picking out high-ticket items if I bail because I feel like I'm insulting the bride and I somehow want to pay my way out of the insult!
2. Do you buy the yucky items? Like mops? Or trash cans? Or composters? I would rather buy the pretty sheets set or the set of goblets, but sometimes I feel bad for the neglected ugly items that sit all lonely on the registry. Of course they present wrapping challenges. I remember a friend who brought a bathroom trashcan to our wedding with a bow on top, too funny!
My husband and I disagree on both of these issues. He thinks ugly is in the eye of the beholder, and sees nothing wrong with buying the set of car cleaning supplies. He also can't understand spending more than $30 on a gift (so, basically, one utensil at Williams-Sonoma). To circumvent these little disagreements I just do all the gift shopping myself!


  1. Depending on the relationship with the couple - I will spend more if I am unable to make it and am very close to the couple,

    And yah, I do avoid the boring gifts on the registry. Which is kind of dumb because obviously they wanted it or they wouldn't have registered for it. I prefer to give towels or sheets or something like that.

    But in the last year or so, I have stopped giving gifts for the wedding and instead give cash. If I am invited to teh shower, I will bring a gift from the registry to that. I just got so tired of hauling gifts into receptions... And a couple of friends who were recently married said it was very nice to get cash to help with wedding expenses or put towards furniture, etc.

  2. I might have bad etiquette, but I actually do the reverse. If I attend the wedding, I usually spend more than if I miss it. Although, I also haven't been in the situation where it was someone I was really, really close with.

    I usually go in the way of money too but I think the functional items are great. Even though someone may put some fancy goblets on a registry, the mop will be used much more and therefore I think it makes a great gift!

  3. So if I miss the wedding of someone I'm really close to I send a pretty nice gift. If it's someone I'm not as close to, I don't tend to spend more than I otherwise would.
    But my closest friends get the best presents. :)
    Also, thanks for reminding me that I'm missing a wedding this weekend and haven't sent a present yet! Oops!

  4. I totally spend more if I'm not going to the wedding. I tend to stick to the gift registry but try to create a theme based on that, example, the place setting, dinner plate, salad plate, bowl, mug and then an additional something.

  5. I usually spend more. Only because I know they'll miss my august presence, and at least my pocketbook can be with them.

    And I ALWAYS buy the ugly presents. The sad, neglected, practical gifts that no one wants to buy. It's my calling card. I don't even have to send a card, because people automatically think "ew, ugly present....must be from Jess". I like to think of myself as the fairy of ugly gifts.

  6. I am ALL ABOUT giving gift certificates or cash. I love to receive those two things, and really, it's like giving the gift of shopping. Who doesn't love that?! :D

  7. Yeah, sometimes w/ wedding gifts I feel guilted into spending more for no reason. If I don't go, I might spend a bit more, but usually I stay around $50. I prefer choosing items that I know the couple will use and enjoy. And sometimes if I don't really like anything on their registry, I just grab a gift certificate.