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Wedding Guests and Wedding Gifts: Rules for Success!
Weddings & Gifts: A Touchy Situation...
Weddings have always been times of gift giving. There's also engagement parties and showers to think about, if you happen to be a guest who's invited to all the pre-wedding festivities, and ultimately there's the wedding gift.
Weddings are expensive when you're a guest. Not only may you be responsible to provide gifts for all of the above, but you may also have to pay to travel to the wedding and for lodging. And then there's the new duds you've got to purchase...
So what are the gift-giving rules when it comes to weddings?
A Wedding Guest's Gift Responsibility & More...
You are not obligated to extend a gift to the couple if invited to an engagement party, although you may if you choose. You're only obligated to bring one gift to a shower, if invited to multiple showers, and you should bring a small gift that comes from the heart. Showers are not meant to be mini-weddings, when it comes to gift-giving.
If you're invited to a bachelorette party, you may be asked to pay your own way--and to split the cost of the bride's share. It's up to you, if you want to attend, but the bride should pay her own way. Gifts are not extended.
A bachelor party is another story since the best man is responsible for hosting the party for the groom, which means he pays the tab. Gifts are not extended.
If traveling to a wedding, it's up to you to pay all expenses, including lodging.
The Wedding/Bridal Registry... The Rules...
The first known bridal registry came about in Rochester, Minnesota in 1901. A clerk, who couldn’t remember the gifts his patrons had purchased for brides-to-be or what the brides preferred, began to keep a list for reference. Over time, that list evolved into today’s very sophisticated bridal registry.
Brides-to-be should never include registry information in any invitation to any pre-wedding parties, or in invitations to their wedding. Remember, that all that's asked of your guests is "the honour of (their) presence... " and that's not spelled p-r-e-s-e-n-t-s.
Most brides- and grooms-to-be have wedding websites, accessible to all their guests, that detail information about their weddings, and it's here that registry information should be posted. Guests can also ask family members and the couples' bridal party where they are registered, but that's as far as it goes.
Bridal registries should include gifts in all price ranges to give guests the option of choosing a gift that the couple wants and that they can afford.
P.S. Visit Deborah McCoy, AAWP: www.aa-wp.com