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Thread: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

  1. #37

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickle730 View Post
    Honestly, I get my back up because I find it to be in exceptionally poor taste to tell your guests 'yeah, don't worry about a gift? we'll take your cash instead, thanks'. Just because something has become common place, and is accompanied by a sweet little poem, doesn't mean that it is not bad manners.
    cash or gift, same, same to me. It's still money spent.


  2. #38

    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Gift giving, to me, is not about the money spent - it's the thought that goes into the gift that you think the recipient will enjoy the most and the time spent searching for just the right gift. Cash without time and thought is not a gift, it's a payment.

  3. #39

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    We can agree to disagree

  4. #40

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    I included 'no gifts' on the wedding invitation and for the most part got no gifts (the grandmothers couldn't come without a gift lol). We were in Australia at the time and returned to NZ for the wedding, everyone had to travel to the location (in between our hometowns) and we didn't need anything. It meant a lot to me that people would travel to share our day. We subsidised the accommodation and helped out with petrol for some as I know that it was expensive for people to come. I certainly didn't expect or want any cash from any of them.

    As far as wishing wells, I do see the benefit to them over gifts but I would never guestimate the cph - I would give a standard $50 to any wedding I attended, perhaps more for a sibling or very close friend.

  5. #41

    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by nickle730 View Post
    Gift giving, to me, is not about the money spent - it's the thought that goes into the gift that you think the recipient will enjoy the most and the time spent searching for just the right gift. Cash without time and thought is not a gift, it's a payment.
    I can see what you mean and in most situations I agree.

    I guess for me, culturally, money has always been a gift too, especially for weddings. That being said I rarely have a wedding to attend with a specified wishing well because generally it is a given, that money is the gift. Like I mentioned previously, the idea behind it is that you are helping the couple out with a start to their married life.

    Out of interest do you have the same sentiments for a gift register?

  6. #42

    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Hey little_O, I think a gift registry is a better option than a mandatory wishing well. Most weddings I have attended with a gift registry (and to be honest, it's been years since I last attended a wedding with a registry, they have all had a wishing well and a 'no gifts' policy in the last 10 years or so) have included gifts of varying value to suit guests of any budget. The note included with a gift registry has always said something along the lines of 'if you would like to buy a small gift but need some ideas…' as opposed to the WW's 'no gift, just cash'. I can only remember using a gift registry once, other than that occasion I have always enjoyed finding something special for the bride and groom. I put a lot of consideration in to what I think their taste is and what I think they will like - if I have ever got it wrong, I would hope that the recipients have enjoyed the gift in the spirit it was given.

    The first wedding I attended with a WW, there was much confusion as to whether you included a card in the well or gave the card separately. I watched what others did at the reception and asked a few friends whether they were putting the cash in the card. It was agreed that the card should be placed next to the WW and the cash deposited in the well itself. After all, it doesn't matter how much cash you give, you give what you can afford. This is what I did, card next to the well, $100 in the well itself. I was surprised to never receive a thank you from the bride and groom, as most people do send a 'thanks for sharing the day with us', but didn't think much of it - until a friend who had forgotten both her cash and card on the day and so had delivered them to the bride and groom later told me that she had received a thank you (she commented on the included photo) and it later became clear that only those who had included cash in a card received a thank you. I raised the question - did the bride and groom want us to share the day with them, or were they just after whatever cash they could get?

    The next wedding I attended with a WW was for my cousin. I put $200 - in a card! - in the WW. My cousin later told me that they spent all the money they had received in their WW on the pokies. I'd prefer not to support someone else's gambling addiction.

    For my own wedding 13 years ago, we received some beautiful gifts, some big, some small, and some people couldn't afford any gift other than their presence on the day. I love pulling out the platters and vases we received and remembering who gave them to us and what a great time we had at our wedding with all of our guests. I am grateful for every single gift we received, whether we really needed them - or liked them! - or not. I appreciate the time and thought that went into choosing them, the fact that someone went out looking for something that they wanted to give to my DH and I to celebrate our marriage. For me, that is what gift giving is about.

  7. #43

    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Well nickle730 I would feel the same as you if that was my experiences!! That is bad form on both those occasions.

    To be honest I find it odd being directed how you want a gift, because it's a gift. That being said, I'd rather give the couple what they want, rather than something that will be wasted.

    Life would be so much simpler if there was no money!

  8. #44

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Culturally, its a given that we give red packets at a wedding with money in it.

    In fact most of the bride/grooms parents even write down who gave what so they can give the same when they are invited to their friends kids weddings.

    Chinese weddings usually are huge because parents invite their friends as tradition.

    Luckily for my wedding i put my foot down to have a small wedding of only 200 people and that i knew everyone there.

    No wishing well mentioned, the asians gave money (which is around $100 pp)

    And my non chinese friends gave gifts.

    All in all we were just happy people were there and had fun.

  9. #45

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    It was a bit different for us as we secretly married and surprised everyone with the news at our engagement parties (my family all live interstate so had one for them and one st home with friends and DH's family) so people were less generous (for lack of a better phrase) with their gifts. For the most part we received money or gift cards ranging from $50-$150. A few people only gave cards, a few were annoyed about how we went about getting married so didn't even give a card, but people just being there was what was important to us. A number of people asked in the lead up what we would like and the response was the same "for you to be there, eat, drink and be merry". Even if we had done the "traditional" wedding, it would have been the same. Anything we received was very much appreciated but certainly not required. As far as what we give, anything from $100-$300 depending on who it is.

  10. #46

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    I thanked everyone who came to my wedding. I don't think money is always poor taste. I've received money for baby showers and my kids, and always like to send a thank you to let them know what the money went towards so they can enjoy it in that way.

    We received heaps of gifts for our engagement party and did the whole opening in front of everyone. Being excited and thanking people along the way. And they were basically the same guests to our wedding. So we already had all those typical gifts ie platters, vases, knife/cutlery sets etc.

  11. #47

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mum2SweetCs View Post
    Culturally, its a given that we give red packets at a wedding with money in it.

    In fact most of the bride/grooms parents even write down who gave what so they can give the same when they are invited to their friends kids weddings.

    Chinese weddings usually are huge because parents invite their friends as tradition.

    Luckily for my wedding i put my foot down to have a small wedding of only 200 people and that i knew everyone there.

    No wishing well mentioned, the asians gave money (which is around $100 pp)

    And my non chinese friends gave gifts.

    All in all we were just happy people were there and had fun.
    Wow! 200 people!

    Can I be super rude (and I will understand if you don't answer), but how much money did you receive? And how much did your wedding cost?

    It is a really rude question

  12. #48

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    With people getting their back up about wishing wells, I think it's about the purpose of the giving.

    Back in the day, people who were getting married were living with their families until after the marriage had occurred.

    The wife had been collecting pin money from her job and stocking up her glory box and sewing her trousseau, or had arranged to quietly finish up at college, and the husband had been madly saving for a modest home, to show the bride's parents that he could "provide" for his darling bride.

    So at the kitchen tea, the lovely bride would be given kitchen tools, pantry items, and the like.

    And at the wedding, people would give wedding gifts - toasters and towels and sheets and ugly turkey platters, kitchenaids, brandy glasses and the like. To fill the lovely couple's home, and mean that when they got back from their honeymoon, they'd be able to set up house, and just learn to be husband and wife.

    So these days, when most people have a fully functioning houses and have no need for toasters and towels and sheets and ugly turkey platters, kitchenaids, brandy glasses and the like. They already have them, because they're not 23 and freshly out of their parents' home, they're 33 and have their very own ugly turkey platters, mortgage, etc - and there's no plans to remove knickers and start procreating either.

    So while some people would be happy to buy something to "set up house" when people ask for money in a wishing well, the implication is that there's no immediate needs, but on the understanding that people are planning on spending a not insignificant chunk of change of the blessed couple, we'd like it in cash - maybe to chuck on the mortgage, maybe to put towards a new car, maybe to spend on the honeymoon, and maybe just to sit in our account until we decide what we want to do with it.

    So in my personal experience, when people have a registry - even if it's one for a honeymoon, people are more inclined to "purchase" an elephant ride in Thailand or a romantic beach-side dinner in the Maldives than just to give $100 in a wishing well. They'd even rather give $100 knowing it's towards a new fridge than just an unidentifiable $100 - because people IMHO have an inherent expectation to have a say over where their money goes. And they want that money to go towards something long term - a toaster, and not part of the taxi ride to the airport. A culinary class in Bali, not a part payment of your gas bill.

    Right or wrong? Totally separate question. That's just my perception (from many, many conversations with people) on the topic.

  13. #49

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by Livinthedream View Post
    Wow! 200 people!

    Can I be super rude (and I will understand if you don't answer), but how much money did you receive? And how much did your wedding cost?

    It is a really rude question
    You didn't ask me... But everyone gave money or to our honeymoon registry at our wedding also.
    160 people (this is considering a VERY small wedding in our culture), we were given $18k in total, and the wedding cost us $35k.

    Most of our family and friends have had weddings that cost them upwards of $60k, so ours was considered pretty simple.

  14. #50

    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    We are getting married soon and don't have a wishing well. My fianc?e wanted one, but I feel the guests should have a choice as to whether they give money or a gift. I won lol.

  15. #51

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    We tend to give $100 as our bog standard gift to a wishing well. We nearly always have to travel (interstate with 1 or two kids) so it's an expensive day for us regardless. In saying that, the weddings we've attended close to home have been the same - $100. We didn't expect that much from our friends and family at our wedding 8 years ago (we didn't have a wishing well though) as all we wanted was them to be there and have a brilliant time on our special day. Honestly, gifts and cash were a very pleasant surprise but certainly not expected.

  16. #52

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    The wishing well I originally asked about was requested on the invitation. It also says a gift or just your being there would also be lovely.
    ............by the way I love the turkey platter. It's really good to...... hhhmmmm............ put a turkey on and I absolutely love the family who gave it to us. It would sit beautifully in their house and not look at all ugly......My point was that it doesn't matter what the gift is but the care with which it was given. It was a gift given with love that has been remembered every tie we use it and every time we laugh about it.
    We were married so long ago that we did the kitchen tea and saving for a home thing. Perhaps we are weird. We didn't do a registry but lots of people rang mum to make sure we wouldn't end up with 5 toasters, which was nice.
    We were married in the local church and walked across the road to the hall where we had a huge spit roast meal for everyone and plenty of grog all night. Photos were taken on my parents family farm.
    My dad and mum paid!
    Accommodation was provided in the usual manner......bring your swag and there'll be room or we'll find a friend or family member with a spare bed/verandah.
    Quite a few people had to travel. Hubby is from near ACT and our wedding was near my home in QLD. We personally contacted people to see if we could help with accommodation if they were travelling and most of my mates did the swag thing either at ours or 'round the district.
    Probably a bit different to how things are done now.
    I am more than comfortable with the wishing well and understand it......I just haven't done it before and didn't want to "do it wrong".
    The difference for us was that we had nothing and these mates are well set up with everything.
    I know they are not gamblers or looney with overspending on stupid stuff so I really don't care how they spend the $$$ we give them.
    I must say I love thank-you cards but if one doesn't come it doesn't matter.................

  17. #53

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Quote Originally Posted by Livinthedream View Post
    Wow! 200 people!

    Can I be super rude (and I will understand if you don't answer), but how much money did you receive? And how much did your wedding cost?

    It is a really rude question
    No not rude at all we ended up breaking even for the reception approx 20k But the whole wedding cost us over $40k for cars flowers band tea ceremony etc so out of pocket around $20k.

    We got gold from our family which is also a tradition.

  18. #54

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    Default Re: Wishing well at a wedding etiquette?

    Had a wishing well at our wedding 14 years ago. We had toyed with guest just paying for the meal, but I had family members who would have cracked it and I had no idea how to manage it, whereas I had other family members who loved the idea of a wishing well. I think one "friend" cracked it, but she had a bug up her butt about weddings in general as she though people should elope, like a wedding she went to (don't understand how it is elopement with guests, but anyway).

    I prefer to have some choice in the gift (after a chat with the bride) or give money or a gift card. Loathe registries, I had to choose between a toilet roll holder or a Dyson with one wedding!!!

    Honestly weddings are one of those things someone, somewhere will find something to be offended with. Which is really quite sad, when it is meant to be a happy day.

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