Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Help Me Decide What to Give For A Wedding Gift

Miraculously I still have $150 in Checking, $50 in Savings and $0 cash on hand. I have yet to purchase the $100 Gift Card I intended to give as a wedding present.

Part of me is saying just stop being cheap and go buy it. It's not your friend's fault that you have so little money. She is important to you and you should honor your friendship with an appropriate gift. Also to not give a gift is so tacky. She even invited you to stay in the totally awesome beach house for free!

But part of me is saying, woah, you already gave her engagement presents ($80) and purchased a plane ticket ($505) to attend this wedding. You are giving up one of your vacation days at work and will spend about 12 hours all told in air travel over the course of one weekend to visit a destination that is on just about no one's list of places to go to in October.

So I'm going to put up a poll - the first on this blog - soliciting advice. Here's a little more detail - friends/roomies in college, very close but have not seen each other in several years. Lives in a destination I could easily get to for less than $100 but is having her wedding in a remote location. What is the "appropriate" gift for me to give?

When voting I would ask you to not necessarily take into account my dismal financial condition but mostly what you yourself would give for this occasion. Or if your opinion is based solely on your evaluation of my budget please indicate as such in the comments.

Thanks and hurry up because I leave Friday morning!

BTW: I am still predicting I will need only $50 for the weekend because the beach house is six miles from the airport so at a rate of $3.00 per mile I can get there for less than $20. All meals and alcohol are covered. No hair or makeup for me this time (not a bridesmaid).

17 comments:

Sallie's Niece said...

Hmm the poll doesn't seem to load right but here are the choices:

1. $100
2. $75
3. $50
4. Presence (aka $0)

DogAteMyFinances said...

Don't give cash, give a meaningful gift! Art, a bottle of scotch, a restaurant gift card, something you made, something that shows you know these people! If you must give cash, $50 is just as polite as $100.

Sallie's Niece said...

Also I should add that since my sister just got married I know how expensive weddings are so I feel like it's nice to give money to help the new couple defray costs.

Daizy said...

$75. Being so far from home for the wedding, I would want to keep a little more money available in case of emergency.

Sallie's Niece said...

One other option I guess is to see what happens while I'm there and adjust accordingly - floating a check if need be. What are the odds she'll deposit it before next Wednesday?

Sallie's Niece said...

Re: the thoughtful gift suggestion - I mentioned that idea to my sister and her bridesmaids - i.e. that I wanted to get my sister something personal and not on the registry. Most of them were married and they basically said they preferred gifts from the registry. I thought registry gifts are for the shower and cash was for the reception but maybe that's just where I'm from. I did check the registry and there's a bunch of things there for less than $100. I could go that route but would I want to lug said item on a plane?

paisley penguin said...

I think $50 is fine. I personally would feel that $50 was pretty generous from a non married friend. Especially one who is traveling for the wedding and you have not seen her in a long time.

Good luck!

EasyChange said...

Spend no more than 50, but try to make it something meaningful if you can, not cash. You've spent quite a bit already, and although you were close before, you're not close now. And I don't think it is reasonable for people to spend lots of cash on travel and then spring for very expensive gifts.

I also feel that you spend more than you can afford, you're doing yourself and them a disservice. A smaller gift may actually send the message 'I can't really afford this'.

Subliminally, they may get the message and feel less pressure in their life to keep up with their completely false impression of you, had you given a 100 dollar gift to someone you haven't seen in years.

laughing808 said...

I would give $50 now and then for the one month annivesary send them something else.

Sallie's Niece said...

God I just realized I should probably bring something contribute to the house as well (i.e. liquor). I'm getting really stressed about this and I don't want to ask for advice from any of my friends so I'm just commenting in my own blog post. I'm a little pathetic I realize.

FruGal said...

Your presence is enough in my opinion, with a card and a thoughtful message. Honestly, she probably won't expect anything more - we're inviting a bunch of people from the UK to our wedidng in Sydney, and I would NEVER expect a gift from them after they've taken time out of their lives and spent so much money to attend. That's what is important.

Sallie's Niece said...

Thanks everyone - I guess I'm just freaking out a bit. The wedding should be fun! Just another update on the post - I meant to say I gave her a shower gift not engagement as I typed above.

Shtinkykat said...

Sallie, you are waaay to nice! You SHOULD take your financial situation into consideration when giving gifts. How would your friend feel if she learned how much you've stressed yourself out to buy her a gift? As you've already learned first hand, you may have great intentions of not spending any money but the unexpected expenses pop up here and there with these things. My suggestion: $50 for gift card and slip your hostess/host a $20 to cover the liquor. If they decline it, more power to you!

Budgets are Sexy said...

I say you gotta go what "feels right"! And it looks like $100 doesn't at this point, which is totally fine :)

having just opened a billion wedding gifts myself, i can tell you that it really doesn't matter HOW MUCH you give, just the thought. The only ones i remember are those who went overboard (like $300+), and those who didn't give anything...not that it's a mandatory thing or anything, but it's just what i remember ;)

I'm voting for $50!

Anonymous said...

I just got married and seriously, I got a range between $0-300...and all was appreciated (seriously) and I would not be happy if my single friends gave me anything more than $50. Give her $50 if that feels right to you - it's fine!

ldub said...

one thing i often do for a wedding present is a pretty cribbage board with a deck of cards and a note saying that i hope the couple will challenge eachother and have a lifetime of fun together. it's sweet and something they'll get to enjoy together. even some of the most beautiful boards are under $50 and small enough for the couple to take with them when traveling (cards will get you through a layover, i swear).

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