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Wedding etiquette in Canberra?

Skidd Marx 27 September 2011 173

My fiance & I are to wed in February next year. We’re currently making out the invitations but we’ve locked horns in a big way as to the whole gift/wishing-well issue.

My feeling is that asking for anything is borderline rude, while wishing-wells are flat-out crude and chintzy. I’d sooner drink kool-aid than put one of those vomit-inducing “we want us cash” poems on the card.

However, Miss Marx-to-be argues that I’m too old-fashioned. Not only are wishing-wells normal and therefore acceptable these days, they also solve the problem of having to put the unwanted George Foreman grill on Ebay, as well as any confusion guests have as to whether they’re to bring anything or not. Furthermore she says, a wishing-well is a way of re-couping wedding costs as well as all of the money we’ve given to other people at their weddings (i.e it’s out turn)!

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated (please be as frank as possible). If we can’t sort this out then we may not have to worry about a wedding at all.


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Wedding etiquette in Canberra?
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Malay_Dragon 4:32 pm 31 Oct 11

My partner and I are organising our wedding at the moment, I am Asian and I do not think it is rude to ask for money as that is the custom, In some traditions it is customary to open the red packets in front of the guests and show everyone how much they gave, I have no intention of doing this, however the thought of tell my relatives that they should not give us money because it could offend some people when it is our custom is wrong.

My partner is western and he does not see a problem with asking for money as he understands its my family’s cultural custom. We would ask our guests that gifts are not expected however should you like to give a donation, red packets hsould be given to the mother of the bride as is my family’s custom.

Reading some of these posts has shocked me as I had never considered people would not understand our request for money.

However I do think that if any of my friends complained about our request that is apart of my culture I would reconsider uninviting them.

ex-vectis 10:23 am 19 Oct 11

Sorry Skidd, but I had to share this funny! I was reading the Riot-Act sidebar (‘Most popular’) and the cut-off point was just too funny!! I read this:-

My fiance & I are to wed in February next year. We’re currently making out…

My thoughts went along the lines of ‘too much information!!’ 🙂

peterepete 4:16 am 05 Oct 11

Erg0 said :

This is starting to sound like Xmas with my family, where everyone exchanges gift cards of equal value…

I like it. Thats what i all a spirit of celebration! Do you do it by post or physically get together?

No doubt about it putting lots of people together for an event such a wedding will bring the differences out. No amount of etiquette will solve that. Just try identify the different feelings and do your best to help those who prefer a different approach. You cant please everyone but the guests that care about you will get over it.

bethybobs 4:57 am 04 Oct 11

I personally prefer if the bride and groom make their preferences known. It is way less stress for me. I am happy to give cash or a gift but would rather they be happy with what I give them. The weddings I have been to recently, either the bride or groom has been Asian so money was the expected and the stated gift suggestion.
For my own wedding I plan not to request gifts but that if people wish to give money they can in the Chinese red packet style or give a gift ( I will leave a list with my mother) as I know some older relatives will want to do that. I don’t view it as tacky. If my guests are like me they will be happy for the guidance and if not then I don’t mind if I get no gift at all. Especially since some people will be traveling to get to my wedding.

toriness 7:57 pm 02 Oct 11

MissChief said :

jakez said :

MissChief said :

Gift registries so much worse than wishing wells.

In my mind, the most bogan disrespectful discourteous thing that happens with weddings these days is when friends are invited but their partners are not. I just find the whole idea of being invited to a celebration of love and unity without your significant other mean spirited.

Yeah sucks when someone the bride and groom don’t know isn’t invited to their wedding at a cost of $100+. RUDE!

Yes, Jakez, RUDE! Because it shouldn’t be about money. Inviting someone’s wife/ husband/ fiancé/ boyfriend/ girlfriend along, whether you know them or not, is just common courtesy and even more relevant when you’re inviting them to an event which is about partners.

If you can’t afford to invite a friend’s partner to your swanky affair, better to invite less people or have a less swanky affair. It’s the decent thing to do.

+1000

i RSVPed no to a wedding (of a friend of many years) because my partner (of several years) wasn’t invited. i made up an excuse of already being away to not hurt said friend’s feelings – a shame she didn’t consider my feelings in the same way. yes yes i realise that there are people like jakez who think the big day is all about them but the fact is unless you elope and get hitched just you and your other, it’s actually a shared celebration with family and friends so you should actually consider carefully how you go about it!

it *is* a privilege and an honour to be invited to share a nice inclusive day that’s centred around a celebration of love and partnership but if you run a nazi regime bogtastic wedding including not inviting guests’ partners and outright demanding cash/gifts (the comment re grabbing cash for a house deposit is the most gob smacking) – then don’t be surprised if people have something more appealing to do like clipping their toenails.

OzBroz 5:56 pm 02 Oct 11

Middle ground? Put something like ‘we dont want your presents, just your presence’ and if people ring and ask you can have your list of desires or cash and they can choose. I know there is a great divide between people who like to give a gift or who really dont know what to get and happy to give some cash (and with a wishing well, even aunty ethel can put $10 in and feel good).

Personally I dont see the big deal with whether to have a wishing well or not, i have been to weddings with and without and it all works out, at the end of the day, no one really notices or cares, you and her might but its cos you are in the thick of wedding planning, but all in all, your friends and family are there to share your day and have a good time, and those with a polarised opinion will just do what they want anyway…

So long as you have a brilliant fun day and at the end of it your married!!!! thats the main thing. you two need to talk it over, this is what relationships are all about, and a bit of compromise and middle ground goes along way, from the both of you (not just one of you)

Good Luck!! I’m sure it will all work out

BethiePrice 2:23 pm 30 Sep 11

When I got married we wrote a poem ourselves about wanting just peoples company on the day that was gift enough. Of course if people gave us a gift we were grateful, because it wasn’t expected. We did have a reception were people had to pay for their spirits (we supplied champagne and a bar tab). And to top off that we were grateful for people coming to our wedding we gave them all a $1 scratchie!
I see both sides of the argument, I agree that it is borderline rude and if you are going to ask for cash you might as well ask the bridal party to pay for everything as well.
Perhaps Mrs-to-be needs to consider how she would feel if the roles were reversed…would she like to be told that it’s a cash only gift….
“I need a dollar, a dollar is all i need!”

milkman 2:06 pm 30 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

Case of VB not good enough for you, is it? :p

I’m pretty easy-going, but VB … no way.

If you chip in a 50, I’ll get you something classier?

To be honest, I’d quite happily pay for liquor at a wedding. It’s the only way to survive the experience.

If you dislike it that much, why attend at all?

Jim Jones 12:38 pm 30 Sep 11

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

Case of VB not good enough for you, is it? :p

I’m pretty easy-going, but VB … no way.

If you chip in a 50, I’ll get you something classier?

To be honest, I’d quite happily pay for liquor at a wedding. It’s the only way to survive the experience.

Watson 11:03 am 30 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

Case of VB not good enough for you, is it? :p

I’m pretty easy-going, but VB … no way.

If you chip in a 50, I’ll get you something classier?

Jim Jones 10:22 am 30 Sep 11

Watson said :

Jim Jones said :

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

Case of VB not good enough for you, is it? :p

I’m pretty easy-going, but VB … no way.

Watson 10:10 am 30 Sep 11

Jim Jones said :

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

Case of VB not good enough for you, is it? :p

Jim Jones 9:54 am 30 Sep 11

EvanJames said :

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

Bar tab

churl 9:46 am 30 Sep 11

Having staggered through this thread, I’m wondering:
are weddings now ‘gay’?

montana 9:32 am 30 Sep 11

I dont see what the big problem is.

Dont you want to give something to the bride and groom that they will appreciate and actually want or need?

Dont you want the bride and grom to be virtually debt free from the wedding?

In Asian weddings, it is already assumed that you will give money not only to help pay for the wedding, but also as token of good luck to the bride and groom for the years to come.

They dont even need to put any corny wishing well poem or any request for money in the invitation, it is a known rule to give money if you plan on attending the wedding. The amount should closely cover the cost for your meal, so they are not making a profit out of it. Heck, even if you dont attend the wedding, you should still give some money for luck. When your wedding comes around, they will then return the favour and help you out with your wedding. That is simply how it works for Asian weddings.

I recall one wedding i went to where the groom was Caucasian and the bride was Asian. Half the people showed up with presents (the groom’s side) and the other half gave money to the wishing well (the brides side) So i guess a request for cash does eliminate any confusion about what is preferred as a gift.

Reading all of these comments over the past 5 pages, I can clearly see why Asian people joke about not inviting too many westerners to the wedding. The joke appears to be totally substantiated simply because westerners dont know how the ‘wedding gift system’ works in Asian culture.

p.s for those who give a small amount of money as a form of spite in receiving a wishing wish request, you only embarrass yourself by doing this and you make yourself look cheap.

EvanJames 8:53 am 30 Sep 11

Watson said :

As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant.

And chairs with dresses on.

murraythecat 1:28 am 30 Sep 11

chewy14 said :

Watson said :

Huh? I thought the discussion was about whether to have a wishing well or not? If you’re going to organise a cheap ass wedding, there’s no need to ask your guests for anything but their company. Which I think is what occasions like this are about anyway. If you want to AND can afford to offer your guests some fine food and wine, buy an outrageously expensive dress, have a professional photographer, etc. that’s good for you. My point was that if you cannot afford it or don’t think it’s really worth you wasting your own money on, you shouldn’t do it. Lots of people seem to almost treat a wedding like a commercial event. They might as well start selling tickets for it on Ticketek.

Which gets back to my original point that its impossible to throw any sort of decent event for less than $10k, hence why its perfectly fine to have a wishing well rather than receive a whole load of crappy presents that you don’t need.
Your solution seems to be either pay for it yourself or don’t have one which seems completely unrealistic not to mention socially untenable to me.

A wishing well is just as vulgar as so called celebs selling out to magazines. Yep, both are cash grabs, and lose focus on what the day should be about.

Watson 11:37 pm 29 Sep 11

chewy14 said :

Watson said :

Huh? I thought the discussion was about whether to have a wishing well or not? If you’re going to organise a cheap ass wedding, there’s no need to ask your guests for anything but their company. Which I think is what occasions like this are about anyway. If you want to AND can afford to offer your guests some fine food and wine, buy an outrageously expensive dress, have a professional photographer, etc. that’s good for you. My point was that if you cannot afford it or don’t think it’s really worth you wasting your own money on, you shouldn’t do it. Lots of people seem to almost treat a wedding like a commercial event. They might as well start selling tickets for it on Ticketek.

Which gets back to my original point that its impossible to throw any sort of decent event for less than $10k, hence why its perfectly fine to have a wishing well rather than receive a whole load of crappy presents that you don’t need.
Your solution seems to be either pay for it yourself or don’t have one which seems completely unrealistic not to mention socially untenable to me.

Pfft. Define decent. I wouldn’t have spent $1,000 on mine. Which I could very comfortably afford without having to ask the guests to contribute. As I said before, all you really need to get married is the celebrant. Unless it’s still possible to just go and sign at the registry.

Lazy I 11:32 pm 29 Sep 11

thatsnotme said :

To be honest, I’d be surprised if there are many professionals out there who still try for this approach. There may be a few out there who still think that digital files are the equivalent of film negatives, but most have seen that the game has changed with digital, and expecting big print sales just isn’t realistic any more. Some will have purchasing the disc as an extra charge – but the ‘you can only get your photos by buying prints’ model is pretty rare these days.

Personally, I much prefer to design and sell a really nice album to the couple. Much nicer and easier for me than trying to deal with print orders…I’m just not interested in worrying about that!

Prepare to be surprised. I wouldn’t say it was ‘many’ I would say it was the majority (9 out of 10). I can’t stress enough, get your agreement in writing up front and make sure it includes access to the originals.

Another wedding photographer trap for young players is this:

They will offer you an album as part of the ‘package’ of say 20 pages.. then when it comes to supplying it they will go “Oh No!.. we took so many great shots.. we could only get them condensed down to fit on 30 pages.. it would be a shame to waste all those wonderful memories!” *tug on heart strings, repeat* .. luckily for them, the contract says that if you want additional pages outside the original agreement you pay big $$$.

I-filed 9:29 pm 29 Sep 11

Having a list at a department store is perfectly fine and perfectly in keeping with wedding etiquette. Wishing wells are vulgar and impersonal and I think they are rude. Your guest should buy you a gift from your list unless they are absolutely certain they can buy you something lovely based on how well they know you.
Make sure the list has a range of items right down to $30 but have plenty in the $100 – $300 range (depending on how rich your guests are). Gifts are removed from the list as they are chosen, so you won’t get duplications.

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