Can I Give a Gift Card as a Wedding Gift + Other Wedding Gift Questions

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I want to talk about a dirty word. The dirty word? Gift cards. Specifically, a wedding gift card. As a young woman growing up in the south I've generally never had to ask What is the etiquette for wedding gifts?-because I already know. They are as follows:

  • You ALWAYS send a gift, it doesn't matter if you attend the wedding or not. Although this rule is changing of late.
  • You have up to one year to send the newlyweds a present.
  • Generally, you should get something off the registry to ensure the happy couple gets what they most desire.

 

My friend however, had a very different idea….

 

I went out to lunch with a group of girlfriends last week. My good friend, Alexa* thanked our other friend Bonquiqui* (names have been changed, the more ridiculous I think you are ….the more ridiculous of a fake name you get…) for her sweet thank you note. Bonquiqui had recently gotten married in June. Our third friend who was at the lunch chimed in her thanks and I’m left sitting there thinking “where is my thank you note?”

I sent her a wedding present and managed to get it in before the wedding, although I had not budgeted to attend.

I casually made a joke about mine getting lost in the mail. As Alexa swiftly changed the subject I noticed Bonquiqui’s disapproving frown.

 

Because apparently….Some People Think a Wedding Gift Card Is Rude

 

Bonquiqui ended up facebooking me later. It started out sweetly enough:

 

“L Bee, I wanted to write and tell you how much I appreciated your monetary gift,” She wrote, “I didn't want to tell you this at lunch, but I didn't write you a thank you note because I was a little disappointed in your choice of gift. I would be embarrassed to give someone a gift card as a wedding present and did not think the time necessary to write the thank you note was worth the very little “thought” put into the giving.”

 

I’m not going to pretend reading that note didn’t sting. It did. A lot.

 

 

Why a Wedding Gift Card is 100% Awesome and Totally Okay

 

 

After reading her note, I felt like I was in middle school all over again and wanted to cry. I even got the gift card from the place where she is registered! For the first time in my life, someone had made me feel bad about giving them a present. Even if you didn’t like my gift, why would you tell me that? As far as I was concerned the conversation was over once we had left lunch, and now Bonquiqui was going out of her way to be hurtful.

 

Fast forward to a few days later when my indignation kicks in. (Hence, this post.)

 

What exactly is so wrong with a gift card anyway? I give gift cards to everyone for every occasion, because I think they are amazing and they're one of my favorite things to get.

 

Related: “Congratulations on Your Engagement + Other Things to Say to the Recently Engaged”

 

Here are just a handful of reasons why.

 

  • I like to imagine the gift cards I give being used towards a bigger item the recipient may not have been able to afford on their own, or used to get the last thing missing from their registry.
  • They never expire, so that awesome “I have a present in my pocket” feeling can last for a long time.
  • Sometimes I'm mailing gifts after the wedding, in which case I think a gift card plays well because they add more gift cards they may have received and put the money toward a bigger gift.
  • They pack amazingly well for destination weddings.
  • You can avoid being the lame person who gets stuck with the lame gifts, like having to pull together four separate items into some creative whatnot.
  • With a gift card, I think the fun is in letting the bride and groom choose. They have them at virtually every store, and even Amazon can ship the gift cards for you.

 

Wedding Gift Cards: To Give? Or Not to Give?

 

Gift Giving with a New Relationship

 

 

 

 

Bonquiqui's gripe is that the gift card came across as lazy and that she was hurt I didn’t  take the time to pick out something personally for her. You know, since we are fairly close. In doing so, she felt I was communicating that I didn’t know what to get her, which offended her further since we’ve been friends for so long.

I told her I understood where she was coming from, but that I wasn’t going to apologize for giving her a gift.

Did she tell her Aunt she hated the set of bath towels she gifted her? No, she did not.

Even if someone handed me an apple from the refrigerator and thought enough to wrap it and give me a card, I'd say thank you! I'd be mortified for them to think I wasn't grateful for their efforts. Sure, some may view gift cards as a cop out, but the premise of the gift is still the same.

 

 

In Conclusion

In my opinion, a gift card says “I care enough about you to want to part with my hard-earned money to give you a present.”  I mean, since when did the actual gift become more important than the thought behind it? I gooogled it – feel free to give as many wedding gift cards as you like. Even Emily Post says it's okay.   

 

Have more wedding related gift questions? Keep reading for a brief overview of more financially-centered advice when it comes to wedding gifts. 

 

Wedding Gift Etiquette: Common FAQ's for the Budget Conscious

 

 

Weddings involve a lot of emotion and surprisingly, financial etiquette. I struggle to think of an event more laced with emotional land mines than a wedding. Not only is wedding gift etiquette in today's increasingly digital and cash-less world a challenge, there are new rules for the day of and what should happen afterward.

 

What Is the Minimum Amount to Gift?

 

Apparently the old hard-and-fast guideline the old rule of “Gift what it cost for your plate at dinner” is outdated.

An unofficial poll of 10 of my closest girlfriends revealed they typically spend $50-100 dollars on a wedding gift if there is no travel involved and they are only a guest and not participating in the wedding ceremony at all. A recent Vogue.com article backs this up,   stating that most gifts are between $50-$99, depending on how close you are to the couple. 

 

 

Can I Give More?

 

Absolutely. Wedding gifts are a discretionary expense and you should only gift something that you can comfortably fit into your budget. With that being said, I know plenty of couple friends who received thousands in cash from all of their middle-aged family members. (Which usually gets used for a home downpayment!)

As a young person getting your start, (unless you just make piles of cash and are feeling generous) you shouldn't feel obligated to spend like the Joneses.

Feel free to pass it forward in thirty years when your niece, nephew, whoever gets married. Make being generous one of your core money beliefs.

 

What about If I have to travel?

 

This one is tricky, as traveling for weddings (especially multiple ones in a season) can get damn expensive.

If it is in your budget then I say, sure, gift a little something, but I know many couples who are simply happy with “the gift of someone's presence.”

With that being said, I generally do gift more in dollar amount to those friends whose weddings are local but still gift something smaller even when travel is involved.

 

Are Gift Cards Ok?

 

Heck yes! I like gift cards because they are easy to both give and receive. And if you're traveling, they obviously pack very easily. I think this is a perfectly acceptable practice (although I've had someone disagree with me...) so I'm going to say feel free to give all the gift cards, cash, and checks you like.

Just put them in a nice card and write a sweet note and bring to the wedding. Poof!

 

 

A photo of me from my own wedding shower in July 2018. Photo credit: Dasha Crawford Photography.

 

Can I go “Off Registry?”

Sure. I would recommend this if you have a super thoughtful gift you'd like to get the couple and you know them fairly well. Sometimes the most thoughtful gifts come from off-registry purchases. 

With that said…most couples took time and energy to create their registries.

And it's the easiest way to assure you have a no-fail gift.

I almost always do an AmEx (Or Amazon) gift card, or a gift card to one of the stores on their registry. They're always well received!

 

(LB Note: (2019) We did the Zola registry for our recent wedding and it was the most awesome experience + the guests loved it too!) 

 

What About if I am In the Bridal Party?

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Dasha Crawford Photography

 

Yes, always get them at least a small something. You know you'd feel slighted if the shoe were on the other foot. I know it can get expensive being a part of someone's big day, but the thought here is really what matters.

 

 

Do I have to Bring a Gift to Both the Shower and the Wedding?

 

I have brought my gift to the shower instead of the wedding, although some consider this tacky, but I was just informed this is wrong by my friend Jackie (and then I later confirmed it via The Huffington Post.)

So for those of you who hate showing up anywhere empty-handed, I'd suggest splitting your gift budget in two for both the wedding and the shower.

 

If I receive a gift, how long do I have to write a thank you note?

 

Three months, according to Real Simple. Typically though, I've received thank you notes as early as TWO DAYS after the wedding, and as late as about four weeks. But please, always do send a thank you note.

 

 

Wedding Event Etiquette: Rules to Follow Pre, During, and Post Party! 

 

 

 

There's more to wedding etiquette than just gift-giving. There's also proper way to act and behave.

Pre-wedding:

 

  • Please RSVP as soon as possible. It shows that you’re excited to join in on the festivities! Make sure to note the date in your planner, telephone, and day planner.
  • If you have food allergies! Most weddings have at least one option for people with special dietary needs. If you have extreme allergies let the bride know. If she can’t accommodate your needs then eat before you arrive and go with the vegetarian option. My friend had a guest with special dietary needs (vegetarian/gluten allergy/only drinks soy milk). My friend accommodated that guest and the guest had the nerve to complain to other guests that the option was o.k. WTF?! The option she was served was actually pretty amazing and she got some free food. She should have graciously thanked my friend and kept it simple.
  • Your friend will talk about the wedding-A LOT. If you aren’t married and don’t get it, don’t worry you will do the same when it’s your turn. Just listen attentively while she talks, then practice your ability to tune out once you hit your limit. Smile and nod, ask pointed questions and make sure to share photos, ideas with the bride. I enjoyed doing this but did get a little overwhelmed when my friend was getting married. I’m going to be honest I needed to take breaks from time to time from all of the wedding talk. My bff and I were talking almost every week, several times a week. Luckily, my bff lives in London so it was easy to take breaks from time to time.
  • Be genuinely excited for the couple!! If you can’t manage to be genuine about being happy for the couple, then you should not be going to that wedding. Period.

 

Wedding Day Etiquette:

 

  • Arrive on time!
  • Don’t drink too much. You don’t want to be the guest who throws up, starts crying, passes out, hits on everyone, falls into the water, or pulls down the decorations accidently.
  • DO NOT complain about the food! Even if it’s bad. Just fuss about it after the wedding (in your house). The bride and groom have gone through considerable expense and time to feed you-for FREE.  Eat it and keep your mouth shut.
  • Dress Comfortably-You may even need a shawl or cardigan in case the venue gets cold. Wear shoes that you can dance in comfortably.  If you don’t, no one wants to hear about your hurting toes. That’s your fault for wearing the wrong shoes.
  • Bring a gift-Do what is comfortable for you. Every couple that I’ve spoken with mentioned that they received gifts that weren’t on their gift registry. If you’re that person (I was) be savvy about what you give. Only do this if you really know the couple well.
  • Dance your butt off! Even if you don’t like the music.  Do the Robot, the Running Man, the Electric Slide. Just have fun!
  • Take pictures!!

 

After the wedding:

 

 

 

 

Can I Give a Gift Card as a Wedding Gift + Other Wedding Gift Questions
38 Shares
    • Rosie
    • April 21, 2016
    Reply

    I read the message she sent and immediately was like “you ungrateful little shit!” – it doesn’t matter if someones gift doesn’t match up to you idea of what a gift should be, you’re grateful that someone has given you one in the first place! It’s quite normal in the UK to ask for money as a wedding gift, as people have often already bought a house etc by that point, and receiving a nice giftcard would be considered a thoughtful gift because you can spend it on whatever you want and/or need. The fact that you got her a giftcard from the place she registered at just shows that she’s pretty much an entitled brat. I understand where she’s coming from in that it might seem like not much thought has gone into it, but I give people gift cards all of the time because I personally would rather receive that than some “thoughtful” gift which I hate and ends up at the charity shop or eventually in the bin. Who the hell does she think she is?!

    • Francie
    • November 19, 2015
    Reply

    Hi Lauren – I’ve never visited your website before, and I see that you wrote this post in 2012, but I’d like to add a comment.
    I hope that “Bonquiqui” was equally “disappointed” with any “thoughtless” personal checks she received as wedding gifts, and did not spend them! I’m pretty sure that people have given checks as wedding, birthday, and holiday gifts since before any of us were born, and I’ve never heard of anyone rejecting one. Gift cards could be seen as a more modern form of gift than a personal check, and, as procuring a gift card takes more time and energy than writing a check, I don’t think it would be reasonable to feel disappointment when anyone receives a gift card.
    Perhaps your friend had fallen ill with some form of Bride-zilla Disease at the time of her wedding. I hope she eventually recovered and realized that the only hurtful or offensive actions were her own.
    Thanks for a great blog!

    • Jeannie Chanthanasinh
    • June 9, 2015
    Reply

    Bonquiqui is a b****! Good riddance.

    • Brian
    • May 10, 2015
    Reply

    Your “friend” does not deserve you. Any issues of “gift cards” aside, she was unappreciative of the gift you got her. Not only did she not thank you, she berated you for what you gave her. She’s being rude, selfish, and thoughtless. I don’t care WHAT the wedding gift giving etiquette is, her response (or lack there-of) to your gift was simply childish.

    • Keyta
    • May 4, 2015
    Reply

    I believe it’s thought that counts. Gift cards are wonderful gestures of kindness & celebrates the occasion/person. They are also very convenient, if a person is unable to attend an event.
    She didn’t display an attitude of gratitude for your gift. That is a financial sacrifice giving to others, however it brings much joy! Best wishes!

    • Sarah Elizabeth Fowler
    • January 31, 2015
    Reply

    I think you should give gift cards at weddings. I am getting married this summer, and on my registry I have gifts card as an option to give.

    • jen
    • January 30, 2013
    Reply

    Wow, just wow. As a recent bride myself, I can not believe the balls of “Bonquiqui.” If someone gives you a gift, you send them a thank you note. End of the story! Unless she gave you the gift card back ( which of course she did not) she needs to thank you for the gift, not make you feel bad about it. I was pretty sure we southern ladies (actually every human being) was taught at a very young age, that when someone gives you something (a cookie, a diamond ring, a compliment, a gift card) you THANK THEM FOR IT.

    I dont even want to think about what would have happened if you just RSVP’d no and didn’t send a gift at all… goodness!

    Now on to gift cards themselves, I’m not a fan of them myself, but mostly because I consider myself an awesome gift giver, and hope that friends and family can also gift onto me just as well. Of course this isn’t always the case. I was married in JUne and we received a few gift cards, and I thought they were all very thoughtful, heck we are still using some!

  1. Reply

    I’ll be the voice of dissent here. I don’t like or give gift cards, however WEDDINGS are the big exception to this rule. I absolutely loved getting cash and gift cards for my wedding. l think it is totally appropriate since people register for gifts! Other occasions… I don’t always like getting gift cards for my birthday because I would prefer cash because I always spend more than the gift card is for. I prefer not to give gift cards because I usually spend less at a sale or something and dress up an inexpensive gift- don’t want the recipient knowing I spent way less!

    • MakintheBacon$
    • September 26, 2012
    Reply

    Ideally, I would prefer to receive $ as a gift, but I only seem to get it from my immediate family. In order to get it from my friends, I would have to either be getting married or be preggers, none of which I’m willing to do at the moment. Gift cards seem like the next best thing. If they are from a store you normally shop at, its great because you get to buy stuff from that store with someone else’s money. I gave my friend a gift card from the store she was registered at and she was totally fine with it.

    • Anonymous Kayla
    • September 26, 2012
    Reply

    It looks like I’m preaching to the choir here, but this makes me so angry for you. Your “friend’s” behavior is unbelievably rude. ALL wedding gifts (better yet – just gifts in general) require a thank you card – whether you liked the gift or not. Someone must have missed that week in cotillion… or forgot to read Emily Post’s wedding etiquette…. or just forgot how to be a decent human being. Either way – I am truly sorry that you had to experience this and have this hanging over your friendship now. How awkward!

    You should also know that Thomas and I LOVED your gift card. Gift cards and cash were some of our favorite gifts! Most of the stuff we received off our registry was in the middle of the line when it came to price – so we were able to put your giftcard toward completing our registry for the remaining big items and all the little items that people might have thought weren’t fun enough (slotted spoons, pot holders, MELON BALLER – my favorite of them all!!). You rock, and I’ll think of you every time I ball melons!

      • L Bee
      • September 27, 2012
      Reply

      Haha. That sounds so dirty when you put it like that 😉

    • Mikhaila
    • September 26, 2012
    Reply

    I’m in the “this girl is an ungrateful wench” camp. Regardless of what the gift was, the point is you took the time out of your day and the money from your wallet to think of her! Sometimes even a card is nice enough, especially if you’re not able to attend. The fact is that you can’t pick and choose which gifts to send thank you cards for, you send them for ALL GIFTS. It just drives me nuts that she feels so entitled to a gift that she doesn’t feel the need to thank you if it wasn’t something she wanted. I like gift cards too, no fuss, just go pick out something you like and pay nothing out of pocket! We went to a wedding in May (I didn’t really know them) and they requested no gifts but I’ll be damned if I didn’t show up with something in my hand (it was a gift card to the Bay, because who can’t find something at the Bay), because it’s common courtesy! She deserved to be called out – she’s a brat. I’d ask for the gift card back.

    • Savvy Scot
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    Unfreaking-believable! What an absolute B*tch! I agree with Jordann – you didn’t need to buy one in the first place

    • Jordann @ My Alternate Life
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    Wow that’s rude. You didn’t attend the wedding but you still sent a gift? That’s above and beyond in my opinion. I’m having a wedding next year and I’m going to be grateful for anything people throw my way. Someone is coming off as a spoiled brat in this situation and it’s not you.

    • Edward
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    Holy geeze, sorry this happened to you! Firstly, *any* thought somebody gives is important and not to be taken for granted the way your friend did! I feel privileged when a friend sends me a simple postcard from their vacation. Think about it: They went to a giftshop, bought a card, took time to write some lines, bought a stamp, looked up my address, and posted it. They were actually thinking about my sorry butt while on vacation somewhere tropical! Even that small gestures, should never be taken lightly.

    My oldest friend and I have a weird thing where we give each other gifts at Christmas. Often we score awesomely unique cool things (autographed stuff, rare books, etc.), but sometimes one of us will mess up and have to get a last-minute minute. I am never, ever disappointed! The dude’s my best friend–that’s what matters. He can’t always be on top of his game or outdo the year before and neither can I.

    The last question in your last sentence: The thought always, ALWAYS matters more than the gift. ALWAYS. Not just that, but your gift was good. I hope you don’t let it get to you too much because you deserve better.

  2. Reply

    Wow. Personally, gift cards are my go-to gift for weddings. The way I look at it, registries are great & IF I could afford to spend $60 on one drinking glass {yeah, lately all of the wedding’s I have gone to the registry has been INSANE} & the bride registers for 12, I would. But I just can’t do that & giving a gift card allows the couple to purchase exactly what they want. Having put together a registry myself, I ended up with a lot of things I really didn’t need but at the time, sounded fantastic. I was very grateful for the Gift Cards, Cash & Checks.

    Everyone’s different and there will be views on both sides but I don’t think you did anything wrong, especially since you did get a gift even though you were not able to go to the wedding… You showed you cared & were thinking about her.

    <3 Melissa

    • Chelsea
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    WHAT?! that is so rude of her, haha. but seriously, giftcards are the BEST gift. i am NEVER disappointed when I get a giftcard instead of something else, because no matter what store or place it’s for, I am guaranteed to get something I like. none of that awkward “oh thanks…so much…i love it…” when you get that odd present that they clearly pulled out of their butt last minute when they remembered they had to get you something or just had no idea haha. while I do love thoughtful gifts, I am never disappointed with a giftcard!

      • L Bee
      • September 25, 2012
      Reply

      I think she was upset I didn’t pick out something for her personally, as our other close friends did. Still-a gift card is a gift card.

  3. Reply

    Is Bonquiqui southern? That sounds like something a Southern person would do. I can say that because I am one. My Granny would have done somthing like that. Actually my mom refused to get a gift once for a second wedding of a girl she knew. She flat out told her that she bought a gift for her first wedding and she didn’t think she needed to do it twice. Mom would never buy a gift card for a wedding for the reason Bonquiqui gave. I don’t get it, I love gift cards and would rather pick out my own thing than get fifteen sets of towels. I think that was incredibly rude. Too bad you spent money on her.

      • L Bee
      • September 25, 2012
      Reply

      Yes! She’s southern. Yet, I am southern too. I think that might have something to do with it.

    • Canadianbudgetbinder
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    WOW! I’ll be gentle here and say that she was lucky to get anything at all. I posted this on my Facebook page so I look forward to hear what everyone has to say. We give cash for all weddings and a GC especially where she registered is just as well. Thanks for sharing this post. Cheers Mr.CBB

    • Anne @ Unique Gifter
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    WOW, just wow. So many layers of wrong there. You still sent a gift despite not attending? Points for you! That is a massive, massive etiquette fail on the part of Bonquiqui. Also, most people love getting gift cards. Where we were registered, we could get an additional 10% off the price by using gift cards for the store, so they’re even better than receiving the actual item. Most people prefer gift cards, so they don’t have to end up returning things, even things they registered for, because they didn’t get the complete set.
    I have to stop because otherwise I’ll have a full length vent post like you. *sigh*

    • mrsplungedindebt
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    Wow, I can’t believe she was so rude to you! I sent a Thank You card to everyone, not sending one would never have entered my head! I loved gift cards/monetary gifts just as much as I did the non monetary gifts from our wedding. Sometimes gift cards are even more thoughtful-for our baby shower someone gave us gift cards for restaurants knowing we wouldn’t be up to cooking in the early days! Gift cards are great! i love getting and giving them!

  4. Reply

    I can’t tell you the negativity this kind of stuff inspires in me! I was taught as a child that EVERY gift should be received with gratitude and with courtesy. Bonquiqui’s response was beyond rude.

      • L Bee
      • September 25, 2012
      Reply

      Thanks for commenting Beth! I promise most posts on Moneytree are not usually this angry and negative 🙁

    • Andrew
    • September 25, 2012
    Reply

    I recently gave my good friend and his new bride a prepaid AmEx card. As learned from personal experience, gift cards are a very thoughtful gift for a young newlywed couple, regardless of much thought was actually put into it. We used gift cards on things we wanted and especially on things we discovered we needed. While it was fantastic to combine gift cards on a big item we wanted, even getting groceries felt a little fun (no, seriously) because someone else was buying them for us.

      • L Bee
      • September 25, 2012
      Reply

      Aww, Andrew. You commented! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Reply

    Is that story for real? That’s the meanest, most ungrateful thing I’ve ever heard! Isn’t she supposed to be your friend?

    First of all, a gift is a gift! It doesn’t matter if I give you a million dollars, a gift card, or sing you a song – the fact that someone gave you something should be enough.

    I for one love gift cards. How can you not? It’s like free money to where ever it is the card is good for! For example, I almost never buy anything from Best Buy. But when I have a gift card, it’s game on! The same thing for restaurants. When ever I have a gift card for a good restaurant, I think I eat just a little better than normal!

      • L Bee
      • September 25, 2012
      Reply

      Haha “sing you a song”. I never shop at best buy either unless I have a gift card. I think that’s 90% of their business is things people wouldn’t normally buy for themselves.

    • bogofdebt
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    I’m entriely mad on your behalf. I think that gift cards are fine and do not lesson the need for a thank you note. After all, you didn’t have to buy her anything. I think gift cards are awesome-they get to buy what they want and don’t have to worry about someone buying the same exact thing that you did (even if it’s from a registry-because what if you buy something at the same exact time as another person! okay maybe that’s too much thinking but still). Plus, as Michelle said, if they have everything they need or have a present that they want that is too expensive for me? Perfect for that! UGH!

    For instance, I want furniture but will not be putting that on my registry. If people give me cash or gift cards, I’m going to be honored for the sheer fact that they are giving me something. A gift is a gift-it’s not required and any thought that goes into it is special. (This is hitting a sore spot that I can’t actually post as I’m afraid the person who mentioned it will be reading it)

  6. Reply

    Gift cards are awesome! We absolutely loved getting them for wedding presents. We loved the other gifts as well, but we particularly loved the gift cards because we could use them as needed, and we could go out to eat and what not without feeling guilty about spending money since we had to spend restaurant gc at restaurants.

    I’m with you – gift cards are great!

    • Elle P.
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    I’ll be honest, I get peeved when I receive a gift card as a gift – for reasons Bonquiqui gave (great name you chose for her btw!). Bravo to her for keeping it real. Hopefully she told off her Aunt via Facebook message too.

    I’m kidding. Her behaviour was super rude. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but her behaviour is downright disgusting. First, why would she give someone a Thank you note in front of you. Second, why would she reveal her cattiness about something you thought was a good gesture. And third, why would she do it via Facebook? At least grow a pair and pick up a phone or something.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      At first I got really excited because I thought someone else was going to give a differing opinion and say they also find gift cards really rude. But then you made me laugh.

      I didn’t really think much of her using facebook as a way to talk to me. I just think if you are displeased with a gift you should discreetly regift it or keep your mouth shut. Or sell it on ebay.

    • Lindsey
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    As someone who got married 3 months ago, I have some pretty strong thoughts on this.

    1. We LOVED receiving gift cards. The shopping spree we went on after the honeymoon was one of the most fun nights we’ve had together since the wedding!

    2. We returned a lot of the gifts we did get, in exchange for gift cards to put toward the gifts we actually want! Again, we love gift cards!!

    3. And this has me really fired up right now, I cannot believe your friend didn’t think a gift card was worthy of a thank you note! We sent thank yous to EVERYONE. Period. Including the two people who attended without even giving a gift! It’s not about the gift, it’s about showing appreciation for those who support your new life together!

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      I have had several other friends who recently got married who said they ended up with a lot of duplicates…which was a hassle. They said they loved the gift card for that reason!

    • Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    Ha! We hate receiving gift cards, but for the completely opposite reason! If you’re going to give us money to spend, don’t limit where we can spend it!
    Mr. PoP just recently sold a gift card to a co-worker that had been sitting in his wallet for 3 years because we NEVER go to that store. We had tried to go there and use it once, only to have the item not work and when we returned it guess what we got – another gift card! Hence why Mr. PoP sold it. Opportunity cost of money and all…

    Though the last wedding we went to was my BF’s, which I was in. We gave her a smallish personal gift that she’ll always remember is from us, and a gift card to where she registered to fill in the blanks of whatever other people didn’t get from the registry. She loved the gift and said it was perfect.

  7. Reply

    Uhoh! I have probably offended almost everyone I know then! I always give gift cards. Oops!

    Seriously, I think she is being ridiculous and ungrateful. Shame on her.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      Can I just say that I think it is really cute you guys both commented right on top of one another. Are you both sitting at the computer? 🙂

      1. Reply

        No, but we work together so we are together 24/7. Our desks at work are only about ten feet away from each other!!!!!!!!!!! We just happen to like the same blogs =)

  8. Reply

    Ummm…I’m at a loss for words here. So, you gave her a gift card – essentially money – that she is able to spend on whatever she wants to buy…then she rails you about it? I just can’t believe the nerve of some people. I agree with Katie, except I think you should have told her that you’d gladly take it back. Seriously…now I’m mad at her for you. What a ridiculously petty thing to take offense to. ARRRGGGHHH!

    • John S @ Frugal Rules
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    Wow. Just wow. I love your one line response to her. I was always taught that it’s the thought that counts. You could’ve also chosen not to get her anything, but you did and that should be the point. I love gift cards for many of the reasons you gave. I remember when my wife and I got married and one of the places we were registered was Target. We got a healthy chunk of money via gift cards. It was great because we were able to have various mini shopping sprees as we got our apartment set up and started thinking of things that would look nice, or that we simply needed.
    In the end, many places will allow you to specify if gift cards are acceptable or not. I know both Target & Wal-Mart have that as an option. If she did not want them, thenshe should have notated that while registering.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      Agreed. Here I thought gift cards were pretty popular nowadays!

    • Revanche
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    Well, thank goodness she was too polite to be rude to you at lunch but capable of being rude to you on Facebook! *eyeroll* Good gravy, it brings to mind, “with friends like these ….” Honestly now, you gave her a gift that she could choose to use in any which way she would like – it was a nice gift of free choice. You could also have chosen not to give her anything at all, was that the preference?

    Oh, how about handcrafting something completely off-registry? Because *that’s* incredibly thoughtful, time-consuming and loving, and I sure do love hearing the whining about that when someone (not me, a friend) has put a hundred hours and mucho money into creating a one of a kind quilt and people crinkle up their noses and say, oh, that’s uh, not something I registered for.

    Land’ssakes, girl. I hope she feels the internet slapping her upside her entitled head for you. Because that’s what she’s giving you, attitude and entitlement.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      I like putting it that way, “the gift of free choice”. I’m going to use that from now on! 🙂

  9. Reply

    That’s ludicrous! I’ve never heard of someone setting criteria for what kinds of gifts receive thank you cards. I do however like to acknowledge the fact that I’m giving a gift card or cash instead of an actual gift in the card. Something that says “I know you love this store, so I hope you can use this to buy something that you’ve always wanted” or something along those lines. I think it makes it seem a little less like a throwaway gift and highlights the fact that you weren’t sure exactly what to give, but you did put some thought into it.

    • Life [Comma] Etc
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    I seriously can’t believe this. What an ungrateful thing for her to say! Makes you feel sorry for her husband…. heaven forbid he ever GIVES HER MONEY TO HER FAVORITE STORE AS A GIFT, right? And who is she to say what her time is worth? It’s worth very little when you’re a rude person….

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      Yeah. It might come from the fact that she is from a VERY old fashioned southern family. The kind that always uses fabric napkins and such. Still, you’d think rules for not being mean would be covered in cotillion.

  10. Reply

    A gift is never obligatory! What don’t people understand about that? I wish I could tell you about the Bonquiqui in my life, but I’m not exactly anon online, so gchat me later so we can vent properly about the B-words in our respective lives. 😉

    I don’t ever complain about GIFTS. That is completely ridiculous. The fact that you got her a gift card from the place at which she was registered makes it even more ludicrous that she’s “offended” by your generous present. It is true that I’d be more likely to get a gift card to someone that I didn’t know very well (because I wouldn’t want to choose wrong with personal home items, like those that are most commonly gifted for weddings) but I’m also more likely to send a gift card to someone who I know either already has everything they “need” or to someone who I think would like to buy something bigger, like you said, that I can’t afford and they wouldn’t otherwise purchase for themselves. I don’t think they’re tacky at all. I think her note to you was, though. Miss Manners (now aka Bonquiqui) may want to take a look in the mirror.

  11. Reply

    Ahhhh…I absolutely love this! Not that it happened to you, but it simply affirms what I’ve learned over the years of being a financial coach: these days, people give and receive love through material possessions. If you’re not going to get somebody exactly what they wanted, then they’d have rather had you not get them a gift at all. LOL.

    That’s terrible that it happened to you and that sucks your friend is lame…but I’d say this is fairly common with many people.

  12. Reply

    I am not going to lie, I find Bonquiqui’s behaviour pretty disgusting. What kind of a self-centered loser (sorry, this made me mad FOR you haha) thinks that a gift card isn’t good enough? If people give me cash/gift cards at my wedding I will definitely be thankful, and I would never only thank certain people for gifts. How rude! I know you don’t want it to ruin the friendship, but honestly if she is acting this way about this, what kind of person is she? Seems pretty petty.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      Money is money. Period. THat’s the way I look at it!

  13. Reply

    I don’t even know what to say right now. When I read this post, I thought, “Um… Then give her the gift card back!”

    I’ve heard from other people who think cash in “impersonal” as a gift, since that’s all I asked for when I was paying off debt (ha). And let’s step back a second… How is ANY wedding gift off a registry thoughtful? Come on! People are just choosing something off a list of possible gifts! The most thought that goes into that is, “Hm… Well, I don’t like buying vacuum cleaners, and this gift is in my price range… So towel set it is!” You were being just as thoughtful as anyone who chose something off the registry. Either way, the bridge and groom are the ones who picked the gift!

    I am fuming for you right now. I sent thank you notes to people who just gave us a card for our wedding! Heck, I sent thank you cards to people who showed up without a gift. They took time out of their day to celebrate our choice, and that’s special, dangit! Seriously dumbfounded by this one!

    1. Reply

      Wow, Katie. Proofread even when angry! Should say “cash IS ‘impersonal’ as a gift” and “BRIDE and groom.” Sigh. See how riled up I am! 😉

        • L Bee
        • September 24, 2012
        Reply

        Haha. You’re so cute! Thanks for being mad for me. I’ve had a week or so to cool off about this. I didn’t want to be an Indian Giver since I think that is the HILT of rude behavior, especially since I’m the type who would like to write a thank you note to everyone who holds open the door for me.

    • Micah
    • September 24, 2012
    Reply

    I think she’s being ridiculous. I have several friends who were glad to have gift cards at the end of their gifts so they could, like you said, get that missing item or put it toward a more expensive item. Not thanking someone — regardless of what you thought of their gift — is just rude.

      • L Bee
      • September 24, 2012
      Reply

      Thanks for commenting Micah! I don’t normally blast friends on a blog-but since it was “money related” I had to share 🙂

  14. Reply

    Wow! Bonquiqui is not only wrong but being a total b—– about it! That is outrageous! Gift cards take only a little less thought than buying something off the registry and only a little more thought that writing a check. A pretty high percentage of our wedding gifts were cash in the form of gift cards or checks or bills and you can bet we wrote our thank-you notes!

    I definitely think a gift card to a registry store is an appropriate wedding gift, and we were happy to receive them at that time. What I have learned about myself, though, is that I don’t like to receive gift cards as birthday or Christmas gifts to specific retailers; they are much less useful to me than cash because I very rarely shop now. But that does not mean I would turn up my nose at them, only that they are not my #1 preferred gift.

    1. Reply

      I’ll agree with you Emily. For me, gift cards to specific retailers can actually end up costing me money sometimes because I am forced to shop for things I would not otherwise buy. That being said, what a ridiculous thing for somebody to complain about. Like you, many of our wedding gifts were gift cards to the place we registered at, and we spent them as we saw fit. They were actually our favorite gifts!

        • L Bee
        • September 24, 2012
        Reply

        I can understand if people don’t feel the way I do about gift cards and the like. I’m mostly just mad she said something about it. I am now validated by the response to this article that gift cards are appropriate. LoL.

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