Shower Me With Money

There is an advice column I read in the Seattle Times called “Ask Amy”. This past Sunday’s advice seeker stated he and his wife received a wedding shower invitation where not only was a cash gift requested but a dollar amount was specified. “Perturbed in Seattle” felt it was very bad etiquette, while his wife felt it was more acceptable this day and age. Amy stated they were both right.

Asking people for money, especially a specific amount is rude and in bad taste. It says “I’m greedy and I only care about you for your money.” Wedding showers, baby showers and bridal showers are held to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts, but to blatantly ask for money is not appropriate. Instead, those attending the party should ask the host if the bride (and groom) have registered somewhere or if they need anything in particular.

And, speaking of hosting, a mother or close family member should never host a bridal shower, as it would appear greedy for the family to ask for gifts for their own family members.

Unlike a wedding, If you decline a bridal shower invitation you do not need to send a gift.

It may be the 21st century where things are a little less formal, but it will never be proper to ask for money or gifts in a shower or wedding invitation.

Readers, what has been your experience with this? Have you been the recipient of a shower invitation asking for money or gifts? How did you feel about this?


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Author Arden
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Trackback: Trackback-URL Topics Gift giving etiquette, Social etiquette

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4 comments
Arden Clise
Arden Clise

Hi Patty. I think stating a minimum is really a good idea and not in bad taste at all. People know they will be expected to give something and setting a minimum gives them some parameters to work with.

Non-profits are in the business of raising funds so there is no shame is asking for a minimum.

Patty Foley
Patty Foley

OK, here's a related, but somewhat off-topic question for you, Arden. :)

I had a nonprofit client chewing on the issue of whether it was appropriate to ask for a minimum suggested donation at their luncheon. I've been to some nonprofit fundraising events where they say the suggested donation for lunch is $125, but then the table captain told me that that was just a suggestion and not what I had to commit to. I felt that was a nice way to approach it.

This client feels awkward suggesting a minimum, but at their recent event they had over 1/3 of their guests donate far below what they expected - which was at least $100 per person.

Maybe this is fodder for another article. :)

thoughts?

Patty

Lauren
Lauren

I have not been specifically asked for money - although one wedding said that contributions to their house down payment fund would be greatly appreciated (and they had registered at Home Depot too). I wasn't offended.

What I do want to comment on is that while I do understand the logic behind gift registries, I absolutely can't stand to buy things that are on the list. I want to pick the gift. I want to choose and be creative and give something that expressed my wishes for the recipient. I don't think it's bad for people to register for gifts, but I hate the feeling that I am supposed to pick something off that list.

I want to ask if it's bad etiquette to get what I want to get them...and I am interested in your answer, but honestly, I don't think it will change my feelings even if you told me that I should get things on the list. I don't want people to get 4 toasters for their wedding, but I also want the freedom to get whatever expresses my gift giving love.

Lauren

Arden Clise
Arden Clise

Hi Lauren,

No, it's not bad etiquette to purchase a gift that's not on the registry. If you know the couple well and want to get them something that feels more personal than that's fine. The registry is there for two reasons; to let people know what they need and to keep from getting duplicate gifts. But, registry gifts can be boring, so it's perfectly acceptable to purchase something else that you know they will like.

Thank you for your comment.