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#1 FYI

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:15 PM

If a person can't afford to give a gift to a wedding, should they:
a) not go to the simcha?
b) make something small/simple that's homemade (i.e. under $5)
c) tell the baal simcha that they're very sorry that they can't afford a gift right now?
Many people wish they could change their life, when all they really need to do is change their attitude towards life. - Sharon

#2 int

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:16 PM

If a person can't afford to give a gift to a wedding, should they:
a) not go to the simcha?
b) make something small/simple that's homemade (i.e. under $5)
c) tell the baal simcha that they're very sorry that they can't afford a gift right now?


Like I said elsewhere, none of the above. They should come

FOR THE DANCING ONLY!

#3 FYI

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:21 PM

What if it's a bar mitzvah?
Many people wish they could change their life, when all they really need to do is change their attitude towards life. - Sharon

#4 Pinchas

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:38 PM

What if it's a bar mitzvah?


http://www.artscroll...ucts/MHSRH.html

It's $11.69

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#5 Guest_Shuli_*

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:46 PM

.

#6 justbatya

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:49 PM

It's not about money, it's about etiquette.

My poor SO still thinks that a Batya is a what, and not a who.


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#7 FYI

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:52 PM

It's not about money, it's about etiquette.

People can't always afford etiquette, hence my question is about people that cannot afford it.

(wait! Are you responding to shuli or me?)
Many people wish they could change their life, when all they really need to do is change their attitude towards life. - Sharon

#8 Pinchas

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:57 PM

I thought the whole point of making a wedding was to make money!

Otherwise why don't we just do it in the park for a lot less!

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#9 justbatya

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:57 PM

(wait! Are you responding to shuli or me?)


No one, yet.

My poor SO still thinks that a Batya is a what, and not a who.


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#10 Razie

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:01 PM

If a person can't afford to give a gift to a wedding, should they:
a) not go to the simcha?
b) make something small/simple that's homemade (i.e. under $5)
c) tell the baal simcha that they're very sorry that they can't afford a gift right now?

Do you think the baal simcha is aware of the person's financial situation? People should not expect gifts of any magnitude. Well, actually, there are sort of two meanings to "expect". There is "anticipate" and there is "Assume an entitlement-by-etiquette to".
I may be an exception, but I might anticipate gifts at a simcha, but I wouldn't assume an entitlement - certainly not from anyone who I knew it would be a burden to. Fiance and I actually hope that anyone in the same financial status as us or below bring us no gifts or bring us a bottle of their favorite wine if they have one, or something along those sorts.

I think a wonderful gift is something sentimental if it's genuine. This might not work for a Bar Mitzvah.

In a bar mitzvah case, maybe you write a nice note saying that you gave tzedakah in his name to a certain organization (don't have to say how much) with the hope that it will repay itself many times over as he gets the zechus of the mitzvah.

For a wedding, you can do the same. Or a variant of b. Let's think of some B's

1. Buy or make a pretty little pushke (not one that looks like a child made it, but it may be a simple thing to make with a bit of craft supplies- see if you can get one for ~$4 (?). Have as many kids as you can put in a penny or a nickel. On the note/card, include a quote about tzedakah or about the mitzvos of children. Write something like "I am so happy for your new life together. Our children and their cousins put some tzedakah in this box for you, and we told them about the new home you are building. We hope that this tzedakah box in your home will be a zechus for <blah blah - something you mean>.

2. A mock restaurant certificates for the couple to come to your house for shabbos meals. - maybe with an explanation

3. Something like #1 that's not necessarily mitzvah based. But a new glass bowl (amazing savings? $3?) filled with fruit - "Yankel picked these apples for you to enjoy in your first days as a married couple"

4. Something like a unique find - something from a trip that you are willing to part with even if it was from a street vendor?

I don't like this idea that people need to buy their seats at a simcha. If you're inviting them to sort of break-even, you need to reconsider your priorities. I just got my first wedding gift (EARLY!). Since it was off a registry I was forced to create, I know what it cost. It costs about 1/8 of what it will cost us to have this friend and his wife attend the wedding. It is also very generous, very unexpected, and I am grateful for it. He didn't have to buy anything.

I disagree that if you can't bring an expensive gift you can only come for the dancing. If you go with the sentimental route, it gets the point across "this is all we could afford". If the couple thinks that you then should have declined, shame on them and no skin off your back. Seriously. Invitations are not invitations to exchange an expensive gift for mediocre catered food. They should be happy you cared enough to take the time to celebrate with them.

#11 FYI

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:07 PM

But would you be okay with a guest that can't afford anything not saying or doing anything and just coming.
Many people wish they could change their life, when all they really need to do is change their attitude towards life. - Sharon

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:10 PM

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#13 Razie

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:17 PM

But would you be okay with a guest that can't afford anything not saying or doing anything and just coming.


I would think it mildly tacky if the guest didn't at least write a card wishing the best in something that seemed sincere and not boilerplate. If they're coming because it's free food, they shouldn't come (whether they bring a gift or not). So if they're coming, I expect some kind of personal well wishes - it's a simcha, after all.

But absolutely be okay with a guest that can't afford anything not saying anything about the financial lack of ability to buy anything and just show up. If when you say "or doing anything" to mean not even writing a well-wishing mazal tov note (sorry, if you can afford to get to the wedding, you can afford a white envelope, a piece of stationary paper, and a pen), then it's not ok. Sincere well wishes are what, I feel, are obligations of attending a simcha. Coming for any other reason - don't come at all. If anyone who comes to my wedding does not wish the best for me, I don't want them there. And if they do wish the best for me, a note saying so validates it. In fact, personal stationary or colored paper and handwritten with 3-4 original sentences is so much nicer than a $4 hallmark card with a "Dear Razie" and a "From the Goldsteins". And that handwritten note shouldn't cost more than 25 cents if it's just plain paper and a from-a-bulk-box envelope. Something like that.

That's it. I'm ok with no advanced warning of no gift - absolutely.

#14 int

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:18 PM

The reality is that with the insanely high cost of today's weddings, you DO need people's gifts to break even. And a newly starting out couple especially needs the money.

Etiquette or not, that's a fact of life.

#15 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:18 PM

The worst is when you're in a bind because the baalei hasimcha PERSONALLY request your presence, so you KNOW they want you there, but you really can't afford a gift. Especially when they are not close friends and you might not have gone had they not insisted you be there.

In that case I usually just bit the bullet and come and hope they "forget" about me. But in Israel there are usually no RSVPs or assigned seating anyway so it is less formal and there is no "official record" of who came and for how long...

And like Shuli said, sometimes there are a TON of weddings that you are expected to be at. It is impossible to give a gift to all of them and still eat the rest of the month... And it seems to me to be a shame not to go to a wedding because you are embarrassed about not being able to give a gift. Would the Baalei Hasimcha REALLY rather you not come at all than come empty handed? If I thought that was true I really WOULDN'T come, but I'd like to think that in most cases it isn't...
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#16 Razie

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:22 PM

The reality is that with the insanely high cost of today's weddings, you DO need people's gifts to break even. And a newly starting out couple especially needs the money.

Etiquette or not, that's a fact of life.

TACKY TACKY TACKY. Don't have a wedding you can't afford. Don't invite anyone if you're not willing to foot the cost of their seat 100%. The insanely high cost of today's weddings is the insanity of the parents and the couple. It does not obligate the guests. You can do a wedding for $500 if you do in a shul with a small spread. And that's as kosher as anything else.

The worst is when you're in a bind because the baalei hasimcha PERSONALLY request your presence, so you KNOW they want you there, but you really can't afford a gift. Especially when they are not close friends and you might not have gone had they not insisted you be there.

In that case I usually just bit the bullet and come and hope they "forget" about me. But in Israel there are usually no RSVPs or assigned seating anyway so it is less formal and there is no "official record" of who came and for how long...

And like Shuli said, sometimes there are a TON of weddings that you are expected to be at. It is impossible to give a gift to all of them and still eat the rest of the month... And it seems to me to be a shame not to go to a wedding because you are embarrassed about not being able to give a gift. Would the Baalei Hasimcha REALLY rather you not come at all than come empty handed? If I thought that was true I really WOULDN'T come, but I'd like to think that in most cases it isn't...

If the baalei hasimcha PERSONALLY request your presence, then your presence is what they want, so write them that note appreciating and validating the relationship you have with them and wishing them mazal. 100% agree with your last sentences.

#17 Pinchas

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:23 PM

The reality is that with the insanely high cost of today's weddings, you DO need people's gifts to break even. And a newly starting out couple especially needs the money.

Etiquette or not, that's a fact of life.


Seminary teachers should think about that before they brainwash girls to marry guys that don't plan on earning a living...

Pinchas is right - micha

 

For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L


#18 FYI

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:23 PM

I don't understand this multiple weddings a week concept. I maybe get invited to one wedding a year, so I don't understand the 'too many simchas' aspect, but regardless, I see your point, KR.
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#19 Kalashnikover_Rebbe

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:25 PM

Also in the long run doesn't everyone "break even".
Most people get married once, and then it's "their turn" to make the simcha for everyone else, and the rest of the time other people pay.

Unless you have 15 kids, or are REALLY popular and attend 3 weddings a week, I would think that most people more or less "break even" or even pay LESS than they eat in the course of their lifetimes....
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#20 Pinchas

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 03:27 PM

I don't understand this multiple weddings a week concept. I maybe get invited to one wedding a year, so I don't understand the 'too many simchas' aspect, but regardless, I see your point, KR.


My F-SDJ used to have three weddings a week. (Of course she did work in a very large seminary...)

Pinchas is right - micha

 

For the record, IRL he is a really nice guy! - HappyDuck, Z"L





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