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I'm 24, so I may not have been to as many weddings as y'all, but I think when full grown adults get married/recognized as life partners, they should as a matter of tact state that they specifically don't want gifts. After all, as adults they've already bought the microwave and espresso maker and all those nice crystal things we bring out for special occasions. So they really don't need all those gifts we traditionally give as wedding gifts.

I attended the wedding of a fraternity brother a few years ago. I bought him a few boxes of crystal glasses. Most of the brothers who attended slipped him a card with a fifty inside, not knowing what he wanted and what he owned. It can get tricky when adults who live as adults get married and need to combine their households, and the last thing they might want is something overly practical, but which they both already own.

Obviously, for a birthday, you need to give some kind of gift. If they are older, a bottle of high end spirits might be in order, or even a g/c to a local restaurant. But don't worry too much about it, and simply give what you feel is appropriate. Cash is never acceptable for birthdays, except to children and servants, but stock certificates, collectable coins and such are practical and small enough as to not add to confusion.

Thomas
 
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