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Appropriate Wedding Gift for a Polish girlfriend of several months?


USFriend 1 | 4
7 Feb 2011 #1
I am an American who has been friends with a Polish girl for several months (email friends only through work-related circumstances). We've never met before, but I have gotten to know much about her and the culture of Poland and would one day like to visit. In the meantime, she is going to be married in a few months and I would like to send a wedding gift to her. My question then, is it culturally acceptable to send money as a wedding gift? I don't know the culture there that well yet and do not want to be insulting, so I thought it would be prudent for me to ask this question first. I could send something besides money, but not knowing, obviously, what she needs/wants, etc, I would hate to spend a lot of money on postage for something that she neither needs nor wants. Can someone please give me direction in this?

Thanks so much and I do look forward someday to visiting Poland as a tourist. From what my Polish friend there has told me, I think that I would like your country!
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Feb 2011 #2
yea send money, I've been to a few since I moved here and it's usually what me and my mussis give for presents. Weddings are expensive and the unwritten rule is that you should give the amount that it would cost to have you there, food, vodka, B&B/hotel etc
OP USFriend 1 | 4
7 Feb 2011 #3
Thanks, Smurf. So we're talking about what, maybe a couple hundred in USD?
convex 20 | 3,978
7 Feb 2011 #4
You're going to spend a couple hundred bucks as a gift for someone that you've only known for a couple of months and have never met? I must be really out of the loop just sending flowers...
OP USFriend 1 | 4
7 Feb 2011 #5
That does sound a bit too generous, doesn't it? :)
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Feb 2011 #6
wow, yea that would be loads, she'd be delighted.....might even send you over a bottle of wedding vodka for that :)
poland_
7 Feb 2011 #7
If she is in one of the bigger cities, you can buy gift vouchers online for companies like empik. The norm when going to a wedding is 500 PLN per couple ( 180 USD ) but you are not going to the wedding so she may feel uncomfortable by the money. You can also buy concert or theater tickets for her or contact a restaurant and pre pay a meal. All the main 5* Hotels do very nice Sunday brunches for about 140PLN per head ( food and drinks) (45 USD) that would be a nice treat.
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Feb 2011 #8
All the main 5* Hotels do very nice Sunday brunches for about 140PLN per head ( food and drinks) (45 USD) that would be a nice treat.

that's a pretty cool idea, adds a nice personal touch.
poland_
7 Feb 2011 #9
Smurf, have you done the Sunday Brunch at the Sheraton Krakow?
smurf 39 | 1,981
7 Feb 2011 #10
naw, I'm in Katowice. trying to engineer a move there though :)

I know the place though, friends of mine stayed there once a year or two ago and they had nothign but good things to say about the hotel
Wroclaw 44 | 5,385
8 Feb 2011 #11
We've never met before

only send flowers.

in reality u are at the bottom end of the friend list.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,475
8 Feb 2011 #12
The norm when going to a wedding is 500 PLN per couple

Blimey, what kind of weddings have you been going to?

For what it's worth, I really despise this habit of giving money - it's even worse than the British habit of creating "gift lists".

(delph - who really hopes no-one gives him any money come his own wedding soon)
dtaylor5632 18 | 2,007
8 Feb 2011 #13
(delph - who really hopes no-one gives him any money come his own wedding soon)

You really aren't Scottish eh? :D
f stop 25 | 2,513
8 Feb 2011 #14
DO NOT send money. In Polish culture that is insulting. Send flowers.
smurf 39 | 1,981
8 Feb 2011 #15
Thats not true, dont be telling porky pies chap. Every wedding I've been to here I've seen loads of envelopes given to the wedding couple outside the chapel
Olaf 6 | 956
8 Feb 2011 #16
habit of creating "gift lists".

I'd agree, but after giving it a second thought I am for the list. If you don't make a list (some aunts and grannies will not stick to it anyway!) then you'll end up with a couple ugly bed linnens that don't even suit your bed dimensions, 2 or 3 electric kettles (not the ones that suit your kitchen, 1 toster (not going with the kettles), 1 cheap pressure coffee machine, several sets of towels or something similar, at least 2 vases or punch bowls that you want to throw down a window and you'll be most happy to the ones that actually did give you just money. Don't you think?

USFriend: I'd send a very chic card together with a very good champane or wine (best if you know her favourite). This won't be offending, too generous and most likely it will be very well recieved.
Ashleys mind 3 | 455
8 Feb 2011 #17
DO NOT send money. In Polish culture that is insulting. Send flowers.

You don't want too many flowers either...

What about something hand made and distinctive from the area where you live?
Olaf 6 | 956
8 Feb 2011 #18
hand made

He doesn't live in Africa.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
8 Feb 2011 #19
DO NOT send money. In Polish culture that is insulting. Send flowers.

HUH?? My relatives have been to 4 weddings in the last few years (Wroclaw area) and they said in all 4 weddings the couples getting married received fairly large sums of money and gift certificates from their friends and families. Maybe it's a regional thing?

Flowers is a given at all weddings.
Stu 12 | 522
8 Feb 2011 #20
the couples getting married received fairly large sums of money and gift certificates from their friends and families

I have to agree ... when I got married, we did get large sums of money as well. The only thing we did differently, was to ask people not to buy us flowers, but to donate the amount they would have spend on flowers to a foundation for wounded Polish veterans, which also raised a nice sum.
Ashleys mind 3 | 455
8 Feb 2011 #21
He doesn't live in Africa.

No, but there might be some black people where he lives who still *actually* know how to make things... ;)
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
8 Feb 2011 #22
skysoulmate: the couples getting married received fairly large sums of money and gift certificates from their friends and families

An awesome gesture Stu

I contribute monthly to the [woundedwarriorproject.org/] - Wounded Warrior Project here in the US, is there a similar Polish organization?
Olaf 6 | 956
8 Feb 2011 #23
Yes it is very good. To find some institution or person in need and let the wedding guests chip in for this person (needing a wheelchair or something). It is quite common for the newly-weds to ask not to buy flowers but devote this money to buy some toys for a particular orphanage. A very good trend. However, it's good to contact the chosen place first as my friends did - they were told that the orpahnage has enough toys but they are lacking other stuff like school equipment (notebooks, crayons, pencils etc.)
Stu 12 | 522
8 Feb 2011 #24
is there a similar Polish organization?

There are several, skysoulmate. But we chose this one ... stowarzyszenierannych.pl
skysoulmate 14 | 1,296
8 Feb 2011 #25
Very cool, will make sure to contribute. Thanks.

Olaf, your idea is great too.
poland_
8 Feb 2011 #26
Blimey, what kind of weddings have you been going to?

That amount is seen as the minimum cash gift in cities for wedding , in the countryside it is seen as generous. I went to a wedding last year in Warsaw and the couple received a lot of money. As a 2+2 we gave the going rate, but many people gave significantly more and they were not blood family.

I like the idea of gifting money to a charity, but lets face it when you are staring out as a young married couple, you need a leg up.

As far as the OP is concerned, I would book a sunday Brunch for the couple at one of the 5*'s and forget the flowers. As any person that has been to a Polish wedding knows, they have flowers coming out of their kazoo by the end of the day ( flowers are a waste of money, except when you get that guilty feeling)
Harry
8 Feb 2011 #27
I second that entirely. And the best brunch in Warsaw is by far the one at the Hilton!
OP USFriend 1 | 4
8 Feb 2011 #28
thanks for all the suggestions in this matter. My friend lives in Krakow, so is there a 5* hotel there if I decide to go with the gift of a prepaid dinner or brunch? I would guess that at a hotel that nice, anyone there would speak English as I definitely do not speak Polish! I could check out the website, too, to see if it could be done online???
isthatu2 4 | 2,703
8 Feb 2011 #29
Whats that really nice restuarant in the Rynek called? The really old one,Ive dinned there a couple of times but cant for the life of me remember its name. I think its on the other side of the cloth hall from saint mary's but on the row of buildings that Florianska leads off?

Yes,plenty of nice places in Krakow and they will definatly have English speakers there too,by now.
Olaf 6 | 956
8 Feb 2011 #30
5 * ? - My first choice: The Grand Hotel and my favourite Hotel Gródek - on their website check also Hotel Kosciuszko, also a ***** and you can eat lunch on a beautiful terrace with the panorama of the best part of Krakow!

langID=en
and the Sheraton too - very nice service too.

they have flowers coming out of their kazoo by the end of the day

Wow! Never seen that! They must've looked like peacocks! What kind of weddings have YOU been going to? Hahahahahah;)


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