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Should I bring gifts? - help with a Polish wedding


pelowskicolin 1 | -    
14 Aug 2011  #1
Hello,
I am going to my cousin's wedding in Poland (my father was polish and came to england during the war).

I have been to one wedding before and just followed the english custom of taking the wedding gifts to the reception after the ceremony but, no-one else I saw had any gifts!

Obviously I was doing something wrong and my family would not say anything, this time I would like to get it right.

When shall I give the gifts to the married couple?

Thank you for your help
Wroclaw 45 | 5,403    
14 Aug 2011  #2
When shall I give the gifts to the married couple?

not gifts, but gift. u should be able to slip them the envelope at the reception.

a lot of folks go for cash and not toasters etc.

check with your aunt and uncle or whoever. or just ask your cousin.
terri 1 | 1,432    
14 Aug 2011  #3
I too was a guest at a wedding. Before going, I asked some Polish friends about buying presents and they said that I ahould put some money in an envelope and give this to the couple as they come out of church and everyone is wishing them all the best There is always someone there to take the envelopes.

You will notice that everyone else is doing this too.
You can give them a card at the same time, or better still put the envelope inside the card, so that they know who the money came from.

Nothing else is needed.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,572    
14 Aug 2011  #4
Giving money is tacky and tasteless - giving the gifts at the reception is just fine :)

(if they want cash, they're greedy cunts and shouldn't be given anything anyway)
Marynka11 4 | 676    
14 Aug 2011  #5
Not really. We have been to a wedding two weeks ago. The couple was not registered anywhere, and everyone brought an envelope. They've been living together for two years, so they most likely have the toasters, spoons and what not. I think giving money is just simple and practical.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,572    
14 Aug 2011  #6
And utterly tasteless, especially when money is demanded. I've seen wedding invitations (all from Warsaw, funnily enough) where obscene amounts of money have been demanded - in one case, 500PLN!

Sorry, but I'm just not a fan of money at weddings at all - unless it's close family who are able to ask outright "what do you want?" and get a straight answer.

(thankfully, I got plenty of presents at my own reception and very little money)
Marynka11 4 | 676    
14 Aug 2011  #7
And utterly tasteless, especially when money is demanded. I've seen wedding invitations (all from Warsaw, funnily enough) where obscene amounts of money have been demanded - in one case, 500PLN!

I've never seen in my life. Did they put a price tag on the invitation? If people do that it is indeed tasteless.

(thankfully, I got plenty of presents at my own reception and very little money)

Funny how you say "I got" and "my own reception". Did you get married to yourself?
Either way, congratulations. Seems like a new development :)
pawian 126 | 6,546    
14 Aug 2011  #8
Delph, I agree with Marynka.

=Marynka11]They've been living together for two years, so they most likely have the toasters, spoons and what not. I think giving money is just simple and practical.

I am sure nowadays people prefer to spend the gift money on what they really want and like. In the communist past it was different- there were no goods in shops so receiving a toaster or a fridge was a pleasant surprise, especially that there were only two or three types of fridges available.

Today, you can choose from tens or even hundreds of types.

It doesn`t make sense to try to make people happy against their will.

Why am I talking about fridges? When I got married, my inlaws gave us a sum of money which was spent on a fridge we liked. And it is still working after all those years! :):):):)

PS. Two years ago when my only nephew was getting married we gave them 1376 zlotys in an envelope.
plgrl    
14 Aug 2011  #9
delphiandomine
A wedding is a great expense.

pawian

What about list of gifts?
pawian 126 | 6,546    
14 Aug 2011  #10
What about list of gifts?

What is it?
Siegfried 1 | 100    
12 Oct 2011  #11
here is a short description of polsih wedding and when do what ;)
comevisitpoland.com/2011/10/what-to-expect-on-polish-wedding/
WielkiPolak 57 | 1,047    
12 Oct 2011  #12
I do not agree with delphiandomine on most stuff, usually political, but money does it seem a bit tacky. I mean you would not give an envelope with money at Christmas because it is practical. The only problem with gifts is that they might get 5 toasters and 5 kettels etc. Unless the people who are invited get together and know who is giving what.
PWEI 3 | 612    
12 Oct 2011  #13
WielkiPolak
I do not agree with delphiandomine on most stuff, usually political, but money does it seem a bit tacky.

Tacky or not (I personally see the logic of giving money at a wedding), it is what is done in Poland.
tcchapman1981 2 | 7    
12 Oct 2011  #14
hi, i got married to a polish woman in july. On our invitations the only thing we asked was that instead of bringing flowers could our guests compensate this with red wine. On the day outside the church some people brought flowers (a handfull) its tradition apparently! But most bought us bottles of wine, and handed us envelopes with cash in. One guest bought us a gift. We never specified what we wanted ie money they just turned up with the cash.

I think your taking away the main point of the day thought its a coming together of 2 people that love each other and im sure they will be happy with whatever you get them as long as your there!!
gumishu 11 | 4,851    
12 Oct 2011  #15
Tacky or not (I personally see the logic of giving money at a wedding), it is what is done in Poland.

it's just practical - it was gifts before - but then situations arose that the newly wed couples ended up with 10 irons, 11 coffee machines, 3 vacuum cleaners, and 13 expensive hair-dryers - people decided then that cash is much more practical
Teffle 22 | 1,321    
12 Oct 2011  #16
I agree with the money thing in that I think it's tacky. I think of mafia weddings, envelopes that kind of thing.

But as mentioned, if it's what is done then so be it.

Otherwise, the wedding list idea is a good one (although a bit charmless) to ensure:

newly wed couples ended up with 10 irons, 11 coffee machines, 3 vacuum cleaners, and 13 expensive hair-dryers

...that this doesn't happen!
peterweg 36 | 2,324    
12 Oct 2011  #17
I agree with the money thing in that I think it's tacky. I think of mafia weddings, envelopes that kind of thing.

I was told giving anything buy cash is insulting in Poland. Mind you, you can always give both.
PWEI 3 | 612    
12 Oct 2011  #18
Or just leave the receipt in the box and make sure that the store allows returns.
delphiandomine 86 | 16,572    
13 Oct 2011  #19
Tacky or not (I personally see the logic of giving money at a wedding), it is what is done in Poland.

I don't like it for one simple reason - I do not and never will want to get into a pissing contest over who handed over the most cash.

I was told giving anything buy cash is insulting in Poland.

Insulting for village peasants who have no idea about manners, perhaps.

The whole thing of giving money just seems to be an extension of the horrific Polish habit of "look how big my penis is, it's grown x amount in 22 years".
King Sobieski 2 | 717    
13 Oct 2011  #20
The whole thing of giving money just seems to be an extension of the horrific Polish habit of "look how big my penis is, it's grown x amount in 22 years".

its not just poland where giving money is acceptable, i have been to a few weddings in australia where money was perfectly acceptable.

the other new thing is couples setting up an account with a travel agent and you can make anonymous transfers to their online account and they use that money for their holiday.

the rule of thumb down here is that around $100 per person either gift/cash is acceptable.
Patrycja19 63 | 2,702    
13 Oct 2011  #21
people decided then that cash is much more practical

it is, cause they can go buy their own appliances/pay for their honey moon or whatever..

makes sense!

Insulting for village peasants who have no idea about manners, perhaps.

I tried one time to send money for genealogy , And it was refused, maybe some just dont want to feel like
they are charity case,That wasnt my intentions and I said that, but he still refused. I still wanted to do
something nice for him for helping me.. but it was just a nice gesture, he said he would even fly here and
fly back with me if i ever came to poland.

sometimes its not culture, but pride, that isnt something exclusive to polish, maybe to
people in general, cause they dont want to look bad, opression, depression, handouts call it what you want
even in weddings, if they choose gifts so be it..

I think those who make enough money, dont want people to think otherwise of them, and you know nice gestures
can be mistaken for sterotypes ( people thinking all polish are poor) or so they think this is what might be thought
of them because of the war, their economic situation before.

but others a fine tuned to give when you recieve.. you dont feel right by not giving something for their help..

so anyways, my two cents,, if it makes sense.. lol
ASG - | 5    
13 Oct 2011  #22
Just bring an envelope with cash. Tacky? Not really... more like practical. if they aren't registered anywhere then what else would you get them? What if you got them something they already have and do not need? It's not just Poland, this is all over the world. The last 3 weddings I have been to (1 in Poland, 2 in Canada) was all cash gifts.

It's just the way society is, it's blatantly capitalistic... but that's another topic altogether.
beckski 12 | 1,619    
13 Oct 2011  #23
a lot of folks go for cash and not toasters etc

My cousin told my siblings & myself, she preferred to receive cash gifts at her Polish wedding. I think some of my relatives in Poland are under the assumption, the Polish-American cousins are financially well off.
PWilson1971    
28 Sep 2016  #24
Wow. Some really crass comments on this thread.

It's POLISH TRADITION to give money. Usually around £80 - £100 (500pln) per person not per family.

Just the same as its Polish tradition to pay for all your guests food (a ridiculous amount of), alcohol ( most guests also end up taking at least one bottle of Vodka home in addition to what they drink over the two days), plus your guest accommodation.

The party lasts two days so the couple will pay far more on you than you will give them in money.

Don't judge others by our English ways.
P.
DominicB - | 2,627    
28 Sep 2016  #25
I can't think of anything more crass than giving or expecting money as a wedding gift. That's the bottom of the barrel as far as etiquette is concerned, including, yes, in Poland. It's certainly not a "tradition".

If anybody inviting me to their wedding even so much as intimated that they would prefer cash, it would be the very last time we spoke. Ever. And if I cared for someone so little as to think about giving them cash for their present, I wouldn't be inclined to accept their invitation anyway.
Atch 15 | 2,521    
28 Sep 2016  #26
Ah come on now Dominic. Giving cash is a tradition in many countries. I read a book published in the 1930s set in the Austrian Tyrol and at a peasant wedding there was an old lady designated for collecting the cash. The English author commented to one of the Austrians about her po-faced expression and was told that it would be considered bad manners for her to appear happy about it! I don't know how old the tradition is in Poland but is it any worse than those cringe inducing gift lists?? As for your American compadres with their bridal showers and baby showers etc......yes I blame America for all our woes. :)
DominicB - | 2,627    
28 Sep 2016  #27
It's always rude to invite someone to your wedding in order to get any kind of gift out of them, cash or otherwise. If you invite someone to your wedding, the obligation lies totally on your side to entertain them as best you can without expecting anything in return. Guests are never obligated to give a gift. Their presence is gift enough. They are not obligated to "pay for themselves". That is the couples responsibility.

If the couple is not prepared to fund a large wedding, then they should scale back, invite only those guests whose presence they would appreciate regardless of whether they bring a gift, and provide for their guests as best as their means allow, even if that means hot dogs and soda pop. Gifts should be treated as extras.

Sorry, but weddings as "crowdfunding" is vulgar to the extreme.
Atch 15 | 2,521    
28 Sep 2016  #28
Huge, vulgar weddings (which invariably feature a bride looking like a prize heifer dressed in human garb for a day) are an abomination, I agree. Actually that reminds me of what Billy Crystal said about his own family's general demeanour at a wedding 'like wildebeest in cheap clothing'. :))

However, wedding presents are the norm in our society, whatever form they take. It's like the old thing of not showing up at somebody's house empty-handed or indeed in Ireland, letting a guest leave empty-handed. It's hard to get out of an Irish household, in rural areas anyway without having some form of produce pressed upon you, be it a pot of jam, some eggs or even a head of rhubarb from the garden which means rhubarb tart for tea tomorrow whether you want it or not. I've even had things like knitting wool foisted upon me! 'Look, I've a bag of wool here that I never used, it might come in handy. Sure the colours are gorgeous, you could make a lovely tea cosy out of that'......

Now, what I really object to, and there was a thread about it a few months ago, is children collecting money for their First Communion and Confirmation, a practice that's gotten totally out of hand in recent years.
DominicB - | 2,627    
28 Sep 2016  #29
wedding presents are the norm in our society

A norm is not the same as an obligation. They are two different concepts. A gift is, by definition, 100% voluntary and optional. Once it becomes expected or mandatory, it ceases to be a gift and becomes a mere "entrance fee". I've always given generously at any weddings I have attended, but that was solely my choice, purely as a sign of my good will and best wishes for the happy couple. If I were made to feel obligated, I would not accept the invitation, and indeed have declined invitations for that very reason.

I was hit up for cash for confirmations several times in Poland. By mothers, not the kids themselves. I just politely pretended I did not hear the request. Ghastly "custom".
Roger5 2 | 1,475    
28 Sep 2016  #30
It's POLISH TRADITION to give money. Usually around £80 - £100 (500pln) per person not per family.

How many Polish weddings have you been to? It is certainly an option to give a money gift to the (usually young) couple getting married, but most guests give something more meaningful. The last wedding I went to was this summer. The guests didn't drink huge amounts of booze, and the second day party was a hired train to a picnic deep in the forest. Very civilised.

500pln) per person

A thousand PLN for a couple to go to a friend's wedding?
Not round our way.



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