Shower, Tea, Wedding...oh my!
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  1. #1
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    Default Shower, Tea, Wedding...oh my!

    With our recent move to Tennessee, I have now been invited to my future sister-in-laws many showers, teas, etc. I like her, and my BIL is one of my best friends, but at this point I still don't have a job (we've only been here about 3 weeks) and I am not sure how to proceed.

    I would like to attend since I'm available to show her that I support her, but I don't know how I could possibly buy a gift (even small) for each "event" since I'm not working.

    I'm open to any suggestions you may have as to how to get through the next 3-4weeks of parties, teas, showers, etc.

    Thank you in advance for your ideas and suggestions!

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    I guess it would depend in my opinion:

    Is she the type of person who you feel close to and she is open and understanding? Is she having all the events pre-wedding to spend time with a large variety of people.. or is she just trying to milk as many gifts as she possibly can?

    If she is open and you two are friends, then I would just say - "hey, I really want to come but with the move and everything I just can't afford to get you any gifts." If she is the type of person who would be really offended by you not getting her that many gifts, then I would just limit the number of events you go to, or give her something extremely small at each one if you feel you really must go to all of them and get her something..

    But, as all of the etiquette books say, gifts are NEVER to be expected at a wedding/birthday/shower/tea etc. So, really - just because you are invited and you go doesn't mean you have to give a gift, according to the "rules." And, let's face it, you just moved.. if you can't afford a gift at all, then that's just the way it is.

    as an after thought, you could always give them a gift that is simple and from the heart...and cheap too. Maybe find out the meanings of their names from the internet and type it up nicely then put it in a frame...we bought something like that for my dad and step-mom's wedding and it made them cry. With the internet now, i'm sure you could find that info online just as easy and it'd look just as nice as the professional, and no one would know...

    just a thought. hope this helped.

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    Registered User sunshine's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest the same thing -- some little or no cost gifts. . .

    How about a bundle of "family" recipe cards for one event. . . I love the names with meanings in the frame idea for another event. . . if you can sew, even minimally - you can make a padded photo album for their wedding pictures , or do one in red and black for the honeymoon pictures

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    Registered User Laurie in Bradenton's Avatar
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    I'd take her off to the side and tell her you appricate being included but feel arkward about not having something. She maybe including you so that YOU don't feel left out or lonesome in your new digs. She may also be looking for some more common ground in your family. Maybe shes hoping by befriending you coming into your family will be less scary for her.

    Laurie in Bradenton

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    Thank you all for you replies!

    I just met her in April of this year when we came down for a funeral, not very good circumstances to meet someone, but sometimes we don't get that choice. I do not know her very well yet, but I do tend to be bery upfront and honest with my feelings. At the same time I want to tread carefully as she is just 22 and very naive for her age. She doesn't understand sarcasm (which runs rampant in the family) and doesn't always get things even when spelled out for her. She's not stupid by any means, just hasn't experienced much. I don't want to start off on the wrong foot. She's very overwhelmed with planning the wedding, working, and student teaching...she thought she'd be able to do it all easily and has realized it's not as easy as she thought, so her emotions are high.

    My plan is to try to think creatively for the showers, because I think I will feel uncomfortable showing up with nothing. Your ideas are great, thank you so much for sharing them.

    If anyone has links to cute ways to fold kitchen towels or anything simple like that please don't hesitate to share them with me. I can't sew, but it's on my list to have my MIL teach me soon.

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    Try $ stores to find items to put together gift baskets. Also thrift stores often have new items really cheap. You could also use your computer to make recipes for a cookbook.

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    As far as the towels go, you might make them into a cake- that is fold them as though into a cake and use something like a small special soap in the center.

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    Registered User phoeny_moonstar's Avatar
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    How many showers, brunches, tea parties etc can one person have because of their wedding? Anyways, back to the point. If you can't afford a gift for each event then I would not get her a gift. Get her a nice card.

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    Registered User pollypurebred39's Avatar
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    This is a gift I've given often and everyone is Wowed by it.

    ~bottle of inexpensive wine/sparkling cider
    ~2 matching wine glasses
    ~rubber bands
    ~curling ribbon

    Take glasses and form an X with them and secure with a rubber band.

    Next attach glasses to bottle with more rubber bands.

    tie on curling ribbon in a large amount and curl. Keep adding until you can no longer see rubber bands.

    I made these with spakling cider that I bought for $1 a bottle and wine glasses that I found at a thrift store for 10 cents each. I sold them for $20 at a Christmas fair and only spent $1.20 each (not counting ribbon and rubber band cost) I made 30 of them and was sold out in 2 hours!

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    Can you buy her a single flower? Or pick a bunch of wild flowers? Or a basket of fruit with nice ribbon?

    Or buy a set of china at the thrift store and give her 1 item at each party. Any left-overs can be given at the wedding.

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    Maybe I'm naive myself, but I really don't think throwing more showers means receiving more gifts. I buy a single wedding gift for couples I know getting married - I understand that in the USA there's a tradition of a wedding 'shower' where gifts are given? But I don't really understand how that could be extrapolated to mean more showers = more gifts! Is this how it works? Imagine if I threw myself 3 birthday parties, invited all the same people to each one, and expected 3 gifts off each of them! Unless multiple showers meaning multiple gifts IS an accepted tradition in the States (it wouldn't be the first one I'm not aware of, I assure you, so correct me if I'm wrong!) she probably isn't even EXPECTING multiple gifts, but just wants your company.

    Probably, if I was in your place, I would just say to her at the first event you attend, "I'm planning on bringing your gift to your last shower, so you get it right before the wedding!" or something similar. This seems like a non-scary way to a) make it clear to her you haven't simply forgotton about gifts while at the same time b) making it clear to her that you won't be bringing a gift to every event.

    Like I said, I'm not so clear on the American traditions, so this might not be appropriate, but it's an idea. If you have the time, you could also offer to help out with cooking or cleaning or whatever she needs before each shower, as a gift in itself.

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    Registered User Momto2Boyz's Avatar
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    Traditionally, here in the US, it is acceptable to have a shower and a wedding...no more gifts are "expected".

    I would maybe talk to your BIL, since you sound more comfortable with him and just let him know your situation. Tell him you'd love to go to support them in their marriage, but gifts just aren't possible at all of them. I'm sure he'd understand, and explain things to her.

    I love the recipe card idea...I got one for my wedding and it was a great gift.

    I'm currently working on a photo album for my brother's wedding. I got pictures from my mom and her mom and, I'm putting the pages together so they correspong (opposite pages are them both on the first day of kindergarden, or her in her brownie uniform, and him in his cub scout uniform). It kind of tells the story of their lives. It's turning out cute.

    There are tons of great craft ideas, if you start thinking outside the box. Do a websearch for handmade wedding gifts and you'll find all kinds of things!

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    Registered User imagine's Avatar
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    A inexpensive gift idea is a pocket calendar with all the birthdays of her new family listed on them. And any other important family gathering noted on the calendar too. You can also put fun things on the calander dates like "today you have been married 6 months". "Your first Christmas as husband and wife"

    I wish someone had done that for me when I was the new bride in the family. Someone did that for my SIL and she always gets bonus points for remembering everyone's birthdays.
    Last edited by imagine; 07-09-2009 at 10:42 AM.

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    my inexpensive goto is a memory box. i got a shoe box type box at the craft store and painted it, but you could use an actual shoe box and decoupage it. then i found a fold a hanky into a wedding dress pattern online, got a cheap white hanky at a flea market an old black and white postcard of a lady all dressed up (also from the flea market) put a cheap frame around it glued it to the box put the folded wedding dress on it. and wrote a note something about for the memories that are too big to fit in the album like the invitation and favors.

    was a big hit cost me less than 5 to make with coupons and flea marketing

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    Registered User geckoace's Avatar
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    that being said i think she will understand if you tell her you cant afford it but would be happy to help with other things, like favor making or whatever

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