I was surprised we received so many gifts! We have a number of friends who are students and some relatives who we are not as close with, yet we received gifts from these friends and relatives too! Everyone was very generous, and the gifts are very nice and much appreciated.
Before the wedding, I didn't expect gifts from anyone, especially from our student friends and given the fact that gas prices are high and we might be in a recession, although I knew we would receive gifts from close family anyway. We both know what it's like to be students: there's often not enough money to pay for tuition much less gifts for any occasion. And I don't think it's necessary to give gifts just because you are related to the bride or groom. Miss Conduct summed this up quite well in an entry on her blog, responding to a myth about giving gifts:
"Surprise: you don't actually have to give a wedding present at all. It's not the price of admission. You are at a wedding to celebrate with the couple. Of course, if you like someone well enough to go to their wedding, you will like them well enough to get them a present--one that is appropriate to their stage in life, your relationship with them, their need, and your budget.I agree with Miss Conduct. I would much rather have the presence of family and friends than a gift. Nonetheless, we really do appreciate the gifts we received. Most were thoughtful, beautiful, or downright useful. Thanks everyone!
"But there's the rub. Gas is $4 a gallon. Food prices have doubled. We are all feeling the strain this summer, and . . . June is 'wedding season,' which means that people--especially those in their 20s and early 30s, not the most financially stable of ages--might have more than one wedding to attend in the next few months, along with graduations and Fathers' Day.
. . . .
"Miss Conduct says if you can't afford a wedding present, don't go into debt for one. Go to the wedding anyway, and give a nice card. If your cash flow situation will ease up in a while, give the couple a present then. You don't owe them anything but your joyously present self--and anyway, getting wedding gifts in dribs and drabs is more surprising and fun and makes the thank-you-note-writing chores easier because they don't all have to be written at once." (Source)
Here are some pictures of the mess we made while opening gifts:
And here's Kyra in the cute shirt I gave her for her birthday (the day after the wedding):
Isn't she cute! (But psycho!)