Post # 1
If you are invited to a wedding does that mean you automatically have to send a gift even if you’re not attending?
I definitely don’t agree with the school of thought that just b/c you are invited that you are obligated to send a gift (if you don’t attend). I think it varies depending on the relationship you have with the happy couple.
In my situation – FI and I have been invited to his co-workers wedding. We have very minimal if any relationship at all with this couple (FI and I only met his FI once and I’ve only met the co-worker twice). We are RSVP’ing no and sending a nice card to congratulate them but that’s it. In addition, seeing the plain white paper invitation (plain white card stock, some vellum and all black printing) and understanding that the couple is having a completely traditional Chinese wedding I feel like we’ve A) been "B-listed" and B) sent a bogus invitation b/c the couple thinks that invite=gift.
What are your thoughts on this?
Post # 3
- Wedding: September 2009 - Westwind YWCA camp
I don’t think it’s necessary to send a gift, but I probably would, myself. Just for good ju-ju, you know.
If it’s a financial hardship for you, though, then of course don’t send a gift/money!
Post # 4
If you’re able to send something small it would be nice… you can never *really* know what the couple was thinking, maybe they went simple on the invitations for convenience or cost-cutting, maybe they think of you as closer friends than you think of them.
I invited someone I thought of as a reasonably close friend, although we haven’t been in touch very much since I moved. She was surprised to be invited, which was surprising and disappointing to me. There were also people I don’t feel close to at all who were surprised not to be invited… Just because you think of someone as close or not close doesn’t mean it’s mutual… you could have made a big impression, they could be interested in developing a friendship, your FI’s coworker might admire your FI… or they could be just gift-fishing. If you can send a little token, I think it would be nice.
Post # 5
worcesterbride – They are definitely NOT the "cost-cutting" type of couple (and using white in a wedding invitation is NEVER ok in a chinese wedding as it represents death and mourning – they are very traditional Chinese). They are inviting 200+ people to the wedding…so yes..it does seem like they’re "fishing for gifts."
I think our biggest issue giving a gift to this particular couple is b/c the groom has made several unsavoury comments to my FI in the past and present so FI really doesn’t like this co-worker (various negative comments including our upcoming wedding).
Post # 6
I personally always send a gift. But it sounds like you actually don’t even like these people, so maybe under those circumstances I wouldn’t send a gift.
Post # 7
I always try to send at least a little something for all of the weddings we are invited to.
I have found about 10 copies of The Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook at Ross for $4.99 so that and some measuring cups or mixing bowls is an easy and fairly inexpensive gift that to me is thoughtful.
I would say just do what you feel is right–sending a gift and being grouchy about doing it isn’t worth it if these people are not super important to you or your fiance. In my opinion, sending a gift for a wedding and reception you are not attending is not a requirement. Your card gesture sounds really nice too.
Post # 8
I wouldn’t bother. If you are close to someone and can’t go, sure send them a gift. But if not, and you don’t even seem to like them, why stress yourself?
I can’t comment on whether or not they are fishing for gifts or b listed you. But you would know better than us. But it sounds like they aren’t your favorite people anyway, and feel strongly about the whole situation.
Post # 9
Thanks for the explanation MrsBtoBe… in light of all that, I think you’re fine to send just a card.
Post # 10
I, personally, would always send a gift, regardless of the invitation, and I wish I didn’t feel that way (just the way I was raised, and to me, it’s not worth the hassle of offending people, I suppose). Usually couples will put less expensive ($15-$20 items) on their registry anyway, so gift giving isn’t always a HUGE burden, but I see where you’re coming from (it’s the principle of the whole thing).
The only time I didn’t send a gift was when my fiance and I were invited to his ex’s wedding (we both still speak to our ex’s). We had just moved, and I had just recovered from a serious illness, so we sent a reply card declining, and couldn’t afford even a $20 gift, so we didn’t send one. I regret it, but we really had no money to our name at that point.
My fiance has a family member getting married in August, and over the past year, they’ve had a really bad falling out and we even had to ask this family member to step down as a groomsmen in our wedding. This guy was pretty awful to us, and we were surprised to get an invitation to their wedding, but we did. We sent a nice $20 gift anyway just to prevent any talk in the family about pettiness and such, and I guess, in a way, to extend an olive brand, even though we really didn’t want to.
I’ve read in various places that etiquette dictates that wedding gifts shouldn’t even be expected anyway, and that they’re not required … it’s just the nice thing to do. I honestly think that everyone should just do what’s best for themselves (even though I don’t follow that advice myself!).
Post # 11
I chose absolutely send a gift.
In your situation, and reading the relationship you have with the bride and groom, I think if you send a card, you’ll be fine.
Post # 12
Thanks for the great feedback ladies! You guys definitely nailed it when you said we don’t even like the couple (that’s why we’re not attending the wedding).
I guess I just don’t like the idea of being obligated to send a gift just b/c I receive an invitation (my FMIL insisted we invite people just b/c "they’ll send a nice gift"..both my FI and my response were a big fat NO to just randomly inviting people we know won’t go). To each their own though!
Post # 13
i think a good rule of thumb is if you want to go but can’t, (for some reason), send a gift. If you don’t want to go, send a card.