Post # 1
So this is sort of a two-part question…
My step-father’s family are all relatively successful, hard working people and my immediate family and I are likely the black sheep of the family. My parents aren’t criminals or anything but they just haven’t…made the *best* decisions financially.
I have eight cousins, seven married, on this side and for all of the invitations, we’ve received a “family” invitation. When I was in college, I was mildly annoyed by this since I didn’t live at (or near) home. Most recently, though, I was baffled, as I live far away from my parents, live with my (then BF now) fiance, and am obviously an adult. I mean, I’m the only person in my immediate family with a job. It was clear these particular cousins did not skimp on costs elsewhere.
For one wedding when I was 21, I ended up being the only family member (with my boyfriend/fiance) who could go and my mom bought a family gift. For this most recent one, my mom, my step-dad, my sister and my fiance and I all went. My mom got a gift but should I also get a gift, as an adult? Even though I was lumped into the invite?
FYI, the invite was addressed to: Mr and Mrs [Stepfather] and [Mom] [Last Name]. My mom told me about it and I said that I didn’t think I was invited, since the invite didn’t even say “…and family.” She had to call my aunt who said it was actually a general invite for the family.
Is it okay for me to do the same to these family members, even though some of my cousins are now in their late 30s, 40s, with multiple kids?
Post # 3
1) I would still bring my own gift. I would feel strange piggy backing off my parents at that age even if the invites weren’t correct.
2) No. Do not do it just because they did it.
Post # 4
That’s tough. I would probably give them a gift on my own, althought IMO it’s incredibly rude of them to not invite you personally as you no longer live at home and are an adult about to get married yourself.
To me, the ‘and family’ applies to those living under the same roof. My cousins who live at home will be invited as an ‘and family’ but those who do not live at home will receive their own invites (4 live at home the other 7 do not). My eldest cousin is also only 28 (youngest is 17)
I would also never assume that an ‘and family’ allows the children of the home to bring their SO’s which is why I think lumping adult children into the ‘and family’ makes things exceptionally awkward.
there…that’s my 2 cents.
Post # 5
@QueensBee: q1) that’s annoying. You should have received your own invite at your own residence. Whether you bring your own gift or just contribute to the “family gift” is your call though. For me this wouldn’t be an issue of etiquette to the hosts of the event but rather not wanting my parents to be like “why is our grown daughter who makes her own money just hijacking OUR gift??” But it’s really a question of how your immediate family works out finances.
Q2) I’d probably do things properly and send adults their own invites, especially if they don’t live at home. I have one family I invited that all three of their adult kids still lived at home and 4 copies to the same residence (and then separate invites to their SO’s residences) seemed a little excessive but I still mentioned each of the kids and their SO on the invite.
Post # 6
Bad form on their part. BUT, you can and should rise above them. Bring your own gift (or just a card), and send them their own invitations. This means those over the age of 18 gets his/her/their own invitation, even if they live in the same house.
By following etiquette, you can be smug and know that you’re better than they are.
Post # 7
I’ve had cousins send wedding invitations “& family” to my parents houses and I agree it’s annoying! Especially considering I’ve never lived at my mom’s house and have been in my own place for years.
I’d agree with PP that how you give them a gift depends on how your family handles finances. But I will say that I intend to send my cousins who don’t live at home their own invites.
Post # 8
@QueensBee: What your aunt was implying by sending a general invitation to the family that did not even mention that family was “I do not think of you as individuals, or even as a family for that matter, but as appendages of my sister/brother and his/her ex-spouse.” What you would be saying, if you were to choose to go in on your mama’s gift, would be “Good call, Auntie; I am just an appendage of my mama and not an independent adult who takes responsibility for my own social oblications.” Your choice — neither one is actually “wrong” since gifts are not required in the first place and no-one should be keeping score. But I know what my choice would be, since I am fairly committed to acting as a responsible independent adult.
Do you in fact think of those family members as mere appendages of your Auntie? Form follows function — if that is not the message that you want to send (and to send it would be an offense against etiquette (and also discourteous and unkind, for those who think “etiquette” and “courtesy” and “kindness” are somehow different.) For a “black sheep”, it sounds to me that you have surprisingly good social instincts, in contrast to your non-black-sheep Auntie. Best to follow through on those good instincts.
Post # 9
You guys are all right! I love any chance to be smug 🙂 I’m sending a gift right now. Thanks again!
And, for anyone who comes across this when researching whether or not to do “and families” for adults, you can see it causes some unnecessary confusion.