Post # 1
I have a friend who I’d really like to come to the wedding, but he is really struggling financially right now (to the point where he said he’d have to see whether he’d have the gas money before he’d know for sure whether he could come.) Is there a good way to tell him he doesn’t need to bring a gift?
He’s a really classy guy, so I know he will recognize this as part of the typical contract (if you come, you should bring a gift) but I was hoping there was a way to let him know if he comes, he doesn’t need to bring anything. If he were a best friend, I’d just come out and say it, but we aren’t quite close enough for me to know for sure that just coming out with it wouldn’t come across as an insult. I’d rather him be there empty-handed than not come because he couldn’t buy us towels or something.
(He’s generally straightforward, and many of our mutual friends will be there, so I don’t think this is just his way of letting me down easy.)
Post # 3
Send the invite. Give him a call or let him know in person. Treat him like a best friend during this convo. He was man enough to say he may not have gas money. He’s showing you he trusts you. I.would caution you about going overboard with “please come, just come, no gift pressure” because at the end of the day he couldhave other reasons for not wanting or be able to come to your wedding.
Post # 4
“we want your presence not your presents”
Post # 5
@EffieTrinket: I think many people (including myself) have been into this situation where politeness and etiquette would require to offer a gift, but financial reality didn’t allow us to. If he’s classy and knows a bit about etiquette, he knows circumstances can get in the way and that he is not required to give anything beyond his means. I think most people consider it awkward to show ”empty-handed” to a wedding, but if he shows with a card or letter of sincere congratulations, I don’t consider he showed up ”empty-handed”, at all. Again, I’m assuming he will probably know this, and I hope he can make it to your wedding. 🙂
Post # 6
@NauticalDisaster: +1. OP, if your friend is a classy guy he knows that a heartfelt note can be just as thoughtful and meaningful as a gift.
I actually think it would be weird for you to bring up the gift thing, even in the context of “don’t feel like you need to bring one.” It just shows that you are preoccupied with it while the thought of spending money on a gift might not even have crossed his mind (given his financial circumstances).