Post # 1
We invited an old friend to our wedding who we had not talked to in a couple of years. They got engaged right around the same time as us, but didn’t invite us to their wedding. They did invite us over for breakfast along with their fiance a few weeks ago when we were visiting other friends near by, which was super nice. I wanted to bring flowers over, but my FI is the one who is primarily friends with this guy and he said that they don’t have a close enough relationship to do that, so we just brought some extra food.
So, they just got married–we found out through mutual friends because they didn’t really want to discuss our wedding or thier wedding at breakfast. I asked my FI if we should get them a gift, since they are invited to our wedding. My thinking is that it would be pretty rude for them not to get us one since they are invited to our wedding, so we should return the favor. My FI is insisting though that they are still not good enough friends to send them a gift right now. Should we wait and see if they get us a gift for our wedding before sending one? Is that weird? Should we just send them something now and keep it small, like $20?
I just can’t stand that they might feel like they have to get us a gift when we didn’t get them one, and I am put off by the way they wouldn’t talk about either of our weddings when we met up with them…
What to do?
Post # 3
In my opinion, since you weren’t invited you aren’t even almost obligated to give a gift…
Post # 4
@rockoko: I think there’s a kink in your thinking, that’s probably been planted by modern bad etiquette-magazine advice. You see, it is NOT ‘pretty rude not to give a gift when invited to a wedding’. Gifts are not supposed to be about tit-for-tat or about pay-back for the invitation. They’re supposed to be a generous expression of your happiness for someone you love. So if you love someone but they were married privately for some reason, you give them a gift. And if someone you barely know invites you to their wedding for some odd reason, you don’t give a gift (and you also decline the invitation, since you should really only go to weddings that you ARE happy to support.)
So don’t over-think this relationship. The real question is, do you love this couple enough to WANT to send them a gift. I’m guessing, no, since your fiance was reluctant even to give flowers to his hostess at breakfast — when flowers are the most appropriate, universally-acceptable hostess gift. That notion, I did find a bit wierd! Flowers are a much better idea than extra food, which might clash with what your hostess was serving and which might imply that you don’t trust her ability to plan and cook a meal.
Sending a small-to-medium gift now, is your best choice provided that you do it because in the spirit of generosity, you want to give a gift. If the real reason you feel motivated to give a gift is just that you are afraid of feeling obligated when (or if) they give you one, then don’t give one. Just send a nice thank-you for whatever gift you receive (if any — and don’t pass judgement on them if you do not get one!) A hand-written “thank-you” is the only thing required to balance out the social debt created by a freely-given gift.
Post # 5
If they choose to bring a gift to your wedding, more power to them. But you weren’t invited to theirs, and hence have no obligation to buy them one. If you’re thinking you need to get them something only because they “might” buy you something, then your train of thought is a little derailed. If you want to get them something “just because” and you’re a giving person like that, go for it.
Post # 6
@aspasia475: just what I was thinking.
Post # 7
I agree that you are under no obligation to send a gift, but if you are so inclined to send one, why not? I think it would be a nice gesture.
Post # 8
I don’t want to sound rude, but if you fiance is sure that you guys aren’t good enough friends to bring flowers to their house or buy them a wedding gift, what made them good enough friends to invite them to your wedding? Thats where I’m confused about this.
Post # 9
I’m confused too. Thanks everyone, I will go with my gut instinct, which says to do it. We are happy for them. My FI’s social code is just a bit weird, I think.
Post # 11
@rockoko: I hear you about weird guy social codes. My DH has some weird ones too. I’m trying to break him of them. LOL.