(Closed) Does an Invitation = a Solicitation for a Gift?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Does an Invitation = a gift solicitation?
    Yeah, your parents are right : (22 votes)
    21 %
    Some people might interpret it that way, but it's not a well-known thing : (17 votes)
    16 %
    No way--invite them! : (18 votes)
    17 %
    It might, but people like to feel included so just invite them : (48 votes)
    46 %
  • Post # 5
    1932 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: June 2008

    I am wondering the same thing. My fiance’s side is all from out-of-state and we know right off the bat that over half won’t be able to come. We are inviting them more out of etiquette and the fact that they are either family or close to my fiance. But I’m wondering the same thing.

    I think partly is depends on your area. I’m in the midwest, and here, I don’t think anyone would feel obligated to send a gift to a wedding they didn’t attend unless it was family or someone REALLY close.

    But where my fiance is from, the East Coast, I think it is customary to send the couple money. They don’t buy gifts off a registry normally, they usually just give monetary donations. Which I find a little odd, but oh well 🙂 Then we could get what we really wanted.

    Post # 6
    1426 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Well, since it is a destination wedding, that does throw a little wrench into the equation.  However, I think you shouldn’t invite or not invite people based on speculation over their finances.  You need to invite people in categories- so if you’re inviting one aunt, you need to invite all your aunts and uncles.  It wouldn’t be right to, for example, invite one uncle you have who is well off and you think could afford to come, but to not invite your poorer aunts and uncles. 

    However, if these people are just distant family friends, rather than your close friends or relatives, then I might not invite them for the reasons your mother said.  If someone is surprised to receive an invitation because they don’t feel that close to you, they’ll start to speculate about your motives.  This can be especially bad if its something like a destination wedding because they’ll think “She knows I can’t attend, and we’re not even that close! What the heck did she invite me for?  Is she fishing for a gift?”

    So basically, I think you have to do it case by case.  I would only invite REALLY close “family friends”, people you see and speak to on a regular basis.  That way you can also say to them the next time you see them “We’re know you may not be able to come, but we wanted you to know we were thinking about you” or something.  If you don’t have any regular communication with them, then they probably won’t react well to an invitation out of the blue, you know?

    Post # 7
    950 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    Tricky question…I voted that your parents are right, mostly since I always send a wedding gift to any wedding I’m invited to, whether I attend or not.  We have a VERY similar situation for our wedding:

    Are you contemplating having a “Hometown Reception” at all?  If so, perhaps sending a Save-the-Date for this would be more appropriate.  This is what we’re doing for our wedding (not Destination Wedding for us, but Destination Wedding for 80% of our guest list & 95% of my family who AREN’T invited to the wedding for same reason your parents had above).  On the SAME DAY that we sent our invitations to our wedding guests, we also sent a postcard Save-the-Date to the vast number to my family & family friends who might have felt left out/slighted by not receiving an invite – like you, I wanted them to know that they ARE included in our celebration (albeit later & MUCH more convenient for them) & that we ARE thinking of them as we celebrate our marriage. 

    In case you’re wondering, here’s how we worded it to avoid confusion about which event they are actually invited to:

    Fiance & Bride are tying the knot in June & invite you to join the celebration at the After Party…in December.  in Hawaiian pidgin: (yeah, yeah is one “aftah, aftah” pahty.  we stay on Hawaiian Time, ‘kay?) back in proper English: December __, 2010, Venue Site, Honolulu, Hawaii

    Post # 8
    520 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2010

    Being one that has been excluded from a destination wedding that I knew I couldn’t afford, I gotta say, I took it VERY personally.  Even though I wouldn’t be able to go, not receiving an invitation hurt.

    For my wedding, I know a lot of people won’t be able to go to Brazil, and I understand that completely.  But I’m inviting everyone I wish could be there to avoid offending anyone.

    Post # 9
    2186 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    i dont think an invite solicits a gift. i get invites all the time and i dont send a gift unless i attend or if its a really close relative/friend that i WISHED i could go but couldnt.

    thats the norm in our circle. so i guess it depends on your family/traditions/social circle.

    but i would be disappointed if i didnt get an invite from a friend who was getting married just because she thought i wouldnt come. you dont know folks situations, they might have the money to come and want to do so.

    Post # 10
    1403 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    IMO you should invite everyone you would like to see at your wedding, whether or not you think they’ll be able to come.  If you don’t invite them, it could be misconstrued that you didn’t want them there, and you’re right that people want to feel included.  Also, your invitation fort of doubles as a formal wedding announcement.  I count myself among the people who ALWAYS send a gift when I’m invited to a wedding, even if it’s just money in a card, because I think it’s just good ettiquette.

    If possible, you might consider having a reception close to home after you get back (maybe a month later for example), to give your friends and family a chance to celebrate with you if they couldn’t come to the wedding.  My friend did that, and it worked out really well.

    Post # 11
    1046 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: December 2010

    What about sending annoucements instead of invitations to this group of people?

    It definitely is proper to send a gift to someone if you were invited to their wedding, unless of course it was a total random invitation and you can’t figure out why you were invited. With that said, people can choose to buy gifts at any price level. I think the concern about offending people by NOT inviting them is worse than offending them because you think you are requesting a gift.

    Post # 12
    1854 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    My husband wanted to invite everyone he knew, because he didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings by not including them. Knowing that people would respond “no”, I had no problem with that.

    We received gifts from some people who declined (mostly friends, our families didn’t send gifts, nor cards, nor even congrats email, but that’s another story!), and we were NOT expecting that! We didn’t want gifts from anyone, whether they were attending or not. But yeah, we got some.

    While I still don’t think it’s “a sollicitation for a gift”, I think some people feel like they have to give something. If it’s some type of well know etiquette that I had no idea about (cause I know nothing about wedding etiquette), I hope people will have seen it as that, and not as me fishing for gifts! Embarassed

    Post # 13
    1023 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2010

    If you are worried about it coming off as grabby, It wouldn’t hurt to put an insert into all the invites saying something along the lines that you know it might not be possible for everyone to attend due to the fact that its a destination wedding, but would love it if they could. I personally would be very hurt to not be included, especially if it gets out that you aren’t inviting them because you don’t think they can afford it. That would be a very embarrassing situation for them. Better to invite and risk them thinking its a gift grab than to potentially embarrass them.

    Post # 14
    461 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Technically, when you recieve an invite to a wedding, you are supposed to send a gift, regardless of whether or not you attend. However, I’m inviting one of my aunts that has been out of a job for a while so I really don’t want her to worry about getting me something. It’s such a tricky situation, because you are inviting these people because you want to share a special day with them, not because you want a gift (unless you are on Bridezillas :). I think this is one of those times that parents call the guest and let them know that you don’t expect anything. That’s the only way I can think of to handle it.

    Hope that helps!


    Post # 15
    2819 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2013

    While most traditional etiquette says that sending an invitation is solicitation for a gift, it also says that guests who aren’t attending an event are NOT required to give a gift. (And, in fact, they’re not required to either way — it’s just poor etiquette not to.) So I voted for the last option, since I’ll be dealing with a similar situation, and I think it’s ruder NOT to send the invites out than to risk being seen as gift-hunting.

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