(Closed) Invited…Couldn’t come….Send a card?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
5669 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I was shocked by this in regards to my own wedding. I was always raised that if you were invited to any type of party whether it be wedding, bday, etc. you send a gift. I have only 1 person who RSVP’s no send a gift. I’m not greedy but I was a little take back that noone else every learned this etiquette. A card with some well wished would have been very thoughtful in this situation.

Post # 4
1870 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

The traditional etiquette regarding wedding gifts is that none of your guests have to send them and you shouldn’t expect them.

Etiquette, however, is not the same thing as custom and for most people, it’s customary to send SOMETHING, especially if you are close to the couple. So I can understand your surprise. BUT, in this case there’s nothing that you can really do–you can’t request a present. And if you want to let this affect how you feel about your friends, that’s fine, but in my view, this is pretty low on the totem pole of things that one would have to do to get me to rethink my friendship.

Besides, it’s only been a month. Give it some time. If you suspect they gave you something and you never received it, they’ll probably ask you after they realized you haven’t thanked them and/or that check was never cashed.

Post # 5
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Etiquette is about your own good manners and how you choose to treat people. Unfortunately, we cannot dictate that others match our own standards. It is not unrealistic to expect a card as an expression of their affection for you. but they didn’t and that makes them thoughtless. allow yourself to feel the sadness that they could not make such a simple gesture, feel it for a little while, but do not let it turn you into a ball of misery or poison. about the only thing that you have control of in this situation is your attitude to it. move on, sweetie.

Post # 6
4383 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’d be a little bummed. When I am invited to a wedding and can’t come, I always send at least a card, and usually a gift!

Post # 7
26 posts

Unfortunately your friends are not obliged to send a gift, or card, but they should have.

Post # 8
2820 posts
Sugar bee

I was more bummed when people couldn’t come and didn’t bother to call or send some sort of message to see how things went.  Almost everyone came but I was hurt by one college friend who got sick and couldn’t come and I never heard Boo from her afterwards.  That hurt more for me that a good friend in college didn’t care to ask about a big life event.  I didn’t care whether people sent a gift or not.

Post # 9
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I haven’t yet been invited to a wedding I could not go to, but if I was and it was for a good friend, I would send a gift. If it were not a wedding for someone I was close to, I may not send a gift, especially if they were not family.

However, I did not and would not expect gifts from people I invited to my wedding and did not come. There were people who did come and who did not give a card or gift, so I did not expect more of people who did not come!

Post # 10
29 posts
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with Flair4words. However, I almost “wrote someone off” and a week later, gave me a card with a $100 inside. It taught me not to be too rash and to be thankful for all I have 🙂

Post # 11
1692 posts
Bumble bee

Cards come under the general overall category of “social correspondance”: they’re an informal (and commercialized) version of the “personal note”. I don’t send cards for formal events like weddings unless I’m having an uncharacteristally modernistic mood swing, but I do send notes. Times when etiquette requires you to send notes are:

– when you hear that a friend has become married, had a baby, gotten married, graduated, published a book, been promoted, or returned from a journey — you send a note of congratulations.

– when you hear that a friend is sick; has suffered the loss of a relative, a friend, a pet, a job, a marriage — you send a note of sympathy.

– when you hear that a friend is engaged, setting out on a journey, starting a new business, standing for examinations — you send a note of good wishes.

– when you have eaten out as someone’s guest or stayed in their home or received a favour, you send a note of thanks, and when you receive an invitation you send a note accepting or declining the invitation, and when you realize you are out of touch with someone you send them a note of greeting or better still a note of invitation to tea or lunch or dinner or the theatre.

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that social correspondence is being neglected nowadays. When was the last time you received (or sent?) *any* of the above notes? We just had a poll where the majority agreed it’s better to have folk check a box on a reply card than rely on notes of reply. I’ve noticed that people under forty or so if they do choose to send any of the above notes, send them by email or facebook. Weddings don’t make anyone more entitled to social graces than do any of these other situations, so it isn’t reasonable to expect people who spend more time with a keyboard under their fingers than a pen in their hand to change their communication media for that one purpose.

Blossom bee has a good point: etiquette should make you examine your own behaviour, not pass judgement on others. If you find yourself wishing wistfully for a note, why not examine whether someone else might not be owed one from you and send one off.

Post # 12
11 posts
  • Wedding: April 2011

A “gift” is just that, A GIFT, it is to be given with a DESIRE to gift not at WILL. I agree, they show or do not show with or without a gift, One should not be consumed with what is NOT…consume yourself with what IS!

Post # 13
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Don’t take it personally. Some people just aren’t “card people.” (I am one of them.) Though it’s been a while since I attended a wedding, I am sure that in the past I have declined invitations and neglected to send a card, especially when I was younger and not experienced at these things. Years later, I now know how much importance many people place on cards, and I try to be better about it, but back then I was pretty clueless. It did not reflect in any way on my feelings toward my friends!


Post # 14
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am sorry but I hear too often “oh well, they don’t “HAVE” to give a gift, you should not “EXPECT” a gift and a bunch of other yada yada yada…..But c’mon be realistic here for goodness sake!!!!  Would you ever show up to someone’s home as a guest and not bring a lil token of appreciation like a bottle of wine, a dessert or something!  Would you go to a birthday party and not bring a gift?  Would YOU ever show up to a wedding empty handed?  I don’t think so!!!  Why?  Because it is RUDE!!!!!  I am not saying they have to give you that $100 blender you registered for….or it has to be a minimum of $50 because their plate cost that much or anything of the sort….and PLEASE do not get started on “they probably can’t afford to bring a gift” arguement because I know money is tight for a lot of folks (my DH has been laid off for 5 months) but are you going to seriously tell me they don’t even have $3 to pick up a darn card!!!  Even Hallmark has a 99 cents section so please don’t go there….please don’t!  (Whew….vent/rant is now over!  LOL)

Back to the OP….Sorry for my long rant above but one of the PP burned my butt.  Anyways, as far as people not attending…..we did get a couple cards from some guests who were unable to attend and a couple people who never even showed up weeks after the wedding and one actually just last week.  They all included a lil something which was a very nice bonus too 😉  So maybe your friends will still send something.  Although “etiquette” dictates that someone has up to 1 year to send a gift, if it hasn’t happened within the first few months, I doubt anything will be coming. 

Post # 16
1692 posts
Bumble bee

So, send her a kind note (or a card) telling her how much you missed her and sympathetically hoping that everything is alright with her. Or invite her over to tea. Then you get to be the bigger person by showing your good manners, and maybe something *is* wrong that she *does* need sympathy for and you get to be a good friend.

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