My Issues with a Fall Party/Reception After Our Small Summer Nuptials

posted 2 weeks ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
Member
11974 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

zzar45 :  Sometimes it does, but on this topic it hasn’t. I think the instinct is admirable, but the bigger picture is what would happen if everyone started doing it. The outcome would be that anyone without such language is seen as asking for gifts and that’s even less acceptable. 

It’s only confusing when everyone does their own thing. 

Post # 18
Member
824 posts
Busy bee

Rather than debating whether or not to mention ‘no gifts’ on the card, what about asking for a donation of non-perishable food items or cat/dog food/toys/blankets etc to donate to a nearby food bank or animal shelter? You could set up a nice  basket with a bow & a sign or something on it at the reception for people to put their donations and a day or two after the party you and your husband can deliver these to the food bank or animal shelter. Most guests would be happy to get on board with this and it won’t look at all ‘gift grabby’. Have fun at your reception/ party 🙂

Post # 19
Member
291 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2025 - City, State

I think you should have a very casual party, like at home or the Elks hall or church basement.  It doesn’t even have to be over a mealtime (dessert, starting at 8:00 or later?).  It sounds like that would satisfy your husband’s desire to have a fun, celebratory party with everyone while not being more weddingy than feels comfortable for you.

 

Definitely don’t make it a fundraiser though!  Asking for items for the animal shelter will make people feel obligated to bring something.

Don’t mention gifts.  Don’t register.  You’ve said some people have already given you something, so there wouldn’t reasonably be an expectation (on their end or yours) of further gifts anyway.  For anyone who asks what you would like / if you’re registered, respond with surprise: “Oh, no!  We got married months ago.  This is just an excuse to get everyone together for some good beer and bad dancing!”

Find a way to casually mention that you hope people won’t think they’re supposed to bring a gift to a couple close family members (this is the kind of conversation you can have with a parent/sibling/child), in case people ask them what you’d like.

Post # 20
Member
901 posts
Busy bee

Why don’t you throw a big holiday party instead? Invite all your nearest and dearest and celebrate your first married Christmas/ Thanksgiving / New Years with them. 

Post # 21
Member
824 posts
Busy bee

MollyCatherine :  Is it really such a huge imposition on someone to bring a bag of dog treats or cat food or a canned good/ dried pasta etc that it’s seen as this burdensome obligation? And this hardly turns it into a fundraiser, but obviously you and I have very different circles of friends. 

And speaking of different circles, OP knows her guests best, maybe they wouldn’t bat an eye about seeing ‘no gifts please’ on an invitation, maybe they wouldn’t feel hugely put out at being asked to bring a small item toward OP’s favourite local charity. 

You don’t sound gift grabby at all OP, so I’m sure whatever you decide won’t be taken in a negative way by your friends. 

Post # 22
Member
4697 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

zzar45 :  I hope it doesn’t evolve or move on. People use be excuse of ‘ettiquette being dated* as a cover for poor behavior.

Post # 23
Member
5411 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

lifeisbeeutiful :  How is telling people your party is a relaxed celebration and not a wedding so please don’t bring a gift being rude or behaving poorly? 

Post # 24
Member
11974 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

crustyoldbee :  Giving to and fundraising for a charity is admirable, but have nothing to do with extending a social invitation. Offering hospitality, whether a wedding or delayed celebration of marriage should come with no request or expectation other than the presence of friends and family. 

This is always true, but as a gathering designed to celebrate a marriage that has already taken place it feels extra problematic since gifts are not customary or obligatory. 

Post # 25
Member
2029 posts
Buzzing bee

We had a very small wedding with little fanfare, and since it was both of our 2nd wedding— we didn’t do any showers, parties, registry, etc. No mention of gifts and with the absense of a registry, MOST people did not gift us anything andjust showed up to celebrate with us. There were a few exceptions where we were gifted some money, but just from our parents who would’ve done that anyways.

Post # 26
Member
4697 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

zzar45 :  sayinf no gifts please implies that they’re bringing gifts tobegub with. People will bring something if they want or they won’t. Their choice.

Post # 27
Member
177 posts
Blushing bee

I struggled with whether to tell everyone “no gifts” for our post-wedding party (didn’t call it a reception, it was a casual outdoor party with food, drinks, etc.) and ended up not writing anything on the invites because I thought it would be tacky.  If people asked (plenty of people asked if we had a registry) I would tell them we did not have a registry, to please not feel obligated to give us a gift, and that all we wanted was for everyone to show up and have fun. Most of the attendees still gave us gifts (mostly cash and gift cards) and it honestly made me feel a bit embarrassed that some of our guests might have thought we were being gift grabby. It’s a delicate situation…on the one hand you don’t want to appear ungrateful if someone wants to give you a gift, but on the other hand you don’t want them to feel social pressure to give a gift because they’re being invited to a wedding-related event.  The party was a lot of fun but I still feel awkward about the gift situation.  Looking back I still don’t know if I would’ve handled it any differently…I think it would’ve been awkward (for me at least) either way. 

Post # 30
Member
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

achicago :  This doesn’t have to be so hard bee.  You can call it something fun like “post-wedding powwow” or make it an early holiday celebration like one of the pp’s suggested.  As far as I’m concerned, as long as you’re not being rude or dismissive there are no rules!  Of course I am a rule-breaker.  Not wearing white after labor day was a particularly stupid and nonsensical rule in my book!

So I’m gonna disagree with the other of the bees and say you can bypass etiquette rules and discourage gift giving without mentioning gifts at all.  All you need to say is something along the lines of “We don’t need anything but you and your willingness to par-tay!”  I put something similar to this on our invitations for our wedding and I think its perfectly applicable to your situation.  People STILL brought gifts but I had no guilt because the invitation said it wasn’t necessary.  

I mean you can adjust it to be as formal or casual as you like.  Don’t stress over it, have fun with it.

Good luck and Congrats!

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