Post # 47
@Mrs.KMM: I don’t think there is anything wrong with what you were taught. It is the custom in your family to send gifts even when you rsvp no…and that’s ok. I think the potential issues come up when people feel that b/c something is the custom in their family…everyone else should follow that same custom.
Post # 48
I would never go to a wedding without bringing a gift/card with a check, but if I were invited to a wedding of someone I was not close with, I would decline and not send a gift. If it was someone whose wedding I would really like to attend, but was not able to, I would probably still send a gift because that person is someone important to me and I would want to do something nice. If my third cousin who I never met sent me an invitation, I would RSVP back with a decline and a note of congratulations and call it good.
As far as showers go, I don’t know. I would definitely bring a gift to a shower, but I don’t know if I would buy an additional wedding gift. Probably I would, but it would probably be two smaller gifts.
It is hurtful when people don’t even bother with a card, but I don’t really like the ‘you came to my wedding, where is my present?’ vibe I get from a lot of brides. I think it’s rude to not bring a present to a wedding, but I also think it’s rude for a bride to expect presents, and hold grudges against those who did not comply.
Post # 49
@JamaicaBride: But see, I wasn’t taught that as a custom – I was taught that as ettiquette and manners. Just like saying please and thank you and writing thank you notes and such.
Post # 50
This is the first time I’ve ever heard that if you RSVP no you should still send a gift. I never have – I just send a card to congratulate them.
Post # 51
I never heard of sending a gift if you are not attending the wedding (unless it’s a close friend/family member).
I always give a gift for the shower, as well as another gift for the wedding, though.
Post # 52
I wouldn’t send a gift if I’m not attending the wedding, but I would send a card to congratulate the couple (unless I’m close to the couple and have a specific reason for not attending– in that case, I give a gift).
I also find it really sad when people say that if you cannot afford a gift, you should not go to the wedding. I would be very upset if some of the people I invited to my wedding did not come just because they could not afford a gift. Actually I know a lot of my guests will not be able to afford to get me a gift and that’s ok with me. I invited them because I want them to celebrate with me– not because I want more presents.
I kind of get the point about not attending a bridal shower if you can’t afford a gift because I thought the point of a bridal shower was gift giving. But the point of a wedding is most definitely not gift giving. So that idea doesn’t make sense to me.
Post # 53
But, as you can see, not everyone agrees that sending a gift while declining to attend is proper etiquette. Even the etiquette guru herself, Miss Manners, does not agree. It’s pretty universally agreed you should say please and thank you- sending a gift when you are not attending, not so much. The two are not comparable.
Post # 54
@Mrs.KMM: I think it’s a matter of the set of etiquette rules your family chose to follow though. Miss Manners and Emily Post are saying totally opposite things. That being the case, it’s not so hard to believe then that there are some people who believe that you send a gift even if you don’t attend, and others who believe no attendance = no gift.
I don’t think it’s a breach of etiquette so much as following a different set of etiquette rules. It’s not a bad thing…just different than what you’re used to/have been taught.
Post # 55
I’m so torn on this. I think it’s polite to give a gift regardless. But I really only feel that way assuming the bride and groom #1 Don’t expect a gift in the 1st place and #2 Had only good intentions by inviting you.
I just feel like so many couples invite people who they know won’t come then get offended when there is no gift sent. And I also think if you are invited to the shower and get a gift for that, then that should count (in some situations) as a wedding present also.
For example, I have no idea why I was invited to my one friends wedding shower. I wasn’t a Bridesmaid or Best Man and we weren’t really that close and obviously the shower was a plane ride away so I wouldn’t be able to make it. I sent a nice gift anyway, but since the wedding was also far away and we had to stay overnight I counted that as the wedding gift. You could argue either way about whether or not I was rude, but I felt justified. This same friend attended my wedding and never gave us a gift (I didn’t invite her to my shower, b/c I though that would have been strange).
I also think just a card is sort of unnessary if you attend the wedding. You are there to give your moral support and congratulations in person, so the card expressing that is kind a strange additional requirement. An actual gift makes sense, but just the card confuses me.
Post # 56
That’s a good point regarding bringing an empty card to the wedding you are attending. It does seem redundant. I was more thinking a card when you are not attending, and the marrying couple is someone you are close with.
However, not to be cynical, but I have found that when people say, ‘he/she didn’t even give me a card‘, all heartbroken, the same people would have been pretty damn bummed to open up that card and find no money in it, had it been sent. This is just a way to complain about them without sounding too greedy.
Post # 57
@Tatum:Haha, that is kind of where I was going with that! I’ve always thought it was strange when people say “They came to the wedding and didn’t even give me a card!” My automatic response is “Do you mean a card with money?” Of course, no one would ever admit to that so it’s convenient to just focus on the card. But according to my point above, a card is sort of a strange gift to give a B&G if you actually attend the wedding since it’s a little redundant. **just my opinion**
And I agree a card is very nice if you were invited with good intentions from the B&G but were not able to attend and give your congratulations in person.
Post # 58
@JamaicaBride: Well said! It is NOT a barter system! And that goes as much for the notion that you have to compensate the hostess for attending the party by giving a gift, as for adjusting the gift to cover the cost of your plate! In fact, turning it into a barter system, or allowing that kind of thinking to take root, violates the old-world principles of hospitality.
I think that the biggest disservice Peggy Post has done to the praxis of gracious hospitality, was to link obligatory gift-giving with the receipt of an invitation. There is a link — but it is an indirect one: if you are intimate with the bride or groom, they will want to invite you. And, if you are intimate with the bride or groom you will want to give them a gift. If you are so distant that you feel no desire whatsoever to give a gift, then you probably should decline the invitation.
There *is* one tit-for-tat involved: if you receive an invitation you must reply in a gracious hand-written note. If you attend, you must send thanks — in a gracious hand-written note. If you receive a gift, you must send thanks, in a gracious hand-written note. But a simple thank-you will suffice: you NEVER try to “pay back” someone who offered you hospitality or a gift. If you reciprocate with an offer of return hospitality (and you should) you do so later in a separate note so as not to create the impression that you’re paying off a debt, and receive a separate reply and subsequently a thank-you in return. It’s the “thank-you” that completes the transaction, and anyone who does keep monetary tabs of how much they’ve given versus how much they’ve received would be wise to do so very privately if they don’t want to be written off as calculating and mercenary.
Post # 59
in our culture (Chinese), when an invitation is received, it’s usually polite / an etiquette to send a gift even rsvping a no. on the flip side, it’s also an etiquette to find out before hand, or reasonably sure that the guest can attend, before sending them the invite.
Post # 61
No one is required to give a gift. Is it tradition to give a wedding gift? Yes. Is it proper etiquette? No.