(Closed) Should I give her a gift?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1699 posts
Bumble bee

Normally, a friend issues an invitation to you because the two of you are close friends. Close friends will normally make every effort to attend, and will actually WANT to send a gift. But, there is never any obligation to send a gift, and particularly not when the person who would be the recipient is NOT a close friend and you are NOT accepting their invitation.

Several years ago, Peggy Post made the mistaken etiquette ruling that ALL invitations require a gift in return. Frankly, I can’t see where her head was at, and it isn’t a rule that is supported by any sort of traditional etiquette. Inevitably, it lead to some greedy brides mailing invitations to casual acquaintances in the hope of getting more prezzies, and some jaded invitees passing judgement on innocent generous brides on the assumption that their own invitations were motivated by nothing but greed. There is so much scope for ill-feeling in such a silly ruling, that it should be stamped out vigourously.

Now, if what Miss Post meant was that you should follow any generous impulses that might move you to send a gift to a dear friend, regardless of whether you accept or decline their invitation, since a wedding is not a commercial transaction — then I agree with her. But in this case, it sounds like your generous impulses are proportionate to the coolness of the acquaintanceship. Send the lass a nice note, declining the invitation and wishing her every happiness. That’s all you owe.

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