(Closed) Thanks, But No Thanks….

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
Member
323 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

wait. So is the etiquette that if you send an invitation but the person can’t make it, they still need to send a gift!?

(i don’t mean to hijack your thread)

Post # 5
Member
67 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2018 - Rancho del Cielo, Malibu, CA

i received one of those too, and i felt more relieved actually…we have a tight guestlist between us and the parents, so it was a relief to me.  my initial reaction was that it was actually a favor to me, b/c my invites are diy and iy meant one less invitation i’d have to make! 

i do know that my parents did not want to send invitations out to a few folks that they knew wouldn’t be able to come, b/c a lot of people do equate an invite with an obligation to give… 

i do think it’s weird that she had her sister write it for her though as opposed to telling you herself and at least wishing you congrats! 

Post # 6
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

some of my far-away guests told my mom right away they probably couldnt make it, but more in way of "congratulations, im so sorry i will probably have to miss it due to X". im still sending them invites just incase they change their minds. i wouldnt expect anyone to give a gift, especially if they arent coming. anyway, i wouldnt worry about it too much, maybe she cant afford to come and is trying to be polite. or maybe she just wants to save you a stamp!

Post # 7
Member
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 1993

I’ve always been told that regardless of whether a guest attends the wedding, it is proper etiquette to purchase a gift if they are invited. Unfortunately, it sounds like your friend’s sister knows this unwritten rule and is trying to avoid it! It’s too bad that she would even think about the aspect of gift-buying instead of being honored about being invited and asked to share in your special day! Oh well, maybe it opens up some space for other guests?

Post # 9
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

We have a number of friends and relatives who we are pretty sure will not be able to make it – they all live several states away and either financially they probably can’t make the trip or their health (for some elderly aunts and uncles) is too poor to travel. My Fiance wondered whether we should send invitations if we knew they can’t come, but I think it expresses that we would love for them to be here if they could.  I don’t expect gifts from them, although some will probably send a little something.  Maybe your potential guest doesn’t understand that kind of sentiment.  Maybe she thinks she is saving you an invitation.  Unless she is habitually rude, you probably shouldn’t waste too much thought on it.  And if she is habitually rude, you should waste even less thought on it.

I don’t think you are obligated to send a gift if you don’t come – but I don’t think you are obligated to bring a gift if you do come.  It is certainly a nice gesture, and commonly believed to be the right thing to do, but you can’t really invite people counting on some kind of payback.

Post # 10
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

I think you may be jumping to conclusions about why she doesn’t want an invitation– if I were her, I probably wouldn’t want you to waste to stationary, postage, and time inviting me (when I knew far in advance that I wouldn’t be able to make it) when you could use those resources to invite someone else who could make it.

I wouldn’t send a gift to someone if I wasn’t going to their wedding, even if I got invited.  The only exception to that would be close friends and close family members… and my sister’s close friend would not fall into that category.  I didn’t realize that it was "proper" to give a gift even if you can’t make it to the wedding.  Aren’t we, as brides, "taught" that you’re not supposed to include registry info along with the invite because that shows that we’re expected gifts from guests?  Isn’t it proper etiquette that their "presence is gift enough?"  So I think it’s a little contradictory to say that and then also believe it’s proper for people to autmatically send gifts if they’re invited.

Try not to dwell on those who can’t make it and be excited to see those who can share your special day with you 🙂

Post # 11
Member
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2007 - Rosary Chapel & Monterey Marriott, Monterey, CA

What Emily Post has to say about the gift issue:

Guests invited to the wedding have an obligation to send a gift, whether they are attending or not. There are few exceptions. If you live far away from where the wedding will take place and have been out of touch with the couple for several years, and are not planning to attend the wedding, there’s no need to send a gift. Also, the receipt of a wedding announcement after the wedding carries no gift obligation, although it’s thoughtful to send the couple a note or card expressing your "best wishes."

We received notice from quite a few guests that couldn’t make it due to the STD. We still sent invites to all family members, regardless of their ability to attend, but excluded the others and sent invites to others instead. I would take it as an opportunity to invite someone else… and that she was trying to save you the trouble of counting her in your calculations.

Post # 12
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

Traditionally it is proper to send a smaller gift if you recieve and invitation and cannot attend.  However, this has changed over the years as the cost of wedding presents have gone up.  In the past a homemade quilt would have been a prize wedding gift and it would have been made from scraps of fabric and cost only time.  I agree that you should never expect a gift, just graciously receive one if it is offered.

I am not sure why she wouldn’t be polite enough to write a note herself or call you herself and just express her best wishes and let you know that because she is going to be away she would nto be able to attend.  But, look at it as a gift.  You can now invite someone else that you had to cut from your list in the past.  This person can even be sent a belated save the date if you want.

 People can be wierd about weddings because they don’t like them, are made uncomfortable by them or for a variety of tother reasons that have nothing to do with being rude. 

Post # 13
Member
629 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2005

You don’t have to send a gift if you don’t attend. And really, you’re not even obligated to bring a gift even if you do attend. At least she was cool enough to let you know…instead of my cousin. who I had to hound.

Only to find out she decided to go camping at the last minute.

Post # 14
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Oh, I have some cousins like that.  My mom has already warned me that they will or won’t RSVP and there is no predicting whether they will show up.  I guess that’s why the caterer has a 110% policy.  Although I have to admit that in some cases – when I have gotten wedding invitations where I just for the life of me couldn’t figure out why I was invited – I have inconveniently forgotten to RSVP.  Seems like a much more heinous crime now that I am doing the planning – I will be a much better guest in the future.

Post # 15
Member
62 posts
Worker bee

i do think it’s possible that she didnt want you to go through all the trouble of sending an invitiation if she knew 100% that she couldnt make it. i would do the same.

 but with that said, whenever i’ve received an invitation and i cant make it to the wedding, i almost always send a gift. not so much because i have to, but because i really do feel bad for not going and its just a nice gesture to the couple! i mean, its your friend right? and plus i love giving presents

Post # 16
Member
25 posts
Newbee

Maybe she just wanted to save you the stamp and cost of the invitation, and let you know early enough that you could replace her on the guestlist?  Plus you refer to her as your close friend’s sister, not your friend, so how much do you really care?

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