Post # 1
A friend of mine is having a very low key (read: hasn’t even told her parents) wedding at the court house tomorrow, followed by a get-together at her house (pointedly not a wedding reception). She has told us she doesn’t want any gifts, doesn’t want us to bring wine for dinner, etc. But I would never go to even a run of the mill dinner party without bringing something, like wine, dessert, a hostess gift. I know she spent hundreds of dollars on wine and food this weekend, so bringing something like that is probably not appropriate. So, I’m trying to figure out what I can bring that doesn’t violate her "no wedding gifts" rule but still says congrats and thanks for having us over to celebrate with you. Any thoughts?
Post # 3
I think you have to respect the fact that she has asked you not to bring a gift- even if it feels strange. Still, I wonder if maybe you could bring flowers and a nice hand written card with you. Maybe that wouldn’t be too much?
I live in the South and frankly, you couldn’t show your face in public if you showed up for something like that here empty handed. Regardless of what the bride says! I’m betting that different parts of the country treat this subject differently though. 🙂
Post # 4
We threw our own engagement party and asked people not to bring gifts. Some of them still did and although it was nice, it was a little awkward, too. I like the idea of a really nice bouquet of flowers and a heartfelt card. Or you could offer to help her set-up or clean-up — that could be the best gift of all. ; )
Post # 5
I don’t know what you had in mind, but I have several friends who got married this way. We got them gift certificates for a night at a fancy bed-and-breakfast, or for a really nice dinner out. In one case where there were several of us with the same dillema, we went together and got them a nice weekend away at a little mountain resort. It’s a nice present that’s not a thing (so they don’t have to figure out where to put it); that you can tuck into a card (so it’s not obviously a gift) and that gives them something special as a couple, which if they got married in a really low-key fashion might be something they can really appreciate.
If you really think she’ll be upset at any kind of gift, it’s always nice to write a letter expressing your good wishes for them both. Or, if you have a nice camera, bring it along – one of the best "non-presents" that I got was several hundred really candid good photos that a girlfriend of mine took at our reception and our rehearsal dinner. We actually had a great photographer, but her shots are priceless and wonderful, and I’m so happy to have them.
Post # 6
I agree with flowers and/or a card would be nice.
Post # 7
Flowers is a great idea.
Or you could do something for her- like be the unofficial photographer. Then give her a card letting her know to expect a CD full of wedding in the near future.
Post # 8
I love rosychicklet’s idea! I got married after work at the courthouse and my friends took pictures for me. It was the best gift of all. I love to look at my pictures and it gives her the option to make an album. Maybe you could make her an album later too.
Post # 9
Such great ideas already! Flowers and a nice hand written card would be very nice. Or even if you bring something for dessert?
I would even call her and ask if she needs anything last minute. It would save her a trip to the store, and it’ll let her know you’re trying to be helpful. It really is the thought that counts.
Post # 10
Thanks to all. I’m bringing my camera and will give her a call to see if she has any last minute things she wants me to pick up at the store. And perhaps spring a gift on her later so I can really claim it has nothing to do with the wedding!