Befriend, Degift

The Wedding Guru Judy Lewis fields this week’s wedding questions. Today: When you’ve already got everything, how can you just say “no” to gifts?

A bride asks: “After many years living together, my partner and I are ready to plan our much-anticipated wedding. Because we’ve been a couple for so long, we decided that a small wedding is appropriate and we’re only inviting our immediate families and close friends. Still, we want to make our union known to the rest of our families, our friends, and coworkers. Is there a way to tell people that we’re getting married — without making it look like we’re asking them to send gifts? Is it okay to include “no gifts, please” on the announcement? I don’t know any way, except to call everybody individually to share our joy. What do you recommend?”

Dear bride: Wedding announcements were once a matter of form, but they’ve become less and less popular in recent years. I always saw them as a lovely way to share your joy, but I understand that today’s couples are so busy that they simply don’t have the time to buy, stuff, and address them. Today, bridal couples have a much easier option in the form of e-mail. One message can be sent to virtually hundreds of addresses. I realize (and so do they) that this is not a very personal way to make an announcement, but it works, and — for the most part — people won’t find such an announcement to be unacceptable.

Let me assure you that a wedding announcement, in whatever way it is sent, is not a request for a gift. Your gratitude to such a gift can include a phrase such as “Thank you for your gift, which was not required. The purpose of our announcement was merely our way to share our exciting news. Your gift was a very pleasant surprise and we thank you most sincerely.”

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That said, your wedding should be only as large or as small as you want it to be. Never have regrets about who you could not invite!

To submit your own question to the Wedding Guru, email Judy at

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