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Wedding Gifts: How to Reject a Traditional Wedding Gift and Accept a Gift of Service

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It’s easy to recite the proper rules of etiquette when people in our lives disappoint us — there are libraries of books telling us what to do and how to behave! Unfortunately, not many of us know how to handle situations in which people do nice things for us!

A Hudson Valley bride asks: “One of my oldest friends is an artist, and she offered to design our ketubah (Jewish wedding contract). I know that it’s a huge job — and that she does this professionally and makes real money doing so. Under no circumstances would I expect or want her to give us a wedding present in addition to the ketubah! How do I express that to her in the right way?”

(Our answer on next page)

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The Wedding Guru says: We should all be this lucky! Write your friend a note telling her that you’re delighted she’s creating your ketubah. Make it clear that it’s “more of a gift” than you could ever expect. Because of the nature of this particular gift, she’ll need to give it to you well before your ceremony. When she does, you can reiterate that you cannot imagine a better, more meaningful present.

If she still comes to your wedding with a gift (and you can speak to her directly), decline graciously — say something like, “No way, you have already given us an amazing gift!” If you don’t actually get to see her, you can write or call her to explain why you cannot accept her gift. If she insists, accept it with an effusive thank-you! Just remember that, when the time comes, be as generous to her as she was to you!

» More on wedding gifts
» More from The Wedding Guru
» Submit a question to the Wedding Guru
» Hudson Valley Weddings 2012

 

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