Sometimes the lack of proper etiquette on the part of the inviter makes it difficult for the invited guests to know how to behave properly.
A Hudson Valley wedding guest asks…
“My family received an invitation from a cousin. It was addressed to me, my husband, a college-age daughter of ours (who lives at home), and our son who is in his mid-twenties and lives on his own. I know that proper etiquette would have been for my son to receive a separate invitation, but that’s not what my cousin did. I have no idea how to handle the gift we are giving. Should I send it from the three of us and tell my son that he needs to go it alone with his gift, albeit he is not going to attend the wedding?”
The Wedding Guru says…
You are correct about your cousin’s lack of proper etiquette. That being said, you should include the three of you in the gift you give. As for your son, if you want to be a “nice guy,” ask him if he wants to be included in your gift and decide for yourself whether you’ll ask him to chip in what he can.
Your other alternative is to tell your son that, since he’s on his own, the gift should come from him and it should be based on how close he is to the couple or the couple’s family. If he’s not particularly close, or for any other reason, there’s no law that says one must give a gift when invited to a wedding. At the very least, however, I think a card to the couple is in order!
Got more questions? Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org