Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: johelenc1 on May 29, 2013, 08:21:13 PM

Title: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: johelenc1 on May 29, 2013, 08:21:13 PM
So, I had this conversation with my mom when I received a wedding announcement from a cousin (complete with a homemade registry list asking for money - but that's another post!).

She says that receiving a wedding announcement carried the same "expectation" of a gift as receiving an invitation.  I very much disagree.  To me, announcements are a FYI - by the way, we got married, wanted you to know.  I don't have a problem with announcements at all but do not any way feel obligated to send a gift in response.  Maybe a card, but honestly, probably not (but mostly because I'm not really a card person).  I might shoot of an email or facebook message saying congratulations.  But, a gift...nope.

Now, I would say that graduation announcements are different to me.  Generally, you do not invite everyone you know to a graduation for a number of reasons.  Often there is a limit on the number of guests or tickets and also, really, no one wants to sit through those things unless you are really, really close to the person.  And, I don't know anyone who would travel for one unless it's your child, grandchild, or sibling.  But, announcements are sent to all those people who have been apart of one's life just to announce this huge accomplishment.  And, people do usually send a small cash gift in response.  This makes sense to me because there is no real expectation of attending the event.

Weddings, though, are different.  You invite people.  That's the expectation.  I think expecting gifts from people you are not willing to have witness your event or be willing to host in some way with food and drink (in whatever way that translates) is really asking too much.

So, what say you - does a wedding announcement carry the same gift expectation as an invitation.

*** Let's just accept the premise that gifts are never officially expected or an obligation.  No need to beat that horse.  But, in the real world, we know how it works:-)
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Sharnita on May 29, 2013, 08:26:18 PM
For either - announcements don't require a gift, although some people will choose to give/send one.  I personally think that an invitation for either menas at least a token gift.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: HoneyBee42 on May 29, 2013, 08:29:35 PM
When I was much younger, what I was taught was that an invitation was an obligation for at least a token gift (now you know where those bloated guest lists come from!) and an announcement carries no obligation.  While I'll concede the invitation doesn't equal obligation, I will contend that the announcement means no more obligation than a congratulations said the next time you see the person(s).
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: gramma dishes on May 29, 2013, 08:33:33 PM
I agree with Sharnita.  I don't think an announcement carries the same expectation of a gift (although in the case you're talking about, the sender seems to have that expectation).

An announcement is just that.  "Hey!  I/we accomplished something or are going to do something.  Just thought you'd want to know."  (But registry information is definitely inappropriate in this case.)

However, if you think you know the reason for an announcement rather than an invitation (example:  dying parent, so actual ceremony will be held in a hospital room rather than a church) then you might really want to send a gift anyway just because you're so happy for the couple.

Otherwise we could all just send "announcements" to everyone listed in the county phone book and rejoice at all the thousands of lovely gifts.   ;D
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Promise on May 29, 2013, 08:34:27 PM
My husband and I pastor a church and get invited to multiple graduation parties per year. We truly can not afford gifts in our budget. Some weeks we choose between how much we spend on groceries or gas. But since we pastor the church we are somewhat obligated to go. If we had money that we spent on eating out, I would give that, but we do not have that in our budget. Each graduate will get a card but no gift. It's either a gift or our groceries.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: MummySweet on May 29, 2013, 08:42:54 PM
Absolutely not.  For what it's worth, a wedding invitation doesn't "require" a gift either, although it is customary to give one if you attend the festivities.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Katana_Geldar on May 29, 2013, 08:49:11 PM
No, but there are people who choose to give one anyway.

We got a gift card from one of my Mums former work colleagues that I knew as well as one from distant relatives who weren't invited.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Sharnita on May 29, 2013, 08:54:23 PM
My husband and I pastor a church and get invited to multiple graduation parties per year. We truly can not afford gifts in our budget. Some weeks we choose between how much we spend on groceries or gas. But since we pastor the church we are somewhat obligated to go. If we had money that we spent on eating out, I would give that, but we do not have that in our budget. Each graduate will get a card but no gift. It's either a gift or our groceries.

No idea if this would work but I have been to a couple different churches that get pictures of the entire graduating class - from baby pictures to senior pictures, including severa shots of youth activities.  Then they have a slide show honoring the grads at one of the services. If you did this perhaps you could burn copies and present it to each grad when you go to their party?
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: sammycat on May 29, 2013, 09:20:10 PM
I think expecting gifts from people you are not willing to have witness your event or be willing to host in some way with food and drink (in whatever way that translates) is really asking too much.

This is where I fall. 

Graduations aren't a big deal here, and I've never, ever,  heard of anyone sending out a graduation announcement (here) - or a wedding one for that matter.  In any case, I wouldn't feel obliged to send a present in response to an announcement for any event.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: mime on May 29, 2013, 09:28:28 PM
Neither announcement requires a gift.

That said, I chose not to send any wedding announcements to not-invited people (despite my MIL's prodding) because I didn't want to make anyone feel obliged to send a gift.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 29, 2013, 09:29:02 PM
I do not believe either requires a gift. A card of congratulations is all Miss Manners says is required.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Calistoga on May 29, 2013, 09:57:12 PM
I don't think anything requires a gift. Weddings, birthdays, graduations, these are occasions when one usually gives a gift, but it's not mandatory.

Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: LeveeWoman on May 29, 2013, 10:18:43 PM
Miss Manners' column from the other day:

Everybody who receives a graduation (or wedding or birth) announcement should respond with congratulations and good wishes. Miss Manners hopes you are not mistaking announcements for bills.



http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/miss-manners-a-graduation-party-thats-truly-a-class-act/2013/05/22/4d28b010-b41d-11e2-baf7-5bc2a9dc6f44_story.html
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: johelenc1 on May 29, 2013, 10:24:02 PM
Ahhh - Miss Manners - perfect!  I also googled specifically Miss Manners and wedding announcements and will be delighted to inform my mother that she is WRONG!!!!  brahahahahaha:-)
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Promise on June 07, 2013, 09:57:25 PM

[/quote]

No idea if this would work but I have been to a couple different churches that get pictures of the entire graduating class - from baby pictures to senior pictures, including severa shots of youth activities.  Then they have a slide show honoring the grads at one of the services. If you did this perhaps you could burn copies and present it to each grad when you go to their party?
[/quote]

What a nice idea. Yes, we did a slideshow for our graduates. I'll bring this up to my husband for next year about burning a copy for them. All but one of the graduates had their parties last weekend which we attended.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: peaches on June 07, 2013, 10:47:54 PM
Neither requires a gift.

Depending on the relationship, we either send a gift or a card. Usually it's a gift, because announcements come from close friends or relatives.

Sometimes no announcement is sent, but we give a gift because of the milestone and the relationship.

Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: Corrina on June 07, 2013, 10:49:28 PM
Nope, not for just an announcement. Now if they send me an invitation, that's an entirely different matter.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: *inviteseller on June 07, 2013, 11:43:11 PM
I loathe wedding announcements.  For all the years I worked in the social stationery world, we only had one bride do them, and that was because they were doing a quick wedding before a deployment.  If I am not close enough to get an invite for your wedding, I am not close enough to get an announcement of your intent to get me to send you a gift. 
As for graduation announcements, I understand because there usually is limited seating and you can't invite all you would want, so you send out the announcements.  It slides into rude territory when they go out to every person who ever crossed junior's path.  They should be limited, IMO, to the closest friends and relatives.  One year, after I had split from my husband, 7 of his relatives graduated.  I got a whole lot of announcements, which was nice except for the fact 5 of them I wouldn't be able to pick out of a line up!  At least the other 2 were gracious enough to send me invitations to their parties also and send prompt thank you's for the checks. 
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: CrazyDaffodilLady on June 08, 2013, 02:20:02 PM
It will never be the rule that invitations and announcements require a gift, for the simple reason that the gimmee pigs would never have to work again.  They could support themselves on a steady stream of announcements that include a suggestion that cash is the preferred gift. 
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: PastryGoddess on June 08, 2013, 09:45:30 PM
I loathe wedding announcements.  For all the years I worked in the social stationery world, we only had one bride do them, and that was because they were doing a quick wedding before a deployment.  If I am not close enough to get an invite for your wedding, I am not close enough to get an announcement of your intent to get me to send you a gift. 
As for graduation announcements, I understand because there usually is limited seating and you can't invite all you would want, so you send out the announcements.  It slides into rude territory when they go out to every person who ever crossed junior's path.  They should be limited, IMO, to the closest friends and relatives.  One year, after I had split from my husband, 7 of his relatives graduated.  I got a whole lot of announcements, which was nice except for the fact 5 of them I wouldn't be able to pick out of a line up!  At least the other 2 were gracious enough to send me invitations to their parties also and send prompt thank you's for the checks. 

I think the point people are making is that announcements are different than invitations.  If YOU decide to send a gift after receiving an announcement, that is on you.  But I think that announcements are just that *special thing happened and we thought you should know*, not *special thing happened GIFTSGIFTSRAWRMONEYMONEYMORE!* 

Most of the wedding and graduation announcements I've seen have been used as a way to update people.  Wedding announcements will let you know if the bride has decided to keep or change her name.  They will also give an updated address or contact info as well.  Graduation announcements will have the graduates college or after high school plans.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 08, 2013, 11:16:04 PM
I agree that announcements do not require a gift. However, I do send a card with my congratulations.

I love to get wedding, graduation, and birth announcements because my family is scattered around the globe. It is infeasible for my family to travel for each event. I also have many older relatives that do not use electronic communication, and get all of their family news through the mail or telephone.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: TootsNYC on June 08, 2013, 11:22:28 PM
Every etiquette book says that gifts are not required when one receives a wedding announcement. I know--I've read them all, specifically looking at that question.

So if someone sends one, they've probably read that same section of the etiquette book.

In fact, they may be sending an announcement precisely because they do NOT want to obligate you for a gift, which is what wedding invitation sort of does (if it's *properly* and *appropriately* send).

Ditto a graduation or birth announcement.

Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: violinp on June 09, 2013, 12:52:33 AM
Every etiquette book says that gifts are not required when one receives a wedding announcement. I know--I've read them all, specifically looking at that question.

So if someone sends one, they've probably read that same section of the etiquette book.

In fact, they may be sending an announcement precisely because they do NOT want to obligate you for a gift, which is what wedding invitation sort of does (if it's *properly* and *appropriately* send).

Ditto a graduation or birth announcement.

Exactly. It's a social nicety to let people know, "Hey, this awesome thing happened in my life! Isn't that great?" and is not the grabby ploy of a gimme - pig unless used that way by a greedy person.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: ettiquit on June 09, 2013, 07:59:36 AM
I'm glad announcements don't require a gift.  A few years ago we got a graduation announcement for one of DH's nephew who we've never met from cousins I'd never met and that DH hadn't seen or talked to in at least 10 years.  I definitely interpreted that one as an "FYI", and that's it.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: TootsNYC on June 09, 2013, 09:10:12 AM
Every etiquette book says that gifts are not required when one receives a wedding announcement. I know--I've read them all, specifically looking at that question.

So if someone sends one, they've probably read that same section of the etiquette book.

In fact, they may be sending an announcement precisely because they do NOT want to obligate you for a gift, which is what wedding invitation sort of does (if it's *properly* and *appropriately* send).

Ditto a graduation or birth announcement.

Exactly. It's a social nicety to let people know, "Hey, this awesome thing happened in my life! Isn't that great?" and is not the grabby ploy of a gimme - pig unless used that way by a greedy person.

Some people may see it as a way to honor people at a slightly lesser level. "You're important enough to hear my big news directly from me instead of from the gossip mill."

I do think that Etiquette would say you should send your congratulations when you receive an announcement.
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: YummyMummy66 on June 09, 2013, 10:58:54 AM
For a wedding announcement, personally, I would do nothing.  If I am not that close to whomever to be invited to the wedding, they will not receive a gift or a card from me.  More than likely, I hardly know the couple at all.   If it was someone I knew well and knew why I might not be invited to said wedding, I might get them a card.

For a graduation announcement, I would probably send a small, cash gift.  There are so many costs going into a high school graduates senior year to begin with, I can understand not being invited to a party, etc.  Anyhoo, most times, you only see the graduate for a few minutes as they are more than likely spending time with all their friends at said party.  So, I don't feel the need to be invited to a graduation party, per se, unless I know the graduate super well or family of graduate. 
Title: Re: Does a Wedding or Graduation Annoucement "require" a gift
Post by: ladyknight1 on June 09, 2013, 12:41:46 PM
I would imagine it depends on the community culture, but I live in Florida and a lot of people have beach weddings with only the HC, witnesses, and an officiant. They might have a party later, but if they are going to take the time and expense of sending announcements, I send a card.

Especially since I am unlikely to travel for a wedding unless the person is very close to us.