Author Topic: Gifting to an Old Friend  (Read 1413 times)

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StoutGirl

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Gifting to an Old Friend
« on: February 18, 2014, 03:53:03 PM »
Hello again, second question of the day for me!

I have a friend that I went to high school with and we (us two and a few others) continued to get together on occasion after graduation.  In the last two years, he moved to the other side of the state for work and is getting married this summer.  I have not met his fiancÚ but I've heard that she is really nice.  Unfortunately, I have not seen my friend during this time frame, though he and his fiancÚ talked to my parents at a mutual acquaintance's graduation party and he asked how I was doing. 

I don't expect to be invited to the wedding, and I completely understand.  However, I still would like to send a gift-nothing expensive, but just to extend my well-wishes.  I will be honest, I creeped onto their registry and nothing stuck out to me.

My questions are:

Is it okay for me to send a gift, even though we have started to fall out of touch-if he is ever back in hometown, I would love to get together and see them and catch up.

Do I call his mother out of the blue and ask for gift ideas (assuming I am not invited) and deliver it there?

Do I just call her for a mailing address and ship the gift to them?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

TurtleDove

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2014, 03:59:46 PM »
I would just contact my friend and talk to him directly and feel out the situation.  You didn't really say, but I get the sense you are all pretty young and maybe you and he may have dated?  Not that that is a bad thing - I am friends with several people I have dated.  My point is to look at this from your friend's perspective and from his fiance's soon-to-be-wife's perspective.  To me, it would be really weird to get a gift out of the blue from someone I haven't spoken with.  It would be less strange to get a phone call or email from an old friend saying, "Hey!  I heard you got engaged - that is fantastic!  I wish you all the best!" 

Lynn2000

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2014, 04:31:12 PM »
I have sent gifts to old friends' weddings, when I haven't spoken to them much in a while. As far as I know no one found it weird. :)

Let's see, so you've seen their registry, but didn't like anything on it--if you bought something from the registry, it could be automatically shipped to them, but sometimes they hide the address otherwise. My first tactic would be, I'd buy something from the registry anyway--it's presumably all stuff they want, and maybe I could find an obscure connection or reason to get a particular thing. (I have bought: bed pillows, because I wanted to send the "biggest" gift; a knife set, because we used to use scalpels together in a lab class; a pasta hook, because they wanted one and I don't understand what it's for, and obviously I have remembered pondering it even years later.)

Second would be a gift card to the place where they're registered, because the store usually has a way to deliver those already set up.

Third, a gift card that I could send by email, assuming I have an accurate email address for them.

What I'm getting at is I don't like the idea of calling anyone about it now, because I think there's too much chance it could be misconstrued as wanting/expecting an invitation. One thing you could do is to wait until very close to the wedding, or just after it, and call about a gift then.
~Lynn2000

gellchom

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 04:57:05 PM »
I would wait until after the wedding to send a gift if you do, so that it is crystal clear you are not hoping to be invited.

And I would send a small gift, not anything from the registry.  A favorite cookbook, a little picture frame, a cute spoon rest or potholder -- something like that.  Just a little token that shows you were pleased to hear the news about an old friend, not anything that makes it seem like you think you should've been invited or (especially if you are a former girlfriend) that you feel you ought to be a big part of their lives.

StoutGirl

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2014, 06:46:58 PM »
Gellchom, I really like your gift suggestions, and thank you everyone for your input.  Just an FYI, we never dated or had a special interest with each other.  We were just really great friends and had a lot of really fun times together with the group.

cicero

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2014, 09:54:44 AM »
I agree with gellchom. And you don't even have to get a gift - sometimes a nice card with a personal note is more than enough.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2014, 11:47:09 AM »
I would wait until after the wedding to send a gift if you do, so that it is crystal clear you are not hoping to be invited.

And I would send a small gift, not anything from the registry.  A favorite cookbook, a little picture frame, a cute spoon rest or potholder -- something like that.  Just a little token that shows you were pleased to hear the news about an old friend, not anything that makes it seem like you think you should've been invited or (especially if you are a former girlfriend) that you feel you ought to be a big part of their lives.

I agree with this--wait until after so it doesn't look like you were wishing for an invite.

And keep the scale sort of small as well.

I wouldn't ask for gift ideas either; just think about something you think is beautiful or useful; if you can think of something that's at all related to your friendship, give that. Like, you grew up together in Potteryville, so you send them a bowl from Pottery that gave the town its name; that sort of thing.

lakey

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 11:45:27 PM »
I would wait until after the wedding and send a gift. Otherwise, no matter what your intentions, it could look like you are angling for an invite. A short time after the wedding you could mail a gift along with a nicely worded letter that you heard he had gotten married and are happy for him.

kudeebee

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Re: Gifting to an Old Friend
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2014, 07:32:31 PM »
Honestly, I would wait until after the wedding and send a card only.  To me--and this is a personal quirk probably--it just seems weird to send a gift to a couple when you weren't invited to the wedding.  A card conveys your good wishes just as well.