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Gracious Giving: Seven Rules of Wedding Gift Etiquette

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Whether you’re attending a wedding—or three—this year, or planning your own, we have seven tips to keep the faux pas out and good wedding gift etiquette in.

It’s that time of year again. All over the country, people are beginning to receive lovingly assembled and hand-addressed envelopes announcing this year’s crop of summer weddings. Besides the joy of seeing the bride walk down the aisle, the anticipation of waiting for the couple’s first dance, and the delight in comparing the relative merits of each couple’s chosen cake, one of the most traditional parts of wedding preparation is selecting and giving a gift. It’s also one aspect of weddings that’s traditionally fraught with potential faux pas.

It’s not just invitees who fret about gifts; a bride also worries about what’s expected of her and what she should (and shouldn’t) expect from her guests. The etiquette surrounding wedding-gift giving includes some most famously unbreakable rules—mentioning gift registries on the invitation or asking for cash outright are big no-nos—as well as some of the finer and more delicate points of good manners. With the help of Anna Post, etiquette expert at the Emily Post Institute and the author of Do I Have to Wear White?: Emily Post Answers America’s Top Wedding Questions, we’ve compiled a list of essential wedding-gift etiquette for the benefit of brides and guests alike.

1. If you’re invited to the ceremony, it’s customary to send a gift.
“This holds true whether or not you’re able to attend,” Post says. However, this guideline applies only if you’re invited to the actual marriage ceremony. If you’re invited to a belated reception, such as one that takes place after a destination wedding or an elopement, gifts are not obligatory. “You’re not on the line for a gift,” Post says, “but many people give one anyway.” Likewise, a wedding announcement does not require the recipient to send a gift, but many friends and family members still do.

2. Don’t wait a year.
“It’s best to have the gift giving done by the wedding, or within three months at the latest,” Post says. “‘The sooner, the better’ is still the rule of thumb.” The same rule also applies to thank-you notes. “If somebody sent you a beautiful gift, don’t leave [her] hanging,” she says. For gifts received at the wedding, send thank-you notes as soon as possible, or up to three months after the marriage. It’s important to acknowledge a gift quickly so that the sender knows that it was received. Of course, even if you miss the three-month deadline—for gifts as well as for thank-you notes—it’s always better to send them late than to never send them at all.

3. Even if your friend didn’t get you a gift, it’s still nice to give one in return.
When shopping for a wedding gift, many people just can’t help but remember if, at their own wedding, the current happy couple didn’t give anything at all. Anyone taking this factor into account when making a purchase obviously feels that her friend made a misstep; why repeat the same mistake? “Etiquette is not about two wrongs making a right,” Post says. “Hold yourself to your own standard, even if you’re upset or frustrated.” She recommends that if people are truly so hurt or upset about not receiving a gift that they’re considering retaliating by not buying one in return, it’s better to have a conversation about those feelings in order to preserve the friendship.

4. Attending a destination wedding isn’t an excuse not to give a gift.
Between transportation, accommodations, and other expenses, attending a destination wedding can get pricey. It’s not a free pass not to bring any gift at all, but it can certainly influence how much you spend. The financial reality for the majority of people is that if they stretch their budget to attend the wedding, they’ll spend less on the gift, and that’s fine. “Think about your own budget, which you don’t have to explain or excuse,” Post says, “and think about your relationship to that person. Only you can be the judge of what’s comfortable for you.” Hopefully, the marrying couple would rather have their friends and families there to celebrate than just have have a gift. “Believe me,” Post says, “they’ll understand.”

5. Give gifts for both the shower and the wedding.
“If you attend a shower, you should give a gift,” Post says. “If you don’t go, you don’t have to.” However, showers and the wedding ceremony are separate, and if you attend and give a gift at a shower, it doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to give a gift for the wedding itself.

For guests who are invited to multiple showers, it’s not expected that they’ll give a gift at each event. Traditionally, the guest will give a gift at the first shower (or whichever one she’s more comfortable at), and savvy brides will mention it at any subsequent events the guest attends. Saying, “Jane gave me a lovely spice rack a few weeks ago” is a gracious way for a bride to publicly acknowledge the gift without calling attention to the fact that there was a previous shower. If a guest truly doesn’t want to show up empty-handed at any wedding-related event, it’s acceptable to split the total budget allotted for gifts among the various celebrations.

6. If you gave a gift for the first marriage, there’s no obligation to give for the second.
Although second marriages are common, guests who attended the bride or groom’s first marriage ceremony are not obliged to give gifts for an encore wedding. Some second-time brides and grooms sometimes request that their guests not bring gifts, but Post reminds that it’s never appropriate to put gift information on an invitation. “It should be mentioned by word of mouth,” she says. When attending a celebration where the couple has requested no gifts, it’s nice to respect those wishes, although some close friends and family members will always want to give gifts.

7. If the marriage doesn’t happen, the gifts should be returned.
Post offers some old-fashioned wisdom that isn’t always followed: Wait until after the wedding to open and use any gifts that absolutely can’t be returned. Proper etiquette dictates that if the wedding is canceled before it happens, all the gifts should be returned to their senders. If a marriage ends soon after the wedding, the couple should send back any gifts that haven’t been opened yet.

If the couple uses their gifts but then cancels the wedding, it’s appropriate to write a note explaining why they can’t return the gifts. A simple “I’m sorry, we just couldn’t wait to open that case of wine!” is fine. “Don’t get into discussions about reimbursements,” says Post, “because then you get into awkward questions like ‘How much money did you spend on us?’” The situation is already uncomfortable, so simply apologize and move on.

Weddings may seem full of pomp, propriety, and old-fashioned arbitrary rules, but they’re really just governed by common sense and good manners. Whether you’re attending a wedding (or three) this summer or are planning one of your own, just remember to give thoughtfully and thank graciously.

 

Source: divinecaroline.com

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Travel

Exotic Resorts May Be the Best Bet for a Holiday

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An exotic vacation usually means exploring a distant foreign country, whilst resorts are places
to go for rest, sport, or which offers a particular speciality, with many resorts being part of a
popular tourist destination or on or near a beach. If you are planning a vacation to an exotic
resort it can be a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to a far-flung destination or a luxurious place to
stay closer to home where you can enjoy some pampering.

Why stay at an exotic resort

Exotic resorts often offer all-inclusive vacation deals, along with other options that leave you
to plan your stay more precisely to your own wishes. These resorts offer excellent customer
service, superb accommodation and facilities and are usually to be found in beautiful settings.
Here are some of the best resorts from around the world for you to consider:

Four Seasons Resort, Seychelles
This famous resort has made many feel they have entered Paradise. The gentle ocean breeze
floats up the granite hillside and into your tree-house villa tucked away from the other guests
staying at the resort. This is perfect for encouraging you to relax, either by your private pool
or in the clear blue waters of Petite Anse Bay. Perfect for a romantic stay, there is a Spa for
pampering and the chance for a sunset meal on a deserted beach.

Some enjoy simply sitting on their balcony, gazing at the ocean between reading their book,
sketching or checking out international bookmakers and betting sites for the chance of a
flutter. If you want another type of adrenaline kick, check out the resorts excellent kayaking
and snorkelling facilities, which are recommended by nearly all who try it.

Anantara Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand

The ultimate tropical getaway, the Anantara Resort is an award-winning site modelled on a
traditional Thai village and is just three hours drive south of Bangkok. The location is where
Thai royalty and aristocrats have been holidaying for almost one-hundred years. Today, you
can visit historical attractions alongside theme parks and shops as well as vineyards and golf
courses.

The resort is set among 14 acres of lush tropical grounds with lotus-filled lagoons and
meandering pathways through exotic foliage, with many rooms overlooking the shoreline.
Each day, chefs prepare freshly caught local seafood alongside Thai specialities. The resort
also has an award-winning spa located within a lagoon-inspired oasis offering you the perfect
opportunity to relax.

Kurumba, Maldives

Kurumba is a well-established resort that opened almost 50 years ago and continues to offer
superb hospitality and contemporary facilities. There are seven speciality restaurants offering
cuisine from Italy to the Middle East as well as Thila, a restaurant which extends out over the
water which offers gourmet breakfasts and seafood dinners.

You can go snorkelling over the nearby reef full of colourful marine life or sign up to a dive
package as part of your stay, or just enjoy a private pool when staying at one of the spacious
villages. There are also deluxe beachfront bungalows offering direct beach access and views
of the crystal-clear waters.

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Coronavirus

Healthcare Workers To Receive Coca-Cola-Funded PPEs From Nigerian Red Cross

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Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in Nigeria, our healthcare workers have continued to lead the charge against the disease. As the number of recorded COVID-19 cases in Nigeria began to increase, these healthcare workers rose to the challenge and fought tirelessly to protect the lives of Nigerians impacted by the disease.

Considering the risks these healthcare workers face, there is a crucial need for adequate protective equipment for these brave frontline workers.

Coca-Cola is excited that over 400,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) procured to support the intervention efforts of the Nigerian Government and other key stakeholders to fight the COVID 19 pandemic have arrived. We do believe that this will to provide succor to our healthcare workers on the frontlines

These PPEs comprise N95 respirators, surgical masks, examination gloves, face shields, medical gowns, no-touch thermometers, disposable aprons, heavy-duty rubber gloves, rubber boots, basic masks, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizers.

Since the first confirmed case of the disease in Nigeria reported in February, over 800 healthcare workers have contracted the disease. While Nigerians are encouraged to stay home where possible and practice social distancing, these healthcare workers are needed across the country in the continued fight against the disease.

This donation forms part of The Coca-Cola Foundation’s COVID-19 relief interventions in Nigeria. The Coca-Cola Foundation has provided $2.5m in grant to IFRC who seeks to directly impact the lives of 1.4 million people in Nigeria and across other countries in West and Central Africa under this partnership.

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Events in Nigeria

Taking Care of Tomorrow’s Leaders Today – The itel, Lagos Food Bank Example

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Waking up to a special meal or choice gift is the best feeling ever. Hundreds of children in Mushin, mainland Lagos, had a filling taste of this feeling for the October 1 st celebrations. It’s an experience they will remember for a long time.

Being one of the most responsible corporate citizens around, celebrating Independence Day was always going to be on the radar for itel Mobile. To make this possible and memorable, the brand got to work in earnest. The focus of the work was picking the best way to commemorate the 60th independence anniversary of the most populous black nation on earth.

The efforts soon paid off through an impact-driven partnership with the Lagos Food Bank Initiative. With the arrangement, both partners considered a couple of activities capable of affecting communities positively and bringing smiles to people’s faces in Lagos. At the end of the exercise, taking care of children, the leaders of tomorrow, in the commercial city secured the highest votes.

With the decision, itel Mobile set about making this happen. Not surprisingly, the decision was
influenced by giving children the means to excel and prepare them for leadership and nation-building, for them to enjoy better life. For the good of their immediate family, community and the Nigerian society.

Idiko, Mushin, a suburb of mainland Lagos, was chosen as the benefiting community. And the partners strategically reached out to the beneficiaries, children and families, with gifts of love, care, happiness and support made possible by the itel Love Always On CSR initiative.

Over 1,000 families benefited from the gesture as well as 600 children, and each one of them received food packages to celebrate Nigeria’s 60 th Independence Day commemoration.

Speaking on the event and itel’s Love Always On CSR Initiative, Oke Umurhohwo, itel’s Marketing Manager said, ‘We wanted to mark this year’s Independence Day celebrations differently, and that is why we did something so momentous for our children. Children are the backbone of any longstanding community, and as such, we are proud to be able to give back and support them on their journey as leaders of tomorrow and for a better life.’

To meet the demands of the memorable event, 30 volunteers joined the customer-centric brand and the Lagos-based NGO to share smiles, and to convey just how important it is to love and take care of today’s children who will ultimately become leaders of tomorrow.

With the thoughtful activity, there are insights for everyone, from the government to citizens, on partnerships that are capable of making life better for children. Indeed, itel Mobile and the Lagos Food Bank Initiative have offered a great template on bringing this to reality.

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