My Little Etiquette Shop: Graceful handling of Gift Gaffes

This is the gift table that my sister made.

If the invitation says "no gifts, please," bringing a gift anyway is not good form.

Today we’ll address a guest issue from the Bride’s perspective – but all you guests-to-be out there listen up!  Spare the bride and groom some trouble (see below) and play along.  On to the question.

Q:   Hi My Little Etiquette Shop,

We are going with “no gifts” at our wedding. In my experience some guests bring   gifts anyway, and those who don’t feel very uncomfortable. Can this be avoided?

-testing out of the gifted program

A:  Testy,

The short answer is no.  People bring gifts because they love you.  You cannot (nor would you want to) change that.  You can, however, plan to handle these items so as not to inspire guilt in those who have correctly followed the presence not presents protocol.  1) Do not have any tables near the front of the space that could be used for gifts.  2) Assign someone you trust, and that people know (college aged is ideal) to be outside the entrance to intercept possible packages. Make sure he/she has a boutonniere or corsage so that Aunt Eunice doesn’t think there’s a tuxedoed bandit in the parking lot of First Unitarian Church.  Have your helper bring things to an established (safe) place. Ta da!  No sign of gifts = no guilt.

Note to guests: “no gifts” = no gifts. It does not mean “Oh they don’t really mean that.”

Happy Fourth everyone!  Flowers are safer than fireworks, FYI.


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