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.


Could it Really be that simple? ‘Tis a gift!

An Issue of Real Simple

Image via Wikipedia

OK, so that’s a bad hymn joke.  But seriously – we love Simple Gifts – and the hymn too. (looking for something for the congregation to sing at your wedding that’s spiritual without having the Lord directly involved? Simple Gifts.  Perfect).

We also love Real Simple magazine and they make life so – well- simple with their gift guides.  We look for wedding gifts, but also handy for “dads & grads.”  Good to help avoid ties and the fly-attracting fruit centerpieces that shall go nameless.  Avoid those at your spring celebrations – for the love of honeydew! Let the fruit keep some dignity.

Shop nice everybody – lots of sales for the holiday start early!  Get a move on!

Summer Gift Guide | Real Simple.