In today’s post, Jacqueline is concerned about wedding gift etiquette when it comes to adult children. However, the real issue is that the adult children should have each received their own wedding invitations.
My niece is getting married in October. My husband and I are having a problem with what is expected regarding a wedding gift.
We were sent an invitation to our home, and our two daughters’ names (aged 30 & 33) were added to the invitation. Neither of our daughters live at home and neither of them received a personal invitation.
I’m wondering if it’s okay to give a family wedding gift since the wedding invitation arrived as a family invitation. Is this adequate? I can’t find any etiquette about such a unique situation. (Still can’t understand why my niece did this, as she knows her cousins are living and working away from home).
My husband has expressed concern that our daughters should also provide individual gifts instead of the gift being from the whole family. What is expected in this situation? A response would be most helpful…and less stressful.
I can see why you’re confused. The problem is that your niece did not follow traditional etiquette when she mailed the invitations, and that’s probably why you can’t find an answer to your question. Maybe your niece was trying to save money on invitations, but she really should have sent individual invitations to both of your adult daughters, whether they lived with you or not.
Just because the bride did the wrong thing does not mean that your family should do the same. Each daughter should RSVP individually. If either of your daughters is married, engaged, or in a long-term serious relationship, then that person or persons should have been invited as well. If not, the couple does not need to allow the invited guests to bring a “plus one.”
Your daughters can RSVP to their cousin by calling or sending a note. If either of them are married or engaged, then a phone call would be in order. They could simply explain that the wedding invitation was confusing and that they want to confirm that they will be bringing their spouse or fiancé.
As for your question: group gifts are always acceptable, but that usually means that each person has contributed to the gift. In most situations, each of the children should purchase their own gift or they could go together and get a joint gift. I have two adult children and both are single. They have had two cousins get married recently. Each time they were invited individually, but they chose to pool their funds and buy a joint gift for their cousins. These gifts were separate from the gifts my husband and I gave.
To summarize, I recommend that you ignore your niece’s faux pas and act as if she had done the right thing. You should only RSVP for yourself and husband and ask your daughters to each RSVP individually. I also recommend that your daughters be responsible for their own wedding gift and either buy individually or opt for a joint gift.
I hope this was helpful and that everyone is able to enjoy the wedding and spending time with family.
If you have questions or comments about gift giving or wedding etiquette, please comment below or email AskCheryl@RegistryFinder.com.
All questions in this column are received from readers. Questions may be edited for spelling and grammar. However, we are careful not to alter the intent or content of the question.
Cheryl Seidel is the founder and President of RegistryFinder.com, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations, and more.
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