Dj Tanner
June 2021

How should we go about this.

Dj Tanner, on May 29, 2021 at 3:39 PM Posted in Etiquette and Advice 0 17
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So we received a package in the mail from friends of my FFIL. Its a wedding gift and they gave us a card with a significant amount of cash and a household gift. Ive been with my fiancé for the past 10 going on 11 years and Ive never met nor heard of these people. The only time i’ve ever heard these people mentioned has been when FFIL asked us if we could invite them to the wedding. Given we were already struggling with our guest list that we had and Covid restrictions, we told him no as things were so up in the air as you all know about guest count etc. We didn’t want to add any more people and then run the risk of having to pick and choose who we would have to eliminate if it came down to that and they’re also out of state. FFIL told us that they said they would have loved to attend. The wedding is this week, and we have already given our final count and we’re not allowed to add any more people. I assume my fiancé should give them a call to thank them obviously but I feel like this may lead to a very awkward phone call seeing as how we didn’t invite them and they out right said they wanted to go. Part of me is wondering if they sent the gift to Make us feel somewhat guilty about not sending them an invite? Maybe I’m taking it the wrong way and maybe I’m over thinking it, but the amount that they sent us I don’t think some of our close family members are putting in our cards. Should we wait until after the wedding to thank them. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful and they really didn’t need to do that, but I guess I don’t really even know how to take it at this point. I’m assuming we just have to sort of suck it up and make the awkward phone call. What do you guys think. Any suggestions on what to say or has anyone been in a similar situation? Sorry I know this is long if you got through this thank you

17 Comments

Latest activity by Kari, on June 1, 2021 at 11:16 AM
  • Sarah
    Master September 2019
    Sarah ·
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    I would just pop a thank you note in the mail ASAP. No need for a phone call and no need to feel guilty. We had a few family friends on H’s side that gifted us very generously and I was a bit taken back, but people gift what they want to do just thank them.
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    OK, thanks. I’m glad I’m not the only one that felt a bit taken back by it. FH just mentioned that we could ask if they wanted to be added to the virtual attendance list? But I don’t know about this. I like your idea much better of just sending a thank you note LOL
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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    This is something that was very common a couple of generations ago, peers of one’s parents giving gifts, often generously. They were also invited to the weddings because the parents were hosting. People would often keep track of the gift amounts, and would make sure to gift in kind when their children married.


    This why why many parents ask for their friends to be invited - and it causes a lot of issues now because younger generations look at weddings as an event for *their* peers, and are hosting the weddings themselves. It’s a carryover from the older etiquette models. If the wedding is soon, they know they aren’t invited, and chose to send a gift. Your parents may have sent a gift to one of their children. Cash the check and send a thank you note as soon as you can.
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  • Michelle
    Rockstar October 2022
    Michelle ·
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    Send a very gracious thank you card promptly. An invitation is not required or necessary. Don’t explain why you are declining the gift.

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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    Thanks for the input, and yes this makes a lot of sense.
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    My FH suggested that maybe we can call them and explain to them about the whole Covid situation and guest count and out of state people etc. and said maybe we should ask them if they want to attend virtually and we could send them the link. I personally like your idea of just sending a thank you note in the mail ASAP, LOL but what do you think of that idea as far as asking if they want to attend virtually?
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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    I would probably do that. And not so much appogize but say something like “Thank you so much for your generous gift, we appreciate it so much.
    As you can imagine, wedding planning during a pandemic was a big challenge and we didn’t get to invite as many people as we would have like. We will miss sharing the day with you - if you’d like, here is where you can watch virtually.
    Thank you again, Bride and Groom”
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  • Dj Tanner
    June 2021
    Dj Tanner ·
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    OK, yeah Thanks. That sounds really good and its a really good way to put it because it’s honestly the truth.
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  • Samantha
    Rockstar October 2022
    Samantha ·
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    I’m glad I could help!
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  • Cyndy
    Rockstar May 2019
    Cyndy ·
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    I would just drop a thank you note in the mail. No need for a call or explanation as to why they weren’t invited.
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  • T
    Devoted August 2020
    Tina ·
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    Send them a thank you card in the mail. I had others sending me a gift that weren’t invited either that’s just what I did. With COVID I’m taking people are more understanding of not being invited. If there wasn’t a pandemic and they weren’t invited that be different. I wouldn’t worry. Some goes over the top with gifts and some dont. I wouldn’t worry.


    I like how the PP worded the card Smiley smile
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  • Judith
    Judith ·
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    They know very well that they would have received and invitation at 6-8 weeks, and your FFIL likely told them way back. The fact that they waited til long after invirtes were out, then sent a gift just before the wedding, would in my family mean they DID NOT want you to feel pressured to send an invitation. That time has passed. They simply have watched your FI grow up through the years, and are happy for him. If you asked, you would likely find there is a group of parents' friends who give to each other's kids, no invitation required ( though some might go if they got one.) 😊 I grew up in a small town. In the last 3 weeks, a large group of neighbors, old bosses, teachers, who knew beer well they were not invited, all gave me a small price tag shower, much of it stuff they produce like honey, maple syrup, nuts. In my FI tight ethnic neighborhood where I was a complete newcomer, over 30 invited my MIL and I to a welcome the new bride shower, though FMIL had had a family shower 2 months before. And still, in the last few weeks, or the week we came home, we received over 40 gifts, packaged in 5 groups, from small groups of his parents or my parents or grandparents. A kind of lifetime roots lots of us do not have any more. All times so we would know, invites were out and they were fine not getting them, just wanted a gift. Totaled, they really added up.
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  • Ariel
    Savvy June 2021
    Ariel ·
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    I would definitely not call because that will lead to an awkward conversation! They know they aren’t invited, but probably wanted to make sure they sent you a gift anyway. I had my parents cousins, who due to guest list size we did not invite, send us a gift from our registry even though they are not invited. My parents had been invited to their kids weddings and gave gifts so they wanted to make sure they sent us a gift anyway. I just wrote a nice thank you card and popped it in the mail!
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  • Judith
    Judith ·
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    I might add to my post above, a couple of weeks after they came, beforwe got home from the week we took off after the wedding, my mom went through her old pictures, and pointed out this friend of hers, or that friend of grannie's, with me between infancy and childhood.
    And some pics of me sitting in at age 3 to a quilting group, when some one of them babysat. Each present bundle from an area (Finland, Canada, NH) . And made me think of friend's kids I have taken care of 20-40 times, then suddenly they are too old. But the fondness still is there.
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  • M
    Dedicated September 2021
    Melissa ·
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    I would second this approach. I'm sure they realize that 1) you, the bride, don't even know them after all this time, and 2) that COVID has forced most wedding couples to throw all traditional invite etiquette out the window. I think a virtual invite is a nice gesture, unless you're having a huge wedding Smiley winking

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  • L
    Lady ·
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    I think you're definitely taking it the wrong way! Just send a nice heartfelt thank you for the gift and be done. My IL's friends a few of my parents friends that we didn't invite did the same thing for us. I feel like this is pretty common (at least in our circle apparently!).

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  • Kari
    Master May 2020
    Kari ·
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    There's no reason you need to call them this week (especially if your wedding is this week, it would be super understandable that you are busy). I would wait until the following week to call and thank them for the generous gift.

    Some people just like giving wedding gifts. We received several gifts from my mom's friends (some of whom I have never met, or met in passing maybe once or twice) and I was surprised by the amount/generosity of these people who we don't know well and who were not invited to our wedding.

    I think older people in particular who realize they have more money saved up than they need, no longer are supporting a family, or who don't have a lot of personal connections, feel compelled to help jump start a married couple's life together. Also, parents tend to talk about their kids a lot, so even though you don't know these people your FFIL's conversations with them may very much center around his son, so they feel connected to him even though you don't have much of a concept of who they are. We sent everyone who gave us a gift a heartfelt thank you card and a photo from our elopement. One of my mom's friends (a neighbor of hers I think I have met once) even told my mom how sweet it was to get a photo and a thank you card and said she's sent wedding gifts to a lot of people and many don't even send a thank you anymore!

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