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23 July 2005 @ 08:19 pm
weddings: a no-invitation-invitation  
I got spur-of-the-moment invite to a school acquaintence's wedding last week. The outdoor ceremony is in late August, but I wasn't given an invitation or announcement, just an "oh! you should come!" and now I really do want to. She told me all about it, and it sounds lovely.
now I have a few questions...
Should I just go to the cermony?
Do you think I'm expected to attend the reception or is that just for those who got a formal invitation(I'd kind of like to stay for at least a little while)?
And since I don't know the girl very well, do you think a decent bottle of champagne would suffice as an "I wish you luck!" gift? I can't really afford much else, and my co-workers and I think that's a nice gesture.

thanks so much
Hopesnowowl on July 24th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
If what I've heard is correct, if you're invited to the ceremony then you're automatically invited to the reception.

I think the champagne is a fine idea. I tend to put money in a card; although it might sound a little tacky or impersonal, I think it's a great sentiment. The couple can use it to do something fun, help pay for the wedding, or whatever. Several friends of mine who are married said that money-gifts were great -- a whole lot more useful than five toasters or what have you. Champagne could be a great present, they can tuck it away and save it for a special occasion where they might not normally buy something like that. Just be sure that the couple drink (this seems to be more of a problem than one might think).

Have fun!
Grace O'Malleywhite_lies on July 24th, 2005 01:50 am (UTC)
I don't think I can do a money-gift without looking cheap. $20 is a shoddy amount to give someone as a wedding present...
I'll probably stick to the champagne :)
Nisienisie on July 24th, 2005 03:50 am (UTC)
20 dollars is a good gift if that is all you can afford or care to spend. The way I look at it- your presence is a present to me, the gift is gravy.
lapennlapenn on December 31st, 2005 08:27 pm (UTC)
way late response, but I'm reading thru the archives, so I thought I'd put this in for posterity:

I gave $15 to my friends this summer for their wedding. It was what I could afford. They sent me a really nice thank you note for it. I figure, if everyone gives something, it all sort of evens out. $20 isn't a lot . . . but it's not nothing. I'd only be insulted by a money gift if someone gave some change or a crisp dollar bill.
karinviolentlykarin on July 24th, 2005 12:50 am (UTC)
Along the same idea as the champagne (but possibly a bit more expensive), my boyfriend's brother and sister-in-law were given four bottles of wine for their wedding by a friend who makes their own wine. Each had a label that said "our first" and then either Christmas, new year's, valentine's day, anniversary. The idea is that on each of those occasions, the couple would sit down and drink a bottle of wine together and remember their wedding.

I thought it was such an interesting and creative idea. I was with them when they opened the new year's one, and the bride started gushing about her wedding all over again (which may have more to do with her personality now that I think about it, than the fact that she was opening another wedding gift =p)
Grace O'Malleywhite_lies on July 24th, 2005 01:45 am (UTC)
that is a very cute idea. i'm not sure about making the labels, though

but I will keep that in mind when some of my closer friends get married. I think that's awesome.
lozoodlelozoodle on July 24th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
Hmm that's a tricky one. Is there anyone you can ask to see if you are invited to the reception?? Because you didn't get a 'proper' written invite, just a verbal one, it may just be the ceremony. You don't want to just turn up at the reception and realise there is no place with your name on it. Maybe check with someone first???

Although, the bottle of champagne does sound like a nice idea :)
Grace O'Malleywhite_lies on July 24th, 2005 01:49 am (UTC)
Well I wasn't going to sit at one of the reserved tables or anything, just pop in long enough to say hello... but I'll ask around some of the other guests at the ceremony, I guess.

I'll figure something out :)
Lachesislachesis on July 24th, 2005 02:15 am (UTC)
I would confirm with the acquaintance whether or not you are invited to the reception - since oftentimes when actual paper announcements are used, a reception card included with the announcement indicates whether or not that person is invited. Since you dont have that to go on, just be polite and direct and say something like "I just wanted to say that I'm really excited about seeing your wedding ceremony, and I wanted to double check that it was alright with you if I attended the reception afterward". You could just start with the first half, and guage the conversation from there, but as far as any awkwardness on either part, I'd personally rather have a "moment" by knowing if I were attending the reception beforehand or not, than finding out once I got there.
Grace O'Malleywhite_lies on July 24th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
good point
ah hah! brilliant suggestion
gamps_garret on July 24th, 2005 02:21 am (UTC)
Easiest way to check without making it look as if you're checking -- call the bride to "RSVP." Say something along the lines of "I was so excited by your enthusiasm for your wedding. I wanted to thank you for inviting me and it turns out that I can attend and celebrate with you. Could you give me the details on time and location one more time?"

The champagne sounds like a lovely idea. A similar alternative if you'd like a bottle of something that's special and not fizzy, is to go to a wine and liquor store and spend some time with a knowledgeable clerk. Let him know that you're looking for a bottle of wine in x price range, but that it's something that won't be drunk for a year, so one that will age well. A connosiour will be able to get you a vintage for about $15 that will be wonderful after a year of aging, and will be a terrific "first anniversary" gift for the bride and her partner. You could write a note in the card to that regard.

Truly, the amount of money spent on a gift is far less important than the thought and sentiment that go into it. The type of gift that you're thinking of, one that allows the couple to continue their celebrations into the future, that marks your belief in their continued good fortune, will say much about your respect and affection for them, without reflecting on your wallet at all.

Have a wonderful time!
~ Lissa
Grace O'Malleywhite_lies on July 24th, 2005 03:51 am (UTC)
might i say that this is just a lovely comment... good suggestions but not "gah you're stupid" and very pleasant to read. i've been reading in other communities where it's just *attackattackattack* and this is a refreshing change.
thanks, by the way
gamps_garret on July 24th, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
You're very welcome. :-)

I've never understood the point of not being polite in communities like this, physical or virtual. If I get irked as I'm sure everyone does at times, I just turn off the computer and walk away.

As for the suggestions, I'm glad they were helpful. I'm an event planner by trade, so this type of thing is old hat to me. If it weren't confusing for everyone else, though, I'd be out of a job!

Best of luck to you and your friend, and enjoy the wedding!

~ Lissa
Nisienisie on July 24th, 2005 03:52 am (UTC)
For people I don't know well, I just give a simple frame and disposable camera with a note that I hope they fill the frame with good memories. It also makes a good baby shower present- it's a disposable camera so it doesn't matter if it gets misplaced at the hospital.