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When Hostess Says No Gifts, Does That Really Mean No Gifts?

Ask a Savvy Bride: Should I Bring a Gift When She Said No Gifts?

Wedding etiquette can be tricky. If you have a dilemma like the one below, be sure to ask our Savvy Bride for help in the Ask Savvy group.

Dear Savvy,

A very close friend of mine has been married for six years. They are an amazing couple and I love them both dearly. I don't know if this is a new trend or what, but they've caught the renewing their vows bug; and they do it every year! While I love the opportunity to see old friends and have a good time in their honor, it seems a bit much, not to mention expensive when you factor in giving a gift every year. I just received their invitation for this year's extravaganza, and for the first time, they said no gifts; but isn't it tacky not to bring at least a little something?
Unsure Sally

To see the Savvy Bride's advice,


Savvy Bride says:

I'm a big proponent of never attending a party empty-handed, especially a wedding, but if someone specifically requests no gifts, I think it's OK to make an exception to the rule. Since this couple has renewed their vows six times already, I think it's fair to sit this one out. If you're totally against going empty-handed, making a donation in their name to a charity seems like a sweet alternative — it's really a gift for both of you. I might take a different approach to this question if it was a milestone anniversary, but if you've ever wanted to sit a year out, this is your year!

Ask anything budget-, etiquette-, or planning-related — well, almost anything — by posting your questions in the Ask Savvy group, and I'll find the right expert to help you out. If you are planning a wedding, already happily wed, or still looking for Mr. Right, start sharing your big day with our community. Don’t forget to check the wedding content box on your post.

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Join The Conversation
runningesq runningesq 7 years
They renew their vows EVERY year? Overkill, IMO. I don't think you need to bring anything, although if you wanted to bring a bottle of wine and a card I think they'd appreciate it.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
I'm with skigurl on this one, buy a card and maybe a bottle of wine. I've been to a few "renewal" ceremonies and have taken a card and a token gift.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
I'd buy a congrats card - I mean, it's a nice token to say you're thinking of them and are happy for them, but it's not over the top - also, you could go with a reasonable bottle of wine, which is also appropriate since they are hosting a party for you and you enjoy the the 20$ shouldn't be too much to spend but I think they must realize that they can't expect to have a "Wedding" every year and be splashed with gifts, which is why maybe they decided this year to SAY no gifts, because people brought them in the past, and maybe they never even expected it in the first place
GirlOverboard GirlOverboard 7 years
If they say "no gifts," then show up giftless! There are probably good reasons why they don't want gifts - maybe they realized it's unfair to expect gifts from friend every year, maybe the venue is already going to be a tight fit without having to worry about storing gifts, maybe they don't want to have to worry about that much more stuff to pack up and take home with them, maybe they don't have the space or need anything for their home or maybe they're just tired of writing "Thank You" notes. Regardless of the reason, bringing a gift is going against their wishes and may end up just being a burden to them.
Liss1 Liss1 7 years
I would have no problem not buying a gift if they do this every year! It's nice if they want to renew their vows every year but they got presents at their wedding and no one should have to buy them gifts every year on their anniversary. JMO
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