1. Gracious Giver

    I would like opinions on the appropriate amount to gift for a wedding this weekend. The bride is a former close friend and upon her engagement I reached out to congratulate her and we have remained in contact (somewhat).
    I sent her an engagement gift that was passively acknowledged in an email 2 weeks after receipt. A few months later I sent her a housewarming card and certificate to put towards new home goodies when they moved into their new home. This housewarming gift was never acknowledged which has had me wondering if it was ever received. (Judging by her lack of proper etiquette and timely thank you’s I am leaning towards the fact that it was received, but never acknowledged). I attended her bridal shower and gave her a generous gift and have yet to receive a thank you.
    When normally attending a wedding my husband and I typically give about 1.5 – 2 times what the approximate per plate is. If it is about $100 per plate for each guest as a couple we will give $300-$400. We tend to go on the higher side for our dearest friends and close family.
    Being that this bride to has shown that whatever gift I give will probably not be appreciated or acknowledge in a proper and timely manner should that affect the amount that I give her? What would you suggest gifting in a situation like this?

  2. Alicia

    Gift amounts should be influenced by the givers budget and affection for the person or people recieving the gift. Per plate is not important( someone hosting within their budget should not be penalized). The lack of thanks could influence your affection for the couple. There is no magic manners calculation in terms of monetary gifts. So no gift = 0.1% salary*(1/friendship)^intergral days delay last thank you note*tangent of travel calculation exists. Give the amount that when you look back you will feel you are neither being stingy nor speadthrift.

  3. Melissa

    Good day to all,
    I have an issue to present to Ms Post concerning her post: New Mom Etiquette. I take specific issue with the advice for breastfeeding mothers to take others comfort into consideration when nursing in public. While I agree that discretion and modesty should rule your decision while breastfeeding, I do not agree that another patron’s comfort or discomfort is more important than my hungry child. I have breastfed in public, at family gatherings, at restaurants, in malls, and in the backseat of my vehicle. I’ve done this with modesty, discretion, and the utmost of respect and care for my child. I did not cover up because it was uncomfortable for any person who may or may not have observed me nursing my child.

    I am not a flag-flying, fanatical, breastfeeding is the only way kind of parent. It took me a very long time to be comfortable nursing my daughter in public. I believe that your advice…”The key word here is discrepancy,” says Post, who once saw a woman sit on the floor in the middle of a long airport line to breast-feed. According to Post, the woman should have moved to a chair away from the crowd. Likewise, at a mall, Post suggests moving to someplace out of sight. “Be considerate of other people.” , could discourage some new moms (especially first-time moms) from this amazing ability. This advice seems so outdated.

    Breastfeeding does not come easily to all women, and supporting their decision to do so is important. I think these ‘other people’ should be aware that children are unpredictable and are not ruled by your need for discrepancy, but by the need for nutrition and love.

    Thank you for your time.
    Melissa Ayres

    • Jody

      Discretion is the key here. While I do understand the fact that “when the baby is hungry the baby needs to be fed,” I don’t think the mother necessarily needs to breast-feed in the middle of an airport line (yes, the mother should have found a chair in the airport rather than sit on the floor in the middle of an airport line). It comes down to courtesy for everybody — you give others courtesy and you’re more likely to receive it yourself.

  4. Franny Vande

    engagement acknowledgement: When we were married close to 30 years ago, etiquette then said that one never ‘congratulate’ the bride when she is engaged, just the groom. Congratulations implied that the girl had to ‘catch’ herself a groom. Instead, the groom was ‘congratulated’ because he made such a wise choice 😉 and best wishes were given to the bride to be. Today, the young people we know have never heard of this and think it’s silly when it’s mentioned. Can you verify??

    • Graceandhonor

      Franny, you are correct in your observation; many today cannot discern the subtlety this practice conveyed, and “congratulations” is now the egalitarian choice. This isn’t to say this is good, it just is. I avoid it entirely by saying, “I hope you both will be very happy!” or some such. This communicates warm thoughts while remembering a gracious etiquette practice that has largely been forgotten.

  5. Cindee

    I am a professional singer and was asked to sing for a friends wedding whose daughter is getting married. If I do not charge them my fee to sing ( a $175 value) do I still have to buy them a wedding gift?

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      No, but you should make it clear that that’s your gift, i.e. “you don’t have to pay me. It can be my wedding gift to you.”

    • Zakafury

      I have a photographer friend who generally responds to such requests with, “I charge friends and family half my normal fee, $x.00, but i’d love to do that for you as your wedding gift!”

      I feel it makes it clear that this is something of value and that you are, indeed a professional doing slightly more than a favor by working for free.

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