Open Thread

by epi on June 18, 2013

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Barbara June 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

We sent Save the Date cards. After the guests received their card, they let us know that they will not be able to come to the wedding. Since it is now time to send the invitations, do we still send them an invitation or is it optional?

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Winifred Rosenburg June 18, 2013 at 7:30 pm

You should still send them invitations. A save the date is effectively a promise that an invitation is on the way. Responses to save the dates are not considered official responses as an invitation has not been issued yet so you should give your guests the opportunity to change their minds even if that doesn’t seem likely. If you want to, you can include a note in those invitations saying something like “we know you can’t come, but we thought you’d like to see the invitation!”

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Cyra June 18, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Since one is not required to respond to a Save-the-Date, your guests could still change their response if their schedule changes. Sending an invitation would allow them to do so!

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debbie gross June 18, 2013 at 9:23 pm

This past May (2013), my niece was supposed to graduate from college. However she failed a class and must re-take the class this fall. She was allowed to “walk” the stage with her classmates. Her parents, my sister in law and brother in law are giving her a large graduation party in 2 weeks. My husband and I are of course obligated to go, (they attended our daughter’s college graduation and party). However, I feel that my niece should not be given a party or a present from us until she truly graduates. What is the proper etiquette in this situation? Any advice?

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Lauren June 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

As she’s your niece, it’s understandable that your absence at the party might hurt feelings or raise questions. (As Alicia notes, you can of course choose not to go; though it doesn’t look that that’s your question.)

The decision that your niece be given a party is the hosts’. It would be a breach of etiquette to make it known that you don’t think she deserves a gift (the party) given by someone else. Your gift, however, is completely at your discretion. If worded carefully, there might be an appropriate way for you to postpone giving her your gift until she passes the final course: you can congratulate her at the party for the achievements she has accomplished, and say something about your future present as an incentive to keep her going through this last push!

That said, I would embrace the opportunity to celebrate with your niece. Many universities have graduations in the spring for students who still have coursework to complete in the summer term, and grades for the spring term aren’t usually calculated until after the graduation ceremonies. Yet post-ceremony parties/gifts/cards abound. Who can participate in the ceremony is limited to students with only one or two courses outstanding, so it wasn’t as though an exception was made for her to be at the ceremony. She completed the requirements for the ceremony (she won’t be having another in December), and this is the time your family decided to celebrate the degree. The extent to which you celebrate it is up to you; though, if you go to the party, it should be in at least some semblance of a congratulatory spirit.

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Alicia June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

You are never obligated to attend a party regardless if they attended or did not attend previous parties you held. If you feel that the missing class is such that she should not be having a party now then you should decline the party invite and instead when she does graduate officially celebrate with her at that point.

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