Gift Gab : Can you give cash or gift cards as a gift?

Q. Is it appropriate to give cash or gift cards at a bridal shower of a distant relative?

A. No, it is not appropriate. The main “entertainment” of a shower, in addition to the refreshments, is the opening of presents. It is very awkward for the bride-to-be to sit and open envelopes of money or gift cards while the gathered guests watch in silence.

Invitation Issue : How do you Narrow down Guest lists?

Q. My son is getting married this summer. We have given the bride a list of about 100 guests. Her parents list is right now at 185. The bride tells me that it is etiquette that if names need to be cut off of the list they come off of the grooms family list not the bride. That the brides family gets to invite as many people as they want because they are paying for the wedding and it’s all about what the bride wants not the groom. So if her parents decide there are too many guests on the list they will cut our list and not theirs. Is this true? Doesn’t seem right to me. We are also planning our daughters wedding a month later and are inviting the same as the grooms parents. Seem only fair to me.

A. Traditionally each family is allotted half of the desired total guest count, a figure determined largely by the person hosting the wedding.  A way of starting to decide whom to invite is to combine four lists, thus formulating the master list.  Start with lists from the bride, the groom, the bride’s, and the groom’s parents.  It is necessary that everyone make up their lists realistically.  As acceptances and regrets become known, the weight’s of the lists may vary.

What About Mom and Dad? : Are you still required to send invitations to your parents?

Q. Are wedding invitations sent to members of the bridal party and parents if the bride and groom?

A. Yes, you send  your attendants, invitations. The invitations indicate exactly who is invited and serve as a nice memory, as well. You don’t have to mail your parents invitations but it is nice to give each a complete invitation for them to have.

Conditions on Permission ? : What to say when asking parents permission to marry

Q. What exactly is the proper wording when asking parents permission to marry their daughter? May I ask your permission for your daughter’s hand in marriage? May I marry your daughter?

A. Oh my goodness! This always seems more stressful than it usually is, but if you have asked for a private moment with her parents, you preface your question with a thank you, and then ask. “Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me. I asked for this opportunity to ask your permission to marry Stacey, and for your blessings. I love her completely and can promise you that I will always cherish her.” You might then ask if they have any questions they need to ask you, or if they simply ask them, answer honestly. Assuming they indeed give their blessings, the following celebration will direct itself. Best wishes!

What’s Up with Ushers? : Do you include ushers when purchasing a gift for the groomsmen?

Q. Does one include the ushers when purchasing a gift for the groomsmen for being in the wedding?
If so, should it be the same gift or is it a gift of lesser value?

A. One of the duties of a groomsman is to usher guests, which is why the term groomsman and usher are interchangeable. However, if there are additional ushers, they should also receive a gift. The choice of gift and its cost would be a personal choice.