Eloping and wedding announcements


My boyfriend and I are planning to marry this September, in Las Vegas. This is a second marriage for both of us (we're late 40's), and aside from that, neither of us likes to be the center of attention, therefore we are going to elope while on vacation. We have no reception plans.

We would like to send out an announcement to our friends and family; however; we don't want gifts. We have been together twelve years, and quite frankly we don't like the idea of having a family member or friend feel the need to give a gift, especially when they gave us one for each of our first (failed) marriages.

I read that it is poor etiquette and insulting to put "NO GIFTS, PLEASE" on the announcement because it is supposed to be "understood", but I don't know if it really is "understood". Wouldn't stating "NO GIFTS, PLEASE" on the announcement make it clearer for the recipient? Is it really insulting to state "no gifts"? Is there a better way to word it? Any ideas or opinions are appreciated.

Comments (5)
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Announcements, by their very definition, are not a trigger for a gift.

Anyone who thinks they are needs to buy an etiquette book and actually read it.

However, those of us who love you may actually be moved to buy you a gift despite that, simply because we love you so much and wish to express that in a tangible way.

Please don't shut us off before we've even started.

That's my own objection to "no gifts." I feel hurt (not insulted, but hurt) to have my generosity rejected, *especially* before I've even started.

Compare it to how someone might feel if they've happily shopped and schemed, and selected, and wrapped, a present, and proudly presented it to the person they esteem so much, to be greated with "Oh, you shouldn't have."

If someone can be bothered to actually go buy you a present this time around, it is because they actually CARE about you. Don't shut the door on that. We're grownups; we all know we bought you a gift the first time around. If we did it this time, it's probably because we want to. Even if we feel a slight obligation along w/ it, then what's going on is that we want to send you the message that we consider you, or our family relationship, as important to us.

If you fear that some of your friends and relatives haven't done much reading of etiquette books, you could perhaps lesser their erroneous perception that a gift is required by skipping the announcement and writing letters instead.

It might seem as if writing 50 letters or notes might be too much work compared w/ sending pre-printed announcements, but in terms of sheer time, it probably isn't that different.

W/ preprinted announcements, you have to choose a font, a printer, etc. (and of course, you still have to address envelopes).

Get some note cards, write "Dear Auntie Sue & Uncle Bill: Sam and I are excited to inform you that we married in Las Vegas on September 12. [We look forward to seeing you at Christmas.]"

or, [Call us if you want to hear the details] or [some other platitude that seems appropriate]

You could also say, "We aren't planning a reception, but we do hope to see you at the next family gathering." Because people will wonder, and in a *letter* you can say that sort of thing (announcements often make stuff like this odd to say: "no reception is planned"? not cool in announcement, but OK to give that info in a letter)

And just as you do w/ preprinted announcements, you can write them all ahead of time, and mail them after the fact.

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Thanks for your ideas. I never would have printed "no reception" on the announcement; however; I will leave off "no gifts" because of the good points that you make.

Thanks again.

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Totally agree with Tally Sue - I'd do letters. Less than five minutes apiece, maybe 50 letters - you're talking about a couple nights' work in front of the television.

Best of luck, by the way!

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I, too, agree with Talley Sue's excellent advice.

It would be even better if you were adding the announcement of your marriage into letters you were sending them anyway -- like birthday cards, etc. -- but that wouldn't be most of them. Too bad Xmas is so far off! I wouldn't rule out phone calls and e-mail, either, if that suits your family's style. Or maybe some combination like phone calls and e-mail to the closest of the close (who know anyway) and your peer-group cousins and friends, and letters to aunts and uncles, old family friends, etc.

Talley Sue is right that announcements are NOT prompts for gifts, nor do they obligate the recipients to send them. But I almost always feel like I should send a gift when I get one, and occasionally -- when it is something like the graduation announcement of the child I don't know at all of someone I barely know -- I feel a little pushed.

As you seem to be sensing that that is how your recipients might feel, too, I think letters, or some combination of letters, calls, and e-mails, fits your purpose. Does that feel right?

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Thanks everyone. I think that the letter is the best option for me. Many of my relatives are in their 80's and I feel that they will send a gift should they receive an announcement. I was most concerned about them sending something to us. I am sure most are financially secure, but they've been retired for years, but who knows. The letter will be best. Thanks for idea and support of the idea.

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