Home News How do you politely say no gifts at a wedding? – Chicago...

How do you politely say no gifts at a wedding? – Chicago Tribune


Dear Amy: I am getting married in July at the age of 54. My boyfriend and I have been together for 18 years and have no children. This is our first marriage and we just never saw any reason to get married before, but now due to some plans for our future, we know that being married will be easier for us.

We are having my sister be the officiant and we will have a brief exchange of vows with only my parents and two siblings in attendance. Later we will have a party, and everything is taking place in our backyard.

One of the nice things about getting married so late in life is the guest list sure is small! And this is perfect for us because we don’t want a huge, elaborate reception. We also don’t want people to give, or feel obligated to give, anything to us as a wedding gift. Since we’ve been together for so long, we don’t need anything.

How can I let them know that we really mean “no gifts” without it sounding like fake modesty?

Maybe it’s from watching the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” show about this topic, but I know that people say “please, no gifts” all the time and don’t mean it.

We don’t want people feeling obligated to bring a gift and I’m not sure how to convey that correctly.

Any advice would be appreciated!

– Finally Doing It

Dear Finally: Congratulations! I hope you find your later-in-life wedding and marriage wonderful in every way.

I need to offer a gentle correction: Comparing your level-headed and modest choices to the wealthy, selfish and neurotic characters in “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will take you down some pretty zany plotlines.

If you saw “no gifts, please” on a wedding invitation, would you think it was “fake modesty,” and bring a gift despite the couple’s stated request?

I don’t think you would, because your life is not scripted by Larry David.

You can use the standard: “No gifts, please: Your presence is the only gift we need,”

or you could ask your guests to participate in a local food or book drive. Wedding guests have become accustomed to charitable gifting requests from their hosts.

No matter what you state, a very few guests might bring gifts, anyway – because some people just can’t seem to bear arriving at a celebration event empty-handed.

Accept any gifts you receive with gratitude, and send a note of thanks afterward.

Dear Readers: In advance of my last “Ask Amy” column in this space, which will run on June 30, I’m rerunning some previous Q&As – pulled from my files. This Q&A ran in 2020.

Dear Amy: I’ve been married for almost 40 years, pretty much happily.

My husband and I still enjoy an active sex life. We are comfortable empty-nesters with good lives.

So why do I crush on guys at the gym? I’ve had crushes on two different men I see regularly while working out.

My current crush is not a youngster – he is definitely older than my kids (30+) – but I’m so attracted to him.

Honestly, it makes my day when I see him there. We’ve never spoken, but we recognize each other. Seeing him there is exciting.

I know this is silly, but I look forward to going to the gym just in case he’s there.

I want to do more than just look, but I know that nothing would ever happen between us.


– Perplexed

Dear Perplexed: Crushing on, or being attracted to people other than your partner means that you are a human being in the prime of your life – healthy, and presumably feeling good. Your eyes still work, your pheromones are doing their job (his, too!), your workouts are giving you energy, and you are feeling attractive, and attracted.

The clinical term I’ve assigned to this is: The Ryan Gosling Effect.

The trick here is not to leave this at the gym, but to take all of this energy back home to your partner. I hope you will crush on your husband with enthusiasm.

Dear Readers: Before I show myself out at the end of June, I’m delighted to make way for your newest advice-giver: R. Eric Thomas, whose “Asking Eric” column will continue to foster the engaging relationship we’ve shared. Eric is young, smart, and a talented advice-giver – formerly of the Dear Prudence column.

You can help Eric get started by sending your questions to [email protected].

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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