By: Maralee McKee, Manners Mentor
Today’s our first official Q&A Day. Let’s jump in with two questions.
The first is about how many gifts you need to buy when a friend is getting married and you’re going to multiple celebrations. The second is about how to congratulate your boss on a promotion without it appearing like you’re seeking special favor. Both are great questions! And both are from listeners of my former radio segment on Positive Hits Z88.3 FM.
Q&A: Gifts for Showers and Weddings, What’s Enough?!
Q. Dear Maralee,
Recently my fiancee and I were invited to our friends’ engagement party. I know we will be invited to their bridal shower and wedding, too. Is it true that we are expected to bring a gift to each event? Also, we’re attending a couple of weddings soon where we are invited to the wedding only, not the reception. Do we bring gifts? We love to give. It’s not a problem, but since you’re the expert, we thought we’d ask you!
Thanks so very much!
First, congratulations on your upcoming marriage. I wish you and your future bride a blessed and happy lifetime together.
Gifts aren’t given at engagement parties with the exception of perhaps close family members giving the couple a “large” gift (example: money for the honeymoon) or passing down a family heirloom (example: great grandma’s silver tea service, jeweled ring, necklace, or such).
As far as the shower and wedding, yes, if you attend both, you give a gift for each. For the shower, bring the gift there. For the wedding, hand-deliver or mail the gift to the bride’s address beforehand.
If you’re invited to multiple showers for the same couple, you can bring your gift to just one of the showers. No guest should ask, “Where’s your gift, man?” But if that happens, you can say, “We gave it to them at a previous shower.”
Or take the money you were going to spend, divide it by the number of showers, and buy a smaller gift for each shower.
As far as being invited to the wedding but not the reception, while I understand that it’s done sometimes, it’s not the norm, and it’s not especially polite. You can give a gift if you wish, but since you’re attending a religious service, no gift is needed, because attending a service isn’t a gift-giving occasion (traditional weddings are considered religious services regardless of whether they’re in a church.)
Blessings on your marriage!
Q&A: Congratulating Your Boss on Her Promotion
Q. Hello Maralee,
I love learning something new from you all the time! Thanks for doing what you do. I have a work-related question and was wondering if you would respond.
My direct boss has just been named vice president of the company. I would like to give her a congratulations card. Is that appropriate? Is a gift appropriate as well?
I appreciate your time to respond.
You’re kind to want to congratulate your boss with a card and gift. I remember from my twelve years in management that, while I was always happy when people got promoted (especially if the promotion was mine!), I was always nervous about who was going to take that person’s place and how the new boss would impact my day-to-day work. I understand this can be a time of uncertainty, and I hope it’s a smooth and happy transition for you.
A card is certainly fine. In fact, I’m sure she’ll appreciate it — especially anything you handwrite about what she taught you pertaining to your job or what you gleaned from her that you incorporate in your daily life.
As for a gift, one isn’t necessary, and unless it’s small, it could send the wrong signal to other associates about your intentions. If you would like to pass along a gift to her, some home-baked or quality-bakery goods are fine; a fruit basket or a small potted plant for her new office would be fine, too (orchids are always nice).
May your new boss turn out to be your new favorite boss!
It would be a personal favor if you’d please pass this blog post along to your friends, family, and those in your social media circles. Please Share, Like, Pin, Tweet, Google +, and email this post so that people know our Manners Mentor family is here trying to make the world more gracious one interaction at a time by setting the gold standard for living out the Golden Rule.
Also, welcome to all our new subscribers this week! It’s an honor to have you join us! I’m glad you’re here and hope that you’ll always feel at home.
Now, you all write me some etiquette questions so we have plenty to post! You can send them to me at [email protected] I’ll change your name and enough of the details so that your identity will be hidden while the question remains the same (unless you tell me not to). I aim to please.
Until next week, remember to take time to have some fun. Even if, like me, you have to plan it. Life goes by too fast. Sometimes, we have to be intentional about fun or we’ll miss out on too many smiles. And smiles are as vital to our souls as food is to our body. Without them, we grow weak and weary too easily.
Hugs and blessings,