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Does "no gifts, please" really mean no gifts?

Two of my very best friends have been together for 10 years and are having a commitment ceremony/celebration next weekend. They've rented a beach house on Cape Cod and are having the ceremony on the beach Friday evening. I'd say there will be about 40 people (it's just friends--most of us in our 20's and 30's). The invitation says "no gifts, please". Should I or should I not get them a gift?
Also, on Saturday night there is a birthday celebration because one of them is turning 30. Can I get a gift for her for her birthday?
Help!
Thank you!
 

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No gifts really means no gifts. I'd get a card instead.

Receiving gifts can be an inconvenience, especially if you don't have a lot of space or don't like the gift.

Some people, instead of expecting gifts, ask their friends to donate something to a charity instead. You might ask your friends if you can donate something to charity in their names.
 

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I'm 24, so I may not have been to as many weddings as y'all, but I think when full grown adults get married/recognized as life partners, they should as a matter of tact state that they specifically don't want gifts. After all, as adults they've already bought the microwave and espresso maker and all those nice crystal things we bring out for special occasions. So they really don't need all those gifts we traditionally give as wedding gifts.

I attended the wedding of a fraternity brother a few years ago. I bought him a few boxes of crystal glasses. Most of the brothers who attended slipped him a card with a fifty inside, not knowing what he wanted and what he owned. It can get tricky when adults who live as adults get married and need to combine their households, and the last thing they might want is something overly practical, but which they both already own.

Obviously, for a birthday, you need to give some kind of gift. If they are older, a bottle of high end spirits might be in order, or even a g/c to a local restaurant. But don't worry too much about it, and simply give what you feel is appropriate. Cash is never acceptable for birthdays, except to children and servants, but stock certificates, collectable coins and such are practical and small enough as to not add to confusion.

Thomas
 

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I think when full grown adults get married/recognized as life partners, they should as a matter of tact state that they specifically don't want gifts. After all, as adults they've already bought the microwave and espresso maker and all those nice crystal things we bring out for special occasions. So they really don't need all those gifts we traditionally give as wedding gifts.
I'm 27, and I find that as I get older I get more discerning and picky, which makes it quite difficult for people to get gifts for me. Thankfully, I use Amazon wishlist which now has a "Universal Wishlist Button," letting me add any item from any webpage to the wishlist. That way others don't have to guess what I like, and I can still get surprised.
 

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They should as a matter of tact state that they specifically don't want gifts.
That would imply that they expected gifts, which no one has a right to do.

People who are getting married after having established a household (for whatever legal, social, or personal reason) should respond to requests for gift suggestions with "we really don't need anything, but thank you for asking."

I'm attending a wedding next weekend in which the bride has been married twice previously and the groom has been married three times. It's a safe assumption that people will not be getting them toasters or barware. Personally, knowing that the bride has written several books under her previous married name but will be glad to be rid of it, I got her stationery with her new married name.
 

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I always respect the "no gifts please" request as it relates to the function to which I have been invited, and that extends to cards and notes as well. In my mind, when the celebrant(s) requests no gifts, it also establishes a reasonable expectation that he/she/they will not be saddled with the responsibility to safekeep or otherwise keep track of items during the party. Let's face it, greeting cards cannot be easily tucked into a jacket pocket or any other type of pocket for that matter.

Perhaps I am naive to believe this, but it seems to me that no right-thinking celebrant or host would say "no gifts" and not mean it. It puts guests who honor the policy in a very awkward position and I can't imagine anyone who would intentionally want to create that kind of situation.

Mailing a card or note in advance of the party or on the actual date of whatever the celebrated event happens to be is certainly appropriate. In your particular situation, if you feel very strongly about giving a gift, I would recommend finding a common element between the two such as a gift certificate to a restaurant or a bottle of wine/spirits you are certain they both like, and present it to them on a separate, private occasion and on a date shortly after the party. This demonstrates your respect for their wishes and their other guests but at the same time gives you the opportunity to let them know that they mean enough to you that you did not want to let the occasion pass without giving them a small token of your happiness for their union. After all, that is the reason you would feel the compulsion to give a gift in such a situation.

As far as the birthday goes, I would presume that "no gifts" extends to the entire celebration.
 

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No gifts means no gifts; however, it is actually in poor form to write on an invitation "no gifts"
I'm not sure I agree with that. One of my best friends from college was getting married last year. The ceremony was private with only immediate family, but there was a reception that afternoon. In a handwritten note she wrote that at their ages, 58 and 68, there was nothing that they needed or wanted beyond the enjoyment of spending the afternoon entertaining their families and friends; therefore, just bring yourself, your good wishes, and nothing more. That's exactly what everybody did and a great time was had by all. :icon_smile:

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In a handwritten note she wrote that at their ages, 58 and 68, there was nothing that they needed or wanted beyond the enjoyment of spending the afternoon entertaining their families and friends; therefore, just bring yourself, your good wishes, and nothing more.
I think that this is probably the most tactful and classy way to do it. The note is handwritten on a printed invitation, so it's clearly more personal. It also implies that they're also talking about hostess gifts, which is considered more of an obligation than a wedding present.

I hope the actual note didn't specifically mention their ages - THAT is a bit tacky.
 

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Does "no gifts, please" really mean no gifts?

Two of my very best friends have been together for 10 years and are having a commitment ceremony/celebration next weekend. They've rented a beach house on Cape Cod and are having the ceremony on the beach Friday evening. I'd say there will be about 40 people (it's just friends--most of us in our 20's and 30's). The invitation says "no gifts, please". Should I or should I not get them a gift?
Also, on Saturday night there is a birthday celebration because one of them is turning 30. Can I get a gift for her for her birthday?
Help!
Thank you!
I get a card, but if I know the person well, I'll sometimes go for a gag gift.
 

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wow, people keep posting long after the event is over. what happened? did you get a gift? my advice would have been to bring a card with gift certificate/whatever and only present it if it appeared that everyone else was giving gifts.
 

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As has been previously mentioned, it is in very poor taste to write "no gifts" on an invitation as it implies that people have some kind of obligation to provide a gift unless told otherwise. A correct invitation will make no mention of gifts at all.

Even worse than this is asking for money in lieu of a gift. It is an utterly revolting thing to do.
 
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