Q: We have been invited to a reaffirmation of wedding vows. There will be a ceremony and sit-down dinner reception. I do not know what is appropriate for a gift (if at all). This couple has been married for 30 years and really does not need anything, so I do not know if we are expected to give them a gift and if so, how much should we spend? Thanks for your guidance.
A: Wow! 30 years and they are still going strong. That is truly an accomplishment in this day and age. Clearly a celebration is appropriate. You are correct in assuming that after 30 years, they do not need a toaster or something to dust. A token of your well wishes is still appropriate. I would suggest a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, tickets to a show or a donation to their favorite philanthropic institution. As for how much to spend…this is dependent on your budget, your relationship to this couple as well as your area of the country. For someone on a limited income in a small town, it might be $25.00. For someone who has a solid income, living in a major metropolitan center, it might be $250.00.
Jodi R. R. Smith is a nationally known etiquette expert and author. She is the president of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting. You are invited to email her your etiquette emergencies at Salem@Mannersmith.com.