Q: We mailed out our “save the date” notices about a month ago. Last week, our financial situation changed drastically. As a result, we need to cut our list to about 25% of our guests. We have been calling people personally to tell them the news. Thankfully, our friends have been very understanding of the situation, which is wonderful at this awkward time.
However, a friend we haven’t told the news to yet sent us a wedding gift. What is the proper way to handle this situation? Should I return the gift immediately, then call her to let them know I shipped it back and why I sent it back? Or should I call her to tell them news and offer to send the gift back?
A: Your situation is not uncommon. You actually have a number of options. The first is to proceed with your wedding as planned, just with fewer guests. The second is to keep the number of guests, but to rethink the actual wedding/reception. It sounds as if you have already decided on fewer guests, which leaves you calling those who are now disinvited. As for the friend who has already sent the gift. Call her immediately to let her know the new wedding plans and ask how she wants you to proceed. (You can send the gift back or return it at a store near you for a credit to her account.) If she is truly a friend, she will understand. Be sure to thank her for her thoughtfulness and well wishes either way.
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