Random Queries, Vol. 8, Issue 12

Dear Etiquetteer: Here's new one on me! A couple we know, but are not that close to, got married this winter in a "destination" wedding - just them and a few family members and close friends flew to an exotic locale and had the wedding. We just got an invitation to a "celebration" of the event, to be held locally. How do we treat this? Like a wedding invitation? Are gifts expected? There's no mention of being registered anywhere on the invite. What is the proper thing to do? The couple has been off and on for several years, living together then splitting up, and back together, so they probably don't need housewares, etc. like a different set of newlyweds might.

I know 'destination weddings" are becoming more common, so perhaps others are in a similar clueless state as I about what those of us who weren't quite special enough to be invited to attend are to do afterwards!

Dear Destination Free:

How refreshing to hear about a wedding-related invitation that doesn't reference gifts! Since you weren't invited to the wedding ceremony itself, since this isn't a shower, and since you by your own admission you aren't that close to the Happy Couple, Etiquetteer wouldn't require you to bring or send a gift. That said, a Lovely Note of Congratulations should be sent to them whether or not you attend the party, and a Lovely Note of Thanks afterward if you do.

Dear Etiquetteer:

When one is referring to one's niece or nephew by marriage, does one say, "My niece/nephew," or "My husband's/wife's niece/nephew?"

Dear Auntie:

In the words of the immortal Claudia Caswell,* "Either one."

*If you don't know who Claudia Caswell is, Etiquetteer can only suggest you head over to the Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts. Perhaps you'll meet in passing.


Etiquetteer will be delighted to accept your questions about manners, morals, and Perfect Propriety at queries_at_etiquetteer_dot_com.