Dear Annie: My niece recently married her live-in boyfriend. They chose to marry in another country, but didn’t send any announcements or invitations. That’s fine, because it was expensive.
When one aunt who could afford the plane fare and hotel asked whether she could attend, she was told “no.” The only guests were the parents. The aunt was deeply hurt. I felt bad for her and angry with the bridal couple for being so rude. When they returned to the States, another family member asked whether there would be a reception and was told there wouldn’t be.
Now they are hinting for presents. My sister-in-law asked me to go in with her to purchase a rather expensive gift, and I refused because of the way they treated the aunt. My family is angry with me. Frankly, I never want to hear from that niece again. Am I wrong? – Ex-Auntie
Dear Ex: Yes. The bridal couple can invite whomever they wish, and if they choose a small, immediate-family-only wedding with no stateside reception, that is up to them. The aunt was wrong to ask for an invitation simply because she could afford it. If they wanted extended family to be there, they would have invited everyone.
For most folks, if you are not invited to a wedding, you are not obligated to give a gift. But this is family, and yours is trying to be gracious and happy for the newlyweds by giving a gift. If you don’t wish to contribute, that’s up to you. But please don’t cut off your niece because you didn’t approve of her guest list. At least send a card with your best wishes.