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20-40-60 Etiquette: Do I say "no gifts, please?"

by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Callie Athey Published: May 5, 2013

QUESTION: We are sending out college graduation announcements for our son. At this time, so many people are hurting financially. We want people to rejoice and be a part, but they cannot even attend as the school gives four tickets only per graduate. I want to include a note in the announcement like: “Please celebrate with us during this important event. No gift, but good wishes, are required.”

Help me. I don't know if this seems tacky. I need to get them out quickly.

CALLIE'S ANSWER: I understand that you want to celebrate your son! Putting a note on the announcement is fine! Just expect that some people will give gifts.

LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: You're on the right track, and I think people will understand that graduation seating is limited and that you simply wanted to share your good news. Then they can decide whether they're close enough to your family to send a gift or a card or just good wishes. Just because you sent a graduation announcement does not indicate to your friends that you're expecting gifts. Whatever you say, I would keep it as simple on the announcement as you can.

HELEN'S ANSWER: It is always appropriate to send graduation announcements even though they might not be invited to attend the ceremonies. People like to know when their friends and family members are graduating. It is up to the individual person whether they send a gift or not and they will make that decision. If the invitation comes from a family member, they will probably send a gift. If the announcement is from an acquaintance, maybe not.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Athey
Freelance Writer
Callie Athey is 20-something and is a graduate from the University of Oklahoma. She has worked in various positions, ranging from Event Coordinator to Environmental Health and Safety Assistant. Currently, Callie is an Executive Assistant to a...
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