Can I fix this late-wedding-gift gaffe?
April 4, 2012 6:22 PM   Subscribe

I am very embarrassed about this. Last September, I attended the wedding of some good friends who live far away from me. At the brunch the day after the wedding, I discussed with the bride the gift I planned to give them to make sure it was one they'd want. AskMe, I still have not ordered that gift. Can I fix this by ordering it now and enclosing a note of apology? What do I say? Or do I get in touch with the couple first to find out if they still need it or would prefer something else in case they've already gotten one for themselves?

This is anonymous because of my complete and total mortification that I'm apparently the type of person who goes to a wedding and doesn't send a gift.

The gift I am planning to get them is an all purpose fire extinguisher (a gift idea I got from MeFi, incidentally).
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (13 answers total)
You have a year to send a gift, there is absolutely no need to be embarrassed in the least. Just send it without apology; none is needed.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:28 PM on April 4, 2012 [10 favorites]

You absolutely have a year to send the gift. Just order it, enclose a nice, short note (no mention of the passing of time is necessary), and you're good to go!
posted by cooker girl at 6:29 PM on April 4, 2012

DarlingBri is correct. According to no less an authority than Miss Manners herself, Judith Martin, wedding gifts can be sent within a year of the wedding day without fear of breach of etiquette.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:30 PM on April 4, 2012

Wow, don't even worry about this. Just send the gift.

You really can't have too many fire extinguishers. They will be delighted to get it and will love to hear from you.
posted by corey flood at 6:30 PM on April 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Yep - send it - it will be fine.
posted by mleigh at 6:35 PM on April 4, 2012

Thanks for asking this! I am in the same boat for a November 2011 wedding... My shame had grown exponentially with every passing month!
posted by cecic at 6:53 PM on April 4, 2012

I just got a wedding gift today in the mail. I got married in mid-2010. Here were my exact thoughts:

"Oh, how lovely!"

Here's what never crossed my mind:

"Wow, took them long enough. They should be so embarrassed."

Send the gift, without apology or mortification. Cool people are always pleased to receive a gift!
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:14 PM on April 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

You have a year. Don't worry about it.
posted by spaltavian at 7:42 PM on April 4, 2012

you have a year, as everyone as said. i just wanted to add that you should relax and pat yourself on the back! it's very sweet of you to be so upset about this.
posted by anthropomorphic at 7:56 PM on April 4, 2012

Nthing that yes, you have a year. It's very nice of you to be concerned, and I love the idea of a fire extinguisher.

Anecdote: My cousin got married in September 2010. In July I was stressing about not having sent a gift yet, but then they split up! Problem solved. But I hope this doesn't happen with your friends.
posted by apricot at 8:16 PM on April 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I came in here expecting that you'd be talking about a particular hard-to-find hand-made highly-identifiable non-returnable something-or-other. The good news is, fire extinguishers are standard, very useful even if they already have one, or if for some reason it's not entirely useful to them, it's eminently regiftable, likely returnable, etc. Just send it, don't worry about the timing, don't worry about whether it's the perfect gift or if they have one. If it's purchased from a standard store, include a gift receipt or some indication of where it came from.
posted by aimedwander at 7:44 AM on April 5, 2012

Mod note: This is not the thread where we rehash gripes about wedding etiquette generally. This is where we help the OP solve their problem. Thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:16 AM on April 5, 2012

Being on the receiving end of this is awesome, actually... because the excitement & newness has all worn off and the other gifts have long since been opened & some even forgotten. So getting a gift in the middle of a random not-particularly-special day is fun & special. I received my last wedding gift a full year after the wedding, and it was great, because it was so out of the blue. I still remember what it was (glass picture frame, really pretty).

When I received it, I thought only of how nice it was to get a gift, and how much I loved the person who sent it.

Really, truly: Don't worry. Dump the guilt and send the gift.
posted by eleyna at 1:30 AM on April 6, 2012

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