Q. I have been invited to a wedding and on the reception card it stated "NO GIFTS PLEASE". I feel awkward not bringing anything. I was thinking about a donation or something like that. What is the acceptable thing to do here?
A. If the invitations state "No Gifts Please - just kidding!!" maybe you should feel awkward - BUT - let's do two things here - the "NO GIFTS PLEASE" is poor etiquette, a no-no, not done. The ONLY time it is proper to have a "no gifts please" concept on an invitation is if it states "in lieu of gifts, a donation to XXX charity would be appreciated". Now - when someone goes to the trouble to "tell you like it is" you just have to take them at their word and leave it alone - it would be in just as poor taste to offer, make a donation, or bring a gift if they has specifically asked you not too - it's like flaunting it in their faces. The acceptable thing to do is go, enjoy, congratulate, send a thanks for the invite card after the fact and, with the money you've saved buy yourself something really nice for the occasion - you deserve it for being so caring!