Is it improper to decline a wedding reception invitation just because you do not wish to attend? I received a “save the date” postcard from a co-worker’s daughter for her wedding. I don’t know this girl or her fiance, and I’m not particularly close to her mother.

Where we live, a gift of $150 per person is expected if you attend a wedding reception. My husband and I are on a tight budget, and a $300 gift would be a sacrifice. In addition, my husband would have to take time off work to attend and lose a night’s income.

We attended her older daughter’s wedding seven years ago, but enough is enough. This will never be reciprocated, as our children will not be marrying. If they did, I wouldn’t invite my co-workers to their weddings. Can I decline the invitation by saying we are sorry, but we are unable to attend? Or is it mandatory that we attend? — DON’T WANT TO IN ILLINOIS


An invitation is not a command performance! Because you don’t want to go, and because it would create a financial hardship, check “will not attend” on the RSVP card included with the invitation. It’s that simple. Although you won’t be obligated to spend $300, it would be nice if you sent the happy couple a card wishing them a long and happy marriage.

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