DEAR HARRIETTE: I was recently invited to an engagement party and wedding. I have known the couple for a while now, and I would like to attend their wedding. But there's one problem, I am not able to give them a gift at this time. Do I decline their invitations? Or do I tell them about my financial situation? -- The Reception, Brooklyn, New York
DEAR THE RECEPTION: I have great news for you! It is considered appropriate for a wedding guest to give a gift to the newly married couple any time within the first year. While many people do give right away, you have that space of time if you need it.
You may also want to get creative with your gift. Some friends choose to give loved ones an IOU for a homemade dinner at a later date. Others have offered creative services that are specific to their skills and of value to the newlyweds. This could include anything from landscaping support to dog walking. You can make a great experience for them that does not have to be cost prohibitive.