Miss Manners by Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin

Responding to ‘I Hate What You Teach’

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When my daughter got married, the wedding was quite small -- immediate family only, without a reception or party. The ceremony was at our house, and she left afterwards for the city where she and her husband live.

Shortly after, she sent out wedding announcements to her close friends and our friends/family. It was a simple announcement without any mention of gift registries. She was concerned that including that information would appear as though she were trolling for gifts.

She has heard from only a handful of people. Her comment was that she had hoped for some sort of congratulatory note or acknowledgment.

So what is the proper response to a wedding announcement? Is she wrong to have hurt feelings? I must admit, I am somewhat disappointed and hurt, also.

GENTLE READER: That is, unfortunately, a common disappointment. Miss Manners is afraid that it has gotten so that people react to receiving wedding invitations or announcements by wondering, “Do we have to buy a present?” rather than with pleasure at the happiness of others.

And if no present is required, they feel that there is nothing to be done. And so they do nothing, omitting the decency of wishing their friends well. Your daughter has informed friends that she was married -- and they have turned away without saying anything. That they will claim that they didn’t know they were supposed to do anything is no excuse.