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We are a group of close friends. Two months ago, two of our friends got married. Usually we give a gift to them when they hold a party. But, because of the coronavirus, they didn't hold any party, just a basic ceremony. We couldn't attend and couldn't give any gift. They have said they'll give a party at a later time, but there is no exact date yet.

Now, the situation is much better, another friend is getting married, and she will hold a wedding party (already allowed by government). We have plans to attend it and give a gift.

The problem is, how we can act fair and communicate this to the two friends that we didn't give a gift? We don't want to hurt their feelings.

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  • Hey bongaloo, do you know if those two friends who already got married are planning in doing a party later?
    – Ael
    Jul 28 '20 at 8:22
  • Also, in what country are you? Answers might change a lot depending on the culture.
    – Ael
    Jul 28 '20 at 8:26
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    Would there be a problem with sending a gift to their place instead of handing it over at the party? Is it some type of “honor” related custom?
    – AsheraH
    Jul 28 '20 at 9:48
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    You said you already asked your friends if they'd give a party, and they said they'd do so later... Are you in a position where you could ask them again if this is still the case/if they know more already about the plans? Are you planning to attend this later party, and give them a gift then? What makes you think 'just' being honest and promising them a gift when they give their party won't work/will hurt their feelings?
    – Tinkeringbell
    Jul 28 '20 at 12:10
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    What stop you from telling them exactly what you are telling us ? If they are good friends, they wouldn't take bad you saying "Hey, I still didn't give you your wedding gift as I thought about giving it during the party like [other friend]. But covid and everything happened... Did you manage to plan another date yet ?"
    – Fanie Void
    Dec 22 '20 at 11:24
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In France (where I am from), there is this social rule that you only give gifts to people who invited you to the celebration (birthday, christening, marriage, etc...) or gave you a gift linked to said celebration. So, basically, gift-giving is for reciprocating something. It's a way to thank someone for spending money or time on you.

Furthermore, the value of the gift needs to be related to how much the person spends on you. So, if someone helped you with a small favor, you can reciprocate by giving them a small gift, but it would be considered bad etiquette/rude to give them something of too much value (because then, they will be the one feeling like they have an obligation toward you).

I don't know what the culture is in Indonesia, but if it's similar to France and taking into account that your friends have "said they'll give a party at a later time", here is what I would do:

When the topic of the wedding is brought up, casually asked your friend if they know when they will be doing their wedding party. Then say something like:

I can't wait to have the party so that I can finally give you your gifts!

By doing that, your friends will be reassured that you are still planning to give them a gift and that you are simply waiting for the party to do so.

If it turns out your friends won't do a party after all, then according to the (French) social etiquette, you can still give them a small gift. You just need to make sure that it's noticeably smaller than if there had been a party.

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