Q: My husband and I have been invited to the wedding of a couple who’ve lived together for at least five years. Instead of customary gifts (they own all a couple could possibly need), they are asking guests to donate to a travel fund they created for a long trip to the South Seas. Sorry, but that strikes me as crass.
A: The couple’s mistake was not in hoping for a certain type of wedding gift-money, gift certificates, and even “donations” to pay for pricey trips are all appropriate these days. Where they went wrong was in telling guests what to give. It is each guest’s prerogative to decide what to get and how much to spend. That’s why the trend of slipping gift-registry information on invitations is so tasteless. The best way for a couple to share their wish list is through word of mouth: Tell close friends and relatives about dream gifts and let them spread the word.