Q: Growing up, I lived in close vicinity to a lot of cousins, and we spent a ton of time together. Every holiday, birthday, and backyard BBQ we celebrated together, and it was wonderful. Even after we eventually all moved away, we’ve done our best to keep in touch and love each other very much.
Years ago my dad and one of his siblings had a falling out and rarely speak to each other. As a result, I didn’t get to spend as much time with this sibling’s kids as I did with the rest of my cousins. We’re not that close, but we’re still family, and I’m excited to see them whenever possible. What happened between our parents has nothing to do with us, and I don’t see it as a reason not to keep in touch.
Flash forward to 2018, and both myself and one of these cousins are getting married a few months apart. Without giving it a second thought I invited him and the rest of his family to my wedding. Meanwhile, I wasn’t invited to his. Neither were my parents.
Overall, I’m much more sad than mad about this situation. I was really excited to celebrate both our special occasions together, and didn’t think that our parents’ issues would impact our relationship to each other to such an extent. But here’s my current conundrum: my cousin, along with the rest of his family, RSVP’d “no” to my wedding (not surprised). But he sent me a very expensive gift from my registry (VERY surprised).
Should I give my cousin a wedding gift, when I wasn’t invited to to his event? Part of me says “yes” because despite the current situation I still love him, and I want him to know that. The other, more petty part says “no” because… I wasn’t invited! What’s proper protocol here?
Would you give a gift if you weren’t invited to the wedding? Is it rude not to send a gift? How do you respond to a situation like this?