Post # 1
My husband and I are declining a wedding as we were only invited “to be courteous” because my sister-in-law is the wedding sponsor (in our religion this is a fairly big deal). The bride told my SIL she was inviting the entire family as a formality.
Since we were only invited to be respectful, we plan on declining so the bride can invite her b-list. However, I’m wondering how much we should spend on a wedding gift. We don’t know the bride and groom very well. I was also invited to the shower since my Mother-In-Law and SIL were in attendance and I spent $130 on the shower gift. I feel like this was a fairly generous shower gift.
That being said, what do you think is an appropriate gift to send? Some people are suggesting that strictly we cover the cost per plate. The cost per plate is $250/per person. Even if we were attending, we would not spend $500 on a wedding gift for someone we don’t know well (sorry lol). What do you think is an appropriate gift in this scenario? $100 item off the registry?
Post # 2
You already gave a $130 gift. I would give nothing. If you’re declining how are they paying for your plate? That’s messed up to invite you under those circumstances so I don’t see why you owe them a gift. Big nope from me. Not your problem that they chose a $250 per plate meal.
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2025 - City, State
You’ve already given a very generous gift to people you don’t even know. Decline and be done with it.
Post # 4
You already spend $130 more than you should have. Also, the shower gift IS the wedding gift. The shower just makes it easier on the couple for not having to transport gifts on the wedding day.
A gift should be based on how close you are to the person and your budget. You are not close to this person so you shouldn’t be getting the a gift. Plus you already got them a wedding gift.
Not only do you have no plate to cover because you are declining but that isn’t the rule anyway. The couple’s budget does not dictate your budget.
I understand that some people feel pressured to invite people they aren’t close to so I won’t be mad at them, but I wish they would stop.
Post # 5
I would not give a second gift, you were already more than generous with your shower gift. A nice card wishing them well in their marriage along with your RSVP response of “not attending” is more than sufficient.
Post # 6
I would send a card with my heeartfelt best wishes. A $130 shower gift is over the top for someone you don’t know well.
Post # 7
Thank you- I purposefully purchased a generous shower gift as I wasn’t planning on going to the wedding, and that was going to be it. However, when I mentioned it to some family/friends they seemed to think that I should give a wedding gift as well since my a-list invitation trumped that of her b-list guests. However, if we decline promptly I’m certain they’ll find people to “fill our seats”? (The venue strictly holds a certain amount)
I just don’t want to do the rude/improper thing since, while WE personally are not close to the bride and groom, our SIL’s involvement is huge (she essentially marries the couple and performs important duties during the wedding, so we do understand to some extent why we were invited) and we will likely see them at holidays, events, etc. Sounds like the shower gift will suffice.
Post # 8
There is no obligation to give anything if you do not attend. A wedding gift is connected to only two things, closeness of relationship and budget. If I care about a couple I will give a gift of equivalent value whether I can attend or not. Cover the plate is a gross concept and has never had anything to do with etiquette.
In this case, I would either be offended to actually hear I was a courtesy invite or not have expected an invitation in the first place. Needless to say, no need for any gift at all in that case.
While showers are optional, shower and wedding gifts are normally two separate things. Shower gifts are brought to the shower, but I agree it is most considerate to send wedding gifts ahead of the wedding.
However, in this situation I’d agree that the very generous shower gift was already more than enough.
Post # 9
I would write a nice card alongside my decline RSVP, thanking for the invite, declining, wishing them all the best and saying hope you get good use out of / enjoy / whatever the [shower gift] you got them!
Please don’t spend any more money on a courtesy invite – that’s really not fair on you