(Closed) Do guests traveling to a Destination Wedding also give gifts?

posted 9 years ago in Destination Weddings
  • poll:
    Yes, even if I spent a lot of money to travel to the wedding, I would still give the couple a gift. : (28 votes)
    33 %
    No, I would not feel that I owed the couple of gift, because I spent so to attend the wedding. : (16 votes)
    19 %
    I would give a gift, but it would be significantly less than if I didn't have to travel so far. : (41 votes)
    48 %
  • Post # 3
    318 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: February 2011

    I wouldn’t expect gifts, especially at a destination wedding. I’ve only been to one, but I did bring a gift. However, many guests who traveled out of town for mine did not bring us a gift and I understand because traveling is expensive. I was just thrilled that they took off from work and got a plane just to be with us on our wedding day.

    $25,000 is a lot of money, and you will not receive even close to that, even if all of your guests bring you gifts. We had over 200 people at our wedding and spend just over $10,000. I did not expect, and certainly didn’t come close to, that in gifts. Our gifts have been extremely helpful in building and furnishing our home and helping with post-wedding expenses, but if i were you I would not expect to ‘recoup’ your wedding budget from your gifts.

    Even at non-DWs, gifts are not expected. Of course, I’m sure someone else will be more helpful in knowing the general ‘rule’ of Destination Wedding gifts. I have heard, however, that most Destination Wedding couples prefer monetary gifts as opposed to a registry because of travel expenses.

    Since you pointed out that you wanted a nice, intimate wedding, going about the destination route seems fitting. Your family and friends will travel and spend $$ to see you, so the gifts you do receive will mean that much more.

    Post # 4
    939 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    I’ve never been to a Destination Wedding but I would definitely get the couple a gift.  Like you said, I believe in helping out the couple with their new life and home.

    Post # 5
    9053 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2010

    I’m not really sure what the etiquette is for a destination wedding.  I’m sure some people will bring gifts, and I’m sure some of the people who can’t make it will send gifts as well. We’re attending my husband’s sister’s Destination Wedding in September, and aren’t really sure how much of a gift we’ll give, considering it’s costing us more to attend their wedding than we paid to host ours…

    That said, we had a wedding with 100 people, and received about $5000 in gifts, so I wouldn’t be expecting to completely recoup your costs. 

    Post # 7
    1325 posts
    Bumble bee

    I personally would still get the couple a gift. I would just get whatever I could budget for after the expenses for the Destination Wedding.

    That being said, I can see how a LOT of people could rationalize the situation to where they don’t think they should also give you a gift. I just have a feeling quit a few guests would probably see it that way so I wouldn’t be surprised if some people opt out of a gift.

    Post # 8
    3314 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    My husbands family spent as much to come to the USA as we did for the wedding (but we had a budget wedding of $6600), and a couple of our friends from the Netherlands, and his aunt and uncle also came.  Everyone still gave us a gift (which we did NOT expect!).  Most of my family is scattered across the USA and they also all gave gifts.  I’d say it’s very much going to depend on the mindset of the people traveling and what their finances are.  Not everyone is going to give a gift (regardless of whether they have to travel or not), and some people will no matter what.  Personally, I would give *something*, it just would depend on what I could afford after making the travel plans.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t plan the wedding with the expectation that you’ll get anything from it.  Plan the wedding you can afford and want to afford, and then be pleasantly surprised and happy with any and all gifts that you get.  🙂

    Post # 9
    4505 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I honestly would not expect to “recoup” much, if anything, when figuring your wedding costs. If $25,000 is more than you want to spend, I’d think about ways you can cut the budget. We did not have a Destination Wedding, and we received maybe 10% of the total wedding cost back in gifts. I would imagine it’d be even less for a Destination Wedding.

    Oh yeah, and to answer your question–I would still give a gift at a Destination Wedding, but it would be small/homemade. I think a lot of folks wouldn’t give at all, understandably.

    Post # 10
    2889 posts
    Sugar bee

    I attended a destination wedding last year at a resort and the couple specifically said they did not expect gifts since we were traveling and it was expensive to stay at a resort as well. We got them a small, personal gift (photo album) and a gift card to a local restaurant because I wanted to get them something and was also unable to attend the shower. In your situation, where you noted that some of his family could not afford to travel to your home town but they will need to travel 6 hours for a wedding in a tourist location, I can imagine this will still be an expensive trip for them and they may not have the means to give you an additional gift. Just a thought but maybe doing the wedding in his home town would reduce both your costs as well as the costs to guests and give your friends and family a more authentic and less touristic feel. I personally would love to go to a local wedding with cultural elements and a view into the life/childhood of my friend’s Fiance much better than a resort that I could go to on my own any day because there would likely not be another chance to experience such a unique wedding and personal city tour.

    Post # 12
    1854 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: December 2009

    Some people that came to our wedding gave us a gift, some did not. We had asked that people do not give gifts, because we felt that their presence was precious enough and that’s what made us the most happy.

    We were surprised that some people that didn’t even come gave us gifts, but we’re complete wedding etiquette morons and never realized that when you invite people, it’s good for them to give gifts (I actually learned that on here, way after the fact and sooo wish that people who were invited didn’t think we were fishing for gifts, because Darling Husband wanted to invite everyone he knows, and I didn’t argue, knowing that they wouldn’t come…)

    anyway. If I were to attend a Destination Wedding, I would bring a gift for the couple, depending on different factors, like how much the trip cost vs my financial capacities at the moment (sometimes the presence is the best gift), and who the couple is (someone you’re very close with will be more understanding, or, as in my case, will not even expect a gift).

    Post # 13
    1044 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I would not give a gift if I was paying $1500 to attend a wedding. I would bring a card with handwritten well wishes/congratulations. Just the way I see it, if I’m paying over $1k to attend a wedding; my presence is your present.

    I am not trying to bash you or your wedding, I am just giving my honest opinon on the situation you described.

    Post # 14
    14969 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    I’ve travelled to a few weddings before and have still given gifts.  If it’s involves significant travel I think guest would see it not as just for the wedding, but hopefully turn it into a little vacation… even though its a forced vacation.  I’ve spent 6k going on a vacation becaues of a wedding and still gave a $150 gift.  Any destination that requires travel is usually going to be at least $500.  If I care enough to spend the money to go, I still give a generous gift.  The gift is a completely separate thing than the travel cost to me.

    On a side note, why did you choose to have the wedding 6 hours away and make it into a destination wedding for everyone.  It may sort of sound more fair, but if your guests already have to travel, why not keep it easier for his side to not have to travel even the 6 hours, and maybe you’d get better gifts from at least his side that dont have to spend so much to travel.

    Post # 15
    7295 posts
    Busy Beekeeper

    i would get a card for sure and and a gift if i could afford something. i am having a Destination Wedding and am not really expecting gifts. i have been pleasantly surprised at what we have gotten so far.  and most of it is from people who are not attending.

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