(Closed) Do you change your gift amount if you’re not attending the wedding?

posted 12 years ago in Gifts and Registries
  • poll: How would your attendance of the wedding affect how much you give?

    I would give more if I attended

    I would give less if I attended

    My gift would stay the same no matter what

    Other (explain please!)

  • Post # 3
    2695 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: February 2008

    I would probably spend MORE if I missed a wedding because I would feel bad if I wasn’t there (and also didn’t have the expense of travel).  I don’t believe in the whole cover your plate thing AT ALL.  I would only give more of a gift if it were two people because the gift would be coming from two people, no other reason.  I don’t think the gift should have anything to do with how much I spend to feed my guests – I would be perfectly happy to get a card if that is all a guest could afford!

    Post # 4
    127 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: September 2020

    I really feel like my gift would be the same no matter what. The only reason I would spend less on a gift is if it cost me so much to get there that I could not afford to spend as much.

    I had one person (who we weren’t planning to invite) tell me when we first got engaged that she wouldn’t be able to come if it was on such and such a day. She was joking but then she said if she couldn’t come she would be more likely to give a gift because she felt bad! Well, beyond the obvious fact that that is NOT why we’re inviting people, I think the sentiment actually rings true for some guests… they feel bad they can’t come so they give more, as Janna said.

    Post # 6
    350 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    I usually spend more if I don’t attend because I feel bad for saying "no!"  Also, when I do attend, I usually have to pay for airfare and hotel costs and am on a tighter budget for the gift as a result.  I kind of assume the couple is inviting me because they want me there, not because they think I’ll be able to "cover the cost of my plate" (I’m a grad student, not exactly flush with cash!  If all they cared about was getting expensive presents they probably wouldn’t bother inviting me 🙂 ).

    Post # 7
    271 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2010

    I don’t buy gifts to weddings I am not going to attend unless that person is a family member or a super super close friend, so close that they are like a family member. I get invited to too  many weddings to get them a gift for everyone I don’t attend (which is 95% of the time).

    However, if they do fall into that family/like family category, I change my gift amount to less depending on if I have to travel or not. If I don’t have to travel then I spend a little more

    Post # 8
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    I will be unable to attend a friend’s wedding this spring (because of grad school exams) and will definitely be sending more of a gift because I had budgeted for things like airfare that I will no longer be spending.  I would expect less of a gift from guests who are able to attend my own wedding for similar reasons (because they would be spending money on airfare and a hotel room).  I think that I am in control of how much I spend per plate and that should in no way influence the generosity of my guests.

    Post # 9
    65 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: August 2020

    It depends on the friend.  If it were a close friend, I would spend the same amount, whether I attended the wedding or not.  If it were just an acquaintance and the wedding were close by (ie no travel/hotel/airfare involved), I’d give a little more than I would if I had to travel.  Hope that makes sense.  I had a close friend give us a *very* generous wedding gift because they were unable to attend our wedding.  They told me in addition to the gift, they were also giving us the money they would have spent on a cross-country plane ticket and hotel costs (!).

    Post # 10
    110 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: July 2009

    My friend from college got married last year and I couldn’t afford to travel to VA for it. I sent him $75 more than I would have. I figured it was the least I could do since I would have been spending a lot more than that to get there. (I live in CT)

    Post # 11
    1276 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    Looks like I somehow missed this one and started my own very similar thread…but it probably makes more sense for me to repost here…mostly in agreement with Liz.Smith and others:

    Several recent threads have gotten me thinking a lot about wedding gifts.  It seems that there are many who feel that the cost of a wedding gift should offset the amount being spent on the wedding.  Perhaps it’s cultural, but this runs really contrary to my view of weddings and gifts.  In particular, I would expect a smaller (or no) gift from guests who are travelling to my wedding as they are already spending a lot of money to attend.  I view it as an honor that someone would spend the time and money to share in my special day.  And in general, I feel a strong aversion to the transactional sentiment that underlies the entire premise of "paying for one’s late".  In my case, due to the venue and size of the event the per head costs are pretty high.  But I really don’t feel that any guests should have to tailor the size of their gift to choices I am making about the cost of my reception. 


    And thinkign about it more, I realize that I’m just not one who puts a whole lot of stock in gifts.  For my really close friends I usually give a gift certificate to a nearby B&B, arrange for champagne delivery to their room whenever they choose to use it, and also try to buy a gift certificate to a nearby restaurant.  I figure they won’t be planning many trips soon after their honeymoon so it can be a nice getaway.  Otherwise I just buy something(s) from the registry…and I don’t usually drop tons of cash on the gift but generally spend upward of $300 on travel (I realize that I’ve always actually been able to attend all my friends’ wedding except for family obligations where I didn’t even receive a separate invite).  I think I just don’t like the idea of weddings as a way to "make money" off your guests.  I like giving a small token and I’m sure it’ll be nice to receive things, but I feel like its a bizarre obligation to buy or receive expensive items for or from friends.

    Post # 12
    186 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: November 2009

    It depends on the relationship you have with the couple and if there would be any kind of traveling involved, i.e. we would have fly or have a two night stay in a hotel.

    Post # 13
    1428 posts
    Bumble bee

    The gift I give depends on who the couple is regardless of whether I am attending the wedding or not. If it is someone who is near & dear to me I tend to spend more…although if I find something that I feel is "just perfect" for a couple even if it is not so expensive then that is what I give them. It really depends on the couple for me.

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