(Closed) Do you send a gift to weddings you cannot attend?

posted 5 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Do you send a gift (or use registry) for weddings you cannot attend?
    Always : (41 votes)
    35 %
    Never : (8 votes)
    7 %
    If I remember to, but I don't hold myself to it : (6 votes)
    5 %
    It depends on how close I am to the person or how much I like them : (63 votes)
    53 %
  • Post # 3
    46411 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 1999

    I have always sent a gift when unableto attend. Mind you, I have never received an invitation from a couple whose wedding I didn’t want to attend.

    My choice of gift is based on my relationship with the couple, not whether or not I am able to attend.

    Post # 4
    9790 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    Miss Manners says all  gifts, including a wedding gift are  voluntary and based on the relationship and what you can afford.  She also says that most people who are close to a couple getting married would likely feel moved to send one.  The distinction being that a gift is always from the heart and not an entitlement on the receiving side. 

     Emily Post says that if you receive an invitation to a wedding, you should always send a gift. I say that if the person means enough to you that you were invited to the wedding, I would think you’d want to send one.  I always do. 

    Post # 5
    10453 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: February 2014

    I wouldn’t unless I was super close to them. 

    Post # 6
    527 posts
    Busy bee

    My general stance is – if they are close enough that we regularly spend time together, exchange birthday/holiday gifts, or frequently join up for other special occasions, they would warrant a nice gift. That said, if I was invited, couldn’t go, and I am:

    1) close to them (e.g., close friend, family, etc), then yes, I would send a nice gift;

    2) not really close to them, but they are good/kind people, acquaintenances, etc., I would send a small registry gift or maybe just a nice card, depending on the relationship;

    3) not really close to them, and feel like (based on the relationship, or lack thereof) they probably invited me in hopes I’d decline just so they can be gift grabby, nope, sorry!

    This expectation/concept of “mandatorily” (because etiquette says so) sending money/gifts to people just because they decide to get married (and I don’t mean to minimize marriage by any means) – regardless of my relationship with them – when we have little interaction the rest of the year is kind of offensive to me.

    Post # 7
    3257 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    @waitingwonderland:  It is correct etiquette to send a gift.  It is, however, not always done, anymore, and I would take no offense if someone didn’t send a gift.  I would not know their reasons or circumstances.

    Post # 8
    2555 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013

    They’re not rude and they didn’t forget. They just don’t think you’re that close.

    Post # 9
    8694 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    your wedding hasn’t happened yet. maybe they will send gifts after the wedding.


    Post # 10
    363 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Usually the only reason I wouldn’t be able to attend a wedding is if it was out of state. I would still send them a gift if they are family/close friends. If it was a wedding in town and they were close to me, then I would definitely make it to their wedding and give a gift. If they were an acquaintance, I would give them a small gift whether I made it to their wedding or not.

    Post # 11
    6113 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: October 2013

    I’ve never not attended a wedding I’ve been invited to (obviously I haven’t been around a lot of people getting married. Lol), but I would only send a gift if I was close with the person. If I didn’t go to your wedding because I don’t know you that well, then I honestly wouldn’t think twice about not sending a gift.

    Post # 12
    501 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2013

    Neither Fiance or I are really in social or familial circles where we get invited to weddings of people we’re *not* close to, so if it happens that I/we can’t attend a wedding (which is rare), yes I will send a gift.  Probably not quite as big a gift as if I were attending, but something significant nonetheless.

    Post # 13
    2084 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    Yes, always a very lucrative gift!!!

    Post # 14
    3402 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    I don’t think it’s true when some people say that “forgetting” isn’t a good excuse.

    I actually had every intention of giving my cousin a pot & pan set that I had new in the box (a really great quality one too) but somehow I forgot to give it to my sister when she attended the wedding. Mind you, this cousin & I are not very close & I could count on one hand the number of times we have spent time together.

    Typically I would not giving a gift unless I was extremely close to the couple, or really wanted them to have something nice because they are sweet people.

    However, I just received a lovely kate spade picture frame today from a couple that my dad is great friends with (they are successful millionaires) & it was such a sweet gesture. I might consider gifting everytime I decline now, because the thought really does mean a lot to people. It sure meant a lot to me; much more than the actual gift.  

    Post # 15
    1649 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2000

    I’ve always sent a gift if I can’t attend a wedding.  Depending on the relationship, it can vary between $30 off the registry if I’m not super close to a check for a couple hundred dollars.

    For my wedding, I’ve had a few declines and two have sent checks.  As for the others who declined, I doubt they will send anything because I invited them out of obligation and we never got along to begin with 🙂

    Post # 16
    3340 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    Technically, gift giving at weddings is optional.  But I’ve always been of the opinion that it’s polite and common courtesy.  Even if all you can afford is $10, the couple would appreciate the sentiment.  So I always send a gift whether or not I can attend the wedding.  Heck, my co-workers gave me cards and money and they weren’t even invited to my wedding!  I think it’s just nice.  We give preents for birthdays every year.  Why not when someone is having a life-changing event?  I say go for it!

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