How much do you spend on gifts for weddings you can’t attend?

posted 4 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
1294 posts
Bumble bee

I was unable to attend a few weddings due to COVID restricting guest lists (i.e. uninvited when it went down to 10 people). I sent $150 for one with a close friend, and $100 for another.

I normally give $150 for myself when I attend weddings, more if close friend or family. We will double this if my partner attends.


** Canadian dollars

  • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by minnewanka.
Post # 3
1330 posts
Bumble bee

$25- $50 for a not close friend 

more for close friend or family 

Post # 4
927 posts
Busy bee

If it’s a close friend or family member, I spend the same amount I would have if I were attending (around $100-$150, the common amount here). 

If it’s someone fairly distant I’d spend $25-50, but it’s not generally expected if youre not that close. 

Post # 5
12307 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I think 25-50 is typical.  That’s what we received from a few people that didn’t make it. 

Post # 6
3436 posts
Sugar bee

Around $100 usually 

Post # 7
1017 posts
Bumble bee

I was married in 2019 and most people who didn’t attend my wedding sent $100

Post # 8
39 posts

Same as others, around $150 for someone close. I got invited last minute to a co-worker’s wedding and I gave $75.

Post # 9
5978 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

We would give the same amount as if we went. Although to be frank, if we had 8 to attend, that amount might be lower than in other years. The most recent wedding we went to were fairly close friends and we gave $150. 

Post # 10
13670 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Same exact thing as if I am able to attend. Wedding gifts should be based on two things only, budget and closeness of the relationship. Weddings are not pay to play and the “cover your plate” mantra, which is implied by giving differently based on attendance, has no place in polite society. 

Actually, if you look at it purely as a financial calculation, one would think you’d give a lot more since you’re potentially saving lots of money on travel, accomodations, clothing, a sitter etc. Fortunately, that’s not what a wedding gift is about. 

Post # 11
3656 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

It’s all relationship dependent. The most we give is $200 for family or very close friends.

Post # 12
342 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2022

I have a sliding scale on how close I am to them and give the same amount if I attend said wedding. I’m also Asian and giving money is very typical for us. It’s generally assumed that the money symbolically just changes hands and comes back. I do want to clarify I have NO expectations for anyone to give me $ at my wedding 🙂 The $ has definitely gone up now that I’m more financially secure so kudos to ppl inviting me now lol

People I haven’t talked to in years and am not that close to – nice card, no money

Work colleague/University friend or similar – $100

Close work friend – $150

Close friend / general relatives – $500

Best friends / favorite relatives – $650 to $1000 though most likely I’ll move heaven and earth to make these weddings 

  • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by thecleverfoxgirl. Reason: Clarify
Post # 13
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

An invitation is not an invoice.

If I’m not going, I send a card. Period. (For a close relative I might send a present, in the $75. range.) 

If people can be convinced that a wedding invitation requires sending a present, some of them will invite 1500 people, 1400 guaranteed not to come.

Post # 14
9924 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I gift the same whether I attend or not.

Post # 15
13670 posts
Honey Beekeeper

While it is not obligatory etiquette to send a gift to a wedding you don’t or can’t attend, or traditionally speaking one you do for that matter, I can’t imagine not being similarly moved to send a gift. The assumption is that wedding gifts are meant to be from the heart. And if I’m invited to a wedding it’s because I’m close to that person or their family. I’m not looking to save the cost of a gift on a technicality. 

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