(Closed) Invited…Couldn’t come….Send a card?

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
1545 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I know this may sound off the wall but usually people don’t attend a party or wedding if they can not afford a gift. I had a friend tell me that she wasn’t going to a mutual friends wedding because she couldn’t afford to get them a gift. She said I dont want to go eat and drink and I didn’t take them anything. You are right about the card. If it was my close friend I would expect some kind of contact. I doubt any of my friends would send a card and I know they wouldn’t send a gift. I wouldn’t worry about it and I wouldn’t that ruin your friendships. I would def talk to them about how you feel and how it made you feel.

Post # 18
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m not a card person.  I think they’re a waste of money, paper and the time it takes to go to the store to buy them.  Maybe that last part is laziness though.  🙂  I’m usually the one that brings a gift for my nieces and nephew to their b-day party and forgets to create a little make shift card to write on there that it’s from me.  It’s just who I am. 

Now if I couldn’t go to a really good friend’s wedding, I would probably send a gift but it would probably be something that was bought off their registry and so no card other than the free gift message you can write with it.  I, personally, would rather talk and congratulate someone in person.  I’m a sucker for a good story would be clamoring to hear about how the wedding was and wanting to see pictures. Have you had lots of contact with them since?  Have they been interested in hearing about the wedding and all the good stuff?  From what I’ve heard, you really learn a lot about people during weddings.  I’m not looking forward to that part.

Post # 19
827 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I always send a gift, even if I can’t go to the wedding.  Except for this one time, when I got a postcard inviting me to a “picnic” wedding on the 4th of july for a guy whom I wasn’t good friends with (I’m friends with his sisters.)

Post # 20
1568 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

From Emily Post: “If you are invited to the ceremony and/or reception, you should send a gift, whether you are attending or not.”


Yes, guests are obligated to send a gift to every wedding to which they are invited. That’s why couples should register for gifts in a wide variety of price ranges, including some very inexpensive ones, so that there’s something for everyone to afford. It’s really inexcusable to respond to a wedding invitation with no gift and no card, unless it’s someone you haven’t been in touch with for years.

OP, you are not being too sensitive; it’s hurtful that your very close friends would be so rude. Unfortunately it isn’t surprising, as this type of behavior is becoming the new norm these days, as is evidenced by the number of people on this thread who are under the impression that non-attending guests aren’t obligated to send gifts. It’s unfortunate, but probably best to let it go and move on. Hopefully one day when your friends get married, you can send them thoughtful notes and kind gifts to show that there are no hard feelings.

Post # 21
335 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

this type of behavior is becoming the new norm these days, as is evidenced by the number of people on this thread who are under the impression that non-attending guests aren’t obligated to send gifts.

Well said LittlestBirds!  Bravo!!

Post # 22
1692 posts
Bumble bee

This is one of the Post Institute’s misguided stabs at “updating” traditional etiquette, and it’s a good example of WHY they’ve lost a lot of credibility since the first Mrs Post’s time. I first ran across this attrocious decree from Peggy Post when a colleague complained that a friend’s daughter had invited her to an out-of-town wedding just to get a gift. When I poo-pooed her she pointed me to the above quote and claimed that since gifts are expected now from everyone, girls are inviting hundreds of guests from afar in the hopes that they’ll all decline and spare the bride the cost of entertaining them — but still be obliged to cough up.

It’s an ugly idea, and denigrates the beautiful hospitable instincts that lead brides to send “courtesy” invitations. But it is also an inevitable suspicion arising from the current Mrs Post’s bad advice. Her grandmama-in-law must be spinning in her grave.

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