Is it normal to have a TON of guests without cards/gifts?

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
7416 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

If you had a lot of younger guests, they probably just don’t know any better.

if it’s a second marriage for either of you, or you’ve lived together for a while, some traditionalists may not gift since technically the wedding gift is meant to help the guests set up housekeeping and they might think you have everything you need.

Post # 17
1794 posts
Buzzing bee

if they spent $100 on your dinner at their wedding and you gave $50, that is not “generous”- maybe they were spiteful you didn’t give enough to cover your $100 plate at their wedding so now you’re even (just a thought?)

Post # 18
1555 posts
Bumble bee

helgacakes :  I’m mid twenties and I find it rude. Even if really struggling for cash, a heartfelt card at least!!

Post # 19
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

That’s really horrible and NOT normal in any way. I would never show up to a wedding empty handed.


Post # 20
452 posts
Helper bee

helgacakes :  we had 270 people at our wedding, and I’d say 50-100 didn’t give cards/gifts. I remember thinking it was odd to not even receive a card with well wishes, but now two years later I can’t remember who did and didn’t give (except for some family that was incredibly generous – I remember their gifts!)

Post # 21
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

Seems odd to me to not give a gift if you go to a wedding

Post # 22
133 posts
Blushing bee

I also understand gifts are not obligatory but at the same time I think it’s rude. I think it’s one of those unspoken rules. Like it’s an mandatory to tip but it would be super cheap not to. If you can’t afford to tip at least 10%, then don’t go out to eat.

Similiarly, if you can’t even afford to bring a card with your best wishes, then don’t go to the wedding. Why would you show up empty handed? 

It might be a millenial thing, but I would consider myself a millenial, and none of my friends would do this. 

If you just had your wedding, hopefully the cards are just late coming in 🙂

Post # 23
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

We had a huge ratio of non-gift or card givers. However, everyone had to drive several hours to our wedding and most rented houses for the weekend, so it wasn’t cheap for them to attend. We didn’t register and told people that their presence was gift enough. 

However, I was shocked that more people didn’t even give a card. That blew my mind a little bit. We got maybe 10 cards out of a 60 person guest list. And 4 or 5 of those came with gifts from our older family members. Like you, I wasn’t mad, just really surprised. 

Post # 24
701 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I think it’s really rude to not give a gift to the couple. 

But maybe it is a millennial thing: A couple years back when Fiance and I were still Boyfriend or Best Friend & Girlfriend, we were invited to his good friend’s wedding, and I asked where they were registered. And Fiance looked at me like I was crazy! He didn’t think we had to get them a gift, he had no idea about simple wedding etiquette. We went to the store and I made him purchase severs items because he was trying to just buy them a spatula. I had to break it down for him and flat out tell him it’s rude to not get a gift for the couple, especially when they made you a groomsman and inviting your girlfriend (me) along too. 

I also think 30 missing gifts is strange. 

Post # 25
5009 posts
Bee Keeper

I think it’s odd. I always give a gift and I don’t believe in cover the plate, I mean how do you know how much they spent anyway? $80/$100/$200? I don’t care to guess. 

I believe in give what you can afford. That said, I would never come empty handed. So strange. I think that’s odd I would double check your registry to see if something you got on registry was ordered but not received. I had some gifts come after too. 

Post # 26
3887 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Hmm. I only got married last weekend so haven’t gone through thank you notes, but I’m pretty sure we got a gift from every person/couple at our 85 person wedding. 

Post # 27
9595 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

I had gifts trickle in up to my first anniversary so I wouldnt make assumptions, just go on your merry married way and focus on other things.

Post # 28
1817 posts
Buzzing bee

Same thing happened to us. 

Post # 29
1288 posts
Bumble bee


We had 17 people at our wedding brunch, two couples and one single guy didn’t give us anything, which is fine. The single guy who didn’t give us a gift/card even ordered two entrees (our “reception” was held at a restaurant, people ordered whatever they wanted and we picked up the tab). Some folks don’t have a ton of common sense.

Post # 30
1221 posts
Bumble bee

yes, I think that a third of your guests not bringing a gift or a card is unusual. I know that when I was in my early 20’s the gifts I brought to weddings then were not as expensive as those I bought when I was older, but I never showed up at a wedding without a gift.

fwiw…. when I was married, we had 88 guests, 2 single guys didn’t bring gifts, but everyone else did. one of these guys sent a gift card about a year later when he and his gf were planning their own wedding. I have to say that I laughed when I opened the card. I am *sure* that his fi was behind it…. the timing just made it seem that way. 🙂

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